The best reason to be a PC gamer is that you get the ability to play both a growing number of former Playstation console exclusive games as well as pretty much all Xbox exclusives. Much like my earlier review of God of War, the PC release of Days Gone also makes it the best to play the former console exclusive game.
The original game launched way back in 2019 for PS4 and reviews were a bit mixed, but the game has since managed to gain a cult following online and many people have noted that they felt initial reviews may have scored the game too harshly. The PC version seems to have righted a few wrongs and for the most part, it’s an enjoyable game to play.
“A Sony 3rd Person Game from 2019, fixed for the Playstation PC version”
– Patterson on Days Gone
For better or worse, it’s mostly still a prime Sony story 3rd person narrative-driven game. This sees the main character Deacon St. John searching for his wife Sarah after being split up at the being of a pandemic outbreak of zombie-like creatures called Freakers. The main character is played by a face that may be familiar to many in actor Sam Witwer (He provided both motion capture and voice for Starkiller in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and its sequel among many other TV and film roles).
The story will take you travelling across a near-future version of the Pacific Northwest with Decon and his best friend Boozer, taking down Freaker hotspots and meeting new characters who will help to flesh out the story and background of what happened in the world. I’ve really enjoyed the story elements of the game and also the world that’s been created, it feels alive and has plenty to explore.
While you explore the Zombie style infected world, you’ll encounter rooming Freakers of different types and some infected and wild animals. It’s enough to keep you on your toes without ever really providing much opposition during your journey. You can go in guns blazing or try to take down enemies using stealth (stealth is ok, but more required earlier in-game than later on).
Although the huge world can be explored on foot, part of the main hook of the game involves the relationship and upgrades involved with Decons motorbike. The team at Bend Studio have done a great job of making this vehicle as important to the game as any other on-screen character. You’ll need to search for both upgrades and fuel to keep it available throughout your time in the game.
Players can upgrade most elements of the game from weapons to the abilities of the main character, this is all done through searching and clearing out an enemy nest or outposts for parts or XP. Found items can be stored for later use and also used to craft better weapons and items like the good old fashion bottle suppressors or Molotov cocktails, which are extremely useful when taking down nests of enemies. All alongside an in the game marketplace for selling things you’ve found for cash to spend.
Too Many Days Gone?
It’s here that my first issue with the game arrives, there are so many systems that you’ll need to get used to that the game can become a little bit bogged down in the drawn-out introduction to what’s on offer. This is a good game that could have been done with some serious trimming of the fat. The game is quite long as well coming in at over 50 hours should you want to do the side quests, but even longer than that for 100% completionists.
Although I enjoyed the story in my first 10 or so hours and the world-building that is provided, it’s not a game I can see myself sticking with till the end. It falls into the same trap that recent Assassins Creeds titles have, of being long for the sake of very little.
However, there are still a good few reasons to give Days Gone a try. The shooting feels good and as noted the motorbike traversal of the game world is a lot of fun. The AI of the enemies also deserves praise, with enemies at times creating hordes that are outstanding to watch in motion. They can number from 280 to 600 at a time (after a little modding at least), this was quite an increase from the PS4 version should your rig have the power to handle it.
As much as these hordes were heavily featured in the promotional material for the game, it’ll take quite a few hours of gameplay until you’ll encounter one. Once you do, you might find that you’re underpowered to take them on head-on and that escape might be your only option. It’s not impossible but I’d recommend levelling up your abilities and weapons before you really try and take them down.
Although there is a big gaming no-no in my opinion and that is with the games stealth missions that feature an instant fail once you’ve been spotted against human enemies. It’s an extremely outdated feature to have in a game that tries to give so much freedom in how you approach most other parts of it.
Optimisations, Frames Rates, and More!
The PC release brings with it several other benefits that console players can’t yet get. Adjustable resolutions optimised SSD loading times (which require the right hardware), frame rates and ultra-wide support are in, as well as a tweakable field of view. There is a ton of options to tweak your playthrough to perfection and even at its lowest setting, the game still seems to be of higher quality than its console brother in arms.
Another disappointment albeit minor is that, unlike a few other PlayStation PC releases (God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn), there is no DLSS support for even FSR support to get the most frames possible. PC performance seems to be pretty good and you have to wonder if support for this alongside Raytracing could have been at least a possibility.
As a side note and something that I say hoping to avoid the fanboys out there, once again PlayStation has produced a great PC port than manages to improve on what was originally conceived. Xbox on the other hand, which released its PC games at the same time as console versions, has had too many games come up a little short of my expectations. Most notably Halo Infinite and The Ascent to name but a few. Maybe the extra time for these releases is worthwhile?
But anyway, Days Gone is a solid title and definitely worth a buy when it’s on sale. It’s a well made and interesting zombie style game with some great ideas. It does however overstay its welcome a little and falls a little short of some of the other bigger hitters that PlayStation has offered from its first-party portfolio in the last few years.