Usually the basis of a game review is a review of the mechanics, but in the case of Days Gone (or “Life After”) I will skip this part. Because Days Gone is a living embodiment of the opus survival genre with the “Ubisoft” open world. Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, State of Decay (since we’re talking about zombies today), Horizon from the same Sony, the new Tomb Raider trilogy. What kind of genre it is, how it works, what is good and what is bad in it, you already know very well, and if not, you can read a review of any of the games listed above. Therefore, I will not scold Days Gone for elementary craft, collecting trash and hunting, for “question marks” on the map and outposts – these are genre markers, it is silly to criticize the game for them. And what to scold – the game copes with the Ubisoft formula better than Ubisoft itself, Denis Knyazev will tell about this at the end of the text.
You see how it turned out: the people who dubbed Days Gone another generic open-world bullshit before the release turned out to be, in general, right. Another question, is it bad? The demand for such games did not come out of nowhere – people buy, they want to play it. I play it myself. Anyway, Far Cry from the third person about zombies and post-apocalypse with the ability to pump your own bike – sounds cool, about this I want to say: “I would play!”.
Days Gone looked good in almost all the trailers, but many were biased towards it because they read a lot of negative first impressions and saw the Sony Bend in the developers. This is the studio that made, God forgive me, Busby 3D, a ton of Siphon Filters, and mobile Uncharted: Golden Abyss for Vita – and really doesn’t look like an AAA developer that can. But Bend did it. Days Gone is the best Far Cry Zombie game imaginable and one of the best games in this subgenre in general.
Days Gone is a huge win for Bend and its biggest project to date, paving the way for developers to the big league. Unless, of course, sales fail. But I emphasize once again: it is a genre thing, it fulfills the agenda for a hundred, perfectly entertains, however, it does not seriously change anything in the formula itself. It has its own characteristics, but they do not break the foundations, do not like these games – you will not like Life After.
However, I immediately want to note one of its features separately – there is no grind wall in Days Gone. You can safely go through the plot without touching any side activities. The game will be more difficult, but it will not turn into hell. She will always give the necessary tools on time, and even rare weapons here can simply be picked up from enemies if you find them, and not opened in stores by completing side effects. Already for this Bend is worth respecting.
However, even games of the same genre and of the same quality, forcing you to do things that are essentially the same, can leave completely different final impressions. I’ll explain it again at Far Krai. The third and fifth parts of the gameplay are almost the same, but the tropical adventure with Vaas and Jacob’s rural sermons are two radically different stories, they are remembered with different emotions. Because video games are not only about mechanics, they are about a picture, plot, music, sound, setting, general atmosphere – the aftertaste forms a thousand details, no matter how “mathematically” the gameplay itself is calculated.
And not all captivating, memorable games are groundbreaking, you know that very well. I’m sure that Days Gone will sink into the soul of someone, because she has her own face.
A world ravaged by zombies, in which survivors huddle in settlements and fight off bandits, we have already seen hundreds of times. But, firstly, Days Gone writes out this “simple” universe in great detail – with a lot of details about the epidemic and the mise-en-scenes that revive the world. For example, once the main character comes to the camp to a completely random gunsmith and recognizes in him the former star of the local cable TV – before the apocalypse he was just broadcasting about weapons. Many in a past life have heard about the motorcycle club in which the hero is. And in one of the camps, in the evenings, the boy arranges real post-grunge concerts with acoustics.
Secondly, the familiar zombie cliché game mixes great with road romance. Deacon St. John, the protagonist, does not recognize the relatively quiet life behind a rusty fence. For weeks he drives his sidekick around ravaged Oregon on a bike, looking into camps, only to stock up on cartridges, and to hand over the ears of freaks (that is the name of local “zombies”) to the trophy collector. Even by the standards of a collapsed world, he is a complete gouge living outside the system. And you know, being that gouge is damn good! To meet the sunrises on the grassy track, to feel the taste of life in a fallen world where people are no longer masters … Days Gone has a style. And for him I am ready to forgive many things in the game (bugs, for example) – I love road-movie too much.