Developer: SIE Bend Studio
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release date: 26/04/19
Price: £49.99 (Special edition £64.99)
Official PlayStation page: https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/games/days-gone-ps4/
So, before I begin, I just want to say that I love the special edition version because, one, I’m a sucker for the steel book cases and two, I’m a sucker for an art book so win-win! At this point, I wasn’t fussed about the game as I indulged (carefully) in the art book.
However, I did eventually pull myself away from the art book and dived right into Days Gone. Here is what I thought…
So, to begin with, I’ll start with a little bit of the story. You take control of Deacon St. John as all hell breaks loose along with his best friend Boozer and his wife, Sarah who has been stabbed with a blade. The trio stumble towards a chopper and a vague promise of safety at a refugee camp. It turns out that only one can go so Deacon sends Sarah on the chopper with a ring saying “I want this back.” The chopper leaves and then we return to the present which is 733 days gone.
A change in scene with some unsavoury company
The whole environment has changed now and is derelict but far from dead. On that fatal day two years ago, the ‘Freakers’ as they are known were the results of a viral infection which tore through the human population and a lot of the wildlife too. The infected are always hungry and will feed on whatever is available – human, animal or fellow Freaker.
Deacon now lives a life of isolation along with Boozer and he only descends from his mountain hideout to do the odd job for the various camp settlements scattered around the area. These jobs make up the missions of Days Gone as you destroy nearby Freaker nests (easier said than done), rescue kidnapped civilians or murder those that have double-crossed camp leaders. Your reward for your efforts is camp credits which can be used to purchase weapons, supplies and motorbike enhancements. The enhancements for your motorbike are crucial as it is your means of getting around this big open-world and if your bike is lacking then you can’t proceed. Also, one little thing regarding your bike which I thought was a novel idea was that you need to continually fill your bike up with gas so keep a watchful eye on your fuel! You don’t want to run out when in the middle of nowhere and risk running into murderous gangs or worse yet, a horde of Freakers.
At this point of the game, Days Gone plays as a standard open-world shooter so isn’t really revolutionising anything or setting any ground-breaking records but when you get a bit further through the game, it really takes off and gets interesting when you have to deal with the hordes of Freakers. There is literally hundreds and hundreds but I’ll get to that shortly. I just want to touch on the types of Freakers a bit.
Throughout the game, there is some variation in the Freakers and there are different types. Also, it is worth mentioning that Days Gone has a day and night environment which is used effectively. During the day, the Freakers will look to hibernate in caves or shacks but at night, this is when they are most dangerous and much more active. This format kind of reminded me of the monsters in the film ‘I Am Legend’ – what a great but sad film that is!
So, getting back to the types of Freakers, there is the Swarmer which are infected adults and makes up most of the Freaker population. These are easy to kill on their own but as they generally travel in groups, they can over power you. The next is Newts who are infected adolescents and won’t generally attack unless you get close to them. The Screamers are next and they are possibly the worse as they wail like a screaming banshee which can stun you as well as alert any nearby hordes. They need putting down as soon as possible. The last one is a Breaker and as the name suggests, they are more than capable of breaking a human and tearing limb from limb. However, you don’t encounter these too often which is disappointing but at the same time relieving. There is also infected Wolves, Bears and Ravens that Deacon will have to contend with. These are tough and the Bears especially are not to be trifled with.
So, I’ll finally get back to the hordes of Freakers. When you have hundreds and hundreds of Freakers to contend with, it really is exciting and is a great adrenaline-rushing spectacle. They will clamour over each other to try and get to you, they will smash through doors to engulf you so keep your wits about you and keep moving!
It may seem a massive task to dispatch all of the Freakers chasing you but it is possible with an arsenal of weapons as well as plenty of Molotov’s. You will have to weave around the environment as they give chase and pick them off one or two at a time but eventually they will whittle down to no Freaker left standing. It’s not easy but with the help of Focus which temporarily slows down time so you can get a better shot then you will survive the exhilarating chase. It’s deeply satisfying to survive and kill the hundreds of Freakers. This is truly one of the blockbuster highlights of the game.
Scenic and wonderfully beautiful
Days Gone is set in the Pacific Northwest USA and it truly looks beautiful. The environment is wonderful and looks to be a rural peaceful habitat with lush green trees and scenic mountains until a Freaker appears or a ravenous infected Bear. Even then though, despite the post-apocalyptic scene, there is a certain beauty to the decaying Freakers and wildlife.
Overall, this game does have its flaws but certain updates since release day have fixed the issues so all being well now, this game will play out as it’s supposed to. This was meant to be Sony’s baby and now with the updates, it can hopefully get somewhere near to being one of Sony’s blockbusters.
Please see below for the trailer: