Days Gone is the 20th game I’ve completed on my Twitch stream this year. I’ve now smashed one my bigger goals for my content! Before 2021 my prior record for most games beaten on my stream in a year was 6-7. Moving foreword whenever I complete a game on stream I plan on writing a brief article/mini-review for it on my website assuming I have enough interesting input on it.
I won’t be going into full on spoiler territory in this article.
The game’s plot begins with the two main characters Deacon and Boozer helping Deacon’s wife Sarah onto a chopper after being stabbed by a person infected by the zombie virus as the town is being overrun by a massive horde of zombies.
Days Gone starts out very promisingly. The story of the game is very compelling and well written, it has it’s dumb moments, but it’s generally better than something like the Last of Us where some of the dialogue was outright cringe-worthy.
The game’s plot focusses very heavily on Deacon’s quest to find his wife and his unending hope that she might’ve survived. The plot alone helped push me through some of the rougher moments of the game.
I’m not a huge graphics guy, but the presentation in this game is very pretty. The graphics are very nice, the sound is mostly pretty good minus some sound effects not always playing correctly for me, the music choices can be odd at points.
The performance isn’t stellar on a slim ps4. The game chugs HARD sometimes when you’re driving through a town, and when there’s a massive horde of zombies chasing you. I’d give the overall presentation a B+ though if I were rating things like school papers.
The gameplay of this game is kind of a big mixed bag. It’s mainly split into two segments, driving your motorcycle, and on foot combat.
Driving Your Motorcycle
The motorcycle has very weird inconsistent feeling weight and physics. I had a few moments where I went to back up the bike on a slight incline and whenever I hit the gas the bike refused to move foreword at all and just slowly drifted me into a horde of zombies. When you’re riding your motorcycle throughout the world there’s also trip-wires that the human enemies set out in order to stop you and wreck your bike. You can barely see these coming most of the time and they never felt like much of a real challenge and more of an obnoxious inconvenience. You can certainly adapt to the bike, but it’s rough at points.
ON Foot Combat
The combat is where this game really shines, for the most part it plays similar to something like Uncharted as a basic cover shooter. I think the gunplay in this game is EXACTLY as it should be with very few complaints. The actual controls themselves for combat never got in my way.
There were a lot of really confusing moments in the general gameplay outside of combat though. Sometimes you can press a button prompt to talk to characters 3-4 times and Deacon refuses to talk to them and instead just kind of jitters around for a second until you stand in the exact correct spot, this problem affects your ability to quick-save, open doors, talk to characters as I said, get on your bike, refuel your bike, IT’S VERY ANNOYING!
I also ran into a MASSIVE game-breaking bug TWICE throughout this game, once during a mission called “About Boozer’s Arm” where you have to go into a building and press a button prompt to search some blood on the floor for clues. The button prompt literally NEVER appeared for me at all. I walked around where it’s supposed to be in EVERY DIRECTION and just NOTHING! It turns out I did some missions in an order than glitched out the game! I then had to angrily go back 5-6 hours of gameplay before I did all of those missions and play my way back. I tried rebooting my game, reloading, and turning the PS4 itself off and back on. This was just completely bugged and entirely unacceptable.
I ran into another less serious bug during one of the last missions in the game. The floor in one area just didn’t render and my character as well as an NPC I was escorting just fell right through and died. This was luckily fixed by a reboot so that might’ve been the game just not loading up properly.
There’s also one set of missions I actually refused to play at all involving eliminating the zombie hordes. This game has some insane groups of zombies, so many that it tanks the framerate sometimes. Towards the end of the game there’s several required missions where you have to go in with napalm cocktails and kill a whole horde. I tried it and after dealing with game breaking bug that set me back 5 hours I decided I wasn’t in the mood for a set of missions that is entirely luck driven.
You run around like a chicken with your head cut off detonating explosives on a fairly unpredictable horde of zombies until you either get lucky or run out of explosives and get overrun. The game eventually asks you if you want to skip a segment if you die too much and I don’t feel bad for skipping them at all. I know these features are considered taboo by many gamers these days but even if they didn’t exist these are the moments you’d use a Gameshark or codebook for back in the day.
I feel like the game also overstays it’s welcome by the end. The last 6-8 hours feels like useless padding and and is really just helping the main characters get ready to take down one of the bad guys. This whole segment could’ve been cut to 2-3 missions instead of like 10-15.
Buy this game, but buy it on sale.
“If you love a game, buy it at fucking full price. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen gamers say ‘yeah, I got that on sale, I got it through PS Plus, whatever.’”John Garvin, Days Gone Director
Apparently Sony cancelled a potential sequel to this game because it didn’t sell enough copies. The game’s director John Garvin didn’t take this news very well at all. The reality is that I would demand a refund for this game if I had payed full price for it. It’s got literal game-breaking bugs that waste your time, and too many small things that slowly add up overtime. It’s writing and gunplay keep you going, but towards the end you’re just begging for it to finally end due to the annoying padding throughout the final act.
Watch my full playthrough of Days Gone HERE.