Every Friday, several A.V. Club staff kicks off our weekly open thread for the discussion of game boards and news games, but of course the real action is down in the comments where we invite you to answer our eternal question: What are you playing this weekend?
I never got the chance to say my piece on Red Dead Redemption 2 back when it came out, so let me pamper myself: That game is incredible. It improved on every aspect of the previous entry in the series so masterfully that it retroactively made the original's already excellent history deeper and more meaningful. There is also a sequence near the end that quickly flirts with becoming a real rhythm game and it is so miserable and silly that only a convinced studio like Rockstar could have pulled it off in a game that is primarily about a man's extremely slow and extreme tragic death. I loved every two seconds.
That being said, the actual gameplay of Red Dead Redemption 2 was very methodical, with every single action requiring an sometimes unnecessarily long animation. For example, using a horse requires you to keep it happy, which also requires you to keep it healthy. One way you do it is to brush it regularly, but rather than just pressing the "brush" button you have to go up to your horse, hold down the brush button for a second and then look at as playable character Arthur Morgan methodically cleans the horse's hair and gives it a little pat. Imagine that the same degree of specificity applied to literally everything throughout the game, whether you're in a war game (hopefully your pistols are clean!), Refills your health with a quick meal (hopefully you've done it a fire so you can cook that meal!), or just go through the camp (hopefully you're not covered in blood and dirt!). This was not surprisingly the merging complaint in each [Dead Redemption 2] review that was not glowingly positive, and even as someone who loved the way this founded you in the character's shoes, I think it is a very very understandable criticism.
This is surprisingly what Days Gone enters. In a bizarre twist, Sony's new bikerzombie game has perfectly taken exactly the same style of slow and purposeful gameplay that was widely regarded as the worst with Red Dead Redemption 2 -which is again a great game I love all about. I don't love everything about Days Gone but I'm admittedly fewer than a dozen hours into it. Red Dead Redemption 2 s attitude and tone lent themselves to the slow attitude, as Arthur had a world class that made him take on many missions begrudgingly. While Days Gone is a game where you should be constantly and eagerly on the road. In one way, your character – an outlaw biker named Deacon St. John – more like Red Dead s unreleased tapes Dutch Van Der Linde than Arthur Morgan, because he has a bad habit of coming
But let's back up: Days Gone is a worldwide zombie game located in the western post-apocalyptic wilderness of the United States. Deacon is what is called a Drifter, a mercenary of varieties floating from camp to camp, doing odd jobs for other survivors and killing poor survivors (another good name for his job would be "video game character"). Your motorcycle takes the place of Red Dead horse, the only lifeline you have in a dangerous world and a constant concern that requires your attention a little more often than it should. You have to keep it filled with gas (require you to find a gas can and refill the tank by holding a button and looking at an animation) and keep the engine running when you hit a tree or an enemy (requires you to have generic "scrap" At your fingertips and fix the bike by … holding a button and watching an animation). If the bike is beaten, as it will probably do when you are swamped by enemies, you have to manually pick it up (by getting it here, holding a button and watching an animation).
Speaking of enemies there are some different types in Days Gone : Eternal survivors – some of them hiding in trees and wearing sniper rifles and are totally cheap-butt bumps – and the zombies, or, sad, "Freakers" (no one uses zed-worden here ). Fighting people is pretty much like any other game, but Freakers are the main stars. They are usually stupid enough that it is fun to avoid them as if this were a Resident Evil game, but it is only possible when they do not group and move into big threatening swarms. It is one of the only meaningful hooks in a zombie founder's arsenal, and to Days Gone s credit, running from a massive horde of Freakers on a motorcycle when they scream and fall over each other is surprisingly effective and frightening at One way Freakers normally never is.
The brilliance of Red Dead Redemption 2 was not quite ready until its epilogue, and while far from the end of days Gone it is clear that it reaches its own tragic final zombie stories do not always have happy conclusions. I don't know if the game will be able to pull it up, but there are enough interesting things here, so I'm curious to see how it works. Who knows: Maybe Bend Studio has somehow managed to outdo Rockstar, and I'm ready to say that I like everything about Days Gone when I've spent 100 hours skiing around the wilderness and snapping Freakers with a baseball bat It doesn't seem likely, given what I've played, but I'm open to the idea.