If you thought Days Gone [full review here] was going to be simple zombie-shooting gallery, you've got another thought coming. The hordes featured here aren't 100 or even 200 deep. Their numbers run up into the 300's and 400's. Developer Sony Bend says they made it to 500. But I mean, who's counting? At that point, you're just hoping your stamina bar can put some distance between you and them with a full-on sprint to your motorcycle. You haven't got the banana clips or the medkits to handle a Days Gone horde in the beginning—not even a little bit. At first, getting away by the skin of your teeth is victory enough.
But then, over the course of dozens of hours, you formulate a plan. You acquire bigger guns, bigger explosives. You use the terrain to your advantage. You lure them into one trap. You trick them into another. Not once have I run into a scenario where there's a conveniently set up machine gun sitting on a tripod, waiting for the horde to close in. The hordes in Days Gone are a force of nature. At first, you'll be helpless against it. Which is a good thing. The game doesn't want to see how long you can hold down the trigger. You get a hint in this video of just how ineffective sustained gunfire is against so many "Freakers" coming at you.
But you'll get there. You'll have to have some smarts when taking on the hordes. The stragglers you find throughout the world will best prep you for individual stealthy encounters. Even having half a dozen chasing you is overwhelming at first. But getting yourself to a point where you can take on one of these living, breathing tidal waves of horror makes for quite a memorable gaming experience.
Free DLC is on the way, starting in June. There will be weekly Bike, Horde, and Combat challenges. Not to mention a Survival mode that removes the mini map and other indicators from your HUD. I love survival modes like those.
Days Gone launches Friday, April 26 as a PS4 exclusive. If you pre-order, you can already have it downloaded and ready to play at the stroke of midnight in your local timezone.