Days Gone is a game that’s been dropping on and off my radar for what feels like years! I think this is mostly down to the fact that Sony can’t seem to make up their mind on when they want to release it…
In general, I don’t play that many zombie games. Games such as Dead Rising I’ve played for a few hours and never went back to, it never really excited me and really found it quite boring & tiresome as you’re just killing hordes of zombies with not much else going on, and honestly I found the gameplay lame. On the flip side of that, I did enjoy the Walking Dead Season One as this had a really strong narrative and a lot of reason to play… But then I never played any of the other seasons; there wasn’t any particular reason for this, it just isn’t something that really grabbed my attention past Season One. In general, I find that zombie stuff can only be interesting in small doses because it seems to be the same things done over and over again; for example with The Walking Dead many people have stopped watching because it just repeated the same boring ideas over and over, although it mainly tried to focus on the human relationships and not the zombie threat in particular; the whole world got really fucking lame and a hell of a lot of people gave up on it. These views I have on the zombie genre concern me for something like Days Gone, as it seems to be a large game that’s mostly about… The zombie threat, so I think perhaps the novelty wouldn’t last long.
I’m not saying that it’s all bad in this genre as there are games that stand out (Resident Evil anyone?), and anything that stands out seems to have a directly strong narrative, easiest game for me to relate this to is The Last of Us, because obviously it’s amazing and there are people that are basically zombies (But the infection slightly different). The decrepit world can be explored but it’s never too much, and they make it work because the main character’s stories are so strong and there’s always a specific way you have to go and navigate through situations. It never really loses it’s way or requires you to do anything which will bore you as there’s always a reason or driving force for what you’re doing. I do feel that with Days Gone, they’ve tried to capture some of this, especially with the recent story video they’ve released:
You can see the main character seems to have lost his wife and that’s why he had to join this gang to survive. It seems that he gave up after she was taken, and it’s led him to do some bad things because the world has gone to shit, so why not, right?! Or because they know some info about his wife… It definitely seems there’s a lot being built up around the story and characters, and I just hope it isn’t lost in the open world. If they can pull something off like a Far Cry 5 I would be very happy and avoid something like a Horizon Zero Dawn…
I don’t know a great deal about Days Gone, outside what I’ve seen from these trailers, so this is kind of a blind impressions / expectations. I’ve just got hope that the open world map is fun to explore as it seems they really capture that fear of having to survive; now I don’t want it to be a survival game that’s something like Conan or We Happy Few where you have to constantly monitor your various levels of nutrition or thirst, and I don’t think it will be this, plus I think that would take some of the fun away… But I think that having to salvage for parts for your bike or your weapons and still have to find food for your team / gang – as I’m guessing there is going to be a camp and some people that you have to look after and protect (as long as it ain’t Dutch!) – would be fantastic. I think there’s a lot of potential with the game because as I’ve seen from the zombie game play, you have to work out the best way to escape and battle, whether it be taking a different route out or using the environment to your advantage, I just hope that there’s an intensity to the gameplay that makes the zombies feel like a real threat and not just a brainless horde of shit. I’m also really hoping for some sort of karma level where you can choose who to help, or who to kill, and these decisions that you make affect the people around you and maybe some sort of working reward system for it (Unlike RDR2). This also is my worry, when I start thinking about these sorts of things, I worry that it’s just going to be running around killing things and not a lot else except trying to find your family, and that’s a kind of issue with these open world games as a whole, where you can have this whole massive interactive world but it’s full of empty characters. This with one of the most boring monsters created, zombies – In my opinion they’ve got nothing on vampires of werewolves, or any other mythical baddie… But if I start to see very good reviews early on, I would definitely put the money into it. I want a game like that to be excited for this year.
I definitely have my doubts, I still think that it’s been put off too long, the hype has died down for it and, to put it simply, it could be truly crap. I think could be one of those games that gets disappointing quickly, like the aforementioned Horizon Zero Dawn or Mad Max where only the story is fun to play, but the world itself gets a bit repetitive and boring when you try to do too many side missions… So this makes me feel like I don’t want to get it on day one; I definitely want to see what people say and how well it’s reviewed before getting it. It isn’t very often that Sony make big mistakes with exclusives, Horizon Zero Dawn was probably the worst in recent times, but it’s still not an awful game… So obviously I have some sort of faith for it but we shall see what happens.
Days Gone is not going to be a release day purchase for me, but if I start to see very good reviews early on, I would definitely put the money into it. I want a game like that to be excited for this side of summer, even if it’s something where you can spend 15 hours on the story, and it’s still a good experience, I wouldn’t hate that.