Days Gone (2019)
Set in the beautiful, volcanic scarred high-desert of the Pacific Northwest, Days Gone is an open-world action-adventure game where you play as Deacon St. John, a Drifter and bounty hunter who would rather risk the dangers of the broken road than live in one of the “safe” wilderness encampments. The game takes place two years after a global pandemic has killed almost everyone, but transformed millions of others into what survivors call Freakers – mindless, feral creatures, more animal than human but very much alive and quickly evolving.
In the demo you saw two types of Freaks – Newts, which were adolescents when infected, are opportunistic hunters, preferring to hit and run from the shadows; and a Horde. Made up of hundreds of individual Freakers, Hordes eat, move and attack together, almost as one. Some Hordes roam the highways at night, while others, like the one in the demo, have found a food source that keeps it in a single location. Skills learned in his prior life as an outlaw biker has given Deacon a slight edge in the seemingly never-ending fight to stay alive. But will it be enough?
Do you have the skill – and nerve – to survive the horrors of a broken world in this massive open-world action-adventure? Step into the dirt flecked shoes of former outlaw biker Deacon St. John, a bounty hunter trying to find a reason to live in a land surrounded by death. Scavenge through abandoned settlements for equipment to craft valuable items and weapons, or take your chances with other survivors trying to eke out a living through fair trade…or more violent means. With humanity devastated by a global pandemic and ravaged by feral creatures known as Freakers, any mistake could be your last in your attempt to carve out a new life in the hostile Pacific Northwest high desert.
A Dynamic World
Using the power of PlayStation 4 and Unreal Engine 4, Days Gone offers an incredibly realistic and detailed open-world action game experience. Vast and hostile environments can be fully explored on the back of Deacon’s drifter bike. Abandoned vehicles can be searched for useful items. Towns and buildings can be entered and searched – at great risk. All lighting is done in real-time – eye adaption technology creates a real sense of dread when entering dark buildings; day and night have an impact on the experience; weather affects enemy behavior.
Brutal Sandbox Combat
Exemplifying true, free form gameplay, Days Gone offers freedom to explore, strategize and play “your way.” Every challenge can be approached and completed in an almost infinite number of ways. Many different items and weapons can be crafted using items found in the field, including brutal melee weapons and traps. Customizable weapons and skills offer true freedom in how the game is played.
In addition to human drifters, marauders, and other groups, Deacon must face a wilderness overrun by Freakers – mindless, feral creatures, more animal than human but very much alive and quickly evolving. Freakers have needs, habits, and behaviors that the player can learn and adapt to.
The harsh high desert of the Pacific Northwest offers a large variety of environments in a single geographical area. One minute Deacon can be riding through a pristine forest, a snowfield, a lush meadow, and the next to be in the harsh desert lava fields. The hazardous environments, scarred by millions of years of volcanic activity, are defined by ancient lava flows, mountains, caves, cliffs, and river basins, delivering a breathtaking backdrop to an equally diverse style of gameplay. Cinnabar mines, lava tube caves, and small rural towns offer a variety of environments to explore.
I think 2019 must be the year of the zombie, with the amount of that genre games so far, such as World War Z, Resident Evil and now Days gone. I’m not complaining though, as these type games have always been favorites of mine since I was young. They’ve all been great and Days Gone is no different. This game has a pretty straight-forward story and plot, such as, you have lost your wife after she became seriously injured then sending her to receive help and safety on a chopper, but you have no idea where they took her. After a while, you start to believe that she is dead so you take off and go after the people you sent her off with. Along the way is the full extent of your journey, and you will now meet up with others and discover many things in your searching.
Days Gone is basically a post-apocalyptic open-world 3rd person shooter game. You play a biker slash bounty hunter in a zombie apocalypse occurring two years after the zombie outbreak began. You share several flashbacks to your missing wife as the story progresses. The game is classified as an open-world game but that’s not actually correct because sooner or later you will discover that Deacon is actually restricted to a limited sort of world because if he wanders too far outside the confines of an active mission, you will see a “too far from the mission” warning message in red. But even so, that’s not really a big deal as you can easily turn around and head back a little closer to your mission. You reveal more and more of what happened to the world around you via dialog found at checkpoints.
I must say, I’m really enjoying Days Gone, much more than I thought I would. Graphically the game is stunning, it’s beautiful, the scenery, landscape and all. The same goes for the sound, with an amazing soundtrack and music that is full-on creepy and comes in at just the right moments. There is plenty to do, such as searching through the derelict towns and structures for items to craft your new weapons or use for crafting medical supplies. The crafting system is similar to a few other survival horror games, collecting cloth and bottles to make Molotov cocktails, or nails to add spikes to the new bat you just found somewhere.
There’s also hunting in Days Gone, but the meat from the animals is only for trading for in-game money, not eating or crafting anything with. I had a lot of fun collecting items and working on my motorcycle. Melee combat is fairly straight forward, and it can become chaotic if you encounter a wandering horde, but isn’t that the point of games like these? The missions you go on are fun, engaging and exciting. You can also save the game at your bike or at beds in safe houses, you just can’t save during missions so be save before and after. I can also say that I appreciated the character development very much, I simply loved the characters and their resemblance, and felt attached to all of them and was excited to learn more of their stories.
I think it’s safe to say that if you liked games like The Last of Us, Dying Light, Uncharted, you will definitely like Days Gone. I really suggest you get this game, and I really hope they’ll be releasing some story DLC in the near future. So, watch out for those Freakers, Runners (wolf-like characters), wild animals, especially those big ass bears, and other nasty Survivors you’ll meet on your journey who wants to take what you have…or more!
About the Game:
- Harsh Open World: Using the power of PlayStation 4 and Unreal Engine 4, Days Gone offers an incredibly realistic and detailed open-world experience. But be careful – day and night cycles, all affect gameplay and enemy behavior
- Brutal Sandbox Combat: Perfect your gameplay with an endless combination of strategy and play in every situation. Craft customized items using pieces and parts found in the field, from brutal melee weapons to traps and more
- Compelling Story: At its core, Days Gone is about survivors and what makes them human: desperation, loss, madness, betrayal, friendship, brotherhood, regret, love – and hope. It’s about how hope never dies
- Play as Deacon St. John, a bounty hunter facing a brutal struggle for survival while searching for a reason to live
Title: Days Gone
Genre: Action-Adventure, Survival Horror
Release Date: April 26, 2019
Developer: SIE Bend Studio
Game Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Mode(s): Single Player
Reviewed by: Chad Bartlett
Our Rating: 3.8 /5
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