In a market filled with zombie games, Sony's new PS4 exclusive, Days Gone, had to do a lot to differentiate itself. Thankfully, it borrowed from the best out there while also carving out its own identity, to produce a game well-worth your time and money.
Playstation 4 owners don’t have any shortage of great games, and in terms of zombie titles, there’s a lot out there too; however, Days Gone aims to do something very different, telling an interesting story of post-apocalyptic survival with some interesting mechanics and survival elements; but is it any good?
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There’s no denying that the game’s protagonist Deacon immediately conjures up similarities to Darryl from The Walking Dead – both are bikers trying to navigate their way through hordes of zombies, but that’s about where the similarities end. Deacon is a quick-talking, kind-hearted individual, who is trying to find a peaceful slice of life after the majority of humanity was killed by a virus, with many of the survivors being turned into zombies called ‘freakers’.
The game’s story is a great highlight of the experience, showcasing a likeable character who blames himself for losing his wife during the outbreak. That said, a little more polish to the cut-scenes could’ve gone a long way, as lip-syncing and transitions to-and-from cut-scenes to gameplay does break up the momentum a bit.
Gameplay-wise, Days Gone won’t be unfamiliar to those who have played the likes of Uncharted, Far Cry, and stealth-horror titles like The Evil Within. You’ll pick up missions in the open-world, head to enemy encampments or go on fetch quests to find necessary items, only to be faced with human enemies, zombie hordes, or a tricky sneak-in-and-grab mission through some undead obstacles. What mixes up this formula though, is that Deacon is equipped with his trusty motorcycle that you can upgrade as the game goes on.
You’ll ride across the map, but fuel drains as you ride, so you’ll need to be on the lookout for red fuel cans and petrol stations littered throughout the map. This can turn a quick pitstop for petrol into a fight for your life as zombies have overrun the motel you’re searching in – and these unscripted moments are some of the best in the game.
The shooting mechanics are also solid, giving you a admittedly-wide variety of weapons to dispatch the undead with. Headshots are key, obviously (as per every zombie movie ever), so you have to be mindful and tactical when taking on larger groups of enemies, adding a strategic elements to the game – especially when taking on missions involving hordes. Thankfully, Deacon also has a focus meter, which allows players to temporarily slow down time to pick off one or two headshots – and this can be upgraded throughout the game, in addition to boosting health, stamina, and other perks.
In a market filled with zombie games, Days Gone had a lot of pressure to differentiate itself. Thankfully, it borrowed from the best out there while also carving out its own identity, to produce a game well-worth your time and money.