Why Did Days Gone Get Bad Reviews? Here’s My Take…

It’s been years since the release and yet here we are still talking about Days Gone. The zombie-themed open-world game developed by Bend Studio was much-anticipated prior to its launch in 2019, and gamers were thrilled to see how the studio would handle this genre.

However, upon release, the game received mixed reviews, with some critics praising its gameplay and others criticizing it, in particular IGN and Gamespot.

But why did Days Gone receive such bad reviews when the majority is calling it a masterpiece?

Before moving into specific critiques, we have to admit the expectations encircling Days Gone. Being a PlayStation exclusive, it was part of a lineage that includes some of the most acclaimed titles in gaming history, such as The Last of Us, God of War, and Uncharted.

This association automatically set the bar incredibly high, creating an environment where even minor flaws could be magnified.

But even considering these high expectations, were the negative reviews justified?

Let’s figure out.

Common Criticisms

Repetitive Gameplay

Days gone taken down a breaker with sniper rifle

One of the biggest gripes about Days Gone is its repetitive gameplay. You know doing the same things over and over again can get as dry as dust. I spend a lot of time riding my motorcycle through the open world, which, at first, feels really cool and adventurous. But after a while, it starts to feel less like exploring and more equal to a chore. I mean, how many times can you clear out a zombie nest or rescue someone in distress before it starts to feel like déjà vu?

The missions often follow a predictable pattern—go to this location, kill some zombies or bad guys, fetch this item, and return.

It seems the game is stuck on replay. And don’t even get me started on the side quests. They’re too similar to each other that they blend into one big, monotonous task list. Every once in a while I felt like I was in an infinite loop, doing the same things with only slight variations.

However, undoubtedly, the game tries to sprinkle in some story elements to keep things interesting, but for many players, including myself, that wasn’t enough to shake off the feeling of “been there, done that.”

Technical Issues

When Days Gone was first launched on PC, it was infested with a bunch of technical issues that really hurt its reviews. I remember the game would often freeze or crash as well as there were plenty of glitches that made playing it frustrating.

It felt like we were all beta testers. However, after a few patches and updates, these issues were resolved.

The developers have made great efforts to release updates that fix these problems.

Despite that, the early inconvenience made people leave bad reviews. But by now the game runs smoothly and has mostly positive reviews on Steam.

Narrative Pacing

Speaking of the narrative pacing in Days Gone. It’s sort of a mixed bag. There are moments when the story feels gripping eager to find out what happens next, at the same time there are also times when it feels like the plot is dragging its feet.

One minute you’re racing against time to save a friend in peril, and the next, you’re stuck doing mundane tasks that add little to the story. This uneven tempo can take you out of the experience and make it hard to stay invested in the storyline.

But when it’s good, it’s incredibly good! And those moments make it worth pushing through the slower parts.

Lack of Innovation

One thing that really stands out, or rather fails to, is the lack of innovation in Days Gone. It seems like the developers took a checklist of features from popular movies and tried to mash them all together.

Zombies? Check.

Open world? Check.

Motorcycle riding? Check.

Scientists doing some mystifying experiments? Check.

It’s not to say that these elements aren’t enjoyable, because they are. But it would have been nice to see something fresh and exceptional.

Points of Praise

Although the game had its share of detractors, It wasn’t without merit. Several aspects of Days Gone garnered praise from both players and critics alike.

Atmosphere and Open-World

Days Gone open-world environment

The atmosphere in Days Gone is one of the game’s strongest points. When I first started exploring the open world. I was wowed by the beautiful yet eerie environment.

The Pacific Northwest setting, with its dense forests, rugged mountains, and abandoned towns, creates a sense of wonder and dread.

Riding my motorcycle through this landscape. I could almost feel the cold wind on my face and hear the rustle of leaves as a Freaker lurked nearby. The dynamic weather and day-night cycle make the world feel alive and constantly changing.

It’s superbly achieved that at times I found myself just wandering around, soaking in the scenery, even when I knew danger was about every inch.

Zombie Horde Encounters

Confronting a zombie horde in Days Gone is an experience that gets your heart racing and your palms sweaty. Think of turning a corner and suddenly seeing hundreds of zombies running at you all together. It’s terrifying and exciting!

These encounters require a mix of strategy and quick thinking. You can’t just charge in guns blazing unless you’re looking for a quick trip to the game’s restart screen.

I usually found myself setting traps, planning escape routes, and using the environment to my advantage.

