Finally after 50+ hours of Gaming and a platinum trophy I can finally talk about “Days Gone” and give you my full review of the game.
However, before I get into things, the last week or so I’ve been utterly shocked and dismayed by the absolute bone idle reviews that have come out scoring this game a 6, 5 and God forbid even a 3….
I’ve never read through so much dribble and heard so much nonsense from certain outlets who have been straight up bashing this game…
As a matter of fact, many of the “Days Gone” reviews came across as dishonest and not very informative, because apparently Deacon being a gruff straight while male is an issue for some people.
I honestly have no time for such nonsense, so I’m here with my own review to tell you how it really is.
To set things straight from the very start, “Days Gone” is not a bad game by any means (it’s quiet on the contrary actually). So compared to something like “Anthem”, “Days Gone” is like Mozart in comparison.
Simply put, “Days Gone” is a flawed gem for the PS4 and Sony Bend has delivered a solid game with an enjoyable story as well as a new iconic PlayStation character Deacon St. John.
Furthermore, “Days Gone” from Developer Sony Bend delivers on multiple factors, for me, the main one was the game’s story.
You play as a biker called “Deacon St. John” who’s separated from his wife when a virus sweeps across the nation turning people into Freakers, (the freakers are not to be confused with zombies, because these monsters are more like the creatures from “I am Legend” than anything else).
They’re fast and even show intelligence, they even create nests with their own feces (yuck).
The virus has also spread to other animals too such as Wolves and Bears! Deacon and his Wife Sarah are separated after she’s fatally attacked despite 2 seats on a rescue helicopter, he stays behind with his brother Boozer.
You Join Deacon years later, now a hardened killer still struggling to let go over his Wife’s death, he’s now a drifter working with his Brother doing odd jobs and just surviving but things soon take a turn for the worst leading you on a trail of vengeance and discovery.
In “Days Gone” you’ll spend plenty of time doing two things, tuning your bike and buying more guns. The Bike is your trusty stead, just like your horse in Red Dead, and you need to look after it.
This means refueling, fixing and upgrading at certain camps. Getting around on the bike is great too as you zip around the countryside it makes more sense than a car or 4×4.
However, you’re not 100% safe. Why? Because hunters will try to snipe you off, Wolves will chase you and the moment you get knocked off things can get hairy as you scramble about trying to get a vantage point.
The Guns in the game are great too, they all sound meaty, and yes you can even wield a sawn-off shotgun “Terminator 2” style.
There are a variety of craft-able items from Petrol Bombs to various Cross Bow bolts ideal for stealth, once you get the bigger guns you can go Horde hunting which is one of the best parts of the game.
The Hordes that patrol “Days Gone” come in groups of 100 to around 600 maybe more, it’s hard to count when they’re all chasing you.
You can tackle some early on, and it’s worth it because once you kill the horde you get XP towards the local camp that will unlock more goodies. I recommend going to caves in the day, lay a few traps, get a vantage point then unload lead!
In certain areas you can also interact with the environment to slow down the horde. For example, at the logging factory you’ll come face to face with one of the largest hordes in the game where you’ll need to use every skill in your arsenal to win.
So, yes, it can make for an exhilarating challenge, while it’s not as polished as the set piece E3 Demo. Nevertheless, it’s still very much enjoyable.
Luckily as you play the game, you will unlock new abilities in your skill tree, such as hitting harder with melee weapons or using focus to slow down the action to pick off your enemies with ease.
Certain weapons can be upgraded too with larger ammunition pools and the bike can also be equipped with saddlebags making it a mobile supply unit.
You won’t be short of things to do either, there’s collectible, sound recordings and variety of missions to partake in.
The game’s graphics and sound are very good. The Bike sounds awesome along with weapons and environment sounds. The voice acting is on par too, there’s quite a few larger than life personalities and you’ll meet even more towards the end of the game.
The visuals are also fantastic, Oregon looks stunning and it’s all made better by weather effects, trees will shake in storms, snow will fall and cover the ground and corpses alike which makes for some stunning views.
Voice acting and character animation is also fantastic, keeping up the standard you expect to see from Sony titles. For example, Deacon is brilliantly animated along with a fantastic cast.
Even so, for me, some of the villains are some of the best; raging from a psychopathic cult to a scheming ass hole who you’re not sure what side he’s on.
The enemies also sound terrifying (the growl of a wolf and the various shrieks from Freakers is pretty chilling).
“Days Gone” also has a fantastic photo mode so you can see the detail close up and of course, lots of people have taken some stunning screenshots during their time with the game.
The community seems to love the game more than the critics as it currently sits on a user score of 8/10 on Meta critic which, to be frank, is very unusual to see…
Because if a game legit sucks or hated you’ll see it there. It’s also worth noting there’s no nonsense like microtransactions but there may be DLC in the future which I wholeheartedly hope for.
