Days Gone director blames 'woke critics' for game's lackluster reception

Days Gone director blames ‘woke critics’ for game’s lackluster reception

An image of protagonist Deacon St. John, bat in hand, battling a bear in Days Gone.

Image: Sony folding studio

We are talking about Days gone again, three years after the release of the open-world zombie survival game. You might remember the unique PlayStation exclusive rreceived a mediocre reception and I saw seemingly disappointing sales. The reason? Well, according to writer and game director John Garvin’s response to a fan on Twitter, “woke critics [couldn’t] handle a gruff white biker staring at his date’s ass.

Days gone is Sony Bend Studio’s first real foray into the open-world genre and was released in April 2019. After the former outlaw-turned-rogue Deacon St. John as it traversed a post-apocalyptic, zombie-strewn Oregon, the game landed to a mid-critical reception. He received a score of 71 on Metacritic and 72 on OpenCritic, with most reviewers reviewing the game for its boring world, frustrating exploration, and bland storytelling. In my citythe opinion ofsaid former writer Joshua Rivera Days gone “fail[ed] come up with something new in favor of blending shapelessly into the arguments of 10 years of The Walking Dead and countless post-apocalyptic games of this genre. In other words, Days gone was a totally unoriginal experience, although at times enjoyable.

Read more: Days gone Was a ‘disappointment’ for Sony despite selling millions, says director [Update]

The game sold around eight million copies between its initial launch on PlayStation 4 three years ago and its PC socket which dropped in May 2021. Eight million is a huge number to celebrate, but considering the open world of Sucker Punch Productions, like Kurosawa Ghost of Tsushima sold the same amount in less than two years, Bend Studio’s senior management, including former director Jeff Ross, declared Days gone disappointment.”.

Now Garvin has shared his own theories on why critics have found Days gone was somewhat disappointingh/t VGC). In a since-deleted tweet (archived here), Garvin gave a fan three reasons why he thinks the game did so poorly:

Three reasons:

1. there were technical issues like bugs, streaming and frame rate;
2. there were critics who couldn’t be bothered to play the game
3. And three, it woke up critics who couldn’t handle a gruff white biker staring at his date’s ass

If you played Days gone, you probably know the scene Garvin is referring to. But for the uninitiated, there is a first flashback sequence in which Deacon and his companion Sarah Whitaker (later to become his wife) explore Oregon, hike a trail and take in the sights. Sarah stops to “show [Deacon] What [he’s] seek” and bends down. Deacon steps back and says, “Yeah, I found it,” and the camera pans back to show him eyeing her. While this sexually charged moment between the two characters was a point of contention for some reviewers, it’s not one of the main reasons the game didn’t fare better than it did. did.

my city contacted Sony and Garvin for comment.

Other people on Twitter were quick to dispute Garvin’s claims.

“claiming the protag of ‘Days gone‘ was just too badass for all those woke critics, it’s really silly. tweeted one. “We’re told Deacon is a gruff, badass biker, but in reality, he’s annoying, docile, and does whatever the authorities tell him to. His agency is just whining to himself.

“I think the main reason Days gone got mediocre reviews because the game wasn’t very good”, said another.

Videographer Chris Franklin perhaps summed it up best. “What’s crazy to me is that I don’t think anyone really hated Days gone“, he tweeted. “The consensus was that everything was fine. Cromulent. Does what it says on the tin. In an era jam-packed with open-world games and zombie games, this was definitely one of them. So it’s weird to be shortchanged by critics who neither eviscerated your title (it’s at 71 on Metacritic!) but didn’t sing its praises with enough glee.

Like I written in januaryI did not find Days gone Fun to play. “The controls were clunky and cumbersome. Resource hunting was a chore. I enjoyed riding a motorcycle in beautifully apocalyptic Oregon, but the novelty wore off after relentlessly running out of gas. And all of that was exacerbated by the fact that the open world and zombie survival genres are incredibly oversaturated, and Days gone didn’t do enough to differentiate itself from other games at the time.

I won’t blame anyone who had fun with it Days gone. To each his own. But proclaiming the “woke reviews” was part of the reason the game’s average reception seems out of step with reality. The reality was that Days gone was just kind of an OK, bland, mid-range game. The world took notice and acted on it: no “woke reviewer” conspiracy theory required.

Garvin has since left Sony Bend Studio and is now working on a game that has NFTs.

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