State of Decay
While a lot of folks talk about zombie fatigue, it’s not something I have ever really felt. As long as the game, movie or book does something interesting with everyone’s favorite shuffling undead beasty, then I say bring it on. If you’ve been playing the latest PS4 exclusive, here are a few games like Days Gone if you’re looking for something similar.
The State of Decay series is a great place to start. Sure, you spend a lot of your time hacking down hordes of nasty, biting, former-friends, but it really isn’t about that.
Rather, the hook with these games is community building, supply management, and long-term survivability. These may not sound like sexy concepts on their own, but it is incredibly appealing as a package deal.
Like Days Gone, you are going to spend a lot of time scrounging around in old containers to find odds and ends to help you survive. Similarly, dealing with infested zones is a focus of gameplay, and both games rely on a stamina system to stop you from just running rampant all the time.
Admittedly, both State of Decay games don’t really have much of a focus on narrative, which is fine, but something to consider if that kind of thing is important to you. They are very replayable, however, and the addition of hardcore survival modes increase that play time even further.
The Dying Light series has an interesting elevator pitch: what if it was the zombie apocalypse, but you are some kind of free-running parkour acrobat that is also a double agent, or something?
Played from the first-person perspective, the vertigo-inducing platforming that will be required from you is genuinely not for the faint of heart. The feeling of escaping a horde of biters is fantastic, however, and while it isn’t quite as tight as Mirror’s Edge, its pretty damn close.
Couple that with the terrifying, mutated beasties that only come out at night, and you have a recipe for some seriously good times. Similar to Days Gone, you will engage in side quests for local survivors, and both games have a similar run time, around 20 to 30 hours for the critical path.
Probably the scariest game on the list, these are games you aren’t going to want to play in the dark, at least if you are anything like me. Still, if you enjoy the high octane thrill ride that is a horde encounter in Days Gone, then Dying Light will have a lot to offer you.
Similar to Days Gone’s focus on Deacon’s bike, Mad Max has a real focus on vehicular combat and modifications with the highly customizable Magnum Opus.
But unlike the lush woodland of Oregon, the Wasteland that is the setting for the 2015 title is just that, a barren and lifeless hellscape.
You spend your time foraging for the basics that you will need to survive and to upgrade both your arsenal and the aforementioned Magnum Opus. Like Days Gone too, you will constantly be on the lookout for the tribes of freaks and horrors that are out for your blood, with ambushes around every other corner.
Surprisingly, there is a fairly great story to Mad Max, who kind of opens up in a way he never did in the movies. Exploring the open world of the Wasteland and liberating its various peoples from their various oppressors is surprisingly compelling, and if you enjoyed that aspect of Sony Bend’s latest exclusive, then this one may just scratch that itch.
The Last of Us
Surprisingly, of the games on this list, The Last of Us and (presumably) its upcoming sequel are actually the least like Days Gone, mechanically speaking. It tells an incredibly focused and emotional story, and there is no open world aspect to distract you from it.
Crafting is an element that both series share, along with the visceral and uncomfortable nature of the combat. I suppose they also share a rather grim tone and feature flawed protagonists.
But The Last of Us is a seminal video game, and if you haven’t already played it then you really should.
The less you know about it, the better, and it tells a tale that will stay with you for, well it’s been five years for me now, so at least that long. The writing, the direction, and the acting are second to none and have really set a gold standard for the industry. Just beware, whatever you play after it will suffer from the comparison.