Its marketing stated that its world comes for you, and it certainly does. There’s a lot to stay on top of in Days Gone — the open world zombie slaying and motorbiking collectathon that’s certainly divided opinion since release — so much so that I’ve deemed it necessary to put together a tips article for those who are just starting out as the impossibly named Deacon St. John.
Despite appearances (and some reviews), Days Gone is actually a fairly deep game with plenty of little intricacies that might pass you by. It doesn’t do the best job of explaining itself early on, so if you’re trying to adjust to the drifter’s life and struggling, here’s plenty of what you need to know.
The weapons are meant to be bad (early on) Does it sometimes feel like you’re trying to shoot a fridge at Freakers? That’s by design: all of the early game weapons you get are intended to have loose aims and even worse recoil. Don’t judge the game too harshly because of the early shooting, though maybe judge the fact that it takes a long old while before you have guns that feel competent. Speaking of which:
Rifles all the way Zombie media is obsessed with the image of the hardened survivor with a shotgun taking on the undead. A shotgun would actually not be that great because of the limited rate of fire and the slow reload time, and it’s the same in Days Gone. Opt for assault rifles over other weapons and tap fire them instead of going fully automatic to make better headshots and to also save ammo.
Unlock focus aiming early Focus in Days Gone is basically the superhuman ability that many open world games provide that allows the player to highlight things like tracks. It’s the same for Days Gone, but you can also use this magical skill to slow down time while aiming to line up headshots far easier. Can really save your behind in a pinch, especially against a wave of Freakers or if you have a sniper looking for you.
Turn on “snap to” aiming This one is for only if you are really struggling; it’s off by default as the developers clearly want the shooting to provide some tension. To make your crosshair fall directly on and lock on to an enemy, go on over to settings and enable “snap to” under the gameplay section. It makes it a lot to easier to just spam L2 and rack up the headshots with R2, but it may also kill the intensity somewhat.
Upgrade Melee and Ranged skills first Skills in Days Gone are separated into three different categories: Survival, Melee, and Ranged. You can more or less disregard the Survival skills for the majority of the game, which are mainly to help out explorers and completionists. You want to invest all of your skill points into unlocking better recoil, longer melee combos, and greater damage instead. It makes the world of difference compared to being able to pick up two berries instead of one.
Go to all NERO MMU spots ASAP The MMUs in Days Gone are remnants from when NERO tried (and failed) to contain the virus. Luckily for Deacon, they left some of their stuff behind. After a little bit of platforming and fuel collecting, you can get into these MMUs and then find an injector, which will allow you to upgrade your Health, Stamina, or Focus — you’re going to want to improve your Stamina from the off as Deacon has the fitness of an obese snail. Once your Stamina has improved a bit, you mainly want to choose between that and Health — the Focus upgrade isn’t really that worthwhile by comparison.
Separate the horde Hordes in Days Gone put the willies up me, just because they can batter you to death in a matter of seconds. Stay on the move, and try to pull a few away from the pack by approaching them, running away, waiting for them to give up the ghost, and then skulking back to stealth kill some of those who are still making their way back to the mass. It’s a little bit cheesy, but it works, damn it.
Clear out those nests You know those massive red areas on your map? Get rid of them by burning down nests, which you can find by exploring those areas. These nests can typically be found in buildings and will allow you to fast travel to a nearby encampment once they’ve been destroyed. You will need either a molotov or to shoot a gas can to set them on fire, but also beware that burning them will “spawn” at least three Freakers.
Conserve your fuel and upgrade it early Fuel (gas, petrol, whatever you call it in your corner of the world) can be tricky to get a hold of in Days Gone, especially when your tank can go so empty so quickly. You can save some fuel by “coasting” down hills by taking your hand off the throttle and letting gravity do its thing. On a similar note, try to upgrade your gas tank as soon as you can by visiting a mechanic in an encampment, though you may need to build up your trust.
Upgrade your melee weapon in a pinch If you are only finding the most basic of melee weapons in Days Gone, you can help yourself out with some DIY. After a short while into the story, you get the ability to upgrade most wood-based weapons with nails to make them cause more damage and also look badass. Nails are pretty common, so be sure to check in the weapon wheel if you can craft an upgrade for whatever you are swinging around.
Don’t underestimate Attractors Attractors in Days Gone can be hugely helpful against hordes or large concentrations of Freakers as they can bring them all into one space, which will also cause some hidden Freakers to come out of the woodwork. Now that they are all in one handy spot, don’t you have a molotov that needs throwing?
Explore “What a stupid damn tip,” you exclaim, and yeah, you might have a point. But do not forget to sometimes just jump on your motorcycle and explore in Days Gone. Not only will you uncover more areas of your enshrouded map by going off the beaten path, but you may also have random encounters to save hostages, which can help out your camp trust and credits massively.
Photo Mode has advanced functions Am I the only person who didn’t realise you could press X to control things like bloom and warmth in Photo Mode until I was like twenty hours in? Seriously? Wow, okay.