Days Gone - Bloated, pandering and with no clear-cut direction
Days Gone, Playstation 4, 5/10
How many zombie games must come out until we achieve critical mass and some sort of rip forms in the relationship between time and space, ushering in an age where humans are subjugated by beings from within the fourth dimension, who have deigned our species a threat to their realm?
Sony's Bend development studio seem to have acknowledged the impending threat of this hypothetical, opting to release a game called Days Gone, which is thankfully zombie-free.
Days Gone is a searing hotbed of innovation, a statement evidenced by the main enemy type present in the game: Freakers. Now, you might say something along the lines of; "but they are almost functionally identical to zombies! And you'd be right.
Days Gone's Freakers are indeed zombies, and Sony just named them the former to mitigate public perception of how unoriginal they have become. The majority of Days Gone unfolds without much fanfare or memorable events. You are cast as a gruff reluctant-but-only-for-the-cameras biker - Deacon - who is on a mission to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and also seek vengeance or something to that effect.
The incredibly boring gameplay is often interspersed with humdrum flashbacks to a wife you are supposed to care about, but the janky dialogue is so juvenile that you will almost certainly tune it out the way your brain automatically blocks out the hum from your fridge.
One aspect that you would hope the game does well in is the bike handling and, thankfully, it does. Deacon's bike will be your most steadfast companion through the game and it is an absolute joy to ride. Unfortunately, it appears to be made of polystyrene, as the slightest of bumps will nearly damage it beyond repair. Frustratingly, these on-the-move repair jobs are a further item on the nearly exhaustive list of busywork offered by Days Gone.
Combat wise, the game is actually quite serviceable. Days Gone features guns, crossbows, throwables and melee weapons, which all feel suitably weighty and visceral to use. Melee, in particular is an absolute blast. The game features a crafting system that allows you to combine found objects into interesting weapons, which is quite possibly the most fun part of the game.
Overall, this is a poor effort from Sony's Bend studio. The game feels bloated, pandering and without any clear-cut direction. Very disappointing.