Dying Light 2 is the latest big-budget open-world game blowing up on Steam and other platforms. I enjoyed it, less for its narrative and more because it features excellent parkour and fun combat. Oh, and there are zombies and other undead mutants. But that’s not the most hard-to-believe part of Dying Light 2. No, that’s found in the intro when the game suggests society came together and took a vaccine to stop a deadly virus. After 2021, I just can’t buy that at all. Humans catching something that makes them crave flesh seems more plausible.
In the original Dying Light, a nasty virus that turns people into mutated undead monsters spread rapidly through the fictional city of Harran. The city was closed off from the rest of the world and while many people died, others survived.
As explained at the start of Dying Light 2 via a short intro video, the world’s “greatest minds came together” and were able to quickly create and distribute a vaccine to stop the Harran Virus (THV). In that same intro, people are seen getting the vaccine while the narrator explains that “Finally, mankind had prevailed against the disease.” This all seems to imply that the vaccine was a global success and that everyone stepped up and got their shots to stop the zombie outbreak from spreading further than it already had. That also would mean that other countries and governments worked together and made sure to quickly and effectively inoculate their populations.
A few years ago, I’d have probably not batted an eye at this introduction video. I mean, it’s the reasonable solution to the problem, right? Past Zack, let’s call him an idiot, would have thought nothing of people doing the right thing in such a terrible pandemic-like scenario. Of course, people would come together to stop a clearly awful and deadly virus from spreading around the world. Surely, everyone could agree that getting a simple vaccine or two would be a no-brainer decision to help save lives and mitigate further pain and suffering.
However, today in 2022, after two years of dealing with the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, I’m calling bullshit.
I’ve spent the last year watching a scientific miracle happen before my own eyes. In a very short amount of time, humanity was able to create a vaccine—multiple vaccines in fact—to slow and stop the spread of covid-19 and to help make it a more survivable illness. And then I watched as people idiotically just said “Nah” to getting the vaccine. Even as science continues to show that it is safe and after millions of people have got the shots and are totally fine and healthy. Even after watching their own loved ones die lonely, painful deaths, people are still deciding to not get the vaccine. People are still siding with lunatics, right-wing hosts, and anti-science politicians over basically the entire respected medical community.
Now, the virus continues to mutate and spread around the world. People who can’t get the vaccine for legitimate medical reasons are now facing a future where they just stay indoors, unable to leave as assholes parade around, often without masks, talking about their freedom and right to choose. Somehow, I have the suspicion that even the threat of zombies wouldn’t get some of these people to get a quick jab of medicine–not when they’re worried about the possibility there’s some nefarious microchips or chemicals inside of it. Probably, there would just be a conspiracy theory that the vaccine was responsible for the zombies in the first place.
Oh, and if you are wondering “Wait, you said the world in Dying Light 2 got vaccinated. Why are there zombies everywhere?” Well, in Dying Light 2 a nefarious government agency with ties to medical corporations decided to keep screwing around with the virus in order to weaponize it or use it for other nasty things. And eventually, they screwed up and created a mutated, difficult-to-stop strain that continued to spread until everything fell.
In the end, in Dying Light 2 it’s ultimately a combination of capitalism and evil idiots that leads to the world ending. Looking around in 2022 at governments and companies neglecting to bring the covid-19 vaccine into third-world countries and anti-vaxxer moms on Facebook spreading misinformation, it seems that ironically we might also kick off the end of the world due to the same combo of profits and stupidity.