Game review: Zombies roam the Earth in Days Gone
FYI, this story is more than a year old
The PlayStation brand had an excellent 2018 as PS4 exclusives such as God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man were critically acclaimed by both critics and fans alike. Now Sony hopes to replicate that success with the release of Days Gone in 2019. Is Days Gone a system seller like the two other games that were aforementioned?
The hype for Days Gone was not as big as it could have been mainly because it looked like a generic action video game. Once again you play as a gruff male character needing to save himself and many others from an Earth run by hordes of zombies. The game’s premise is far from original, but after playing the game itself, I was still pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had during my playthrough.
Anyway, Days Gone is set in the American state of Oregon two years after a worldwide zombie outbreak. The game follows the adventures of an ex military biker by the name of Deacon St. John. His main goal is to find out what happened to his wife as the two got separated abruptly after the outbreak occurred in their city.
Deacon St. John is separated from his wife, but he’s not all fully alone at the start of the game. One of the most prominent side characters you encounter is Boozer who is one of his best friends from his biker gang. The two need to work together in order to survive the many zombies and psycho human beings that now litter the entire world.
I must say the story of Days Gone is pretty decent thanks to the game offering a lot of character development during the first half of the game. However, the story kind of stalls in the latter end of the game and becomes very unoriginal and cliché. It’s mainly because zombie storylines are overused in the entertainment industry so it’s hard for Days Gone to introduce anything new to the genre.
Thankfully, the game’s environment is diverse and beautiful to look at. Unlike other post apocalyptic games like the Fallout series, the game actually looks pretty for the most part. You will see a lot of wildlife and vegetation blooming while the south end of the game is all cold and snowy. The game offers a huge location for you to explore, although most of it is pretty empty and noninteractive for the most part.
That being said, the graphics in Days Gone are a step down from other recently released PS4 exclusives. It’s not a bad looking game, but it pales in comparison to the likes of God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Marvel’s Spider-Man when it comes to realism.
In terms of gameplay, Days Gone is a challenging game mainly because you have to survive the huge open world environment that is littered with both zombies and human enemies alike. Ammo and health is pretty scarce so you need to be skillful in order to overcome many of the challenges that await you.
Gunplay is solid as you have access to a variety of weapons that includes the likes of pistols, rifles and machines guns just to name a few. You even have throwing weapons such as grenades and molotovs that can take out several enemies simultaneously.
Melee combat is where things get frustrating because Deacon St. John isn’t a skilled martial artist or anything like that. Close quarters combat is sloppy, yet brutal at the same time depending on the type of weapons you wield. It can be satisfying killing hordes of zombies using a tough baseball bat though.
However, melee combat gets annoying if you are stuck with Deacon’s default small pocket knife. The small knife is useless and not even human characters are really affected by it even though you stab them multiple times! Melee weapons also degrade over time so you need to use them wisely in order to survive.
Another thing that some people might not like about Days Gone are its many survival aspects. One of the things you need to look out for the most is the condition and fuel usage for Deacon’s only motorbike. If you find yourself breaking the bike or losing fuel, you’ll have to walk a long way to a nearby camp to fix it which can be bothersome if you are really far away from the next settlement.
You also need to make sure your health bar is complete because your life bar isn’t replenished every time you save or go to sleep. You will need to scout a lot of buildings in order to craft bandages that will patch up your wounds and injuries.
I did not mind playing the first half of this game because the story was intriguing and the missions were fun to do for the most part. It’s only until you reach the second half of the game that the story kind of stalls and you have to do repetitive fetch quests for one faction. This part of the game really disappointed me because the missions were boring and I started to dislike many of the characters that Deacon was hanging out with in this part of the story.
As of time of writing, Days Gone is also plagued with many technical issues that will affect gameplay. There was more than one occasion that the game crashed on me and it would auto save at the wrong time. These issues aren’t too serious, but it gets annoying when things aren’t fixed by launch day.
All in all, Days Gone is an above average game with a lot of things for you to do in its big open world. The gunplay is fine and sometimes it can be fun just riding on your motorcycle to get to the next location. That being said, the game suffers from a weak latter end where there’s boring quests and the story starts to suffer in quality.