When I was at E3 2018, I stopped by the PlayStation Media Booth to check out a few of the games they didn’t have on the show floor. In particular, I really wanted to go hands-on with Days Gone, the first title from Sony’s Bend Studio for a mainline PlayStation console since the days of the PlayStation 2. My good friend PlayStation Brah recorded me taking on the horde of Freakers in the demo, which you can watch right here or below:
Now, here’s my Days Gone impressions!
Days Gone Impressions
The first thing I did was get myself familiar with the controls. It’s pretty standard third-person shooter stuff, with weapon wheels to access your arsenal (and slow down time so you can breathe). While there’s a very wide range of armaments at your disposal, I found myself favoring the proximity bombs, Molotov cocktails and machine gun, given the vast number of infected (called Freakers) found in a Horde.
Since Days Gone was revealed, much of the focus has been on the impressive numbers of Freakers found in a Horde. The Horde in this demo had roughly 300 Freakers in it and the developers have confirmed that other Hordes can reach sizes of 500 or even more. Despite this incredible number of enemies on screen at the same time, the framerate barely suffered, if at all, which is a marvel worthy of praise. It’s especially notable given the open world nature of the game; while Days Gone isn’t the best looking title ever, it’s far from a slouch in the visuals department, with impressive HDR and detailed surfaces even into the distance.
Taking on a Horde is no joke, even if you’re well-prepared. They are fast and aggressive, clambering over each other even as the dead bodies pile up. Stop sprinting for even a few seconds and they’ll catch up. Let the Horde break up too much and clusters of them will circle around and surround you. All the while, they’re snarling and gnashing their teeth, which makes for a disturbing cacophony when you’re running for your life. They jump over fences, climb over vehicles, burst open doors like a massive swarm of insects. It’s an incredible (and terrifying) feat of engineering.
While I was impressed with how the Horde acted for the most part, there were some noticeable seems. One of the Freakers just straight-up glitched and flew twenty feet up after being shot. Additionally, there seems to be a noticeable delay between when they surround you and when they actually attack you. With that said, there’s several months left for Sony Bend to polish any remaining physics problems.
I ended up beating the Horde on my first try through the plentiful use of bombs and machine gun fire, as well as a bit of lucky sprinting. If this Horde is on the smaller size and was faced on relatively flat terrain, I cannot imagine what a larger Horde would be like, especially if they surround a building like in the E3 2016 demo.
While I’m still not sold on the protagonist, I’m definitely convinced on the tech Days Gone is using. A lot of my fears have been laid to rest and I’ll be keeping an eye on this title from here on out. Much like many other games, Days Gone is releasing on February 22nd, 2018 for the PlayStation 4.