If you had told me last year that I would purchase and enjoy a zombie game in 2019, I would have scoffed and then mocked you.
However, that is exactly what happened with “Days Gone,” the new survival horror game developed by SIE Bend Studio.
The game is set in post-apocalyptic Oregon where a viral, rabies-like infection has turned a majority of the populace into neanderthal-like zombies called Freakers.
The Freakers can run and are dextrous enough to climb buildings and come in a myriad of different types based on their traits, similar to other media that focuses on zombies.
You play as survivor Deacon St. John two years after the viral infection breaks out and causes the collapse of society.
Deacon and his best friend Boozer survive the outbreak. Both are members of the Mongrel Motorcycle Club.
The club’s insignia is worn by both characters throughout the game.
Luckily for the player’s character, the main mode of transportation in the post-apocalypse is a motorcycle.
The bike handles fine and performs better the farther you get into the game.
One of the core mechanics the game revolves around is the bike and its limited fuel.
Every so often, the player will scramble to locate more as they slowly run out while driving to and from destinations.
The game uses pseudo-realistic fuel mechanics where it only consumes gas when actively engaging the accelerator, incentivising coasting down hills to preserve the resource.
Additionally, if you leave the bike somewhere in order to perform mission objectives you cannot recall it to your current location, forcing the player to backtrack to it.
Among other survivors are multiple settlements that the player can accept missions from, as well as purchase weapons and part upgrades for the motorcycle.
These weapons and upgrades are locked behind trust levels, so the higher the trust, the better the purchasable items from each individual camp.
Players can turn Freaker ears collected from dead zombies called bounties, as well as various animal meats like deer and wolves from hunted animals in order to gain camp credits and trust levels for each individual camp.
The reward for each item turned in varies, since it is based off of rarity and difficulty to kill.
Also, players can encounter enemy survivors like Marauders, who are basically just bandits, and Rippers, a cult revolving around removing themselves from the “old world” through ritualistic self-mutilation and drug use.
The game has a robust crafting system where you can improve upon melee weapons with different scrap pieces, as well as throwables like molotovs.
Players can also create bandages in order to heal themselves.
Technically speaking, the game looks phenomenal with some of the best graphics I have ever seen in a video game.
The lighting and weather dynamically changes and it all comes together with fantastic sound design.
Some people have negatively reacted to the controls of the game, pointing out that the gunplay feels bad, however I disagree.
The starting weapons are in bad condition and you get better performing variations later in the game, plus Deacon isn’t a special forces super soldier.
“Days Gone” does a lot of really good things and while it does not really introduce anything new to the table, it is a great game with an incredible story.
“Days Gone” is an exclusive release to PS4 costing those interested $59.99.