Review: Days Gone (PC)
Days Gone hit PS4 in 2019, and makes the leap to PC this week, part of Sony’s expansion to PC.
The game pits the player against a harsh post-zombie apocalypse world…think The Walking Dead, but almost everyone, including the main character, is Daryl Dixon from the first season – the leather-wearing, motorcycle riding, don’t-need-nobody antihero version.
There are no zombies here though, with gamers – as Deacon St. John – putting down hordes of ‘Freakers’ while exploring the open world. There’s also not much of a supporting cast, with the game relying heavily on players identifying with Deacon, who is basically as unlikable of a character as he can possibly be for the first 20-odd hours of the game, or his friend Boozer who doesn’t fare much better.
The opening 10-odd hours of the game are heavy on stealth. At that point Deacon only has the tools and knowledge to take on a few Freakers at a time. Once you unlock traps it’s not quite so necessary to sneak in and one-hit-kill as many as possible before going loud, but you’re still best to stick to 10-15 Freakers at a time and avoid the massive hordes with a few hundred zombies in them.
Alert a large horde and you’d think a terrifying run for your life would commence, but that’s not the case. Instead, it’s a bumbling run through the environment being chased by things that can’t quite catch you. Leading Freakers over ledges that slow them down or cause pathing problems can be entertaining, but not really stressful. Later, with more weapons and traps, these fights distract from the main game but they’re still filler.
The PS4 launch had serious performance issues, with my review advising people to hold off until it was patched. That’s not the case here. The game runs well on a half-decent GPU. I’ve even seen video of it on a 1030, though it was a bit rough. If you’re running a 1060/1070 (or equivalent) or better, however, it’s smooth sailing with only minor visual bugs. I also had one crash during my playtime, but nothing repeatable.
While the PC version doesn’t fix the so-so story or the empty open world, it does include every PS4 update. This includes higher difficulty settings and challenges, so PC players are getting the absolute best version of the game.
What I Loved:
- Great visuals
- Huge zombie hordes look intimidating
What I Liked:
- Good variety of weapons and traps
- On-the-fly crafting system
- Solid performance on lower-end systems
- Screenshot resolution boost to allow for 4k/8k/12k screenshots
What I Disliked:
- Horde chases felt more like slapstick than horror
- So-so plot, driven by busywork
- Doesn’t make use of features like raytracing or DLSS
- Some minor visual glitches still
What I Hated:
- Gorgeous open world, devoid of anything interesting, feels wasted
The Final Word: The performance boost PC offers does little for the story issues, but think of this as a summer action movie. It looks good enough and is fun enough that you don’t want to examine the plot all that closely.
Days Gone is available now on PC via Steam. Reviewed using code provided by the publisher.