Days Gone - Depending on how long you've played it for, of course.

Photography: Days Gone

Photography: Days Gone

Days Gone is far from perfect, but even if it was, it wouldn’t be a ‘game of the year’ contender.

All I wanted to do was to play Days Gone from the very first mention of it a few years go & I was devastated when they announced it was delayed for a further year back in 2018. How could a game be so close, yet so far? Regardless, though, there was nothing I could do, so Days Gone went to the back of my mind, just like a bullet would soon be doing to the back of a zombie’s head.. anyone!?

I am by no means a professional game critic, nor do I test games on a regular basis. Therefore, I never feel entirely comfortable highlighting a game’s flaws when I know there’s a huge amount of man hours/work that goes into them. People are too quick these days to slate a game for being slightly ‘buggy’ or not being the finished article. And barely, if at all, saying anything good, thus, in a way, boycotting the game in question & I feel that’s unfair. Don’t get me wrong, I can completely understand/sympathise if a game simply doesn’t do what it’s meant to, for e.g., it crashes/freezes over & over again, then the developers of said game have got it terribly wrong. However, if we’re talking specifically about Days Gone, then there isn’t necessarily anything major to complain about. Yes, there are some obvious tweaks/improvements to be made, but that didn’t stop me from having a good time.

You’re probably immediately wondering what could be tweaked/improved & in my opinion, the very first thing I will bring up, although is a simple one, is when you push ‘square’ (on the PS4) to pick things up. At best, I have had to push that button at least three times for it to do what it’s meant to. Secondly, some people may cite ‘common sense’ when figuring out how to push your motorbike, but I cite ‘make it abundantly obvious/clear’. Thirdly, the amount of stamina you’re given is unrealistic & frustrating (yes, you can upgrade this over time, but still!?). You couldn’t possibly tell me that someone who lives out in the forest in a post-apocalyptic world with nothing but zombies, murderers & wolves surrounding them, only has enough energy to run for 20-25 seconds?? I appreciate that there’s a motorcycle to get around on, but running is still something you have to do most of the time.

What I’m about to say may be considered as a major flaw, but I believe a pinch of salt is required in this instance. I found the story in Days Gone to be cliche & extremely linear and/or predictable. I read an article the other day and it suggested that the developers, Bend Studio, had stated that the story was a key component to the game & I found that strange, because everything I experienced had been very straightforward & nothing had been remotely complex, mysterious or thought invoking in the slightest. Perhaps that’s just me? Or, maybe it’s not? Either way, I was never expecting a fantastic/engaging story in the first place. During the build up to Days Gone’s release, I never really got that impression anyway, which was probably because all the developer ever showed was scenes of zombie slaying & not a lot else. It is what it is, ladies & gentleman.

Regardless of the above, Days Gone’s premise is a dream come true for me and for lots of other people out there. The open world that you have to survive in can be super tense/creepy most of the time, you’re regularly surrounded by zombies (if you can’t see them, then if you’re volume’s up, you can certainly hear them!), sometimes hoards of them, which, can I just say becomes hilariously out of hand & certain moments can get tricky & quickly. The guns feel good and are satisfying & killing zombies feels/looks relatively good as well. It’s a nice touch that you can get to modify your motorcycle & the element of realism that Days Gone gives you can only be described as ‘raw’, so overall, there is still a handful of check boxes ticked.

Unfortunately, Days Gone does lack in various areas, but it makes up for it by simply being an open world zombie survival. If you’re willing to forgive it for it’s cons, you will undoubtedly have fun. In fact, I highly recommend not taking this game too seriously. What I mean by that is setting the bar low, so you keep your expectations under control & enjoy it for what it does right, what it gives you & what you’re able to do every time you pick up the controller, i.e., kill zombies & survive. Days Gone is definitely not the be all and end all, but if you’ve been looking/yearning for a zombie killing frenzy in an open world survival game with a relatively okay/passable story & forgettable characters, including/especially the main protagonist, then Days Gone is for you.

What do/did you think of Days Gone? Comment down below!