Days Gone is one of two PlayStation 4 first-party titles we’re aware of with some level of PS5 awareness, essentially unlocking frame-rate on Sony’s next generation machine, capped only by the 60Hz refresh of your TV. On the face of it, the upgrade is limited in terms of features, but similar to Sucker Punch’s PS5 work for Ghost of Tsushima, it is transformative in terms of fluidity and response – and it’s a great way to revisit an impressive PS4 game.
In returning to Days Gone, I actually found a title that had evolved significantly since Digital Foundry first covered the game – so while there is a clear PS5 advantage, it’s actually building upon a solid PlayStation 4 version that irons out many of the issues we discovered at launch. Developer Bend Studios received plaudits for Patch 1.61 in particular, which dropped the initial 60GB storage footprint down to just 38GB, consolidating a number of optimisations which drastically reduced the fleeting performance problems we found in the first couple of patches.
Not only that but further content has been added since and I’m particularly taken with the challenge mode, which liberates key gameplay mechanics from the sprawling open world adventure and focuses them into bite-size arcade challenges. They’re also a wonderful way to experiment with Days Gone’s signature feature – the Horde. Based on a prior IGN tech feature, there are actually 40 hordes dotted around the map, each with an entity count that can reach 500. There seems to be a hard-set limit of 300 Freakers in the challenges, but that’s still plenty to be getting on with, and there’s a variety of interesting locations in which to do battle. It’s also the only way I was able to consistently shake Days Gone on PS5 from its 60fps performance level.