If you are wondering just what kind of PC you will need to run a generally good experience with Days Gone, you’ll be surprised, this is easily one of the most optimized games we have played.
Having launched earlier this week (Monday) on PC, Day’s Gone is bringing its once PlayStation 4 exclusive post-apocalyptic story about Deacon St. John, Boozer, and company to an entirely new audience, giving fans to experience the highly-beloved game a broader audience that can experience it once more.
Just like Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerrilla Games and Death Stranding from Kojima Productions, we see a few technical improvements from the latter two games, giving PC fans a chance to REALLY push their PC to the limits that they wish, and of course, uncapped framerates, allowing the game to run as smooth as butter if they wish.
For me, there wasn’t a big shift in how I feel about the game, I loved the story, which is undeniable thanks to my previous review of the game a couple of years back on PlayStation 4 with my PlayStation 4 Pro. The world was massive, beautiful, and every inch of it was filled with atmospheric details that really brought the setting to life, and I began to wonder, what would a PC version need to do in order to impress in a technical standpoint since it already did that with the rest?
“This game does a lot that others don’t, including ultra-wide monitor support, uncapped framerates“
Well, settings of course. As someone who doesn’t always game on PC, but when I do, I love having things cranked up and using PC exclusive features, I decided to take a gander at what the Display and Graphics Settings had to offer for my experience and that’s when it stood out: This game does a lot that others don’t, including ultra-wide monitor support, uncapped framerates, keyboard & mouse controls, as well as some enhanced graphical settings that consoles may not be capable (until PlayStation 5) of actually doing.
But before we really dive into the meat of things, the system requirements actually aren’t all that bad and our PC actually exceeds most of them, for the most part, but still hits a grind on the highest settings possible:
Days Gone minimum PC requirements
- CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K / AMD FX 6300
- RAM: 8GB
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 (3GB) / AMD Radeon R9 290 (4GB)
- DirectX: 11
- Storage: 70GB
- OS: Windows 10 (64-bit)
Days Gone recommended PC requirements
- CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
- RAM: 16GB
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB) / AMD Radeon RX 580 (8GB)
- DirectX: 11
- Storage: 70GB
- OS: Windows 10 (64-bit)
Now, this is where the PC settings actually become rather unique and highly appreciated. You see, I’m not used to having PC games that actively tell me what to expect from the world I will be playing in real-time, and how the game will handle that experience going forward.
A good chunk of this comes in through several things: Graphical Presets, Performance Overhead, and additional options for HDR, and other graphical features. Like any game, it does come with Low, Medium, High, and Very High defaults, which give you a good starting point to tweak with when you go into custom.
Motherboard: MSI Z270 M7 Game Ready Plus
GPU: MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Game Ready Plus
CPU: Intel I7-7700K 3.6GHz OCed to 4.2GHz
Cooling Unit: Cooler Master GTS V8
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB
HDD/SDs: 525GB Crucial SSD | Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM HDD
Case: Thermal V31 RGB Limited Edition Tempered Glass
The Render Scale, which actually tones the graphics up and done on how crisp and clean they actually are.
Since we got that cleared, you can see our computer isn’t anything to scoff at or even be amazed by. Compared to most PC gamers, this is actually considered a low-end PC, it can’t run Ray Tracing features, DLSS, or anything of the likes. It doesn’t go wiithout saying: We’re still getting a PlayStation 4-like experience here. That is interesting and rather impressive in its own right.
But what’s more interesting? Days Gone is actually unique in how its PC version has been built. Something we’ll touch on in my review as well, but I want to continue talking about the technical aspect since I’m astonished by this: You get real-time performance awareness from the game. We decided to see how Shadow Quality would effect the game, surprisingly enough, not much. So we cranked it up back to Very High. Render Scale is where it all comes into play alongside Lighting Quality.
It absolutely lets you know what framerates you will cap at and where the average framerate is at that time of graphical adjustments. The big part of graphical hitting? The Render Scale, which actually tones the graphics up and done on how crisp and clean they actually are.
You’ll see detail go up as the slider goes towards 200, but because we only have the recommended specs? We keep the scaling at 100. There we average between 45-50 FPS, riding the motorcycle, or even going through the deserts without a single hiccup. This includes moments where graphics are the most intensive such as large swarms or Copeland’s camp.
“It will actually tell you how much of your GPU that the game is actively using”
There’s a reason this is impressive: The game still looks like a PlayStation 4 title without even taking much of a graphical hit. Now, if you have the PC that can do it, the game doesn’t stop becoming even more breathtaking as you go. It’s absolutely captivating due to how much the world pops compared to what it would normally look like.
Now, it doesn’t stop there either. Bend Studio ensured that this port would work the best it could and there’s another feature I want to touch on very lightly: It will actually tell you how much of your GPU that the game is actively using, allowing you to gauge your experience based on that, and ultimately, ensuring that you don’t overload what your GPU can handle unless you don’t mind doing that kind of thing.
While this isn’t near as crazy as what id Software did with DOOM and DOOM Eternal, it’s still mindblowing, and honestly, we enjoy what they’ve done here. It’s quite astonishing when said and done. It’s still worth knowing that Days Gone from Bend Studio and Sony Interactive Entertainment is one of the best examples of graphical settings there is and it would be a damn shame if more developers and publishers didn’t follow along.
Stay tuned for our review of Days Gone on PC here in the upcoming days and a huge thank you to Sony for providing us with the opportunity that we have.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook today.