Tag Archives: days gone

Skate Move Destroys Physics

Today on Highlight Reel we have mind-bending skate moves, Fallout buildings, Greedfall spying, and much more.

Watch the video then talk about your favorite highlight in the comments below. Be sure to check out, like, and share the original videos via the links below. Subscribe to Kotaku on YouTube for more! Catch up on all the episodes on the Highlight Reel Youtube playlist!

Highlight Reel is Kotaku’s regular roundup of great plays, stunts, records and other great moments from around the gaming world. If you record an amazing feat while playing a game (here’s how to record a clip), send it to us with a message confirming that the clip is yours at [email protected] Or, if you see a great clip around that isn’t yours, encourage that person to send it in!

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Source: Kotaku.com

Days Gone Gets A Tough But Satisfying Horde Mode

Over the weekend, Days Gone delivered the first of its 12 promised free challenges released weekly for the summer. First up: a horde challenge called “Surrounded” that puts players in the middle of a small run-down town, surrounds them with Freakers, and challenges them to survive for as long as they can. It’s hard as hell, and I like it a lot.

Here’s a thing you need to know about me and how I play video games like this: I’m a big ol’ meathead. I barrel headfirst into problems and try to figure out how to handle complications on the fly. I don’t really do “plans” or “schemes” if I’ve got several high-caliber, fully automatic guns along with a solid 15 pounds of high explosives on my digital person. The hordes in Days Gone proper were nice, because they made me stop and do some planning, but with my bike nearby for a speedy escape and a bit of help from some explosive barrels, I could still Rambo a horde into submission.

That doesn’t fly in this horde challenge. You don’t get to use your bike, and you’re restricted to the small corner of the map the challenge takes place in. Even though you’re armed to the teeth with some of the best guns in the game, you’re going to need to come up with plans upon plans as you die and die again in an effort to last a little bit longer and score more points. Earn enough points, or complete a task like “kill 10 freakers with explosive barrels,” and you’ll earn credits. You can then spend those credits on new character or bike skins, or patches for your jacket or rings that give you gameplay buffs. (These buffs also carry over to the main game.) Score enough points in a single match—points don’t carry over—and you’ll rank up, unlocking more rewards you can buy with credits.

Clearing the score thresholds necessary to earn credits is hard. You have a minute on the clock, and the only way to refill the clock is by killing more Freakers. That means you have to be both crafty and aggressive, memorizing the location of every chokepoint, ledge, explosive, and ammo box. You can’t hide and let enemies lose track of you for very long. It is extremely stressful, but also very fun—something I only really say about video games.

Taking out hordes is easily the best part of Days Gone, so it’s great that the first challenge mode added to the game is a small-scale distillation of this. What I like even better about this first challenge is the way that it sets up future ones, sequestering it away in a separate menu that should eventually be populated with all 12 of the planned challenges this summer. Over the next 12 weeks, we should see the challenge menu grow to become a full-fledged arcade mode, with its own set of rewards to unlock.

I wish some of the new mode’s rewards were more generous or substantial. You can unlock different characters to play as, but they’re merely skins and do not come with different loadouts or abilities than those you start with. The difficulty curve is steep once you decide to earn the credits necessary to get better rewards—but this is also a well-considered free update to an already-massive game, so it’s a minor quibble. I’m looking forward to next week’s challenge.

Source: Kotaku.com

Art Thou Mad, Brother?

Today on Highlight Reel we have wolf Jenga, wolf catapults, medieval catapults, taunting knights, flying bodies, and more!

Watch the video then talk about your favorite highlight in the comments below. Be sure to check out, like, and share the original videos via the links below. Subscribe to Kotaku on YouTube for more! Catch up on all the episodes on the Highlight Reel Youtube playlist!

Highlight Reel is Kotaku’s regular roundup of great plays, stunts, records and other great moments from around the gaming world. If you record an amazing feat while playing a game (here’s how to record a clip), send it to us with a message confirming that the clip is yours at [email protected] Or, if you see a great clip around that isn’t yours, encourage that person to send it in!

