Days Gone Review 2020 - Is It Worth It?

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Surprisingly, staring over the beautiful woodland landscape has never actually helped a protagonist.

Almost every year, gamers have a tidal wave of new content and hype over game trailers advertising something never seen before. Days Gone is a PlayStation exclusive game that captured its audience.  Presenting an action-packed thriller that would keep you on the edge of your seat for your entire playthrough with massive zombie hordes that were as brutal as Hell on Earth and a story of a man who would do anything for his family. Meanwhile making you fear whether that growl was in your headphones or outside your front door. This is an unbiased review of one of the most anticipated games of 2019.

About Days Gone

Days Gone is an action-adventure, horror survival game released in late April of 2019. It supposedly was going to set the bar for not only the most undead on screen at one time, but also redefine the third-person horror perspective. Published by Sony Interactive Entertainment and developed by SIE Bend Studios. (Who brought us underground hits like the Syphon Filter Series and the digital Uncharted card game) Days Gone is the first console game released by the company since 2004. 

While it currently stands in the low-grade seventies (in a scale of one hundred) in reviews, it’s slowly slid downhill since its first release. With only roughly sixty hours of gameplay (and that’s not wandering around in the woods looking for your bike that ran out of gas) it seems to be missing several important plot pieces to keeping this game in the hotspot for more than a few months’ time, despite excellent graphics and details. Whether this was because the game was delayed several times before release, or the lackluster story and character development- the game was met with mixed reviews.

Days Gone Story

You'll have to learn fast how to survive the hordes numbering well into the hundreds, if not thousands, that will come for you.     

You follow the story of a notorious Oregon outlaw, Deacon St. John, who is dealing with the aftermath of his wife’s supposed death when the world falls to the “Freaker”, or zombie, pandemic. The game picks up roughly two years after this outbreak, where Deacon undercovers a horrible plot surrounding the Freakers, the remaining humans, and his wife.

Though the opening had a very similar feel to another popular horror game, The Last of Us, it still plays very much on the heartstrings. When the actual storyline picks up, you’re faced with a much different character in the woods of Oregon- a man who has done much worse than just put a bullet in the brain of a zombie. Two years is a lifetime from this character’s perspective.

Days Gone Gameplay

Days Gone - E3 Gameplay Release

Unfortunately, if you want character customization, this is not the game for you. Days Gone is very much an experience-driven game that provides you options between bad decisions, and worse decisions, to push the story forward. Although, an important additive is that the game focuses heavily on your character’s motorcycle; which is almost fully customizable and upgradeable. 

In the beginning, the tutorial seems to be slightly counter-intuitive until much later in the game. While there is a heavy focus on bike mechanics, co-op with your in-game companion, and stealth… none of that actually works until certain skill points and story checkpoints are met. For example, you’re introduced to the idea that your bike makes noise, and thus you can use that to lead huge hordes of zombies away from a location now your companion can go in and steal supplies. Except the zombies don’t actually follow you, you lose your companion for almost half the game, and zombies- despite the use of stealth- will find you and alert everyone in the surrounding area until the requirements are met.

There are a lot more dangerous things in the woods than the Freakers or fellow survivors.

As time goes on and these said story and skill point requirements are met, you’ll be introduced to terrifying moments surrounding wild animals, massive hoards and much more dire situations between you and other survivors. 

Days Gone Combat

Days Gone - Combat, Stealth & Free Roam Gameplay

With open world and free aim mechanics, this game focuses heavily on stealth before you get into a skirmish. Operating on the idea of picking off the weak or distant ones from the herd before you go in allows you to focus all of your skills into tackling the much larger issues- such as a horde, bandits or worse.

Skills trees and combat early in the game are decent, but definitely lackluster until you level up considerably. It takes almost forty-five skill points to max out your options. Almost all skills are built upon each other to increase damage or effectiveness of your “cocktails”, that are basically health and stamina potions. Deacon has three different areas you can invest in: Melee, Ranged, and Survival.

Despite the nearly fifty-six different types of weapons in the game, combat is not openly recommended. Days Gone is highly based on noise and your attractiveness as Sunday Dinner to a horde; which you can stumble upon, or attract, at any time.

