Days Gone: The Review
Your bike just ran out of gas at the worst possible moment, you haven’t resupplied in a while and within seconds those screams you heard in the distance very quickly turns into you being surrounded by a blood hungry horde.This is Days Gone. Days Gone is developed by Sony Bend, a studio famous for creating Syphon Filter and a handful of games on the PSP and Vita. Days Gone had been in development since 2015 and the gorgeous recreation of the Oregon woods shows just how much time and effort that went into it. The game was released on April 26th and I have been playing for about 5 weeks or 85 hours by my own personal timer.
STORY: You Play as Deacon St.- John, an Afghanistan War veteran turned “Freaker Bounty hunter” or Drifter, two years after a rabies like disease took over the world. When you aren’t mourning your missing and presumed to be dead wife, you tour the wilderness. On your journey, you eliminate various threats to help out several camps you encounter. During your tour through the lush woods, you will meet a handful of characters; most notably your right hand man (!!!) Boozer. If you choose to, you can engage in a variety of tasks such as hunting deer, wiping out hordes of freakers, and clearing raider camps which then increases your camp loyalty and earns camp credits. You can use those currencies to upgrade both your motorcycle and an arsenal of weapons. There are also numerous side stories and optional sites that add to the overall narrative. These sites make the world actually feel more lived in. I cannot even begin to explain the moment you find remains of the church Deacon got married or when you discover a town full of dead freakers with fresh footprints leading to the center of town. The side quests give more exposition to the side characters and even Deacons motives for helping them. The narrative isn’t ruined by ignoring these moments but it certainly helps. So much so, that I tried to play the game by going through the golden path method, only doing the story missions. However, within hours I was exploring everything I came across no matter how minor. The game starts a little slow but by the time you find the second camp about 4 or 5 hours in you should be very engrossed.
GRAPHICS/PERFORMANCE: Days Gone is a very beautiful game. From character models to the various locations, you can tell a lot of painstaking hours were poured into this just on a visual standpoint. The brutal takedowns from silently taking enemies down or smashing a skull in with a crafted weapon resembled something out of a big budget zombie/action movie. I played Days Gone on a launch PS4. Therefore, I can’t speak to the graphical enhancements the PS4 Pro offers, but I can only imagine. I have spent a good deal of time enjoying all the added details.The game also sounds great! Around hour 4 of playing, I realized I owned a surround sound I hadn’t used since Red Dead 2 and just hearing the squishy shoe shuffling when Deacon was caught without his bike to the different revs on your motorcycle after you upgrade it a couple times it all sounds so fantastic. One issue I noticed is sometimes after getting off your bike during a radio call or in the middle of a stealth mission Deacon will scream his lines. I had one mission where i was following a Government scientist through a Freaker site and Deacon just shouts like he’s talking to someone a hundred yards away. Although it looks and sounds great currently a few months after release there still seems to be some technical hiccups I feel should be addressed. Personally I’ve had issues where the framerate would dip so low that if I was riding my bike, it would occasionally look like i was riding a light cycle from tron. I’ve noticed a bit of slog when i’m trying to outrun the hordes but when chasing targets on bike it was barely noticeable. Bend Studio’s currently doing 12 weeks of challenges that unlock ring/patches/costumes for deacon and friends. The patches and rings give you stat boosts during the challenges and the patches even carry over to the story mode.
GAMEPLAY: Story aside your mileage with any game depends on the gameplay right? Days Gone utilizes a hodgepodge of mechanics from other games to keep you on your toes. It takes the vehicle customization of Mad Max mixes it with the on the fly crafting from the Last of Us and sprinkles in a bit of the zombie horde mentality from World War Z. So much of my time with the game was spent looking for enemy groups to take down with my newest weapons so i could level up and earn new skills. For instance once i discovered you get melee and throw-able weapons by destroying raider camps that’s all I wanted to do for a few hours of my playthrough. Learn a new recipe try them out on raiders and repeat by the time I found my favorite i had cleared the section of the map I was in. For the last few years I’ve been going in and out of Open World Fatigue however once the narrative hooked me I found myself thinking about the game during my regular day activities. I even ignored my family for the last two weeks because I just wanted to see how everything came together at the end. Luckily, everything threaded together. The trophies are even straight forward similar to Spider-Man and even Horizon: Zero dawn they unlock just for doing things you should do to get the most out of your time.
DAYS GONE is another PlayStation exclusive third person action game. It’s long, it’s got some pacing issues, especially at the beginning and at the start of the third act, and the brutal takedowns can be off putting for some. But if you can look past that you’ll find an engrossing story about love, friendship, and a bikers code after the end of the world. You’ll Laugh, you might cry, but you for sure will get your money’s worth. We ride out at dawn! Days Gone is available on PS4 Currently for $60 msrp and I can’t recommend it enough. 9 out of 10
Marvin is a budding journalist who sometimes uses a pseudonym. This is his first review tell him your thoughts and opinions here.