Days Gone Reviews

  • Eva0102Eva0102229,987
    27 Aug 2019
    4 0 0
    When I started the game Days Gone I was expecting another survival open world with zombies (Freaks is what they are called in game) with upgrade skill trees and maybe some towers for map progression (Thankfully they didn't Ubisoft it up), and while I did get pretty much exactly what I expected it sucked me in very quickly with familiar game play loops, a gorgeous world and characters that are at times the best and worst part of this game but I will get into that later. First lets break down the game itself.

    The main meat of the game is riding around on your chopper killing Freaks, rescuing hostages and eliminating marauders all while upgrading your trust with survivor camps so you can get that sweet new engine part or the next big gun all while progressing Deacon's story arc of surviving and moving forward two years after the apocalypse. There is a crafting system in place that is needed to make better melee weapons, bike repairs, consumables and other thrown weapons and you unlock almost all of these recipes from playing the main story with better upgrades ready for completing side story lines and encourages the player to explore and do everything. The loop is easy to fall into and while some materials I run out of constantly (Looking at you Scrap) others I am always flush with (Rags and sterilizer ugh!). While not perfectly balanced a simple click of R3 to bring up your survival vision will highlight nearby salvage so you can always find more. There are some minor quality of life complaints that plagued me early game, mostly the limited inventory for crafting materials until you level up and double your capacity and that sometimes Deacon does this weird sidestep when looting items that make him dance around an item or body instead of searching it but still all in all not a bad crafting system.

    Now the bike is both an amazing gameplay hook and the worst part of travel in this game. Early game your bike can take no hits, has less fuel then an electric scooter and you seem to be ALWAYS having to find gas and babysit it. Mid to late game though once you have a few upgrades under your belt riding around this gorgeous game is fun! Just outrunning a horde and hopping on your bike and speeding away only to run circles around them with donuts and nitro until your far enough away to circle back and pick some off again is exciting! It is still something I believe should have been balanced a little better for the early game but I still enjoying customizing my bike, upgrading it and boosting past hordes.

    Another gameplay hook and the big feature of the game is the Hordes with a capital H. Hordes are massive groups of freaks that have set migration patterns on the map depending on what time of day it is in the world. Stumbling upon my first horde was terrifying as I only had a baseball bat, a pistol and one Molotov to my name and I was immediately consumed. You will most likely start off avoiding these hordes all together until you you get some gun upgrades from camps, health and stamina upgrades from Nero Checkpoints and better crafted items. This is something Days Gone did Excellent at is the need to plan and coordinate the best way of taking out these groups single handily and the rush of elation you feel when they go down. I never got tired of taking out hordes and even when I was fully geared out with grenades, machine guns and mines I was still nervous taking on even the smaller hordes. I cant stress enough that both on a technical level for the game and from a gameplay mechanic that this is one of the best parts of Days Gone.

    Your combat style can be loud and proud, guns blazing if you dont mind attracting every freak around you or maybe a horde if your unlucky. Or you can do what is by far the most broken game mechanic which is stealth. You can oneshot almost any enemy in the game (Even some of the larger enemies if you upgrade the melee skill tree far enough) with stealth and it makes some encounters that normally would be difficult a cakewalk. I dont think this is a bad thing in fact I believe its what the developers intended and as such I recommend using it to your advantage to survive in the world.

    So while there are some gripes with gameplay down to mostly personal annoyances my actual complaints with the game come down to two things story and characters. Not that the characters were all bad or that Deacon our protagonist is the blandest thing since white bread but the best way I can describe my love hate with the game is that it is a reverse bad sandwich. Instead of the filling being awful the filling is quite delicious but the beginning and ending pieces of bread are stale. Deacon switches constantly between muttering to himself like a deranged lunatic while playing in the open world to a jackass who slowly opens up in cut-scenes. This dichotomy is jarring and really took me out of it at times but as Deacon started to grow and I learned about him and the characters around him I was sucked into the story at least I was. I will have a spoiler section at the end but there is a turning point in the game where it seemed like everything that had been building up and the growth Deacon had was all for not. Its not that the overall story was bad but I would not be surprised if there were two different scripts at one point and they went with the one that could wrap the game up the fastest and cleanest.

    Still Days Gone is a game packed with content and characters that I will remember for a long time. Despite its bumps in the road and hangups I feel with the story and choices made I recommend picking it up. The game even has added challenges with new trophies and a survival mode that I may try down the line but for now my time on the hog is at a close. Boozer is best bro btw you take that to the grave no doubt. (Spoilers section below for the story complaints)

    *** Spoiler - click to reveal ***
  • SolaceCreedSolaceCreed610,831
    28 Apr 2019 06 May 2019
    6 4 2
    In a game market almost oversaturated by zombie games (probably with thanks to Turtle rock making them popular again) can Days Gone produce anything new or bring something different to the genre?

