Days Gone had always been a game that since it was announced I was interested in, but it didn’t really pull me in with the excitement that other First Party games on PS4 did. I couldn’t put my finger on it, maybe it was the Zombie type of setting with freakers and hoardes running around, there have been a lot of games exploiting the nature of The Walking Dead, jumping on the bandwagon so to speak, a bit like the Battle Royal genre at the moment, everyone and their dog is adding BR modes to their games.
You play the game as Deacon St John, a Biker who even during the current outbreak and situation is still flying his biker colours, just trying to survive in any way he can. The narrative for the game was very strong and gave a sense of purpose to what you were doing and why you were doing it.
I will say that I am very happy that I did finally manage to get to play Days Gone. The world is a fantastic setting and a beautiful one at that with ranging environments, from run-down towns and outposts to forests, mountains and more. I liked the lighting that has been used in Days Gone, and the weather effects as well as brilliant, I love how the rain looks and how the environment changes with that.
The hoardes within the game are crazy, the amount of freakers that you have on-screen at any one time is immense, and can look slightly daunting, especially when you notice them from a distance and go to mark them up with the binoculars to find that there are hundreds of them just prowling around.
Which then brings on the dynamic of the game, how do you deal with something that big? Well, pretty much for me was to try and avoid them, there were times within the game where this wasn’t possible, and you would have to try and use the environment or items in your inventory to the best of your ability. If you see things that go boom, lead them over there and boom, it can make a big enough dent in them to be able to get away, or clear enough so that you can mow the rest down. One thing I learned quickly though was the never think the job was done, there would always be more lurking somewhere and if you are low on health and ammo, just get out as fast as you can. It was satisfying though when you managed to clear all of them out and get away, especially if it was a grueling fight.
Days Gone does bring a good level of survival to the world, it doesn’t hold your hand in terms of ammo for your guns or health. You have to pretty much scavenge everything that you need. There are merchants within the game, but it’s limited to what you can buy from them. Fuel is at a premium within the game for your bike, so you have to keep an eye on that gauge. One thing I did like was that when you’re low on fuel, icons will come up on the mini-map showing where fuel is located. There has been many a time where I’ve been engrossed in the game, and not realised how low my fuel is and had to trek across a fair distance to find some.
These moments can be tense, especially as your trekking across the area on foot and freakers could be anywhere, even bandit camps can lurk in some unusual out of the way places… Although when you think about it, it wouldn’t be that unusual because if it was me, I would do the same…
One issue that I did have with Days Gone was that I found that there were some frame rate issues when I was on the Bike and driving around the world. If I was flying around the place and things started to get a little busy, I found that the game would suffer slightly, luckily though it usually didn’t last that long and normal service would be resumed, the annoying thing about it was that it would usually stutter while I was turning at a rather high speed and I would lose control and smash into something.
I liked how the menu was set up, using the touch pad on the DS4 controller, being able to swipe a direction to get to what I needed whether it was the map, inventory, quests log etc, it was a unique way of doing things.
One side of Days Gone that I was let down by was the combat, I felt that at times the gunplay wasn’t the best, it could feel a bit wooden and off, there is something there that I can’t fully describe other than I felt that it wasn’t as smooth as it could have been.
This game is one of those that shows that even though it isn’t perfect, it’s still thoroughly enjoyable, there’s a massive world to explore, plenty to see and do and loads of different characters and storylines to complete. Yes, it has its issues, but these can be easily looked over to see the bigger picture of what the game is trying to achieve.