Is it good or bad?

And as they say - It depends! Being a casual gamer, I don't have much experience with many AAA titles. For someone who might have played all the open-world games, Days Gone may just be a run-of-the-mill game, but for someone like me who played games like GTA and Assasin's Creed, Days Gone brings in a breath of fresh air. There are many things that I can appreciate about the game.

What do others say about Days Gone?

  • IGN mentions the game as repetitive and scrappy

    Days Gone loses its focus with repetitive missions, a meandering and thematically unsatisfying storyline, and an excess of bugs and busywork

  • PCGamer rated it 63 with the below remarks

    dreary story, repetitive missions, sluggish controls, and lifeless world

  • Metacritic gave it 71 on Metascore and `8.4`` user score. I believe the user score comes from public users.
  • Gamesradar also blames the game for its issues, bugs and several other factors

    may not hit the heights of recent Sony efforts like God of War or Spider-Man, but it suffers more from that expectation than it does its own rough edges.

  • The verge reviews it as painfully generic

    The problem is that it’s all wrapped around a painfully generic zombie story, one that ultimately plays out like a dozen games you’ve experienced before

So in all, the general rating for the game is around the lower side, but (with a big BUT) the overall review on Steam is 92% positive which is a big deal.

I generally don't read reviews before playing a game as they tend to spoil(with spoilers:-D) it and also set a bias. I just watch 5-10 mins of gameplay on YouTube and if I feel, it's interesting, I get it or put it on my wishlist and wait for sale.

Of course, it makes it a little challenging because of this approach. Sometimes I get lost and not sure what to do, sometimes I don't know how to clear a mission, but again for that, you always have YouTube and internet(say Reddit here:-P). But overall it makes me play the game as the developers intended it to be played.

My verdict

Go for it! - Yes, whatever the reviewers say, if you are a casual gamer and like open-world games, do go for it. I don't care much about the story as I don't have enough time to engage with all the cut scenes and side missions but I am good as long as I can have some action.

What I liked

  • Saving game - Unlike what I have seen in other games, this one has a different mechanism to save the game. Of course, it has auto-save, but you can manually save the game anywhere in the world with below conditions.

    • Should be near the bike
    • The bike should be in a standing position
    • No enemy should be aware of you
    • You should not be involved in combat
    • And at last, you should not be on a mission
      If you look at it, it makes sense that you can save when you can take a rest which brings it closer to real life.
  • Guns - In GTA, you may equip yourself with 10 types of guns, but mostly you will use at most 3. One rifle, one sniper and one sidearm(for drivebys).
    Days gone gives a lot of focus on the weapons. You have to choose the right one according to your gameplay style. For eg. it gives you a bolt action crossbow at the start but I completed the storyline without using it even once. I am more of a suppressor-armed sniper guy.

  • Ammunition - This game reminds me of XIII which was unique in its genre. The thing that I liked is every bullet counts. You just don't go barage on enemies. You have to plan your actions based on the gun and ammunition you have in hand. You can even kill all enemies using stealth and do not need bullets for a few missions. You don't get the option of hiding the killed enemies though as you have in Assasin's Creed, but I guess, it doesn't need that. You can find ammunition all around the world, or you can pay with your hard-earned money

  • Bike - At the start of the game I didn't give much importance to the bike, but soon I realized that it is the most important element of the game. Your bike is your bike.
    You need to refuel it, maintain it, upgrade it and most importantly always keep it nearby. Without the bike, you kind of become an NPC. All the animations involving the bike are visually appealing. Turning it on, getting off from it, doing a drift - all look fantastic. The headlight works well and looks good even on my RX580. To get better FPS, I do have to switch off the light at night times though:-(. I always thought what if in GTA, the cars had the concept of petrol? To my surprise, Days Gone did it. Your bike consumes fuel as you drive it. Initially, it was good, but later it was frustrating to refuel every time, but that was partly my fault. I realized quite late that the petrol tank can be upgraded too. Your bike takes damage when hit with an object and can become completely non-functional if you continue damaging it. You can get it repaired in the camp or using the scrap you find in the world.

