Review Days Gone (Life After): Is there life after the apocalypse?

The editors thank Sony for the kindly provided game for review.

So we waited exit

the first of exclusives for Sony PlayStation 4 in 2019, Days Gone or in the localization - “Life After”. At the editors gg already had the opportunity to get acquainted with the earlyversion of the game, and now we are ready to talk about the impressions of the final version. Sony together with Sony Interactive Entertainment studios from year to year prove that high-budget single-user projects are not dead and they release really exciting AAA-projects for PlayStation 4. Days Gone (Life After) is being developed by SIE Bend Studio, which we wrote about in a little preview . Recall, the studio was founded in 1993 by Eidetic in Bend, Oregon (who would have thought?). And it was renamed SIE Bend Studio in 2000, when it came under the wing of Sony Interactive Entertainment. Of the important big projects, it’s worth highlighting the Siphon Filter series, after which it was re-trained in PSP and PlayStation Vita mobile console games, for which it released Resistance: Retribution, Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Uncharted: Fight for Fortune. Days Gone is the first big AAA project of the studio for a long time and work on it began immediately after Uncharted: Fight for Fortune. The game is under development for 6 years. The first demonstrations of the game starting in 2016 were not very encouraging, but the studio did a great job and the preview version radically changed our opinion about the upcoming game for the better. Let's see what happened as a result.

Welcome to the post-apocalyptic Oregon

We find ourselves in a huge and picturesque open worldpost-apocalyptic Oregon. The studio decided to show their home state in the most diverse way possible, we are waiting for a wide variety of locations: forests, mountains, plains. All this looks beautiful and lively due to the change of day and night, various weather conditions and the presence of living creatures in these places. The story of the game tells about the events that take place two years after the global apocalypse: a mysterious virus destroyed most of the population and turned it into so-called Freakers. These are infected, mutated people and animals that eat and sleep, make themselves “nests”, go out for food and, in some cases, behave together as a single organism. This is not a zombie in the usual sense: they did not die and became “walking”, but mutated. In the game we will not see patterned, slow and stupid walking corpses, freaks are much more dangerous.

The protagonist is biker Deacon St. John, whoapocalypse took his beloved wife Sarah. Two years later, he never recovered from the loss and was never able to forgive himself for sending her alone in a helicopter of the mysterious corporation "NERO" to the camp for survivors. We saw this episode in one of the plot videos: Sarah was cut by some kid and Deacon and Bukhara are trying to save her. A helicopter of the NERO Corporation, which evacuates the survivors, sits down next to it. But on board there is room only for two. Deacon decides to put Sarah on a helicopter and stay to help Bukhara, being fully confident that Sarah will be safe. As you play, we see flashbacks that talk about Sarah, their acquaintance, and their relationship with Deacon.

Deacon made interesting and very charismaticcharacter with its own history, character, principles, flaws, tragedy and ability to compassion, even despite all the experienced and hostile world, which all the time trying to kill him. There is no feeling of some sort of secondary nature or primitiveness of the main character, which happens very often in games. He is played by actor Sam Witver, who is probably familiar to gamers (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed), and he appears regularly in films / TV shows. A significant role in the plot is played by the best friend and companion of Deacon, nicknamed Bukhar and a bunch of secondary characters, whom the studio also worked well. All of them have their own background to uneasy relationship with Deacon.

The player will find answers to a lot of questions: what happened to Sarah and the survivors at Camp Three-Fingered Jack, where she went by the NERO helicopter, where the virus came from, which turned most of the population into bloodthirsty aggressive creatures and what the NERO corporation is hiding from the surviving freaks like experimental animals (in fact, it is). As you progress through the storylines interestingly develop, intertwined, regularly pleased with unexpected turns of events and complemented by minor tasks and episodes.

Bend Studio has repeatedly drawn attentionon the fact that the key role in Days Gone is played by the plot and the multiplayer component was not planned initially. It is worth noting that the rather hackneyed setting and start of the game studio was able to "unleash" into a really interesting and fascinating story. Everything is implemented on an excellent level: the story is interestingly developing, the cut-scenes are the optimal number and they are made very cool, and the dialogues are spelled correctly (not without platitudes, but this is difficult to avoid considering the setting). In general, the game from the point of view of the plot feels like a Hollywood film with an impressive budget and it is objectively long.

What is the gameplay, combat system and game world?

