Days Gone Review scores may be misleading gamers
The New Sony exclusive has been out for a few weeks and the Days Gone review scores are…underwhelming. Is this the full story though?
So I’ve been playing Days Gone now since launch. I’ve also been keeping an eye on what the interwebz have been saying about the Sony exclusive title. At face value it seems very bleak for Bend Studio. Almost as if the game is bad and potentially causing gamers to walk away based on its mediocre review scores. I feel that’s not the whole story and there’s more to it than what the streets are saying. Keep in mind, I haven’t completed the game yet and this serves as a preview of sorts. This is my personal opinion on the Days Gone Review scores debacle.
Straight off the race line, I’m going to say Days Gone is a pretty good game. After spending a significant amount of time with the title, I’ve gotten to experience its many-layered intricacies. From its stunning visual presentation, its rather interesting if somewhat predictable story to its fun gameplay loop. It’s all got the trimmings to make it a pretty damn good title. So what gives with the reviewers giving it the third degree? Is this some sort of Revenge against the Sony Machine? I don’t really think so honestly. There are a few things with the game that may have counted against it during the review process.
First and most obvious is the various technical issues the game experienced before launch. Since the majority of the reviewers on the web get their game super early. It sometimes ships to them with a fair bit of bugs that might give the poor folks trying out the game a really tough time. As I’ve gotten my hands on the game at launch, all of these bugs were ironed out by then. With a number of updates being dropped very regularly. At the time of writing, we’re at Version 1.08. The experience now is super smooth with no real issues to speak of. It’s feeling like a polished product right now so no complaints from me there. One thing that is annoying though is the voice acting at times. Deacon would be busy with stealth traversal and yet the acting sounds like he’s screaming. That pulls you a bit out of the game making you think, Stop making so much damn noise. Honestly, I think it’s more a technical mismatch as this isn’t always the case. Perhaps the lines were recorded multiple times with multiple tones and the wrong recording gets played at times. This is just speculation on my part. As I said, this isn’t always the case.
Another major complaint is that the game is a generic zombie game. This cannot be further from the truth. What sets this game apart is that the “zombies” or Freakers as they’re called, are actually living people. The story goes into detail and it actually adds up. Even the character, Deacon, has been called boring and unlikable, generic. But the more time you spend with the character the more his motivations are exposed. Giving him depth and even relatable to some extent. He goes through hell to help out his best friend, Boozer and is constantly getting into trouble for helping others out. I like the character and I like where the story is going right now. It’s a bit predictable at times but it’s miles ahead of the barely there Story presented in State of Decay 2.
What really stands out in the game is its actual gameplay loop. The mechanics are very well tuned and fit the world that they’ve created. The Freakers don’t take much to put down in terms of firepower (they’re malnutrition-infected-humans after all), but they’re fast. Really fast and can overrun you quickly if you’re not careful. Stealth sometimes is your best friend. It’s a very harsh world and it’s all about survival, scavenging bits and bobs to fashion equipment and weapons. It’s all really great fun. And you’re not going to get far without your trusty bike. Especially when you have the signature horde right on your tale in the beautifully detailed open world. These guys are on you in the hundreds on screen and form part of the intense survival action that I love so much.
Add to that the above mentioned gorgeous visuals and you have the basis of a potentially great game. It’s not perfect by all means but it’s far better than what is currently being publicised by the media. I’m having a really great time with the game and can’t wait to finish it so I can put my own review to paper. So take what you’ve read with a pinch of cynical salt. But that’s just my two cents anyway.