In an age of loot boxes and microtransactions, few things are more refreshing than free add-on packs that add genuine value to an already excellent experience. Sony, to its credit, has been pretty good with post-release support for its blockbuster exclusives – and while its various first-party developers have all plotted different paths, this arcade-inspired Days Gone challenge mode is way more fleshed out than it has any right to be.
Set to unfold over 12 weeks so that you don’t trade in your Blu-ray just yet, these are a series of score-based challenges with leaderboards and unlocks. The first week, available now, sees you taking on a relentless horde against the clock. Freakers will keep coming until you eat the dirt, but fortunately you’re equipped with an arsenal of all Deacon St. John’s best gear from the main game, including pipe bombs and proximity mines.
The idea is to maintain a chain of kills in order to maximise your score, while undead deaths also add time to the clock. You’ve got just 60 seconds at the beginning, but some well-placed explosions will see your counter moving in a positive direction. As anyone who’s attempted the hordes in the main game will know, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but that makes for plenty of replay value, as you attempt to come up with the best strategy to maximise your score.
In addition to the primary scoring system, secondary challenges like using explosive barrels add depth to the gameplay, while unlocking medals earns you currency which can then be spent on different characters and rings. Said superfluous jewellery augment statistical boosters, while patches can be levelled up and transported back into the main game. It’s a peek at what a sequel might look like, with RPG-esque character building.
While the overarching complexity of the mode is a teensy bit overwhelming, it’s impressive to see just how much effort has been invested here. There are online leaderboards, and tons of new items to unlock – more of which will be added as the weeks pass. There are even a batch of fresh Trophies for you to collect. With future challenges revolving around Deacon’s bike and other gameplay mechanics, we’re looking forward to returning each week to test ourselves against the rest of the Days Gone community.
Have you taken Days Gone’s new arcade-style mode for a ride yet? Are you a fan of this kind of post-release add-on content? Gun us down like a greedy horde in the comments section below.