02 Jun 2021 9:01 AM +00:00

Days Gone PC Review: Lifeless as a Freaker

Now available on Steam, Days Gone was initially a PS4 exclusive that's been the topic of much conversation in recent months after a sequel was allegedly cancelled.

An open-world action game that takes place after a zombie apocalypse that does not actually contain "zombies," players must make their way in the world as a bounty hunter trying to eke out a living in a world full of Freakers and other monsters.

Players take control of Deacon, a veteran, and member of a biker gang that witnesses the Freaker apocalypse, apparently losing his wife and then surviving in a camp for two years.

Now he is a bounty hunter, doing what needs to be done to survive.

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A Rose By Any Other Name

Days Gone Screenshot
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+ 3
FREAKERS: They are totally zombies

Days Gone is not a game about zombies - it's a game about Freakers, which are zombies with a different name.

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Just like any good post-apocalyptic game featuring zombies, it is people who are the walking dead.

Yup, people are the worst.

Throughout the game, players will drive around on their motorcycle to complete missions at various locations that generally involve shooting things.

It is a familiar formula that fans of any open-world games will immediately feel at home in, playing almost like a modern-day Red Dead Redemption, minus the likeable characters and much of the emergent storytelling.

Days Gone provides a satisfying gameplay experience as players upgrade their bikes, find better weapons, and destroy hordes of Freakers ... and people.

Riding the Open Road

Days Gone Screenshot
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+ 3
BIKE: The best part of the game, and more interesting than Deacon

One of the biggest draws of Days Gone is Deacon's motorcycle, which functions similar to a horse in other open-world games, but cannot come to you when called (because it's a motorcycle).

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It also takes fuel, though that is surprisingly plentiful enough in the game.

The bike handles well, it's a blast to ride and offers players fast travel only when they are near it.

As the game progresses, players can also deck the motorcycle out, customizing it to if their needs and to make it look even more badass.

Breathtaking Visual Bloat

The world of Days Gone is visually breathtaking, though this comes at a cost.

Days Gone requires a hefty rig to run at its finest.

Unfortunately, players that meet these minimum requirements will still have some trouble running the game, even at the lowest settings.

Days Gone is a resource hog and often runs choppy even when there is not much going on, let alone when Freaker hordes show up.

Expect frame-rate drops galore when the action starts.

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Emotionally Void

Days Gone Screenshot
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+ 3
PEOPLE: We are the real enemy

While the controls, combat, and motorcycle are all solid and entertaining, the game falls flat where it counts the most: the story.

While Days Gone tries to make players feel something, it falls flat due to its one-dimensional characters that honestly are not very interesting.

There are many stereotypes here, especially with characters trying very hard to break their stereotypes for the sake of trying to be compelling.

There are many interesting choices to make when it comes to crafting, maintaining Deacon's bike, and dealing with Freaker hordes.

There is not much character development, with odd missions that break up the tension the story tries to build.

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Verdict

In a world where zombies are so commonplace and people are the real monsters, Days Gone does not stand on its own two legs very well.

While mechanically sound, the game lacks life, similar to the Freakers that inhabit it.

Relying heavily on tired tropes, Days Gone does not do anything to really stand out against games like The Last of Us except for the fact that players get a pretty rad motorcycle to traverse the map.

Fans of the genre should certainly check it out to see how they feel about it, as it may hit the right buttons for them.

Players who have not had the chance to experience much in the way of open-world zombie games should try their hand at higher-profile titles instead.

Days Gone offers satisfying gameplay but gets a bit too repetitive and hollow towards the middle of the game.

2.5/5

Review copy provided by the publisher.

Reviewed on PC.

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