Days Gone in test: Despite the high FPS, it jerks on the gaming PC

Up until now, Days Gone was exclusively available for the PlayStation 4, but after Horizon Zero Dawn, Sony has now also brought the open-world zombie game to the PC. The technology test shows that it offers chic, if not groundbreaking, graphics. In return, the performance is above average.

Sony’s PlayStation games also for the gaming PC

After Sony had treated its own games published exclusively for PlayStation in exactly the same way for years, namely as titles only available on the PS, there was a small revolution last year: First Death Stranding (test) found its way to the PC and then also Horizon Zero Dawn (test). The latter work in particular was an extraordinary step, as it is one of the most important and best Sony games ever.

With the two-year-old Days Gone, the third game from Sony previously available exclusively for PlayStation is now available on the PC. While it is neither playfully nor technically a top title of the caliber of Horizon Zero Dawn, it is definitely a fun adventure that relies on an open game world with zombies. The test clarifies how good the PC version has become and what hardware is required for it.

With Unreal Engine 4 and only DX11

Death Stranding and Horizon Zero Dawn use an engine specially developed by Sony and the DirectX 12 API on the PC. SIE Bend Studio, the development team of Days Gone, uses the Unreal Engine 4 on “standard goods” including DirectX 11. The game will not astonish anyone graphically, but the optically slightly improved PC version looks good overall.

Days Gone can score points with a very chic, open game world including a high degree of foresight and a very detailed character representation. In addition, the artistic style is successful and creates an atmospheric atmosphere. In terms of lighting, detail density and animation quality, Days Gone clearly lags behind the PC version of Horizon Zero Dawn, which is actually two years older.

AMD and Nvidia are not on board

Days gone
Days Gone

Days Gone does not seem to participate in the AMD or Nvidia developer program; there are no graphics effects from either manufacturer in the game. Ray tracing (in the absence of DirectX 12) or Nvidia DLSS is also not supported.

Many standard graphics options

Days Gone’s graphics menu offers four different presets and individually adjustable options on the PC. In addition, there is an in-game down- and up-sampling, which can adjust the resolution in 1 percent steps between 10 and 200 percent. The latter is definitely to be welcomed, but there are no other comfort functions. Neither an FPS limiter nor more precise details about the individual graphics options can be found. On the positive side, any changes to the options are applied immediately and without delay in the game.

Presets with visible differences

Days Gone pc game
Days Gone

Days Gone offers four different graphic presets with “Very High”, “High”, “Medium” and “Low”, whereby “Very High” also represents the maximum possible graphic quality. There are clearly visible differences between all presets. Between “high” and “very high” this is obviously based on only one aspect: “very high” seems to use a completely different surrounding obscuration. This applies to significantly more objects than with the high preset. Furthermore, the high setting has the peculiarity of darkening some objects far too much, which appears unnatural. And the combination of the two properties then has a clear visual effect.

With the middle preset, too, the greatest differences can be seen in the obscuration of the surroundings. Because at this level it is simply switched off completely, which looks strange, especially with the numerous vegetation. In addition, the LOD works much more aggressively. Apart from that, there are hardly any differences. With the low preset, the surrounding obscuration can no longer be switched off, but the shadows can still be. And that’s the biggest difference. The high preset should therefore be used as a minimum, if possible. If the frame rate allows, “Very high” is to be preferred.

AMD and Nvidia graphics cards lose or gain different amounts of performance with the different settings. Anyone who switches back from “Very High” to “High” gains 30 percent performance on a GeForce RTX 3080, and 39 percent on a Radeon RX 6800 XT. The medium preset then brings a further boost of 12 percent each, the low setting again 25 and 20 percent.

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