[Review] ‘Days Gone’ on PC is the best version of the post-apocalyptic action game Divisive
I didn’t have a Playstation 4 when Days gone was originally released in 2019, but the idea of an open-world zombie apocalypse game landed it on my radar, so I was excited to get my hands on its new PC port. I went in Days gone with new and high expectations, and for the most part it lived up to the anticipation that I’ve been expecting for a year and a half while also missing a few crucial elements.
Days gone begins in the media, plunging you straight into the chaos destroyed by the living dead (called Freakers) before bypassing a few years into the zombie apocalypse. The Pacific Northwest is a deceptively beautiful hell landscape filled with Freaker nests, hungry wild animals, and desperate killers. Luckily, you play as tough guy Deacon St. John, an Oregon biker who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty to survive.
Before diving in and exploring Oregon’s Freaker infested woods, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many accessibility options. These included the ability to switch between additional and easier-to-read visual cues, simpler control options, and an autocomplete QTE option that’s sure to make life easier. Six different difficulty levels are also available from the start, giving players plenty of control to tailor the gaming experience to their personal needs. Also, while I don’t have the latest gaming PC with updated specs, I was pleased with how well the game performed on its default settings. The world of Days gone is quite large, has variable weather conditions and is full of enemies. Still, I encountered absolutely no framerate or graphics issues, delivering a smooth ride all the time.
The most compelling gameplay element of Days gone is that it stands proudly in the open world genre, having been clearly inspired by the strong aspects of its open world predecessors. Gliding the rolling Oregon trails on Deacon’s motorcycle is very exciting, especially when you narrowly dodge bullets, chase bounties, or dodge Freakers’ grabs. As you explore, side quests and optional objectives will appear frequently, such as Hostage Situations or Freaker Nests that need to be exterminated. If you get tired of cycling on the map, a fast travel option also becomes available (provided your bike has enough fuel for the trip). While the environment might not be the most interesting to explore, it is very vibrant and scenic (despite, you know, the occasional corpse).
During the early parts of the game, you’ll inevitably sneak around Freakers and enemy camps until you get some powerful kill alternatives. I’m a big fan of sneaking into the Old scrolls series, so I felt at home, in the shadows to unleash devastating sneak attacks on unsuspecting victims. The sneaky element of the game is rife, with some main story missions requiring you to lay low and spy on enemies, which I immediately knew would be hit or miss depending on the player. While enemies aren’t exactly seasoned killers, they’re somewhat intuitive, depending on the noises and light you make, and I had fun using rocks and traps as diversions to sneak around.
Eventually, you will earn experience points which will grant you access to new skills and status upgrades. My favorite skill was focused shooting, which allows you to slow down time for a brief moment while aiming, much like using a bow and arrow in the air. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Days gone does a great job of keeping the action clear. Instead of pausing to switch weapons, craft new items, and use healing items, everything is used up in seconds via an action wheel that slows down timeouts or button shortcuts. At one point, when a swarm of Freakers suddenly ambushed me, I was able to run away, craft three Molotov cocktails, and throw them in seconds, unharmed, a testament to how easily it is easy to resume. controls and mechanics.
While Days gone Certainly excels in graphics and gameplay mechanics, but unfortunately it fails to keep it interesting and fresh over the hours. While there is one main quest to complete, the story never really reaches compelling depth. There aren’t a lot of characters to invest in, and the ones you meet end up being pretty one-dimensional. Deacon’s one-liners made me laugh every now and then as I nailed headshots to Freakers. Still, it starts to get a little tedious to travel long distances to watch a quick cutscene or take out an entire enemy camp just because Deacon was commanded by a transient character. It’s certainly a slow burn – the most significant twists and the full breadth of combat elements end up buried under hours and hours of tedious missions.
The result is a game that feels more fun to jump around, complete a few missions, and then call it a day. The novelty of things like upgrading Deacon’s Motorcycle, purchasing new weapons, and exploring skill trees only lasts a very long time, and a story that can keep you going for over 30 hours for finishing the game is sometimes hard to find. I found myself playing at short intervals because my attention span was lost in the woods as I drifted between them between long, repetitive missions and needed to recover more gas between stops.
Despite its shortcomings, Days gone is a great addition to any PC gamer’s library. The abundance of missions ensures that you get what you pay for – whether or not you stick with it throughout the process depends on how much the gameplay keeps you invested.
Days Gone for PC review code provided by the publisher.
Days Gone is out now on PS4 and PC.