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Source: Kotaku.com

Mordhau Player Critically Panned

Today on Highlight Reel we have Mordhau hitboxes, casual Division 2 deaths, smooth Rage 2 riders, and much more.

Watch the video then talk about your favorite highlight in the comments below. Be sure to check out, like, and share the original videos via the links below. Subscribe to Kotaku on YouTube for more! Catch up on all the episodes on the Highlight Reel Youtube playlist!

Highlight Reel is Kotaku’s regular roundup of great plays, stunts, records and other great moments from around the gaming world. If you record an amazing feat while playing a game (here’s how to record a clip), send it to us with a message confirming that the clip is yours at [email protected] Or, if you see a great clip around that isn’t yours, encourage that person to send it in!

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Source: Kotaku.com

The Eyes In Days Gone Look Good Because They’re Full Of Tears

On Wednesday afternoon, Days Gone developer Bend Studios held a Reddit Ask Me Anything. The team’s responses provided a brief but in-depth look at some of the more technical work that went into making Days Gone, including their rendering of eyes—something that the game does so well it’s easy to completely miss. Luckily, one Reddit user pointed it out, and Graham Aldridge, the game’s lead rendering programmer, divulged the secret. It’s the same thing that keeps our actual eyes from looking strange: tears and dilation.

Aldridge explained:

“Eyes are hard to get right, as it’s all about the subtleties so you don’t notice them. As examples, we have a tear line in our eye rendering—an effect to represent the buildup of liquid between the eye and lower eyelid. It’s a surprisingly difficult effect to render, but without it the character just looks wrong somehow. We have control of this too—it’s surprising how much adjusting the tear line can change your perception of a character. Another subtle example is iris/pupil dilation; we change the size based on how bright the scene is. It’s super subtle but when you see a character in a dark space with a small iris it just feels wrong.”

Again, it’s easy to miss things like this. Many of Days Gone’s real-time cutscenes take place at night or indoors with lots of shadows (another thing the development team put a lot of work into, per the AMA). According to the developers, all of this work exists so things like characters’ eyes aren’t noticed.

The whole AMA is worth reading through for a look at some of the easy-to-miss details in the game. The way weather works, for example, is a wonderfully complex mess (just like real life!) that ties weather conditions to the actual clouds, which move through the world in real time.

It’s always a pleasure to learn about the specific work that goes into a video game, even one that we didn’t particularly gel with. Games are massive, complex things full of hundreds of disparate design ideas—even if the whole doesn’t quite come together, there’s always plenty worth thinking about.

Source: Kotaku.com

VR Gun Fu Backfires

Today on Highlight Reel we have VR guns in Blade & Sorcery, carriage stops in Red Dead Online, difficult climbing in Rage 2, Days Gone bike trouble and much more!

Watch the video then talk about your favorite highlight in the comments below. Be sure to check out, like, and share the original videos via the links below. Subscribe to Kotaku on YouTube for more! Catch up on all the episodes on the Highlight Reel Youtube playlist!

Highlight Reel is Kotaku’s regular roundup of great plays, stunts, records and other great moments from around the gaming world. If you record an amazing feat while playing a game (here’s how to record a clip), send it to us with a message confirming that the clip is yours at [email protected] Or, if you see a great clip around that isn’t yours, encourage that person to send it in!

Source: Kotaku.com

Days Gone Patch Fixes Some Audio And Progression Problems, Leaves A Few Others

After receiving daily patches removing (and in one case adding) a number of bugs in its first week, Days Gone spent nearly three weeks without any further needed fixes.. There’s good news out in the freaker wastes, though: Patch 1.08 was released last Friday, addressing a few more issues, and announcing a change to the Days Gone long-term support plan.

According Sony’s Bend Studio, Patch 1.08 fixes a number of bugs that kept some players from completing three missions, and also addresses some long-standing audio issues that caused dialog to desync with video in cutscenes. Also fixed are a couple of problems introduced by previous patches that caused the incorrect number of autosaves to upload to users’ cloud storage, as well as no longer wiping difficulty settings when players updated to the latest version.

