Price: $ 60
What we like
- Beautiful open world with excellent graphics
- Powerful storyline … when it starts  It's a lot of fun.
And what we do not do.
- The main story begins very slowly.
- Many filler contents without meaning.
- Glitchest release title I've ever played.
Days Gone is repetitive, typical, predictable and mostly uninspired. But after I had overlooked his shortcomings, I realized something: It is also an explosion. Not every game has to be revolutionary, and Days Gone is a perfect example of this.
Zombie Games (and most other horror survival titles) make up a large part of my playing time. I watched the trailer for Days Gone . Three years ago, I was excited. It was exciting to see Deacon St. John – a character I later came to know as "Deek" – from a massive horde of what the game calls the "Freaker" at first sight. It was more cinematic than the gameplay, but it looked intense, fast-paced, strategic, and above all terrible. It sold me immediately.
Fast forward three years and several delays, and I got the game on the starting day, April 26, 2019, in the hands of PlayStation 4 Pro should start (in the truest sense of the word – the Motorcycle action was something I was looking forward to, hoping to become one of my new top 5 games.
I entered the game as blindly as possible. I looked at the trailers and gameplay teasers when they were released, but avoided reviews, so I could go in without any preconceived ideas about what the game is, should or should not be. The intensity of the launch trailer made me think of a particular moment in my favorite game of all time – the hotel cellar of The Last of Us – and I had high hopes that he would live up to it. Spoiler: Does not have it.
And that's okay. Let's talk about why.
Warning: Major Days Gone Spoiler ahead.
A great story can make a great game …
A great game makes players really care about the characters and what they go through – I love Joel and Ellie on a personal level. In Horizon: Zero Dawn I took care of Aloys' search – I wanted her to find the answers she was looking for so desperately. In God of War (2018), Kratos showed a side we've never seen before and is an incredibly dynamic, multi-faceted character that makes you feel .
It's not just these characters that make up the stories – it's the other characters they meet on their way, how they interact with them, and the relationships they have the journey of the game were built. Sure, Deek (and in a sense his best friend Boozer) is a (usually) sympathetic character, and his quest is certainly the most meaningful part of the game. It's the other characters that leave much to be desired – especially early.
If you are not familiar with the history of Days Gone (which, if you read this, really should be because of it Everywhere there are significant spoilers), it begins with Deacon trying to deal with the death of his wife, Sarah. Deek is a drifter – that is, he is not part of any particular camp – so he handles errands and missions for the surrounding camps. In return, he builds trust in these camps and receives "Camp Credits" (the currency in play) to buy things. It is a necessary game mechanic. You start the game by running errands for these (mostly unlikely) camp leaders without really having goals.
The first hours of the game are missing That means: Only when you learn that Sarah may still be alive does the actual search begin. At this point, you have to take care of something. But even then it's full of fluff – there are so few meaningful moments between the repetitive quests that it's really hard to keep playing at some points. It gets better if you come to Iron Mike's camp, if only marginally, with deeper conversations and interactions between Mike and Deacon. Mike is a good guy in a bad situation – a true diplomat who has to make tough calls, but ultimately wants everyone to understand each other. This adds much needed complexity and reason to the whole.
The story will begin in a meaningful way when you leave Lost Lake and travel south to the Diamond Lake and Wizard Island camps. Here's what Deacon was looking for in the first half of the game: Sarah is on Wizard Island. She works as a researcher to develop a "weapon" (lol jk, that is really a cure) against militia warriors.
But even when Deacon and Sarah sees each other for the first time, it lacks a genuine holy shit moment. They want you to have this fantastic scene; instead, it just happens somehow. She barely recognizes that Deacon is standing there and he does not say a word to indicate that it really is Sarah. At this first interaction, I seriously thought it was Sarah's sister or a strange appearance.
After playing the game a little longer, it becomes clear why they react that way: The Leader Islander Militia leader, Colonel Garret, is a madman. He scolds for a long time about the end times and why the outbreak of freaks is happening, as they are the chosen ones to rebuild society, and worst of all, how they should kill all other camps. How the hell will you repopulate the world if you want to kill everyone else? The ideology of the man is seriously twisted.
His crazy Batshit style should have been stated earlier – you know; before you find Sarah – and then her meeting would be much more meaningful. As it turns out, Deacon already knows more about the camp than we do, even though he learned it at the same time as the player. It is a huge interruption.
However, the story does not become good until after about three quarters of the game. When Deacon and Sarah start reconnecting, finally the player kindles some real emotions. There is finally a reason to do the things that Deek is being asked to do. After all, Deek must fit into the militia. For Sarah.
But therein lies the problem: It should not wait so long to bring to forth an emotional response. It's like watching a two-hour movie that's just fine, but then it gets really good in the last half hour – or reading a book with 600 pages to really enjoy it in the last 150 pages.
I do not understand I was wrong – the story in Days Gone is good! The way there is not so long. It lacks the one thing that makes so many other great games. Once you've gotten used to it, however, you'll notice how much fun Days Gone can do.
By the way, there's one thing I do not want to mention: the soundtrack of the game. The music in Days Gone is one of the most intense, emotional scores I've ever heard. It works well but it's even great to hear it yourself.
… or great gameplay can make a great game
Days Gone is not a revolutionary game. It brings nothing new to the table – the mechanics are mature, the weapon system is typical and fighting is pretty much what you expect. But, you know what? That's okay! Not everything has to be revolutionary . Every new game does not have to set new standards or reinvent a genre. They can not all be zingers – and they should not have to. There are some pronounced good games that still earn your hard earned money and your time. Doom 2016, Mortal Kombat X or Just Cause 2?
