By Dean Moses
Game: Days Gone
Platform: PlayStation 4
Rating: M for Mature
Another day gone; another zombie game is released. This year we have already had the likes of Resident Evil 2 and World War Z, and most recently we got Days Gone.
As per usual with this genre, we find our protagonist inhabiting a post-apocalyptic world in which the undead and—possibly even worse—deranged human beings ravage the earth. But what led up to this? How did our main character become who he is today?We discover this through flashbacks as we progress through the game. We play as Deacon St. John, a member of a biker gang—referred to throughout the game as a drifter—who finds himself in a city on fire with a fellow club member and his wife amidst a zombie hoard attack. The threesome fight to a military helicopter in order to escape the destruction, although things never go according to plan in these games. They make it to the chopper with a catch, there is only room for two of them. His best friend Boozer is injured, so Deacon decides to send his wife aboard alone so he can stay behind and Boozer escapes by bike. Unfortunately, later he discovers that the helicopter crashed, and every-body onboard was killed… or so it seems.
Days Gone is an open world game, meaning the desolate landscape is open for exploration. The aim of the game is to drive your bike around the world completing main missions and side quests. Be careful though, developer SIE Bend Studio has incorporated some semblance of realism into play. Your motorcycle can run out of fuel or become unusable due to damage, which will require you to refill it at gas stations, find gas cans and/or loot scrap from abandoned vehicles to fix the damage. This can become problematic; however, if you stay on top of the fuel and damage gauges you should be fine. The combat is another gameplay stable. Thankfully, you can approach it from two methods: action or stealth. Of course, the game forces you into one of the preceding gameplay devices during certain sections, yet while free roaming you can tackle enemies however you wish. Beware though, there is a large variety of enemies to take down, everything from regular gun-toting Joes and wild bears to zombies that arrive as one large swarm, killing you nearly instantly. There are many different weapons to use and bad guys to face off against, the same sadly can’t be said for the missions. Driving from place to place tends to feel rather repetitive, rather quickly.
A Lush Wasteland
There is no doubt about it, Days Gone looks beautiful. Character models pop with expression, facial cues such as happiness, sadness, pain, and anger are easily recognized. This is aided by actor Sam Witwer playing protagonist Deacon. Both his voice and appearance have been transported into the game. The world itself is equally as impressive. The greenery is lush, the dirt roads kick up muck behind your back wheel, and the townscapes are littered with remarkable detail. This level of intricacy is also used on your motorcycle. You see, while playing you will gain both levels—which allows you to upgrade Deacon’s abilities, making facing off against the undead a tad easier—and earn money from doing jobs or killing zombies. This money can be spent on weapons or your bike, adding extra functions like the ability to boost or a custom paint job.
While Days Gone is gorgeous to look at and encompasses a riveting plot, this does not change the fact that missions can and do get repetitive. This PS4 exclusive does not hold a candle to Sony’s other zombie exclusive The Last of Us. Still, with that being stated, it does not mean there is not serious fun to be had here. Exploring different locals via a souped-up bike and battling with hordes of bloodthirsty ghouls is a delight.