I wasn’t necessarily huge on Days Gone when it initially released on Playstation a couple years back. When I saw the PC release being announced it definitely piqued my interest however. Hearing stories about how Horizon Zero Dawn faired when released over on PC I was really wondering if this would get a tad more care as I assumed it would be their real big effort in porting some of the titles over.
I’m happy to report that’s definitely the case here as the game is well optimized for the platform with a health selection of options that can be adjusted, that will be gone over more under the gameplay portion though to talk about the settings.
This is a narrative driven open world zombie survival game . It mostly focused on the story, while having light elements of survival mixed into it. It now also features a sort of survival and or challenges mode as they call it where you get to take on wacky missions that feel almost like a slice of life from the game. There you’re able to earn credits to unlock some decoratives, it’s not too expansive though.
You play as Deacon, you’re an individual that rides a motorcycle and you venture around with your long time friend. You have feelings of pain after the loss of a loved one during the great incident and these thoughts are shown through certain flashback moments. The cinematic elements are a main focus here and visually they’re a quality element of the overall package.
I did however find the cinematics to be somewhat awkward at times in terms of the animation quality and that they had some repetitive elements to them over the course of the main story. You get shown a very similar, or almost the same thing multiple times. That adds to a feeling of this being rather bloated.
The core narrative is alright, though again with that theme of repetition it has you doing what feels like the same thing multiple times. The story could have been a bit better basically, at times it does drag and the gas collection parts don’t help it one bit. I really disliked having to stop to get stuff constantly, especially since they’d place things across the map constantly.
Luckily it’s a wealthy world in terms of content and there are many side quests to take part in. These will take you all across the fairly large world as you meet unique survivors, explore new towns or deal with the various hostile factions that have been built up. You might also need to deal with some nasty swarms of the monsters, or strong outposts that exist dotted along the map.
There’s a bit of mystery to this story as well though I won’t spoil those elements to keep them fresh here, but it’s got a sense of chase in here. I wasn’t necessarily hooked into what was being shown story wise, but did find it to be intriguing at times. I also liked the sense of this being a world that was trying to move on with fresh settlements.
This is a third person experience where you’re either actively battling enemies on foot, or driving around on a motorcycle. You get to start with a really crazy one, but you’ll end up needing to work towards that again as is the way with RPGs of the sort. This is a neat sense of progression as you build up your vehicle. That being said, I found the motorcycle ever so tedious throughout the entirety of the journey.
You constantly need to fill it with gas and it’s just distracting really. You have to go out of your way to find gas and fill the tank, even with upgrades I always felt it was running out of fuel. On top of that, you can’t fast travel unless you clean out side enemies along the way. This was an annoyance and really leaned into a sort of boring element of tedious gameplay. I wanted to get to places, I was sadly not overly taken by the world because of this aspect.
That world is however gorgeous, with very impressive levels of density. I loved how every single building had unique destruction and garbage to make it feel as though it told a story. When it comes to this PC port I was quite happy with the various options present. A healthy amount of adjustments to be made with presets to more easily get into it. For context I have a RTX 2080Ti with an i9 9900k so I could handle some 4k 60fps. I did find the 1440p option at borderless to be very smooth no matter what was going on with higher options.
I did switch up between settings and you get a good range to adjust the experience to your particular setup and that was pleasant. There are even a few HDR adjustment settings assuming you have a screen for it and also many accessibility choices which were nice to cater to all types of players. A number of control options too from keyboard to controller, I even gave it a whirl with the Xbox Series X controller which was very pleasant. Overall this was well done for PC players wanting to see what this game is all about.
Going back to other gameplay elements now. As mentioned prior, the quests can be repetitive as you progress. A lot of it is clearing out enemies, driving to the same places or chasing helicopters. One mission was just weird, you drive on a road to then turn around and drive back. There’s a sense of crafting in this, but it’s quite light. That being said, it was very smooth to use and I really enjoyed their quick selection wheel option.
There were these segments where Deacon responds to the radio which were somewhat cringe inducing in how it sounds. One element that truly blew me away here were the zombies in this game, very dynamic. They individually felt like a threat and once you saw them gather into massive hordes it was actually just terrifying.
In other zombie games I’m typically calm, but I felt a pressure here in most situations. They can over run you fast, and they are individually powerful which makes them have an extra scare angle. They work as a nasty swarm, packing a punch and providing fear as you try to deal with them while watching your stamina bar. Furthering the discussion on mechanics, I honestly felt the bike could have had better handling. I get that it improves as you gain access to enhanced parts, but it still felt slightly awkward for me at times.
Days Gone on PC is a generally solid experience just like the console version was, and I’m fairly happy with how this port worked out. I didn’t necessarily love revisiting the game though it was easier this time around, some elements of the game continue to make it feel a bit tedious to play. It can be slow, I hated looking for gas and at other times the repetitive setup made it harder to power through.
I’m sure you’ll get quality time out of this if you find the concept appealing, but it’s not exactly a perfect time. They did some solid work with choices, and performance in making sure it’ll work for a variety of configurations. The challenge mode is a nice addition as well, but that could have been expanded further for sure.
I recall fond moments of being just absolutely in shock from the zombies, those are the elements that could have more of a focus. I felt a sense of pressure from those swarms as I desperately moved for cover or just to get my balance pack. You have to be clever in those situations and I think in that regard, it nails the zombie genre in a new way.
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Days Gone Review on PC
Review Code Provided by Evolve PR