I was lucky enough to get my hands on Days Gone quite a few weeks before it’s release and I’d like to make a few things very clear – for those with young kids, this is NOT the type of game to buy them. Don’t let me tell you how to parent, but Days Gone is rated MA15+ and I would recommend sticking to it. This is coming from a bloke known for advocating the benefits of video games, especially in reflex and cognition in younger kids… it’s a brutal game.
Days Gone is also a PlayStation 4 exclusive! You won’t find the title on Xbox or PC so don’t go looking.
You play as Deacon, a post-apocalyptic bounty hunter and yes it is as cool as it sounds. The history here being that the world was struck by a global disease that killed the vast majority of the population, mutated others and left few unharmed. The mutated (a.k.a zombies) are referred to as ‘Freakers’ and are terrifying. I don’t care what anyone says, I don’t care how old I am or how mature I should be, zombies are scary.
As for the gameplay, graphics and mechanics… WOW. The combat system is incredibly fluid, the enemy ‘locking’ mechanism and physical attacks feel very natural. There’s a huge survival aspect to the game as well, health and ammo become increasingly more important in your decision making process as you come to grips with the fact that this isn’t Call of Duty and you’re not Rambo.
One of my least favorite (but simultaneously thrilling) encounters with a Freaker involved a baseball bat and a severe lack of stealth. It took 7 hits to take this thing down, all while others were being alerted to my presence and causing one hell of a scene.
As I said, ammo is of great importance as well. An early mission urges you to approach a small rebel camp covertly and strategically – I decided that wasn’t nearly as fun as John Wick’ing my way into the joint and ended up surrounded, out of any and all resource before making a quick departure into the afterlife… unwillingly.
Something that can’t go without a mention is the amount of cut scenes you’ll find in Days Gone, and there’ll a little invasive. I described the experience while playing as though I was watching a movie but I got to control the fun parts (the motorcycle riding, shoot-outs, etc). They were full of great content, but there were just a few too many.
The only other thing that I found a little frustrating was the menu navigation. It’s hard to explain exactly how it works in words, but it required some skill just to switch weapons as the menu has to be held open, then the subcategory held open simultaneously before you can pick an item – each step needing a whole lot of balance.
There are many other open world aspects to the game for you to look forward to inclusive of the motorcycle customization/riding, camp bases (just as any open-world games utilize) and unstructured, unscripted open world encounters with the wildlife and mutated.
In all seriousness, the game isn’t all too scary. The MA15+ rating and my recommendation to stick to it have a lot less to do with horror factor and more with the intense nature of the game – without spoiling anything, early scenes have very graphic images and an overall harsh theme that I found myself wincing at.
Days Gone will be available from the 26th of April and again, just in case you forgot – this game is a PlayStation 4 exclusive! It’s available for pre-order from JB Hi-Fi for $79 and comes heavily recommended.