Sonyphiles, Sony hierarchy and the industry have been lauding the PS4's lineup of exclusives since last year (and even before then), and a much-anticipated part of this roster is the out-of-leftfield Days Gone -- an open-world survival action-RPG hybrid that gives us some new heroes in a few bikers covered in tattoos. But is giving us new character archetypes enough? We played the game in preview form for a few hours, and we'll give you our verdict on that very question, plus many more.
Namely, now with open-world action-RPG experiences quickly becoming the norm, where does this new IP stack up? Is it doing anything different? Is it doing too much the same? Will you care about a backwards-cap wearing tattooed biker type (hint, I wear caps backward and have tattoos, so please care).
Anyway here's a snippet from our preview:
This “hybrid of ideas” I mentioned earlier, comes in the form of a coalescence of an open-world to explore, action, RPG-like character growth through progression and skill trees, and NPC interaction. On top of these elements is the all-important concept of looting in modern gaming (though in the context of the game, this actually makes sense), crafting as a result of this and, even more importantly, riding your sweet, sweet ride.
Click here for our full, in-depth Days Gone hands-on preview
If I can focus on one component of Days Gone for a minute, it’s that riding your bike in the game is very rewarding. Nailing motorbikes in games that don’t start with “Trials” in their title(s) is hard. And Trials nails it because it’s a side-scrolling arcade anxiety-inducing product. But Deacon’s bike you get to ride early on -- his KITT, his 1973 XB Falcon, his Airwolf (for variety), his General Lee (maybe more than we realise) -- it’s glorious. The road almost beckons to just keep on motoring across, but as is the case with many an open-world game, tutorials and narrative setup gets in the way. Though a promise of “riding north” does loom from dialogue. And so that red herring hangs wet, smelly and scale-loosening in the air (any fishing people out there?).