Days Gone PC review: ‘Pacing issues still mar an otherwise great game’

Jason Faulkner
Days Gone Info

genre

  • Action adventure
  • Survival Horror

players

  • 1

Publisher

  • Sony

Developer

  • SIE Bend Studio

Release Date

  • 04/26/2019
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PS4

rating

After two years as a PlayStation exclusive, Days Gone has made it to PC. The game received mixed reviews on release (we gave it an 8/10), and my biggest question – besides how it would perform on PC – is how well it aged.

In the review for the PS4 version of the game, I noted that Days Gone wasn’t a title that innovated but instead polished the ideas introduced throughout that generation of gaming. However, in the two years that followed, we’ve seen some great games from Sony that make Days Gone a harder sell.

Review PC Specs

CPU:AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
Motherboard:ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming ATX Motherboard
RAM:32GB G.Skill Trident Z Neo Series DDR4 3600MHz
GPU:Gigabyte RTX 3090 Gaming OC
Install Drive:Sabrent 1TB Rocket PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD

Dog days

Days Gone PC Review 4

The weakest aspect of Days Gone is its pacing. This was a minor concern the first time I played through it, which became a major annoyance this time around. The first few hours of the game just aren’t that entertaining, and the central plot is such a slow burn that it’s easy to get frustrated before you make it to the meat of the story.

The writing isn’t necessarily the issue with Days Gone, as the central story about Deacon trying to find his wife and save his buddy is compelling. It’s the generic side missions and lack of world-building that detract from the otherwise solid game that Bend Studio has developed.

A rapid-fire pace would allow the suspension of disbelief needed to overlook some of the glaring issues with the plot. Instead, you’ll be wondering why no other vehicle besides motorcycles (and a single golf cart) are routinely used. I don’t recall anyone ever driving a car or truck in the post-apocalypse, which is strange.

Days Gone PC Review 2

There’s a hand wave excuse given that the local tunnels are blocked, so four-wheeled vehicles are impractical, but that’s kind of thin. There are survivor camps where construction equipment or just a pickup for hauling would make things much easier. However, the survivors are portrayed as being largely incompetent in general.

I would have liked to have seen the plot tightened up in this new release. Some interplay between the various survival camps would have been much more interesting than the generic bounty and fetch quests. However, Days Gone makes the transition to PC with no changes to the mission structure or any additional content.

Silver lining

Days Gone PC Review 1

Predictably, the game runs much better on PC than it did on the PS4. The quicker load times on an SSD are much appreciated, as is the increased framerate. Even with a PS4 Pro, the game sometimes just felt sluggish, but it runs great on PC.

Disappointingly, there’s no DLSS support in the PC version of Days Gone. Regardless, my rig managed to hover around 120fps at 4K. The game has modest system requirements, and any mid-range gaming PC built in the last few years will likely run it well. There’s also a new Field of View setting, which will make running the game on an ultrawide much more comfortable.

The only issue I ran into with the game was unresponsive analog sticks. Fortunately, there was an easy fix for this problem, and the game performed flawlessly afterward.

Days Gone PC Settings1

The graphics options run the standard gamut, which you can see above. None of them seemed to be broken, but there wasn’t an option to select what kind of Anti-Aliasing the game uses. I’m assuming that it could be overridden with NVIDIA Profile Inspector (or the AMD equivalent). Still, it’d be nice to have the function in the menu.

Additionally, HDR works fine with this game on PC, but requires the function to be switched on systemwide. The implementation of HDR in Windows is still all over the place, so I much prefer to have the option to toggle the feature on in-game, but that’s a bit nit-picky on my part.

Days Gone PC review: The final verdict

Days Gone PC Review 3

Thanks to the technical improvements, Days Gone is better than ever on PC. It still has the issues with pacing that irritated us in our original review, but the faster loading times at least help a bit.

Days Gone is worth checking out for anyone who wants an open-world, post-apocalyptic, story-driven adventure and doesn’t mind a bit of filler. The slow start might turn off some players, but those who stick it out will find an engaging story and an interesting spin on the zombie horror genre.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Box art - Days Gone
Rating8
Better performance and graphics.
Still a great story if you can get past the first few hours.
Increased framerate is awesome.
Still has all the pacing issues of the original.