Days Gone: A Diamond in the Rough

PlayStation exclusive games have become the gold standard in modern single player romps by which most other games are weighed against. Games like Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, Uncharted 4, Persona 5, Bloodborne, and Marvel’s Spiderman soured onto the scene with much hype and in most cases lived up to said hype, as of today none of the game's ranking below an 87 on Metacritic. And so following the trend of incredible PlayStation exclusives the newest 3rd person zombie shooter Days Gone was expected to be a hit, but today the game sits at a 72 on Metacritic.

The 72 isn’t entirely unreasonable because the game struggles on some accounts. The gunplay can be sluggish, the AI struggles, the story is bland, and the characters sans a select few are very shallow. To some, this game very much earns its Metacritic score. But very early on I experienced probably one of the most intense and fun gaming moments I’ve ever experienced.

I was on my way out of one of the settlements found in the early game where I stopped off of my bike to destroy a zombie nest when a particular cave caught my eye.

A dark cave flanked a small pond beyond a couple broken down vehicles. I raided the cars for some scrap and started slinking towards the cave to see what it was holding in its grasp. The sun began setting behind me and I began hearing the groaning and moaning of dozens of corpses shambling in front of me in the cave.

I made my way ever closer to the horde of zombies in the dark, incredibly fearful to even touch my flashlight.

The dark became consuming until I bumped into an unseen zombie. Then screams. Then I ran with dozens of zombies chasing me. Once I felt that I had cleared enough distance between the zombies and me I turned and began opening fire into the shapeless mass in the dark, with the only identifying light coming from the barrel of my pistol.

The more I shot the more overwhelmed I became, and so I ran. My heart was pumping, and the excitement was palpable, and so I went and looted the nearby town in order to craft a few traps to make another delve into the overrun cave.

There have been many games that have elicited this sort of feeling in me but those moments are almost always scripted, hidden behind a cut scene or a button prompt. What made this moment special was that it was entirely scripted. This moment was only prompted by my own curiosity and without that, I would have never experienced it.

The game obviously has a lot of flaws, but there was obviously a lot of love put into this game. The attention to detail is challenging levels of games like Witcher 3, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, or Red Dead Redemption 2, and with that type of dedication there is obviously incredible room for improvement.

Make sure to keep an eye on SIE Bend Studio because they are going to make some amazing games.

A journalist just trying to get by. Everywhere to find me.

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