The patch also comes with a note from Bend that indicates the developers intend to “slow down” on the number of patches released but “add more fixes, features, and optimizations with each patch.”

Despite the patch, some players on the Days Gone subreddit report they are still running into issues, most of which are similar to the ones Patch 1.08 was supposed to address. Late game missions aren’t triggering, leaving some players stuck, and audio remains hit or miss during gameplay.

More patches are surely coming, just without a return to that early, rapid pace. Perhaps several will come bundled with the forthcoming free Days Gone DLC currently scheduled for June, which will add weekly challenges and a “Survival” mode that will up enemy difficulty; remove fast travel and Survival Vision; and limit the HUD for more tense experience. And hopefully a less buggy one.

Source: Kotaku.com

Days Gone’s Best Twist Is At The End Of Its Worst Storyline

The absolute worst part of Days Gone involve something that, on paper, sounds interesting: A clandestine government organization called NERO that’s scouring the freaker wastes searching for… something.

Unfortunately, all of the missions that send the PlayStation 4 zombie survival game’s gruff, biker-man protagonist Deacon St. John out to see what said organization is up to are the absolute pits. They’re a series of mandatory stealth missions that you need to take on intermittently in order to advance the main story. Worse still is the fact that these missions seem to lead to a narrative dead end at the end of the game—unless you know where to look, and then they lead to a twist that is truly bananas.

These “Finding NERO” missions, as they’re called, are disappointing in a whole assortment of ways. For one, Days Gone isn’t that great at stealth. It’s a nice option to have when taking out freakers—who are, generally speaking, extremely stupid and overwhelming in number—but when it’s your only option, it’s extremely boring. “Stealth” in Days Gone largely involves running into bushes about four feet high without anyone seeing you first. Do that, and you are, as far as the game is concerned, a master spy, completely one with the wilds of Oregon.

Further complicating things is that the only other useful stealth tool is distraction, which is implemented via the extremely sophisticated technique espionage experts refer to as “throwing rocks.” Oh, except the Finding NERO missions arbitrarily decide to remove that skill from your arsenal, leaving you with no option other than to duck from bush to bush, dodging armed patrols so you can eavesdrop on the NERO researchers. You can’t stealth-kill anyone either, because NERO hazmat suits are inexplicably invincible.

Despite my mixed feelings about Days Gone, there is fun to be had. Trouble is, these mandatory Finding NERO missions are the furthest from it you can possibly get from it, short of turning your PS4 off and reading an old phone book. They could be justified if what they revealed was interesting, but it’s largely just arbitrary facts about the Freakers that only serve to confuse the backstory of Days Gone even more.

Eventually, these missions reveal that the Freaker virus is mutating and changing—something that doesn’t really mean anything to you, since Days Gone is not terribly clear about how the virus works or what separates survivors from Freakers. It’s also something you can surmise on your own as you start to find more and more Freaker variants throughout the story. None of it ever really makes sense, and by the time the credits roll around, most of these questions are left unanswered.

Fortunately, Days Gone has multiple epilogue missions after the story’s conclusion, and one of them definitively concludes the Finding NERO plot. Getting to it is a bit of a chore, though, since only one epilogue mission is available to you at a time. After a few of these missions, you’ll get a call from O’Brien, the rogue NERO agent who’s been having you spy on his former colleagues. He’ll have something to tell you, and it’s a doozy: He’s been infected with the Freaker virus, and it seems like he’s in control of it—a new breed of infected superhuman. It seems that this was NERO’s endgame all along, and it’s fertile ground for an eventual Days Gone sequel.

This twist doesn’t necessarily clear anything up, or justify the nonsense stealth missions you’ll have to do. But, like the sub-plot involving Lisa, it’s a grace note meant to cap off a smaller story in Days Gone that might have been better served as the main thrust in a shorter, more focused game. One of the problems with Days Gone is that it simply has too much story. It sprawls out in many directions, while arbitrarily picking up new threads to follow in its main plot without much in the way of proper setup. This is why it feels like it has three separate endings: one at the end of your time at Iron Mike’s, another at the end of your sojourn in Ripper country, and one more with the final foe, the fanatical militia in the southern region.

