Days Gone is a love story, though perhaps not the one it claims to be

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Days Gone is a love story, though it may not be what it claims to be.

Oh sure, it’s supposedly about Deacon’s devotion to his missing wife Sarah – but finding her is a distant, almost abstract motivation. The relationship you spend the whole game nurturing is with Deacon’s bike. This is the bike you care for when it breaks down, lovingly adorn it with armor upgrades and nitrous, and push for miles until you find the fuel to keep you going. both.

In an already notorious case of misjudged writing, Sarah holds Deacon to an unconventional vow on their wedding day: “Promise to ride me as much as you ride a bike.” It’s a dark line, but it’s not wrong – given all the time man and machine spend together, Sarah is lucky it’s not the bike Deacon pulled past the altar. to take his mechanophile relationship to the next level.

“Deacon’s care for his bike is no different than your neighbor who gets up early on Sunday to wash his Fiat in the car”

It’s not a perfect marriage – as Kirk complained in his Days Gone review, finding fuel and parts might provide emergent missions to start with, but once you get used to hoarding those resources at the ahead, reloading seems like a busy job. Your time on the bike is a highlight, though, and Days Gone is just the starkest example of a series of games that harness the power of your connection to a vehicle.

Every day you will find tens of thousands of people playing Euro Truck Simulator 2 on Steam. It’s not because they’re all the type to drag their weekends to gas stations with notepads, but because Czech developer SCS Software has discovered something near-universal by synthesizing the world of transportation: there is magic in a long trip with only a car for the company.

The game’s first benchmark comes when you save up – or borrow – enough money to buy your own rig, rather than driving someone else’s. After 14 hours from Sheffield to Bordeaux, I know my truck better than some members of my family.

I know every inch of the cabin and would never cheapen it with the furry dice and dash hula girls purchasable as DLC. I know the best position for the driver’s seat – tilted back slightly, so I can dominate it on the highway from the most commanding vantage point available. I turned the radio down enough to hear the engine talking to me. It lets out a small moan when it’s time to kick into high gear and a rippling growl when it’s too high.

I have to take care of my rig, making sure I don’t take too much damage – or else when I’m on the back roads of Cardiff at 3am the lights flicker and I lose control and I am not ringing that tow truck again, it is expensive and embarrassing. So even when time is tight and I risk a late fine, I slow down at roundabouts and always check my mirrors. At some point I decide to paint the cabin orange, spending the money to do it, and from there my beautiful machine looks like a comet burning the M62.

Stripped of all peril unrelated to delivering your cargo safely and on time, Euro Truck and its simulators embrace the mundane nature of travel, focusing almost entirely on the routine and upkeep that comes with owning a truck. ‘a vehicle. There’s a sense of ritual and pride that comes with it, which you might recognize in Days Gone. Like all zombie games, it amplifies human concerns by placing them in a context of constant threat. But fundamentally, it’s not about the hordes or the snipers – Deacon’s care for his bike is no different than that of your neighbor who gets up early on a Sunday to wash his Fiat on the ride.

Days Gone is a game that suffers from repetition, so it’s hard not to get frustrated every time your bike is totaled by a wire across the road. But by centering the action around you and your bike, Sony Bend is introducing a weird but satisfying trend into the mainstream – a trend that’s waiting to take over your gaming life, as long as you’ve got a key and plenty of patience.

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