From seemingly the first reveal of Days Gone I have somehow managed to become one of the biggest believers and optimists about the game and its potential. With the games release roughly a month away now and having finally had the chance to sit down and play it at PAX, I have found myself with the most concrete and determined thoughts on the game yet.
Days Gone clicks best and rises above everything else when you are dealing with the freaker hordes sprinting, racing, and tearing at you. The strategy and planning ahead involved with successfully taking down a horde is a thoughtful delight that perfectly balances the utter chaos and unpredictable nature of the actual horde fight itself.
Messy, wild, and full of a breakneck pace and frantic energy, confronting and handling a freaker horde is Days Gone at it’s very best and most unique.
That said, it’s not all the game is. Days Gone is a 3rd person cover based shooter, or a more general action adventure title is never bad, but it does also fail to really exceed its base self and blow away your expectations of what something residening in that genre can be.
Almost from the opening seconds, instant and obvious comparisons can be made to Naughty Dogs groundbreaking title The Last of Us. From the similar zombie-esque creatures, to crafting various items you find strewn across the world into first aid kits, or makeshift weapons, to finally the menus for crafting themselves, The Last of Us’ influence is very much found throughout this game.
As someone with a very pronounced and stated love for The Last of Us and Naughty Dog games in general I had exactly no issue with this and instantly found myself just settling in with Days Gone.
One of the biggest immediate areas where Days Gone helps to differentiate itself is in it’s speed of play. Everything from general movement and combat to the confrontation with the hordes has this almost slightly sped up feeling to it, helping to give everything a slightly unhinged feeling to it all.
Virtually none of the story beats or plot points were really touched upon in either of the two demos I played through still leaving one of the biggest question marks and areas of concern about the game up in the air roughly a month before it’s release.
Yet, that does nothing to diminish the fun, blood splattered, over the top adventure that Days Gone can and very much does provide in it’s best moments and the fun and tension it ties to its DNA.
The Days Gone demo doesn’t reinvent the wheel or shatter pre-existing norms, but when did that become the only measure by which we judge games? Days Gone is fun, it’s good, and it gives you a good nice motorcycle to ride on as the sun slinks across the sky and freakers snap around to give chase. Right here, right now, that’s enough.