Throughout each of these plots, Days Gone occasionally gestures at being a different kind of game, one richer in atmosphere and more focused on horror. The Finding NERO missions feel like scenes cut from that game and glued onto the giant video-gamey collage that is Days Gone. Unfortunately, it’s all in the service of another, theoretical game that sounds more interesting than the one we got.

Source: Kotaku.com

I Love My Beautiful Bike, The Only Friend I Have In Days Gone

All screenshots included were taken by me.
Screenshot: Days Gone

The world of Days Gone is filled with a large selection of characters. Some are nice, others are jerks, most are a bit dirty because showers are hard to come by in the zombie apocalypse. But none of these grimy characters have captured my heart or soul quite as my motorcycle has. I would do anything for my bike and I love it very much.

However, it didn’t start this way. At first, I hated my bike. I despised it. The very first thing you do in Days Gone is driving your motorcycle while chasing an enemy over dirt roads and cracked streets. In those first moments with my bike, I found it was squirrelly and sloppy. I remember thinking to myself “Shit, I’m going to drive this thing for 40 hours?” Early game spoilers here, but not long after the first mission your bike is stolen and parted out. So you get a new bike, which is slow, ugly and just a total piece of junk. I hated this new bike even more. Not only was it still hard to control, but now it was slower, lacked a turbo boost and seemed more fragile.

I really didn’t care about my bike until about an hour into the game, when it saved my life.

Early on in Days Gone, you don’t have a lot of firepower or abilities. So a small group of zombies can be deadly in seconds. So to avoid injury and death, I would sneak around areas until I felt the coast was clear. Well as I explored a small gas station a pack of around 5 or more freakers ambushed me. I panicked and tried to fight them off, but I quickly lost almost all my health. So I ran back to my bike, my stupid, crappy bike. I jumped on and escaped. I looked down at the bike and realized without it I would have been killed.

Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.

As I played more Days Gone, I got more used to the way the bike handles. At first, I hated how sloppy and heavy it felt, but now I enjoy cruising around on my motorcycle. I can drift around turns, slowly slide down hills and paths, which saves fuel. When I first started playing, I would ram zombies I saw on the road. Now I avoid them. I don’t want to hurt my baby.

In the game, you help different camps with jobs and tasks. This earns you camp credits, which can be used to buy items, weapons, etc. At first, I was spending my camp credits on guns and ammo. But now I spend all of them on getting new upgrades for my bike. The moment I unlock new upgrades for my motorcycle, I quickly make my way to a camp and start improving my ride.

A bigger gas tank? Yup. I’ll take that. Tougher frame? Sure. I’ll buy it. Better suspension? Don’t even ask, just give it to me Mr. Mechanic. Whatever my bike needs, it gets. And then some.

I also protect my bike now. If an enemy shoots it, I get angry. (Though not as angry and loud as Deacon.) I don’t really care about most of the characters in the game, they can get eaten by freakers for all I care. But not my bike. Don’t EVER touch my ride.

In Days Gone, you have to keep your bike repaired and fueled up. This is important for a few different reasons, with the biggest being that without fuel you can’t fast travel. Also if you have no fuel you will be unable to drive away from a massive horde or dangerous bear. I always keep my bike fueled and repaired. Every time I ride into camp, I’ll make sure to spend some credits to fix my ride up and top off the fuel tank.

When I’m out in the world, I’ll keep an eye out for fuel stations or gas tanks, always making sure my bike isn’t getting too thirsty. Before entering a dangerous area, I’ll park far enough away that my bike isn’t in any danger. I don’t want some asshole shooting my motorcycle or knocking it over. If they did do that, I would have to go full John Wick on their ass.

The most painful feeling in Days Gone is when I crash. Even just bumping up against a parked car or rock makes me cringe. But even worse is when I slam into something going nearly full speed. Deacon goes flying and so too does my bike. There is nobody else to blame, unlike in Red Dead Redemption II where I would sometimes yell at my horse after hitting a rock. Come on horse, you really couldn’t have dodged that rock? But in Days Gone the only person to blame is me. I hurt my bike. I caused it to start smoking. I’m a monster.

