Days gone

Sony has been on a roll of late. The company has published some of the most acclaimed single-player blockbuster video clip games of the last few years, ranging from the supernhân vật adventure Spider-Man to the surprisingly emotional reboot of God of War khổng lồ the vast, intricate open-world of Horizon Zero Dawn. While many publishers have primarily shifted to lớn the more lucrative space of live-service games, Sony has become one of the last bastions of support for lavishly produced story-driven titles — which is what makes Days Gone so disappointing.

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Coming out of Sony’s Bend Studio, the team behind the early PlayStation action series Syphon Filter, Days Gone has a lot in comtháng with the aforementioned blockbuster games. It’s huge & beautiful, with an impeccable attention lớn visual detail; everything from falling snowflakes khổng lồ blood-spattered spiked bats khổng lồ the actual human characters has just the right weight và sheen to it. It’s a world that looks real, with a layer of history and thought behind it, & the game itself is a largely competent, well-crafted experience.

The problem is that it’s all wrapped around a painfully generic zombie story, one that ultimately plays out like a dozen games you’ve experienced before. All of that effort feels wasted, especially in a world where Sony also publishes the brilliant The Last of Us, which took a seemingly straightforward post-apocalyptic zombie narrative sầu in interesting new directions. Meanwhile, in Days Gone, the kết thúc of the world is somehow incredibly blvà.

Days Gone takes place in Oregon, though, aside from the constant rain, it could really be any zombie-infested place. It’s mix a few years after a mysterious outbreak that has turned most humans into lớn zombies freakers, which are essentially feral animals that just want to kill everything. (In a nice touch, whenever you pause the game, you’re shown the number of days that have sầu passed since the outbreak.) You play as a biker named Deacon St. John, or Deek for short, who was forced lớn separate from his girlfriend, Sarah, the day things went to lớn hell, and he has spent the 700-or-so days since simply surviving with his best friover and fellow biker, Boozer.

Once you dig in a bit, there’s actually a lot going on in Days Gone’s story: Deacon’s quest to find out what really happened to his girlfriend, a government conspiracy concerning the zombies, and the various surviving human factions figuring out how to lớn coexist, and largely failing. These are all collected into various story threads that you’ll explore throughout the game, but the problem is that few are actually very interesting or original. It’s pretty easy khổng lồ predict the fate of multiple main characters, though it’s likely that you won’t care much either way.

The cast of Days Gone is entirely forgettable, aside from its grizzled lead, who is notable primarily for how much of an asshole he is. I get it. It’s the end of the world. But it’s hard lớn relate to lớn a character who yells at kids when he’s rescuing them & whose first plan of action always seems to lớn involve sầu murder. Aside from a few more personal storylines — particularly one involving a young girl who Deacon “rescues” and then struggles khổng lồ find her place in this terrible new world — I couldn’t sumtháng much interest in either the characters or what they were doing.

Unfortunately, the game doesn’t offer much respite. At its core, Days Gone is a standard third-person, open-world action game, the kind where everyone around you seems to lớn need something. You’re essentially riding around on a motorcycle, running errands during the zombie apocalypse. You might have sầu lớn rid an area of zombies by burning off their nests or clear out some camps full of violent religious zealots. There are lots of shootouts with cover lớn hide behind và an unfortunate number of forced stealth missions. The shooting feels fine, & the melee combat has a nice heft khổng lồ it. But the best that could be said of Days Gone’s missions is that they’re competent; there’s nothing particularly wrong with them, and occasionally, you might even have fun, but they’re just so bland. There isn’t anything here you can’t experience in other, better games.

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Now, there are a few aspects that vày give sầu Days Gone a somewhat unique flavor. Chief aước ao them is your bike, which might actually be the igiảm giá khuyến mãi post-apocalyptic vehicle. It lets you get around quickly without making you feel too safe, which would rid the world of much of its horror. Like your horse in Breath of the Wild or The Witcher, Deacon’s xe đạp is almost a character itself, one that’s an integral part of the experience. You can customize it, và you have sầu khổng lồ take care of it, regularly fixing it up and refilling the gas. The latter can be tedious, but it also forces you khổng lồ really plan out what you’re doing. I once ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere on a rainy night, a time when zombies are out in full force, & it was probably the scariest moment I experienced in the game.

The other distinguishing feature is the sheer number of undead you’ll go up against. Early on, you’ll mostly be clearing out small groups of zombies, but eventually, you’ll come up against what are called hordes, which are essentially vast herds of murderous monsters. That first moment when you spot a horde is terrifying, as it’s hard to imagine how you’ll ever contend with them. But that feeling doesn’t last long. The undead in Days Gone are particularly dumb, even more so, it seems, in large groups. You’ll discover the best tactics for taking them out very quickly. Eventually, they just become a nuisance, rather than a strategic challenge.

What’s especially frustrating is that there are a number of good ideas buried under Days Gone’s tepid exterior. I loved the way individual story beats were presented as distinct threads so that you always knew what mission to lớn follow next, and the game makes great use of ambient dialogue to lớn highlight things in the world you might otherwise miss. You’ll also encounter various settlements, each with its own distinct vibe; one is run by an NRA fanatic who thinks the outbreak would’ve been contained if America had fewer gun laws, while another is a seemingly peaceful place run by a former prison warden. The more you help each camp by running errands, rescuing civilians, or killing zombies, the more they’ll trust you. Those relationships grant you access to more weapons, gear, và mods for your xe đạp. It’s a great structure that forces you to make decisions about who you want khổng lồ help.

In a lot of ways, Days Gone reminds me of the original Watch Dogs. Both star a terminally unlikable character & offer players a huge, open playground full of incredibly dull things khổng lồ vì. Days Gone has the skeleton of a good game, but the rest is so forgettable that it ultimately feels lượt thích a tragic waste of resources. Not exactly bad, just boring. But if Watch Dogs 2 is any indication, it’s also the kind of experience that could potentially be redeemed with a sequel — hopefully one that finds a better way to st& out aý muốn the sprawling horde of zombie fiction.

Days Gone launches on April 26th on the PlayStation 4.

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