For almost three years I have waited patiently for the PlayStation exclusive to come out. It was when I saw the reveal from the E3 event in 2016 that I knew my interest was peaked. Now, in 2019 the game has finally arrived and while it isn’t what I expected, it is still a good game at its core.
Before I talk about the game and flesh out my thoughts so far, I want to discuss something relating to the game first. I’ve seen a fair amount of “critics” and “reviewers” out there saying the open-world of Days Gone is bland and that the story is boring. Now, I can easily admit that this is false. The game isn’t the best out there but we need to keep in mind this game came from a development that only had about 50 people. They now only have around 130-40 people. Other than critics like Skill Up, ACG (YouTube), Joraptor (YouTube) and LaymenGaming, there aren’t many to trust. By no means necessary is this a perfect game, in fact, there are no perfect games. However, the game does quite a lot of good and the bad simply doesn’t outweigh the good.
The first thing we should talk about is the gameplay. Now, there are times in the game when the gameplay feels quite good. However, the gameplay at its core does feel quite chunky. Moving around with Deacon can seem rather awkward at times and when you’re trying to perfectly place him in one position, it can be quite difficult. It’s not always like this because there are times when you just roam the world freely with no real objective. In saying that, the chunkiness of the gameplay isn’t its only issue. The gun gameplay in this game is quite awful. When playing I thought maybe it’s just a learning curve or something to get used to. However, the more I played the more it was clear my perfectly aimed shots were missing and my obvious misses were somehow hitting the target.
The gun gameplay in this game isn’t the worst I’ve experienced but it definitely wasn’t enjoyable. So much so that a lot of the times I relied on melee and stealth which actually works really well in this game. The hand-to-hand combat is really good here and while it doesn’t reinvent the wheel or anything, it’s really fun.
Now, I want to talk about the performance of the game because this is an issue I’m starting to have. In my 10 hours of playing so far, I’ve experienced exactly two game crashes and one other time when the game simply wouldn’t load in. This isn’t the only problem with the performance as many of you probably already know by now. The game has a lot of pop-ins and outs. It’s really bad sometimes. At one point I was riding on my bike and the road I was actually driving on was non-existent for a few seconds before it popped in. It was just a really weird experience and one that diminished any immersion I was at feeling at that point. I should note that I’m currently playing this on the PlayStation 4 and not Pro so that’s probably why I’m having these issues.
The open-world itself is incredibly well-designed and leaves me constantly wanting to go from one area to another. The snowy mountains, the deep forests and the lonely highways are just beautiful in this game. Among all of that, the world feels quite lived in not because there are monsters in the world, more because of the random events that can be triggered at any point in the game. It helps that the game gives off this dark, depressing vibe as you are in a world that’s riddled with “zombies”.
In saying that, there are some issues with the open-world as well. There simply isn’t enough variety in terms of building designs and loot variety. More often than not you’ll find yourself going into building/houses to loot and you’ll find that each building and house have almost the same exterior. This becomes rather annoying but not so much that I was bored of the game.
Characters & Story
If anyone asks me what I think of Sam Witwer as a voice-actor, I’m always going to think of his incredible performance as Deacon. Man, Sam Witwer poured his soul into this role and it shows. The game benefits deeply from having an absolutely great voice-actor for Deacon. As a character though, Deacon can come off rather irritating at the start of the game but you’ll quickly start to like him. His personality is one that changes throughout the game and you can see how much his been affected by everything. Whether that’s having to send off his wife at the start of the game or living in a dying world. Deacon is only human and the game constantly reminds you of that.
Now, regarding the story I can’t comment too much on it yet as I am only 10 hours in. However, from what I’ve seen so far in Deacon losing his wife, having to take care of Boozer and trying to find out if his wife is actually alive or not. The story is very interesting and I can only see it getting better. The game is obviously very story-driven and focuses more on character development than anything else.
Obviously because I have not yet finished the game, my overall thoughts can and likely will change. However, what I can say is that this game is really fun to play and while it doesn’t offer the best gameplay, it provides a really good story. The game also provides some great characters and a pretty good world. Furthermore, the performance issues I encountered can be fixed quite easily. Something that did surprise me was how little the freakers have to do with the story. As a game that is set in a zombie apocalypse I found this rather odd but I think I prefer it this way.
So, there you go. Those are my initial thoughts on the game so far. As I haven’t finished the game, my thoughts are bound to change but I don’t believe they’ll change for the worse. If I had to rate the game, so far it’s sitting on 7.5/10 and that’s not a bad score by any means necessary.