  • Suppressors - Suppressors get damaged with use and you will have to buy a new one once they are utilized fully. So you have to keep in mind its usage while going for an ambush

  • Graphics & Seasons - In terms of visuals, it may be behind other games, but for me, it has got some good graphics. Terrain imagery, grass, water, and mountains all look great. And the cherry on top is the seasons. Heavy rains showers and snow look very beautiful even on my despicable RX580. I see some people complaining about frame drops, but then it depends on a lot of factors. As per Steam's listing, the recommended card for Days Gone is surprisingly my RX580.

    Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB) or AMD Radeon RX 580 (8 GB)

    I do get some minimums when I am inside a camp with high settings.

  • Fast travel - Fast travel is a common thing in open-world games. In GTA, you have the CAB, in Assasin's Creed you get the synchronization points. One thing that distinguishes Days Gone from others is the realistic nature of travel. You need to be near your bike and it also consumes your bike's fuel, which means that you can't travel to a very far place directly. At least not in the first half until you unlock the bigger tank. Also to enable fast travel you need to clear the infestation areas which means that you need to put in some effort.

  • Horde - At last, I will talk about the most exciting thing about this game. Since I didn't watch any reviews, I was completely unaware of what a horde was. Until I first encountered it in the game. Also having a lack of time, I generally skip the cut scenes mid-way. I was caught by surprise when the horde attacked me for the first time. I was playing in easy mode and never expected such gameplay. Maybe it's just me having first-hand experience with this kind of game, but I enjoyed that moment. The fear that hordes set in the environment is exciting. In front of the horde, the ambush camp enemies look like pubg's bots:-P.

  • Skill points - I am not a big fan of skill points. In Assasin's Creed, it's too much of an effort to buy and then flip-flop between skills. Just upgrade the character with each passing mission. But here it's slightly easier. You spend a point and get one upgrade. But I still think, in easy mode just do it in the background or ask every time a point is earned.

What I didn't like

  • Some cutscene animations - The storyline cutscenes were good enough but some of the in-game animations felt out of place.
  • Survivor - Whenever you save a survivor, there is a small fixed camera angle dialogue. The camera is focused on the survivor who is an NPC with almost no lip sync and no facial expression. It always has the same dialog and you can't skip those. You know what that character is gonna say but to complete the storyline you have to do it anyway.
  • Fixed camera angles - Many of the operations that you do in the game come with fixed camera angles and you just can't look around. Maybe this is because it was more of a console game but on PC you expect to look around freely if you are working on something that is taking 5 seconds to complete. Moreover, you would want to keep an eye on the surroundings at all times.
  • Unlocking and opening animations - As I mentioned earlier, it takes too much time to unlock doors. The most irritating one is the opening of the car's trunk and bonuts. They are just too slow. Even in the last stages of the game, it takes around 5 seconds to open. And since it's a resource-scarce game, you need to open as many as you can. Maybe they should have added a skill just for opening car trunks faster.
  • Animal bounty collection animation - Another irritating bit is the cutscene that plays when you scalp any animal. First of all, the face that Deacon makes and second the fixed angle. It's ok if you want to keep the camera fixed, but at least have different visuals. It's a fixed 3-4 second scene that plays every time you collect animal bounty.
  • Limited playable area - Although not a great deal, every game has its own limits, but this game comes with a hard list of rules. Where all your character can go. You just can't jump anywhere if you are not supposed to. You can't climb any other wall, you can't swim across to another location. You may say that isn't it aligned with the realism that I appreciated at first. Yes but sometimes it is good to be able to jump on boxes and burn the zombies down.
  • Slow cutscenes - Another irritating thing is the long unskippable cutscenes like when Deacon goes with Sarah to a mountain. If you don't want any input from me, then what's the point of me controlling the character?
    Just asking me to keep W pressed for like 5-10 minutes. It's ok if you make it a non-skippable cutscene, just let the character walk automatically. I can free myself from the keyboard and watch it comfortably.
  • Nero checkpoints - You will enjoy the first and probably the second Nero checkpoint but after that, it is almost the same. You go to the point, you find fuel for the generator, you disable the alarm, you start the generator, you enter the container, you inject Nero and increase your stamina or health or focus time. And there are like 50 or so points.

In the end, I really enjoyed the game. I would want to try to play it in Hard mode, but just couldn't find courage for it!