Whenever it breaks, I always repair it and sometimes after nastier crashes, I’ll find my self whispering to the bike that I’m sorry. Which I am. I’m always sorry. Just like when I step on a cat and apologize even though I know they can’t understand. It doesn’t matter. They still deserve an apology.

I haven’t yet finished Days Gone, but I’m getting close. I swear if this game makes me sacrifice my bike at the end, I will be very upset. I might not do it. Even if it is to save someone else, I won’t do it. I won’t give up my motorcycle.

I’ll ride to the day I die.

Source: Kotaku.com

Shut The Hell Up, Deacon

The world of Days Gone is serious stuff. Zombies Freakers are everywhere, killing anyone who dares get close to them. Society has collapsed. Water and food are scarce. Bandits torture, kidnap and murder innocent people. But I can’t really take any of this stuff to seriously because the game’s main protagonist won’t shut up.

Days Gone stars Deacon St. John, who is less a character and more a few emotions and grunts wrapped up in a leather vest. Deek, as his friends call him, is a very serious and gruff dude. To let us know how serious and gruff Deek is, Days Gone constantly has him talk in a Batman-like whisper-yell. I mean constantly.

I first noticed it when I encountered some enemies during the first few hours of the game. As I sneakily made my way around the camp, picking off enemies quietly, Deacon would just go wild about nearly every kill.

“How do you like that, you ripper fucks?” and other similar voice lines play all the time. Kill a freaker, Deacon lets you know about it. Kill some rival bandits, oh boy you better believe Deacon lets you know about it. Sometimes these can go on. One time I killed a person and as I quickly rolled towards my next enemy, Deacon kept talking. It wasn’t until I started the next kill that I cut him off and then moments later he was spouting off again.

He will also sometimes just say stuff that makes no sense. I killed an enemy with a sneaking knife stab and afterward, Deacon yelled about getting killed by someone who “shoots back.” I didn’t shoot him Deek. Are you okay? Pay attention dude. Please.

Sometimes Deacon can hear radio broadcasts from a local conspiracy nut. After hearing these broadcasts, Deacon will often yell out some angry response. If this broadcast starts while you are on your bike and you get off your bike before it ends, you will sometimes end up with Deacon yelling for no reason about how angry he is. I get it Deek, the dude on the radio is a real asshole and annoying, but you have to understand something: He can’t hear you, even if you yell REALLY loud. That’s just not how the radio works, buddy.

The most annoying moments of Deacon not shutting up happen when you find audio logs. These audio logs are often left behind by police, military or scientists from before or during the early weeks of the apocalypse. They are really well made, with solid writing and acting, but good luck hearing them.

Deacon will nearly always talk about the recording, what he thinks he will hear on it and his thoughts on the people who recorded it as it plays. You can, later on, listen to them in the menu, but I just love how Deacon reacts to audio logs of the past. He just yells at them as he turns them on. And once they are finished, he gruffly yells about what was said.

Deek will also sometimes talk over himself. In what I assume is a bug, I had a moment in Days Gone where Deacon was talking to someone and then began yelling about something else, while still talking to the person.

I dug around the settings to see if I could find a button that would shut him up or at least tone down how often he speaks. The always chatty Deacon is becoming even more annoying as I spend more time in the game. He is starting to repeat himself. A lot.

I don’t usually mind characters in games repeating a line. I understand that games only have so many audio lines. Eventually, you hear it all. But when you have someone who talks as much and as often as Deacon St. John, the repeated lines grating more quickly.

All this talking is really distracting and silly too. My girlfriend was watching me play and started snickering at how angry and annoying Deacon is as he kills people. I’m sure I’m not supposed to be giggling while I brutally slit a dude’s throat, but Deacon is making me laugh as I murder.

Deacon, you don’t need to talk all the time. Listen more. Please.

And who knows, maybe another patch will change this in a few days?

Source: Kotaku.com

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