We’re back with yet another instalment of Respawning’s Let’s Talk series, where every Friday we get every one of our charismatic writers together to discuss a new topic.
Today marked the long awaited release of PS4 exclusive Days Gone developed by Sony’s Bend Studio. But unlike previous PlayStation exclusives such as God of War, Uncharted and The Last of US – Days Gone, for whatever reason just hasn’t garnered the same levels of excitement. So today we ask – Are we still excited for Days Gone, and will we be making that big important day one purchase today?
I think my main problem with Days Gone is that it doesn’t seem to be doing anything original, every piece of footage I have seen has been good but not mind blowing and fortunately or unfortunately for Sony, I think this is due to the high expectations they have set with previous exclusives. Will I be purchasing this on day one? I am still undecided. I will probably wait for the reviews to come in and then decide. For the record I’m hoping Days Gone will be a massive success because this sort of game is right up my street and I want to love it. We shall see…
I like zombie games a fair bit; Dead Rising, Dead Island, Dead by Daylight, the Resident Evil franchise, you name it, I’ve played it. And as such, I’m kind of looking for something ‘new’ in regards to how the genre is approached; the Resident Evil 2 remake, for example, made individual zombies an actual threat again and that was awesome. But when I look at Days Gone, I don’t really see…anything at all, to be honest. If you showed me gameplay footage, and told me this was an entry in the State of Decay franchise, Far Cry: Zombies, or even some sort of H1Z1 rehaul, I’d believe you. Why wouldn’t I? There’s nothing shown that makes this title stand out in the shambling horde of zombie shooters. Another empty, rural setting where everything has immediately gone to shit (aka boring), with our hero, the mid-30’s, gravely voiced white dude who probably has some very tragic backstory involving a female relative…I’m sorry, but I just don’t care. I can’t pretend to give a shit about the struggles of Aiden Pierce #5206 in Yet Another Zombie Game: The Genericing. You have to give us something, fucking anything, to make us care, game devs, and again, I haven’t seen that in this title yet. I don’t think anyone has either, which is why it’s being met the way it is. Unless the game is hiding something it hasn’t shown off, people will forget about it in a month of release. And that’s a shame, because people spent months on this thing.
You want to make a good zombie game? Make it in an urban setting, with large – but controlled – areas to explore. None of this ‘miles of fucking nothing, climb a radio tower’ nonsense. Have a story that makes people care about the characters, and what they go through, and make the enemies an actual threat instead of something to press a button at. Basically, make The Last of Us 2, I guess?
Here’s the thing: I’m a really easy guy to get hyped – All you have to do is give me a reason to be excited. ‘Days Gone’ just didn’t.
I respect the animators and the programmers and all the other staff that worked hard on making this game what it is – Because it looks absolutely fantastic and the technical feat of having so many zombies on-screen at once is really impressive.
…Sadly, though, the ones with the ‘creative’ jobs phoned it in, and all that effort went to waste. What we’re left with is what looks to be a well-made game which fails to have any charm, unique selling point, or even the promise of an enjoyable story – It’s a contrived damsel-in-distress plot where the protagonist (As shown in the screenshot above) is a massive sexist. Why on earth would I want to play that when there are so many other games with far more creative effort put in vying for my attention?
Sorry, ‘Days Gone’, but if your writers and designers had put in some bloody effort maybe I wouldn’t be playing ‘The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit’ right now.
Look, it’s pretty well documented that, like Salman, I thought Days Gone would be average at best. Honestly there wasn’t anything about it that ever stood out for me. I think the most interested I have been for the game is seeing other people actually excited for it – Because I couldn’t help but think why?
It’s just another zombie game, just another open world game in all the shades of brown.
BIG FUCKING MEH, From me.
All good things must come to an end, what goes up must come down etc… It seems that Sony’s days of absolute corkers of exclusives are over; now Horizon Zero Dawn wasn’t amazing but I wouldn’t say it was a bad game or anything. This just looks… Shit and boring and unplayable. As Luke has said ‘another zombie game’ and it’s true – I think the world is done with zombies; they’ve been done to death (Pun intended) and we need a big ol’ break. I really doubt i’ll be buying this game and it’s a damn shame.
For me, zombie games need to fall under a specific gameplay focus in order to be interesting; they either need to focus on the story of either a small group of characters and their fight for survival, focus on the silly side of zombies, focus on horror, or be an absolute power fantasy – Dead Rising and Resident Evil 2 are great examples of this, honing their specific interests and focuses to become great games… Days Gone, however, seems to lack this focus.
The world just seems like a few shades of brown, the protagonist – Deacon St. John – seems to have the personality of soggy cardboard, and, whilst the zombies look impressive in regards to their AI and interactions, there’s no denying that there’s a serious lack of interesting ways to decimate or evade the horde; it all just looks so… Plain. Safe.