Now with every open world game, sometimes things don’t always go according to plan as you’ll see issues from frame drops and a variety of bugs and glitches. “Days Gone” does have these issues, some players may have them more severe than others.
On my playthrough, I only experienced one single crash, a few minor bugs but the main issue was the frame rate, while riding the bike and encountering a large horde, for a few seconds the FPS fluctuates, it’s pretty bad even on PS Pro too.
There have been multiple patches since the release of “Days Gone”, but even after the latest patch the FPS still dipped.
I also wasn’t overly fond of how you can only carry three types of weaponry in the game (Main, Sidearm and Special).
That’s also why I found myself favoring assault rifles and simply never using Shotguns, although you can use a stubby shotgun as your sidearm, I’d much preferred being able to use two primaries at the cost of another weapon slot.
One of the features most players might not like is refueling, in the early game, you’ll be doing it a lot, along with using scrap to fix your bike. However, later on Gas stations are in abundance and it’s not so much of an issue once your bikes upgraded.
Another odd issue is that it seemed that night-time always lasted longer than the day-time, I felt like three quarters of the game I played was at night, which is sad because Oregon looked at it’s best in daylight, especially when it snows.
Addressing other criticisms, it’s been said that “Days Gone” is repetitive, but it’s no more repetitive than other open world games I’ve played.
As for quests and such. Missions consists of finding certain items, clearing enemy camps, bounty hunting, killing Hordes etc.
Thus the reason why I never really found myself being bored with the game, because the story kept driving me forward. As I like how Deacon wanted to know whether his wife survived or not, I wanted to know if a certain character was going to betray me. So, yeah, I was engrossed after a few hours and found myself playing till 3 am in the morning.
There are also other nonsense bone-idle complaints that aren’t even worth addressing (such as Freakers being white despite it being explained why in-game) as they aren’t objective towards the game and are more of a personal political interjection by the reviewer, which I honestly have no time for.
Anyways, to address other factors of the game. Deacon has plenty of character development from living without a cause to doing everything he can to make things right, even if he has to do some unethical things, he’s more of an anti-hero, he isn’t perfect by any means, but he does what’s needed to be done in-order to survive.
The relationship with Sarah is interesting and has a whole lot of heart to it with some interesting twists here and there.
As for gameplay mechanics. Well, hunting, and so on is strictly there to help build camp trust and earn money to then spend on new weapons and bike upgrades.
Deacon also speaks to himself a lot (who wouldn’t do that in his situation though?), which to me shows his mental instability in dealing with his crazy situation, they only time it doesn’t work is when you’re in stealth and he’s yelling “YOU LIKE THAT YOU BASTARDS?!” from a bush.
The line “ride me like your bike” is a harmless line as it’s reflective of biker culture and has context as to why it’s said. I mean, sure “Days gone” has flaws but it’s no way near as bad as what certain outlets have been saying.
So at the end of the day, “Days Gone” is a great game, it’s not perfect but then again, I am yet to play an Open World game that is.
Furthermore, some of the exact same criticism could be applied to games such “Red Dead” or “Assassin’s Creed” for example, both of which scored well (deservedly so, in my opinion).
Yet I’ve honestly been left scratching my head seeing some of these ridiculous scores for a game that’s no way near the level of nonsense like “Ride to Hell Retribution” or “Anthem”.
When it comes to Sony exclusives, they do their best to deliver diverse and exciting experiences, “Days Gone” isn’t “God of War” level of polish, but Deacon certainly earns his seat at Kratos’ table. I’m not sure if they were playing the game properly or what.
I’ve played my fair share of bad games through the years and “Days Gone” sure isn’t one of them. Because from start to finish I enjoyed pretty much every moment (aside from that one time when I managed to drive off a cliff).
The game’s story gripped me from start to finish, packed with some emotional moments to Raw action where I just wanted to kill everything that moved. As the popular sound bite, you’ll hear in the game “This is radio free Oregon, don’t believe the lies.”
So, yeah, from my point of view, “Days Gone” is a must buy and must play title for those who enjoy open-world action/adventure games with no doubt.
***Version Tested PS4 Pro (purchased own copy)***
+ A stunning Open World
+ Story that keeps you playing
+ The horde fights are intense
+ Impressive visuals and sound effects
– Frame-rate suffers
– Some guns you’ll never use
– expect some weird bugs and glitches
Replay value: 3/5
Days Gone might be getting some questionable flack, but this game isn’t a 3/10 or a 5/10 game by far. No, it’s better than that and even if you’re not sure about picking it up cheap, you will for sure wonder what all the negative fuss was about.
Title: Days Gone
Developer: Sony Bend
Genre: Third-person action/adventure
Resolution: 1080p, with a very unstable 30FPS
Release date: 2019-04-26
Difficulty: User selection
Spent time: 50+ hours Platinum trophy
Average grade internationally: 70.78% Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: 18+
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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