Days Gone Quest/Mission System

Similar to games like the Fallout Series, quests tend to have a very ‘go and fetch’ quality to them. Sometimes you’ll be sent across the map and have to stop several times for supplies, while others are next to each other.  You will have hundreds of different stories you can follow. Some that help you support your in-game companion, find clues to what happened to your wife, or odd jobs given by local survivor settlements for much-needed supplies. Not all storylines need to be completed by the end of the game for you to finish, but for the best experience possible, it is recommended.

Though the options are extremely limited until almost half the game is done, the ability to switch missions sometimes is overcomplicated. Several glitches exist in the main mission menu that will send you back and forth to redo missions you have already done, take you to places you can’t actually go, and even sometimes don’t connect to the right mission. For example if you select a mission for one survivor camp, it will connect you to the next one in your mission roster instead that’s not related to that camp. So far, there has not been a patch for this issue. 

Days Gone Graphics

Days Gone - 2016/2018/2019 Graphics Comparison

Unlike some games, the graphics of Days Gone went through a massive overhaul a few times since its original trailer released in 2016. While some argue that the debut in the Alpha Gameplay test during 2018 had the best flat textures- 2019 had a much grittier, realistic effect with lighting and shadow rendering.

Never turn your back for too long while you're out there, you may have a pair of teeth to contend with. Or several.

Minor details that were added into the game later like the impressive amount of zombies on-screen at one time and real-time dynamic weather changes without quality drop sold the much needed graphic update. Other situations like showing your customized bike on the load screen, the highly detailed screenshots you can take during gameplay, and the weather’s effects on your character are all excellent. Your character’s pupils will even dilate in certain lighting and times of day. While some parts of the game have left things to be desired, graphics are not one of them.

Days Gone Developer

SIE Bend Studios released its last patch for Days Gone on November 21st, 2019 dealing with issues like the option to reset hordes, ambush camps and infestation zones. This, like everything else in the game, has to have conditions met before it is an option. As more of a fun addition than the actual patch, the developers also released celebration decals and upgrades for your bike at the release of Death Stranding. Besides minor crash fixes, audio adjustments and optimization, no other bugs were addressed in this last patch.

Meanwhile issues with the menu, rendering in certain points of the game and the glitches in during cinematics remain to be bugged. Currently there are no future updates, DLCs, or sequels planned for Days Gone. Though there have been several rumors circulating that Bend Studios now has another game of similar quality in pre-production.

Days Gone Price

Currently available at most retail stores and online for the low average price of $19.99 – you can also get the collector’s edition for almost a hundred dollars. This includes a steel case, art book, decals, the PlayStation exclusive game, and a statue of Deacon St. John rethinking about his parking choices as he sits on the body of a zombie next to his motorcycle.



  • Days Gone is an open-world adventure with complex characters that you interact with. Most are fairly accurate to what you would imagine survivors to be after such a severe change in the world. There are over a hundred missions available surroundings those survivors.
  • Motorcycle mechanics for driving, customization, and detailing. Your bike will also appear on your loading screen with and without visible damage if there is any.
  • Vast weapon selection and ‘glory kills’ that make combat a bit more interesting.
  • Single-player allows you to take it at your own pace and explore the available world around you to a certain point until requirements are met.
  • The graphics, lighting and minor character details added into the game are very well done.


  • It is so much like the Last of Us, that if the undead weren’t different- it’s easy to believe it’s the same game. Add in a pepper of motorcycles and a dash of “has anyone seen my wife?”.
  • Very few storyline decisions make logical sense. It’s between bad and worse decisions most of the time with no real personal logic or choice involved.
  • Menu mechanics, weapon changes and the options to select different missions can be tedious after a while. Control mapping seems to be an issue.
  • Running out of gas often, only being able to save next to your bike and glitches with enemies can dampen the experience. Several bugs are still yet to be fixed.
  • Considerably short compared to other zombie hits like Dying Light, or the Resident Evil Series.


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Welder by day and writer by night. I've spent the last few years stretching out my talents into personal blogs, books and video games. Now I seek to lift the curse set upon me by my ancestors.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: PVP
Currently Playing: Days Gone
Top 3 Favorite Games:Fallout 4, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Outlast

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