The open game world is made according to the classicproven formula that always works. We have a huge map with a variety of nature, landscape, changing weather conditions, day and night. And all these nuances very significantly affect the game. It is necessary to move around the game world on a bike that needs to be refueled, periodically repaired and, of course, improved. The need to refuel and repair is not too intrusive, but does not allow to relax during long journeys. In emergency situations, the bike can be repaired by yourself in the presence of parts (the so-called scrap), and in the vicinity you can always find a canister with gasoline. Bike control mastered quickly, physics worked out well. The bike gets damaged in case of unsuccessful landings and becomes difficult to steer on the roads blurred during a rainstorm. Survivor camps are scattered throughout the map, where you can get a side mission, refuel, improve the bike, stock up on ammunition and new weapons. There are zones with freak nests, camps of marauders and other unpleasant characters, blocked tunnels, “NERO” roadblocks and random events that randomly appear near the character.

The developers were not joking when they said “the whole worldseeks to kill you. " Beautiful landscapes of the beautifully painted nature of Oregon make the player lose his guard, and just at that moment you can run into an ambush of looters: you usually notice a stretch on the road at the last moment, and you can’t hide from a sniper on a tree. But this does not end the problems of the Deacon: the freaks come across very nimble and manage to jump and knock the main character off the motorcycle. Yes, it is also worth considering that at night and in the rain or snow freaks become more and they become faster and more aggressive. But if freaks seem small, then there are also wild animals that are not distinguished by kindness. Wolves walk in small packs, it is quite realistic to fend off them, but they can pull their nerves. A bear is a more serious threat. My first meeting with him ended in a sudden death: it wouldn’t be possible to run away from him, hand-to-hand combat is not an option, and the firearm does not cause him much damage.

Freaks are very agile and often unpredictable.creation. There are several types of them and they behave differently. Freaks are the most common, moving either in small groups or hordes. Jackals - mutated adolescents who usually hide on the roofs, are very cowardly and attack comrades in extreme cases. Banshees - screaming creatures that tout all freaks in the area. And Hulk, here the name speaks for itself: big, strong, hard to kill. The combat in the game is dynamic and diverse: different types of firearms against different opponents and in different situations, edged weapons, combinations of shots and hand-to-hand combat, the ability to effectively use the environment, explosives, bait - everything can be combined as you please. Thanks to this variety of battles do not bother. Some types of weapons can be independently improved or created in the presence of the necessary materials in the inventory.

Deacon's knife never breaks, but in meleeit is not very effective, there are much more deadly weapons in the game, but they break. They can be repaired by yourself with the appropriate skill. The stealth component is implemented standardly: we hide from enemies behind elements of the environment, in the bushes and try not to make noise. Some tasks need to be done covertly, and in many situations it is much simpler and more expedient to eliminate as many opponents as possible covertly in order to save ammunition and not risk in vain. It is necessary to “look at your feet”: there is a risk to reveal yourself at the most inopportune moment if you hook a foot on a canister or a bottle next to it.

Separate "entertainment" - the fight against hordes of freaks. If you can fight off several individuals even “in the forehead” with a melee weapon or arrange shooting individually, then this approach will not work with hordes. Even infected areas with nests, where you can generally encounter 20-30 freaks, are not particularly scary against the backdrop of hordes. They count a huge number of individuals and behave as a single harmonious organism. It looks impressive, especially at the first “meeting”. Of course, there are not enough cartridges for this whole crowd, and there is no point in mentioning cold weapons. Only a few options. The first is an escape: we sit on a bike and take our feet. It is also possible to defeat the horde, but for this you have to use the environment, explosives, Molotov cocktails and a certain strategy in each specific case.

The game uses a lot of familiar playersmechanic, but they are implemented and arranged perfectly and integrally, the gameplay is dynamic and diverse, and the surrounding dangers constantly keep the player in suspense and create a characteristic “post-apocalyptic” atmosphere.

What about pumping, weapons improvement and interface?

Improvement points are given when the hero level increases,for them you can get new skills in three categories: hand-to-hand combat, shooting and survival. Separately, there are three scales: health, endurance and concentration. To increase them, NEPO checkpoints have to be cleaned, where you can find an injector with some mysterious chemicals. For the fulfillment of missions, we get experience credits and increase the level of trust in a particular camp. For each camp separately. Each camp has its own specialization: somewhere you can buy better weapons, and somewhere the mechanic has more parts to upgrade the bike.