Days Gone is fun and does exactly what a game should do: it made me keep coming back. Sure, part of the game repeats itself (how many raiders, rippers or anarchist camps do I have to kill at all?) And there are slums here and there that feel stagnant as if everything is dragging. But it seems like every time I look at my wife and say, "Yeah, it's getting boring …", someone calls me and tells me he has a job for me. And almost every time a new, important action emerges from this call. Really, when the game feels a bit stale, it revives by itself at the right moment.
Of course, great games never feel stale. But Days Gone is not a great game. It's a good game. In the worst case, some might talk about a bad game (they would be wrong). At best, it's a good game. But it is not a great game and never will be. That's okay, too. In each player catalog is plenty of room for good games.
Still, there are some weird things in Days Gone that I could not miss. For starters, it's one of the worst release titles I've ever played – something that Bend Studios has fixed pretty well with updates. Still, it's hard to understand how some of these things actually come through testing.
For example, the sound did not agree with the film sequences early, which made crazy. Fortunately, that was recently fixed. However, this is just the first mistake in a long list that I had problems with: I could not complete a handful of tasks for a variety of reasons. Some of them demanded that I perform other quests; For others, I had to restart the console. The same thing happened with the beginning of some quests – like the one where you find the Reacher for the first time in a cave. The cave was completely sealed, so I had to restart my PS4 and reload the game. After that it was good. The same thing happened in a later quest in which the element to trigger the quest was not available. Again, a reboot was fixed. Sure, I've experienced some glitches in games, but not as hard as Days Gone. And that is frustrating.
There are also questionable choices in the way the game works. The last nest has disappeared – it does not matter if you are still trying to kill all the surrounding freaks or not, the interruption is coming. And good Lord, it's damn frustrating and super annoying. I hate it.
Then there is the navigation system. If you're not out riding your bike, it's just sucks. There is no navigation on foot, just an arrow pointing in the direction you need to go. I think that's better than nothing, but I still do not know why the highlighted route disappears when you get off the bike. Sometimes I want to go, you know?
Speaking of bike, there are many details Days Gone says you need to figure it out yourself – like the fact that you can roll yourself to a gas station pump and fill it up. For hours I got off the bike and searched the area until I found a jerry can. There are some little things like these – not total game changers, but little things that make playing easier. I'm not sure why these things are not clear.
Fortunately, most gameplay issues can (and will) be resolved or optimized with updates. As I said earlier, Bend Studios have done a pretty good job so far.
But days are missing in both (and that's alright)
The main story of Days Gone is really great, but it takes a long time to get involved. The majority of the game manages many minor side quests that usually run as a filler. The gameplay is fine, but a bit uncomfortable. Overall, none of these things have resulted in a great game, but that's fine, because Days Gone makes fun .
Killing the camps – looters, rippers, anarchists, etc. – is usually the same idea again and again, they are one of my favorite parts of the game because they are still dynamic. Environments change for each environment, which means you have to adjust your approach every time. But what makes the camp even more interesting is Deek himself – the more skills you get, the more your style changes. For example, the ability to see opponents with Survival Vision will dramatically change your style of play. This is not only true for camps, but for the entire game from that point on.
Speaking of skills, the Skill Tree Upgrade System is one of the best things in Days Gone because it is not a Slog . With so many games using this type of system, you need to look for new upgrades. This is an area in which Days Gone goes in the opposite direction: skill points are common. There were even a few times when I had two (or more) skill points at the same time because I did not know that I had already received one when the next one became available. You can usually plan your upgrades two or three points ahead of time and achieve that goal pretty quickly, which will pay off. And the better Deek is, the more fun the game makes.
This brings me to the best part of the game: the hordes. My God, the hordes. While much of the game is much of the same stuff, the hordes are crazy . They are the only real thing in the game – I can not say that I've ever played another game with something like the Horde. But the thing is, you do not have the equipment to take on hordes until you've played many, many hours. In fact, they only become a real focus when you finish after the main storyline. Once you get there, things become wild . Some of the hordes are small (and optional), but they are fun.
The real challenge, however, is the compulsory hordes – especially the sawmill. If you've seen the first trailer Days Gone you know the one I'm talking about. I was so I jazzed to see that it was a real thing to face in the game, and not just a cool-looking movie art that made the company interested in the game. It's a huge horde and incredibly hard to beat. I tried a handful of different tactics before landing on the right one. This was a refreshing departure from the rest of the game, which I played in the same way in the first place. I love the hordes so much.
The biggest problem with the hordes is that they can only be played once. You can not repeat them, and there is (not yet) a new Game Plus mode, so you can not repeat them without starting over. This is a fairly common request from Days Gone players. We hope Bend will soon offer new options. I would like to see New Game Plus soon. As I said, the more powerful Deek and his weapons become, the more fun the game is. A second round with New Game Plus would be amazing . Again, hoping for a way to reset the hordes. Let's be granular, y'all.
After all, there was a lot of extremely negative press regarding Days Gone and it's frankly funny to me – almost as if a narrative had settled early and fallen into a bizarre Internet echo chamber , And although many of the negative points are technically not wrong, I think it was too easy to overlook that this game is fun . Sure, it probably will not go down as one of the best games in history, but that does not mean you should not pick it up and enjoy the absolute shit.
Because it's hellish fun. The sequel will be wild too.
Here's what we like
- Beautiful open world with excellent graphics
- Powerful action … as soon as it gets going
- It's a lot of fun
And what we do not
- The Main story is very slow to start
- Lots of unimportant fillers
- Glitchiest release title I've ever played