    The answer, sadly, is no, but what Days Gone does well, it does really well. Take hordes, for example, hordes can be huge in this game and they are totally unforgiving, unlike most other Zombie games. Games like Dead Rising seem to have been a big influencer on Bend Studios too. Crafting is a huge part of survival in Days Gone and although the crafting stays realistic within the theme of the game, there are a few weapons that people may see parralells in withing the Dead Rising universe.

    It also plays with the ideas of communities and the human need for conflict within these communities. Although, most of it is strained within a war of words, again it isn't exactly new in the world of the zombie game (see State of Decay and even then it wasn't original). What it does do differently here though, is introduce a system for approval. The more "trust" you earn for a community the more options open up at shops and at some (more importantly) upgrades for your bike. Being an member of an MC, you and your brother, Boozer, are both trying to survive as drifters. Those who go between communities and perform jobs for them. Living in the savage wilds most of the time.

    You see hostile communities too, like The Marauders or Bandits. Who have camps out in the wilds and often use them to ambush people trying to just get by. Taking most of these out gives you more fast travel points and an extra place to sleep and prepare for the next leg of your journey.

    What I quite enjoy is the different stories running inbetween one another. It isn't a straight storyline of from here to here, like every other zombie game. It has some idea of the fact side missions, aren't just a side story. The whole story should affect another part of the story. Whilst playing the main story (which seems to be split between Boozer and Sarah's individual stories), you'll comr across Lisa's and every settlement has its own part of the story. Blending a rich tapestry together.

    Bounties are another way to keep things fresher than normal. Each time you kill a group or individual Zombie, you can pick up their ear as a token of how many you killed. The more you have the better (and this is where hunting hordes down would be particularly advantageous). You turn these in at a camp for camp credits and influence. As I mentioned before the more influence or "trust" you have the better, ontop of this you can go hunting and trade any meat you find at a camp kitchen, for the same rewards.

    Graphically, it's what you'd have come to expect from an Sony exclusive. The same level of beauty you find in Horizon: Zero Dawn but the stark contrast between a horrorible future and beauty like The Last of Us. It manages to blend itself in to an georgeous mountainside location and owns it. It also lends to the smooth transitions between cinematic and gameplay. They are slightly different in the way they're shown, but it isn't as obvious as the aforementioned Horizon.

    It's kept the gameplay itself a bit basic too, making this fairly accessible to most gamers. Crafting it done by holding L1 and then finding what you wish to craft and holding R1 and then R2 to use it without leaving the menu. Crafting Weapons if done exactly the same way, as long as you have the base weapon and components in your inventory. These are also unlocked by clearing out camps of Raiders etc and pillaging their underground bunkers. Others are handed out for completing story missions.

    One problem it has is its way points on the minimap. It'll take you on a literal path, meaning that it will sometimes expect you to climb a mountain that you can't climb to get to an NERO research encampment. Although, I've had some funny moments crushing an unsuspecting Freaker (the games name for the Zombies) with my Bike after falling off it trying to climb a cliff on it.

    NERO encampments also offer you a chance not only to get a new fast travel point on the map, but an opportunity to expand you health, stamina or focus with a syringe found inside the camp. Although, until you unlock the Focus skill in the Ranged skill tree. It only gives you the option for stamina and health.

    I've also experimented with the difficulty settings. Whilst proving really fun. Hard mode isn't so much different to easy. Freakers seem to hit for the same damage no matter if you're on easy or hard, meaning you can struggle with a larger group no matter what, which isn't neccessarilly a bad thing. It just becomes frustrating if you're struggling on a part of a mission and the difficulty doesn't really seem to matter on damage taken. The real difference in finding crafting materials and fuel in the wilds. Fuel seems to be in every single camp on easy mode, I put it on hard and it becomes few and far between, making you play about with your bike less and trying to take a shorter route than what the game suggests you take.

    Stealth also seems rather broken. I found it easier on hard mode, havong not failed my mission at all on that difficulty. Put it down to easy and NERO/Freakers seemed to find me regardless. Although, many of you may say it could be because I got complacent, succeeding at hard may give you that complex of something being a bit broken on an easier setting when you fail.

    All in all, it's a great game, does it do everything spectacularly? No, not many games do, but it does do what it does very well. Perhaps not a game of the year candidate, but you could see it possibly sneaking a few awards at the BAFTA's.