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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Days Gone is an action/adventure game for the PlayStation 4. Using a variety of weapons that include guns, axes, and machetes, players have to kill both zombie-like creatures and normal humans. Meanwhile, your human enemies will try to use the same weapons to kill you, and the infected opponents will try to bite you really, really hard. All of these combat scenes result in a lot of blood and gore. There are also scenes of people being tortured and mutilated, and dead bodies everywhere. A woman is dragged off by some men, presumably to be raped. The dialog contains numerous curse words -- including "f--k," "a--hole," and "s--t" -- and sexually suggestive statements, as well as references to such drugs as PCP and Oxycontin.
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What's it about?
In DAYS GONE, you play a biker who is trying to survive after a viral outbreak turned the infected into feral cannibals and society into a forgotten concept. Now, you make your living as a bounty hunter while also killing any of the freakers (the feral cannibals) and the opportunistic bandits you come across. Unfortunately, your custom made bike is quickly stolen at the beginning of the game, which forces you to use a poor substitute as you try to navigate the post-apocalyptic world. Along with trying to clear areas of monsters and outlaws, you also have to scrounge for ammo and supplies. Additionally, you'll need have to improve the relationships between you and your fellow survivors while trying to remain independent. But you'll have to stay vigilant, because not only are the forests teeming with freakers, some of whom travel in packs, but they'll even launch attacks on you when you least expect it. That includes sneak attacks from the hills while you're riding your bike, which require split second reactions to avoid these hazards so you're not engulfed by monsters.
Is it any good?
While similar to other post-apocalyptic open world action games, the mix of game mechanics from other games and reliance on a motorcycle to get around, sets this apart. In Days Gone, civilization has been destroyed by a plague that turns people into feral cannibals. Playing a biker named Deacon, you have to drive around the wooden, rural world of post-apocalypse Oregon, completing tasks, running errands, and surviving random attacks. You'll also need to scrounge around for whatever spare ammo and supplies you might need to accomplish your tasks. But while this may sound like Far Cry New Dawn and Fallout 76, the game's third-person perspective and skittish enemies gives this a different feel by requiring you to be sneaky. While the monsters don't have good situational awareness, and can be killed from behind if you're careful, they're also unpredictable. Not only will they turn around unexpectedly, but they'll scream for their friends when they do. Fortunately, when you're trying to sneak around, the third-person perspective makes it easier for you to smack people with bats, 2X4s, and other melee weapons silently instead of shooting them. That's vital since ammo and the size of your backpack are both very limited.
Further complicating matters, you're under constant threat from other bikers, who are trigger happy and don't take kindly to strangers like you. Plus, you're forced to use your motorcycle to get around when you don't want to walk, which makes a ton of noise. That can be extremely dangerous since the forests are teeming with freakers, and some even travel in swarms that will attack you like piranhas at a buffet. But this is also where things can go awry. Your bike is a a gas guzzler, and breaks down easily, as do your melee weapons. As a result, you spend a lot of time looking for gas and scrap metal (though the latter is somewhat plentiful). Still, even with the resource issues, and its similarity to other open world, zombie and zombie-like games, Days Gone is different enough to keep you riding through the wasteland for hours.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Days Gone affected by the fact that you kill people as well as feral cannibals devoid of all humanity? Is the impact intensified when you kill one of the infected instead of a normal person?
Part of surviving in Days Gone is finding useful items and repurposing them, so can you use these lessons in real life to reduce the amount of waste in the world?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment America
- Release date: April 26, 2019
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.