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Days Gone Review

By Chris Szumski

Bend Studio asked the question: Hey what if Darryl from The Walking Dead was in The Last of Us? The answer is Days Gone. The initial concept sounds interesting, sadly the execution falls flat.  Days Gone is visually satisfying but somewhat of a buggy audio-nightmare. Personally, where it truly lets me down is its lackluster narrative, that does little to make you care for its characters.  All of these criticisms aside, Days Gone has solid gameplay that gives it the structure of a good game.

The graphics do a superb job of rendering the wooded Oregon countryside, to the point that it has made it a priority for me to take a vacation there soon.  Also watching a horde of Freakers *cough* zombies *cough* running at you 200 strong is both technically and visually impressive. When it comes to its audio aspects, the good news is the voice actors Bend Studio hired are good at their jobs. While the bad are the myriad of audio bugs which overlap their dialogue or randomly adjust the volume in game. Which at times made me want to throw my PS4 down a well.

I am a fan of post-apocalyptic settings, for it can free story tellers to show the world difficult issues and justify all types of acts.  This is a creative freedom that can add depth to character development and narrative. There is a catch when you use this setting in a story though: falling into familiar tropes. Sadly, Days Gone does. For example, your protagonist Deacon St. James and his allies have done what most people would describe as terrible things to survive. But don’t worry, he has a sympathetic backstory where he lost a loved one, and he will be challenged by antagonists so bad it makes him put aside his survival orientate lifestyle to help a community.

Now despite the bugs and my issues with the story, I still enjoyed riding my motorcycle around rural Oregon killing Freakers *cough* zombies *cough*.  The game mechanics feel familiar and are enjoyable for those who liked playing The Last of Us or a more recent Far Cry game.  I would recommend this game to people who enjoy the genre...just don’t pay full price.

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    5/1/2019 8:12 AM
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