Bend Studios’ Days Gone is a divisive video game. Following its release, Days Gone drew comparison to fellow Sony exclusive The Last Of Us, and it was heavily criticised for its plethora of glitches at launch as well as for its, according to critics, slow storyline and uninspired gameplay.
Despite critic reviews, the game proved to be a hit among gamers who all insisted the game starts slow but eventually picks up.
As Bend Studios addressed the game’s glitches and players shared their own personal reviews on social platforms such as Reddit, more gamers who had otherwise turned a blind eye to the game gave it a go and, like me, found that the game is actually quite good.
The 2019 Sony PlayStation exclusive follows drifter Deacon St. John as he searches for his wife after discovering that she may have survived a global pandemic two years earlier. The pandemic, spurred on by a strange virus, has transformed both humans and animals into ravage zombie-like monsters known as Freakers.
These Freakers provide some of Days Gone’s best gameplay; hordes, a gigantic pack of screaming, clawing, and crying Freakers which chase Deacon across the game’s open-world of Oregon. The hordes spark terror and panic, and players are required to use the environment as well as Deacon’s plethora of guns and craftable tools to defeat them, although resources are hard to find.
The hordes and Freakers, of which there are six types with unique appearances and abilities, can be found throughout the game’s map. As Deacon, you will explore several sections of an open-world map set in Oregon, traversing it on foot and on Deacon’s motorcycle which will occasionally need repairing and frequently need refuelling. However, fuel is sparse throughout the world and you’ll be required to fight off Freakers, humans, and wildlife to acquire some.
Like most open-world games, you’ll complete main story missions, side missions, and various other side activities such as clearing infestation zones, tackling hordes, finding Nero checkpoints, and locating collectables. Many of the quests before the game’s storyline really hits off involves travelling to a destination and then clearing out a group of enemies for one reason or another. As the game progresses, however, this later evolves into horror-esque style missions in which you navigate dark mines and take on the game’s large hordes.
Days Gone’s story is rather simple on paper as Deacon searches out for his long-presumed dead wife. As you progress through the game, you’ll be shown flashbacks of Deacon and Sarah’s relationships which help create a small emotional connection between you and the game’s central characters. The story eventually evolves into something much bigger and more exciting, but the game’s true shining moment comes with its “secret” ending which hints at a sequel with a deeper, darker, and mysterious storyline.
Through reading this, you may have come to the conclusion that Days Gone is an average game, and you’re right. Days Gone is an average game, in that it takes elements from most open-world games and doesn’t offer any new mechanics. However, Deacon is a wonderful character, and his relationship with Sarah shines throughout the game. More importantly, however, is that the game is just fun to play and I’ve never had more enjoyment just zipping around with Deacon on a motorcycle or figuring out how to destroy a horde.
Sure the game is patchy and glitchy in parts, but it’s one of the most fun games I’ve had the pleasure of playing and experiencing. It’s long, and it’ll have you laughing and screaming in horror within the same hour play session. It may have been bashed by critics, but it’s a gem and if you can, we suggest you give it a go.
How long is Days Gone?
Days Gone is a long video game and will take you around just over 30 hours to complete the main storyline. However, the map is packed with tons of extra activities including infestation zones, finding collectables, clearing hordes and Nero checkpoints, and plenty more. For completionists, the game offers far more than 30 hours.
Is Days Gone scary?
Yep. The element of survival in Days Gone is one of its strongest aspects. You never know when you’ll be attacked by a Freaker, wild animal, or human. The hordes will force you to think on your toes and some of the late game missions will take you to dark and claustrophobic environments.
Do you need to kill animals in Days Gone?
Sometimes when exploring Oregon in Days Gone, either on foot or on your trusty motorcycle, you may get jumped or chased by wild animals. In the early game, you’ll be required to take these animals on before you can escape while later on, once you’ve upgraded Deacon, this will become less of a problem. Unfortunately, one mission early on will require you to take on a bear and there is no way to avoid doing this.