By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on April 30, 2019
During last year's E3, I discovered a game called Days Gone. The trailer showed a bad ass biker that violently made his way through hordes of zombies. Was I intrigued at that moment? Hell yeah, I was intrigued! So I got some extra tattoos, bought a Harley and polished my shotgun for this dangerous adventure!
Days Gone is a third person survival horror game in an open world setting, in which you take the role of a biker called Deacon. Deacon and his best friend Boozer are survivors trying to find their place in a post-apocalyptic world. They have a nice safe house in a high electricity tower and are always in search of jobs to earn credit so they can buy new gear and upgrades. This sounds all nice, safe and sound, I hear you think, but wasn't there any trouble before Deacon and Boozer reached this peaceful situation? Well, yes... there was.
The introduction of Days Gone is everything but safe and sound. We immediately enter a scene of chaos and destruction. We see Deacon with his beloved wife Sarah, who is badly wounded. So naturally, he wants to get her to a hospital as fast as possible, but the shit totally has hit the proverbial fan. Every where they look they see people running around like madmen and attacking innocent bystanders without apparent reason. Together with their best friend Boozer, Deacon and Sarah manage to reach a roof of a building, where a helicopter of the National Emergency Restoration Organization (NERO for short) is about to take off. After some serious insisting on Deacon's part, the helicopter crew tells them they can only take two more people onboard. Deacon makes a dramatic decision; he puts Sarah on the helicopter and tells her that he and Boozer will meet her later, in whatever place the helicopter is taking her.
After this, the game cuts ahead two years. We'll meet up Deacon and Boozer once again, albeit without Sarah. We don't know exactly what happened, but it seems that Sarah is no longer among the living. We even visit her grave. But through a number of events, we find out that Sarah may not be as dead as we were first lead to believe. Deacon wants to know what happened and is determined to find out if his beloved wife may even still be alive. Anyway, we find out that a certain crew member of the helicopter that took Sarah, a guy named O'Brian, is still alive. Seeing as how he's the only one who might know what happened after Sarah was airlifted off the roof two years ago, Deacon definitely wants to find this guy so he can beat all the answers out of him... Ehm, or just ask him nicely first and then beat the crap out of him! Anyway, crap will be beaten, I can promise you that!
As I've mentioned earlier, Deacon and Boozer are both hardened bikers, so their preferred mode of transport is, of course, a motorbike. This means that you can ride a bike and upgrade it during the game. Now, this is all well and good but, as any motorized vehicle, said bike will need fuel. This means you'll have to keep an eye out for fuel depots or other vehicles containing this, by now, valuable resource because without fuel, the bike won't work. Luckily, you can ride a significant distance on one tank and if you keep an eye on the (mini)map for fuel icons, I'm sure you won't have any problems with this refueling game mechanic.
The biggest danger in Days Gone are definitely the zombies, or "Freakers" as they're called in this game. Yes, Deacon can handle a few of them at a time without even breaking a sweat. Just use your gun or melee weapon and you will make it out alive. It's when more than a handful appear at the same time that things get hairy. I'm sure everyone has seen at least one Days Gone trailer featuring hordes of madly running undead chasing Deacon. Those are truly the most terrifying moments in the game. The first time I got myself in such a dangerous situation, was when I wanted to try and turn a NERO establishment into a safe zone, so I'd be able to use it as a fast travel point (and loot all their valuables of course).
I was climbing a stranded camper van in front of a railway station, when I saw what I assumed to be an abandoned train car. Well, dear readers, let's just say I assumed wrong! No sooner had I reached the roof of the camper, or the side door of the train flew open and a large horde of zombies came running out and instantly started heading (at high speed, I might add) in my general direction. Well, of course I did exactly the opposite of what I needed to be doing... yes, I panicked! I tried shooting various weapons and throwing about everything but the kitchen sink at the horde , all the while trying to run away. And wouldn't you just know it; I didn't bring my bike at that moment, because I thought I wouldn't need it and walking meant it was easier to loot the environment. I learned two valuable lessons at that moment: One, I definitely didn't have enough stuff in my inventory to finish off a horde of zombies and two, always keep your bike close. You can't outrun a zombie horde, they will eventually catch up with you.
While playing Days Gone, you will unravel the story and mystery about what happened after that fateful night on the roof, but also get a glance into the history of Deacon and Sarah, for example how they met. Besides that, there are all kinds of side missions to complete, although to me they didn't actually feel like side missions. Everything I do in this game, feels like part of the main story. This is very unique in an open world game, because when playing some other games in the genre, I tend to forget what is was I was doing before I embarked on countless side missions. I often feel like the side missions are just a way to make the game last longer and offer a certain amount of additional content, without having any impact on, or connection with, the main story. Why does it matter if I kill five different types of animal? Or why search for someone's lost kid when they themselves can't be bothered to? Not in Days Gone, however! With this game the developers really showed that you can actually create a big open world, filled with side missions that all connect and even contribute to the main story in some way. They managed to keep me on the very edge of my seat the whole time!
There is a lot to do in Days Gone. The map will reveal more and more land as you progress through the game and there is a lot to collect and complete. With the money you earn, you can buy new weapons and upgrades for your weapons and your bike. Completing missions will also reward you with skill points which, as you might suspect, can be used to unlock skills. These skills are divided into three categories: Melee, Ranged and Survival, all of which have multiple tiers. These skills will definitely make your life a lot easier, so keep an eye on them. For example: you can unlock the skills to retrieve arrows for your crossbow which, incidentally, is my absolute favorite weapon in this game! This means you can use the same bolts multiple times and, trust me, you're going to need skills like this, because the game will become increasingly more difficult at a steady pace.
Well, there are no two ways about it; I absolutely love Days Gone! I have been looking forward to playing this game for almost a year and every time I saw the announcement trailer, my hart skipped a beat. The details of the world around Deacon are amazing, from the plants in the land to the dirt roads that become slippery after it rains (and it rains a lot in Days Gone). But the story is the thing that really keeps you going and yearning for more. You will find yourself desperately wanting to unravel the story about what happened during the past two years. Luckily, you'll get to do this alongside Deacon, who is a typical tough guy with a really big heart. Days Gone successfully manages to blend bikes, zombies and the end of the world together in an exciting experience and still leave room for a touching story. A job well done, I would say!