Days Gone 5th Anniversary

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1,827 Days Gone….. 5 years have passed us by and here we sit on the Days Gone 5th Anniversary.

April 26th 2019, the Friday that Bend Studio finally released its newest game into the wild. The game its team had poured so much effort, heart and soul into over so many years during its long development.

5 Years on the Broken Road

It has been so heart warming to see all the love from the community of players for this amazing title since its launch. A title that is so underrated, under-appreciated and in many ways under valued. To see so many players discover Days Gone, having let it pass them by at launch and to have such a connection with and love for this beloved game must warm the hearts of the devs who so clearly love it too.

brave the Broken Road

The team at Bend working on Days Gone was not only a tiny team in AAA standards, but the team was also working on its first ever open world game. What they achieved with Days Gone is a stellar achievement and every member of that team should be applauded for what they delivered.

Go play this PS4 title and come back to tell me that it’s a 5 out of 10. Not a chance!

Go experience this world as you cruise around Oregon on your Drifter Bike, with the world coming at you from every angle and tell me you think this game is a 6.5 out of 10. Get out of town!

a close up of Days Gone main protagonist Decon St John. He has a growling look on his face and is carrying a baseball bat on his back
Decon’s best impression of Bend Studio community manager Kevin McAllister

Sure the game has some pacing issues but the passion which was poured into crafting this game is clear to see. The graphics, the world, the characters, the design, the gameplay, the music, the performances…. the HORDES!!

And the game runs at a beautifully smooth 60fps at 4k resolution. Stunning.

Tackling the Hordes

You become so attached to your bike as you play because it means so much to you in this unforgiving land.

Go tackle your first Horde and feel that adrenaline rush as you barely cling on for dear life. Or better yet feel the pain as having left your bike conveniently placed for a swift exit strategy, you return to it to find some asshole was tampering with it and knocked it over. Your cries of sheer soul destroying pain as you are engulfed by hundreds of freakers because you had to pick your beloved bike off the ground.

your bike becomes your BB

There is so much lovingly created detail here to behold. The epic score that accompanies the roller coaster journey is so memorable that every time I hear it I’m transported back to the Broken Road. Heck returning to play the game even has me reveling at how fantastic the user interface is.

The World That Comes For You

One of the big draws for Days Gone is its setting. The unique surroundings and environments of Oregon offer something not only fresh, but also has a lot of variety. Lush forests, rocky mountains, caves, barren desert and remnants of towns and villages.

The many factions you come across on your journey also offer a look at the many different ways groups can function in a broken world. It’s an interesting look at the many ups and downs that human survivors can face in times of great crisis. Survival at all costs.

the art of Days Gone

Outside the relative safety of these different communities of surviving groups the world is out to get you. From the ever changing weather that affects the handling of your bike to the many dangers that are never too far away, you’re always kept on your toes. Add into the mix the scarcity of supplies and you’ve got the odds stacked against you.

The world map is probably my favourite in any game I’ve played. Not just the layout and memorable locations but how the map is presented in the menu is so excellently done. A visit to Crater Lake has been added to my bucket list.

The Artbook

Being a bit of a Gaming Artbook connoisseur I was very pleasantly surprised when I picked up the Days Gone Artbook. It not only features some beautiful concept art but also has a tonne of lore with some interesting info on the characters in the game. It is a stunningly well put together book that again shows the passion and attention to detail that was put into the design and development of this world.

the front cover and spine of the Artbook "The Art Of Days Gone"
beautiful companion piece for fans

The book does contain some spoilers so be warned if you take a look at it before playing the game.

The Future of Days Gone

So what does the future hold for the franchise?  Well due to its initial reception at launch any future game plans or ideas were either scrapped or shelved. Writer, creator and director of Days Gone John Garvin sadly left the studio after being an integral part of what the team did for so many years. Similarly game director Jeff Ross also left the team having been credited with being responsible for much of how the game plays. So to see how a sequel, that the fans are clambering for, would come together would be a stretch.

a motorbike with the fuel tank featuring a Horizon Zero Dawn design
just look at all the little details

What is encouraging though is the ongoing reception to the PC port of the game. It currently sits on 92% – Very Positive on Steam. Even the metacritic user scores are a more accurate reflection of the game compared to its initial critical reception.

Similarly the live action adaptation may be a litmus test for the viability of the franchise spawning further games in the series. If it’s a follow up you want then go support the game in whatever way you can – share your experience, post screenshots, gameplay videos, your photo mode creativity and leave honest reviews of your impressions of the game.

To call Days Gone anything less than great is a disservice to the talented developers that put so much of themselves into the project. Credit where credit is due.

The Broken Road awaits… if you would only just give it a try.

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