Days Gone is the first major release for Sony’s Bend Studio since 2012’s Uncharted: Golden Abyss. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world and you play as Deacon, a bounty hunter of sorts who plans on travelling further north in search for better opportunities. Some missions also lead to flashbacks, that tell you about Deacon’s life with his wife Sarah.
It is an open world zombie shooter, and those words will tell you everything you would want to know about the game. You can approach your objective in multiple different ways and use a wide variety of equipment. The gunplay is solid, and a handy focus ability lets you easily pull off headshots. It is not as responsive as some of Sony’s other games like Uncharted 4 or Hoizon Zero Dawn; but it is better than a lot of other third person shooters in the market. Ammo is not readily available so you must be careful with aiming your shots. There is no regenerating health either, but you can easily craft healing items and use them by holding left on the d-pad. Similarly bombs and Molotov cocktails can also be crafted.
The melee combat can be a little awkward. Hitting R2 in the general direction of an enemy and dodging properly should allow you to get past most obstacles. Stealth generally works pretty well, but most areas are filled with traps, which will alert all nearby enemies. You can also attach silencers to your weapons or cause distractions in order to sneak up behind your enemies.
Surprisingly, there are forced stealth missions in which you must sneak past all enemies, as well as trailing sequences in which you are required to stay within a zone in order to eavesdrop on a conversation. I was surprised by their inclusion since they go against the general design of the game, which lets you tackle situations however you want.
As you gain xp you earn points that can be spent in any of the three skill trees that focus on ranged, melee and survival aspects of the game. Since I played it as primarily a shooter, I spent most of my points in making my guns more efficient.
Days Gone is a long game, and the story won’t keep you interested throughout. In addition, the missions and clearing camps/investigation zones becomes tedious. You travel around the world on your bike, which controls well and can also be upgraded. A fast travel system makes moving around a lot easier, though you are expected to clear infestation zones that may appear on the path to that location before using it. As expected, your bike consumes fuel, so you need to make sure to fill it at regular intervals. Thankfully, fuel is readily available and you can otherwise purchase it from camps for a small fee. Specific bike upgrades are tied to the trust level of a particular camp. Guns can also be unlocked by raising your trust level, which can be done by selling bounties, completing missions for that camp and so on.
Days Gone is nothing extraordinary, and your enjoyment is purely dependent in your interest in the source material. I wish the main characters were more interesting, but it ticks all the checkboxes you would want from this genre. If open world zombie shooters are of your interest, you will enjoy the time you spend with Days Gone. But it also falters in many departments, and nor does it do anything especially well that may help overlook its shortcomings.
- Open world gameplay that will satisfy fans of the genre
- Gives you plenty of things to aim for with a rewarding loop
- The bike controls well and it feels good to ride around
- Boring main story
- Missions get repetitive