Days Gone’s PC port is one of Sony’s best yet
Days Gone arrives on PC today, bringing the post-apocalyptic adventures of motorcyclist and denim jacket and baseball cap enthusiast Deacon St John into a new era of uncapped frame rates, ultra-wide support. improved monitor, keyboard and mouse controls, and graphic effects. It might not be the first and most beloved PlayStation to ever make the jump to PC, but after playing the first two hours of Bend Studio’s open world, there’s no denying it’s a beautiful port, one shoulder standing. to go along with the technical improvements we’ve seen in both Death Stranding and Horizon Zero Dawn.
I can’t say that the PC version changed my way of thinking about the Days Gone game, admittedly – to me it’s still a rather bland and very bloated version of the open-world zombie – but I can say its menu. settings is probably one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. It’s really great, and more games are expected to take its approach to real-time graphics changes and menu performance indicators in the future.
From the tests I have done so far, Days Gone works quite well on PC. It shares many of the same PC requirements as Horizon Zero Dawn and Death Stranding (both of which performed wonderfully on my test systems last year, Horizon’s launch bugs be damned), so if you were able to play one of those games in the past few months, then you shouldn’t have any issues with Days Gone. If you need a reminder of what you need to run Days Gone, I’ve listed its minimum and recommended PC specs below.
Minimum system requirements for Days Gone
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K / AMD FX 6300
RAM: 8 GB
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 (3 GB) / AMD Radeon R9 290 (4 GB)
Storage: 70 GB
BONE: Windows 10 (64 bit)
PC configuration recommended by Days Gone
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
RAM: 16 GB
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB) / AMD Radeon RX 580 (8 GB)
Storage: 70 GB
BONE: Windows 10 (64 bit)
If you’re struggling to get a good frame rate, Days Gone’s PC settings menu is a brilliant tool for finding that optimal level of performance. Head over to the Graphics tab and you’ll find a healthy offering of options, including field of view, render scale, quality presets, various graphics effects, and a pinch of HDR settings. There are four quality presets in total: low, medium, high, and super high, and you can cycle through them all on the fly when in-game.
Best of all, you can see exactly what each preset looks like from the Graphics tab, as the image to your right changes to reflect your current set of options. On the title screen, it’s Deacon’s motorcycle and an abandoned police car, but when you’re in the game, it’s the scene you just paused, showing you in real time the changes you are about to implement. Take a look at the screenshots below to see it in action (click to enlarge).
The best thing about Days Gone’s graphical menu, however, are the real-time performance stats in the top right corner. Besides showing you what your settings changes actually look like, you can also see exactly how they will affect your in-game performance, from your current and median frame rate to your GPU frame time (the time it takes to your GPU to render each frame) and usage (how much of your GPU is actually being used).
It’s a great tool and helps make your life easier when adjusting your settings. Often times when we need to make changes we have to go back to the game, run a bit, and then open the settings menu again to see if our changes had a positive (or negative) effect on our PC’s performance, but here you can do it all at once. It’s refreshing, and I would like more PC games to take this kind of performance approach in the future.
This is especially handy when you also adjust the field of view slider. As you can see in my super ultra-large GIF below, you can also see the results of these changes in the graphics tab, making it easier to get your FOV right without having to guess what might look good. when you return to the Game.
Speaking of ultra-wide support, Days Gone is another great ultra-wide game. It supports both 21: 9 monitors and super ultra-wide 32: 9 displays such as Samsung’s Odyssey G9, and my experience with that latter aspect ratio felt very immersive to me. I had a great view of the surrounding forests of the game’s Pacific Northwest setting, and it also allowed me to spot more rogue Freaker zombies in my peripheral vision.
The only real letdown about Days Gone’s ultra-wide stand is that there are no options to adjust the position of the game’s HUD, leaving your mini-map, your health bar, your health gauge. endurance and other important survival button prompts all at the edge of the screen. . It’s easy enough to look at the minimap on a 32: 9 screen, but I really have to move my head to look at the little toolbar prompts under my health and stamina bars on the left – which can become a little hairy when you’re in the middle of an action streak or momentarily forgot which button fast healing is on.
It’s not really the end of the world – many of me say these prompts will become second nature over time, for example, unlike Red Dead Redemption 2, whose pop-up controls cut and change throughout the store – but it would have was good to be able to push them a little closer to the center of the screen all the same.
Still, ultrawide issues aside, the rest of Days Gone’s PC additions are fantastic. The default mouse and keyboard controls feel very natural and intuitive for third-person action play, and there are plenty of control settings available to help you customize them as well, including key binding options. fully customizable. Weapon switching on the scroll wheel and full mouse cursor control on the survival wheel are particularly nice touches (although you can opt for scroll control instead if you prefer), and you You can also adjust the x and y sensitivity speeds of your mouse in addition to your aiming sensitivity and bike camera sensitivity. There’s also the option to make your mouse movements smoother across multiple frames, if you find the default one a bit too choppy. My eyes aren’t exactly sensitive enough to tell the difference between the two, but it’s nice to have a choice for those who want it.
In short, this is another brilliant PC port from Sony, and one that really makes the most of the hardware available. Like my experience with Horizon Zero Dawn, I didn’t encounter any bugs, and throughout my testing it performed wonderfully, even on low-end graphics cards. All of its added effects like increased foliage draw distances and level of detail also help make it feel like the best possible version of this open world zombie game. Special applause is also to be given to its useful settings menu and real-time frame rate stats, because seriously more games should be doing things like this in the future to help you get the best ones. performance.
Like I said earlier, I don’t think any of these technical improvements make Days Gone a better game on its own, but I do think it sets a new bar for successful PC ports. Even Death Stranding with its excellent ultra-wide support and Nvidia DLSS didn’t make it so easy to see how well your PC adapts to your current settings selection, and the fact that you can make all of those adjustments in-game. and on the fly, too, that’s just the icing on the cake. The more it can be done to break down performance barriers like this and help gamers see what their creepy wall of graphics options is actually doing to their in-game frame rate, the better, I say. , and in this sense, Days Gone is exemplary. . If there’s one lesson we take from this grim post-apocalypse, let it be more menu-based performance stats.