In some cases, just outrunning the horde on my motorcycle felt like a mini victory. The game does a superb work of making these moments thrilling and memorable. Adds to an extraordinary twist to the usual zombie-fighting experience.

Survival Elements

Living through DaysGone means you need to master the art of survival. It’s not just about shooting off zombies; you have to watch over your resources too.

Ammunition and gas for your motorcycle are always in dearth. Plenty of times I ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere and had to push my bike uphill whilst constantly looking over my shoulder for any Freakers.

You also have to craft items like bandages and weapons utilizing the material you find lying around. Scavenging sets out each trip into a mini adventure since you never know what you might come across.

All of these details add another layer of challenge and excitement. Hence, the game feels like a true test of wit and grit.

Random Events and Encounters

In the post-apocalyptic circumstances, you never know what you’re going to knock against while you’re cruising around.

Sometimes it’s a stranded survivor needing help. Other times, you might stumble upon an ambush set by hostile humans.

And then there are the random events like massive hordes of Freakers crossing your path or a bear charging at you out of nowhere. These unexpected encounters keep things interesting and add an element of unpredictability to the game.

ALSO SEE: 8 Best Post-Apocalypse Games Like Days Gone

Bike Mechanics

Your bike isn’t just for getting around; it’s also your life belt. You must monitor its fuel level. As running out of gas can leave you stranded, and that’s never a good idea when zombies are around. As well as repairing your bike is integral since it can get banged up from rough terrain or enemy attacks.

You can also upgrade your bike with better parts to make it faster, more durable, or even quieter to avoid attracting unwanted attention.

These mechanics get you thinking twice about how you ride and handle your bike, adding a whole new level of strategy to the game.

Combat and Stealth

Combat and stealth are all about picking the appropriate technique for each situation.

In some cases, going in guns blazing feels sensational, especially when you have the best weapon and a whole lot of ammo.

Having said that, at other times, sneaking around can save you a lot of trouble and resources.

I often find myself crouching in tall grass, watching a group of Freakers shuffle by, holding my breath so they don’t hear me.

Using silenced weapons and taking out enemies quietly makes you feel like a true survivor. But if things go south, you better be prepared to switch gears quickly.

Knowing when to fight and when to hide adds a fun mix of tension and excitement to the game.

Sound Design and Music

Last but not least, the sounds in the game are incredibly realistic. From the growls of the Freakers to the creaking of abandoned buildings, every sound immerses you in this post-apocalyptic world.

The soundtrack for Days Gone is equally impressive and perfectly captures the mood of the game.

I even found myself getting goosebumps during some of the intense chase scenes!

The sound design and music truly enhance the experience in particular if you’re using headphones.

Was the Criticism Fair?

Major game review sites like IGN, Gamespot, and many more gave it lower-than-average ratings, which was unexpected. Days Gone has a huge fan base and it’s apparent that players are loving the game. Fans even started petitions for a Days Gone 2 Sequel, which shows just how strong the fan base is.

That said, no game is without flaws. And DaysGone is no exception. Some parts of the game can get a bit repetitive. You spend plenty of time clearing out Freaker nests, rescuing hostages, and scavenging for supplies. If you’re somebody who doesn’t enjoy these tasks, it might start to feel like a grind.

For myself, I found each mission rewarding since it allowed me to get better gear and skills, making me a more effective survivor.

One more common criticism is that the game doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Some say it lacks innovation. But let’s be real, what did people expect from a zombie game? Days Gone might not reinvent the wheel, but it’s one of the best-executed post-apocalyptic zombie games I’ve played.

Sometimes familiar stuff can be fantastic if they’re done right. And this game does many odds and ends exceptionally well.

Speaking of storyline, it’s emotional and sometimes heart-wrenching. That said, it feels like it focuses more on past events rather than giving us deeper character development in the present. Still, the narrative was engaging enough to keep me hooked till the end.

So, to bring it all together, was the criticism fair? To some extent, yes. The game has its flaws, and some of the criticism is valid.

But the reviews from top gaming sites may have been harsher than deserved.

Days Gone is a well-crafted, immersive experience with stunning visuals and gripping gameplay. It may not be faultless, but it’s definitely worth a play. Particularly if you’re a fan of the zombie genre.

What are your thoughts on Days Gone? Did it meet your expectations, or did it fall short? Let us know in the comments below!

Sign up to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

    We won't send you spam! Read our privacy policy for more info. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Recent Articles


    Related Stories

    Leave A Reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here