I know I may be a little late to the party, but I finally finished the story of Days Gone last week. That was one hell of a ride! Once, I completed the story I was determined to receive the Platinum trophy. I am not one of those extreme trophy hunters, but I do love getting that sweet notification in the top left corner of my screen while playing a game. I say this because I have less than ten total Platinum trophies associated to my account. I only attempt this feat when I am totally invested in a game. For example, off the top of my head my Platinums include God of War (2018), Marvel’s Spider-Man and Batman Arkham Knight. All games that really pulled me in to continue to live in those worlds. Most of the time I play through a game’s story and move on to the next one because I play for the stories and the characters. In Days Gone, I received the Platinum trophy this past weekend, but I didn’t want to stop there. So, I finished clearing out the rest of the hordes and was on a mission to find every single collectible available. Even after all that, I wanted to keep playing! Good thing Bend Studio just released some free DLC including a Survival difficulty mode. It’s safe to say that Days Gone has become my favorite video game of all time!
Let’s get on to some of my thoughts by breaking down parts of the game. There are NO SPOILERS ahead, so if you haven’t bought the game maybe this will help!
Without giving away spoilers, I was captivated by the story from beginning to end. Deacon St. John had a great and satisfying story arc that I found relatable. He was a man who kept fighting to find his wife no matter the odds. Love was a central point to the story. You might say, how was love a theme in Days Gone when the world became an infested dangerous hole and you are constantly surrounded by Freakers, animals and humans all looking to kill you. That is the poetic beauty of this game. Behind the curtain of it all, love, brotherhood and trust were the central components to the story. That’s how you know the writers did an incredible job! Not only do you get the story through cut scenes and by the actions of Deacon, but take a moment to listen to the world around you too. Look at the environment and listen to the Nero recordings; you can gather a lot of information and world building from it.
What a well casted and written group of characters! Deacon and Boozer showed exactly what brothers should be. They have their ups and downs, but that doesn’t affect their relationship. They have been fighting together even before the outbreak occurred during their time in the MC (motorcycle club). Trust and respect is built into their relationship. Boozer felt like a brother and not just to Deacon, but to me. He is loyal, funny and someone who would have your back for anything. It was a pleasure to see them both working together.
Sarah and Deacon are now my favorite couple in video games and maybe even all of entertainment. Every time they shared a scene, it was heartfelt and honest. There was one moment in particular that made me cheer out loud! Their relationship felt very real. I found myself laughing to Deacon St. John more than I would have thought too.
Iron Mike is a true leader and someone that civilization could be built around. As soon as you meet him, you can tell that he is the man. His strength and vision gives you hope during the dark times of Days Gone.
Rikki was always honest and forthcoming and was a great character to interact with. She is fearless and is a person who will get stuff done. Rikki was one of my favorite characters in the story. I could go on and on listing characters and why I enjoyed each one, but I don’t want to give anything away.
Photo Mode has been a very popular feature with Days Gone due to the advanced settings of providing players with total creativity with colors, transition, bloom, far and near adjusting, etc. I can honestly say I have taken my best photos out of any game in Days Gone. That is due to the incredible artists at Bend Studio creating such a beautiful world in the Pacific Northwest wilderness. The day and night cycle, along with the weather adds some unique shots that you can take.
Going back to the different camps to trade in bounties and meat, gather more supplies and receive new jobs is a fun and addicting loop. Lost Lake became my favorite camp out of them all due to the characters that you interact with there. It seemed the most civilized, and a place you could call home if you were stuck in this situation. Lost Lake had a good variety of upgrades for your motorcycle and weapons to prepare you for the unforgiving world. Hot Springs was the camp I liked the least due to the environment Tucker created. You work for your keep there, but it was crueler than just that. Each camp had its own identity from appearance, to the leaders, motorcycle upgrades, weapons and how the campers interacted. You can hear some stories just by doing a little eavesdropping or listening to the merchants when you trade in bounties, buy new weapons or fill up your motorcycle with gas.
We are over two years since the world has went to hell. Not much can be left, and what is left people will try and get it. It makes sense that we can only find the bare minimum materials peppered in the world such as rags, kerosene, bottles, bandages, cans, 2x4s, etc. From a story standpoint, I understand why we don’t find “epic or rare” rewards sitting in abandoned cars. This reminded me a lot from The Last of Us. The game gives you just enough to succeed giving you that sense of survival. When you complete certain storylines, you do receive new weapons or crafting recipes making you feel rewarded from the work you just did. The motorcycle skins were great rewards. I would find myself switching the look on my bike a lot through the story.
One of the things I loved about this game was the constant evolution. What I mean by this is, every time I would jump into Oregon I felt like I was experiencing something new each time. For example, I’m riding my motorcycle to the next story objective until suddenly a trip wire takes me off my bike by a group of ambushers. Another time, the road is blocked by a horde walking through. Next instance, I have some wolves chasing me or a mountain lion trying to eat me. “This world comes for you” is a perfect tagline for this game! Things are constantly changing in the game from enemies, to environment, camps and hordes. It creates for fun gameplay when you must strategize with the weapons you should use on which enemy, but also how to keep your supplies lasting just long enough to finish the mission. You can enter a camp guns blazing or go in stealthy. There is an assortment of weapons to choose from to your specific playstyle. I never once felt bored in this world. If anything, I was constantly on the edge of my seat being terrified on what was coming for me next.
You may be aware that since Days Gone has launched, it has had some technical difficulties. I am not going to sit here and tell you its perfect, but some players may experience different issues than other players. The one thing I can say is that the most common issue is frame rate, more specifically in the second half of the game. Did this happen to my game? Yes, it did. However, it did not hinder my experience at all. It only occurred to me when I was at the camps during the later part of the game and nowhere else. Other than that, my playthrough was perfectly normal. Bend Studio has stated that, “Our current plan for our team is to slow down the amount of patches we release but to add more fixes, features, and optimizations with each patch.” You can find this on the Days Gone reddit thread HERE.
Well, those are my thoughts for the exhilarating game of Days Gone. Now, its time to jump into Survival mode and to get ready for the challenges to come. If you have played Days Gone, I would love to discuss the game with you. Just leave a comment below. If you haven’t had a chance to play, keep an eye on this space as I will be doing a giveaway for a free copy of Days Gone very soon. Thank you for reading and now go collect those bounties!