Accordingly, to access the most deliciouspieces, to perform more additional tasks and kill more freaks (you can get money for their ears and increase the level of trust). Similarly, you can hunt and bring the meat of wild animals: food is always not enough. Grind is present, for pumping and getting the best staff to sweat. A number of additional tasks a la “clean up the marauding camp” are pretty monotonous. But without this, no open world game can do now. It was a little upset that in some moments you simply cannot do without completing additional tasks: there are simply no basic plot tasks until you complete a few additional ones.

It is extremely important to improve your iron horse. In addition to improving the engine, nitrous oxide, increasing the tank and installing a reinforced frame, it is possible to install trunks in which additional cartridges will be stored. Very useful thing: Deacon can carry a very small amount of ammunition. For aesthetes available and decorative improvements bike: all sorts of stickers, repainting, and so on.

In all locations, variousparts, rags, bottles and other “trash”, which is worth collecting: he has to craft various useful things: Molotov cocktails, homemade silencers, stimulating potions, first-aid kits, lures, improved cold arms and a whole lot more. The player gets access to new recipes as you complete the story tasks.

Menu and navigation made conveniently: everything is divided into 4 sections. Items and craft, task list, map and skills. To quickly navigate to the desired section, you can simply hold on the touch panel in the appropriate direction.

How does all this look, sound and optimized?

Visually, the game looks great: The picture is very pleasant, Oregon looks picturesque and diverse. Various weather conditions, blurred terrain after a rainstorm, fog, dawn are worked out abruptly - all this causes aesthetic pleasure. The optimization is still so-so, at least on the PlayStation 4 Slim: there were problems with some textures, drawing, falling FPS in some situations, several times “stuck in textures” and similar unpleasant features quite a lot. Recently, a large 17 GB patch was released, which significantly corrected the situation, but did not fix all the problems. Particularly surprising is the decrease in FPS in some cases while riding a bike (which is interesting, this is not the case with freak hordes, although it would be more logical). Let's hope that with further updates all these annoying nuances will be corrected.

For the soundtrack is responsible Nathan Whitehead, whoresponsible for the sound design of a number of games (for example, Gears of War 3 and Bioshock 2), and the composer performed mainly in films. The soundtrack turned out to be quite convincing, complementing the atmosphere and stylistically suited to the events in the game and the setting. The translation in the game is complete: text and voice, there were no questions about the voice acting and the translation as a whole, everything was done qualitatively.

In the dry residue

Days Gone - very high quality, large-scale,full story AAA-project for the PlayStation 4, which is not without tangible flaws. But in the game it is important because the overall impression and in this case, it is more than covers these shortcomings and makes you return to the game again and again and spend a lot of time in it. It seems to me that in terms of games, this is the main criterion. “Life After” pleases with an interesting story with several storylines, bright, well-developed characters that make you empathize and evoke emotions. This is complemented by a dynamic and diverse gameplay with a bunch of well-implemented mechanics, a very picturesque picture and a characteristic atmosphere. Unfortunately, the monotonous additional tasks are also present, as in most similar projects with the open world, this is not going anywhere. And I think technical problems are completely solvable and I hope that this will happen with subsequent patches. It remains, perhaps, only to thank Bend Studio for an interesting story and wish success with the following projects: they showed that they are capable of doing full-scale AAA-projects that carry away.

5 reasons to buy Days Gone (Life After):

  • strong and interesting storyline campaign;
  • the picturesque and diverse open world in the scenery of Oregon;
  • a constantly energizing atmosphere;
  • fascinating game mechanics;
  • cool soundtrack.

2 reasons not to buy Days Gone (Life After):

  • similar side tasks;
  • a decent amount of technical problems (for now).

Days Gone (Life After)

Third-person Sarvival-action about survival in the harsh world of post-apocalyptic Oregon, which is teeming with creatures trying to kill you. Exclusively on Sony PlayStation 4.



PS Store



We recommend

Days Gone (Life After)

Action / Adventure

Sony PlayStation 4

Number of players

SIE Bend Studio

Sony Interactive Entertainment

full (text and voice)

release date
April 26, 2019

For those that want to know more:

  • Destiny 2 Review: Forsaken: A Simple Formula for Great Add-ons
  • Review of The Crew 2: the sequel to the minimum salary
  • Detroit Review: Become Human. We are people too!
  • Review of God of War: the cradle of the Scandinavian gods