I’m not old school like the coaches and GMs that still make up a large part of the NHL, but I’m old school in that I grew up in the 80s and 90s and value hard hockey played the right way over flashy dekes you might see once a season. I love dekes as much as the next person, but not at the expense of solid core gameplay. EA Vancouver tried to sell dekes, cosmetics, and the idea of being a superstar, but what resonated with me, an old-school hockey guy, were the core gameplay improvements.
It’s a fine game under any circumstances, but it’s a top-notch RPG with heavy consequences at almost every turn for those that are willing to immerse themselves. The Outer Worlds doesn’t tell you a story, it gives you a world full of interesting characters and asks you to tell your own.
There is no doubt in my mind that six months from now Breakpoint will be a more playable game. Ubisoft Paris will iron out the bugs, bring back AI teammates, concede to player demands on some design, and tweak the experience to be more playable. However, this is the Breakpoint that was offered up on release, and it’s a mess.
Like a biker, though, Days Gone lacks a certain level of polish. It took me a long time to care about the story that was being told and the characters in it, and it always felt just a bit out of sync for me. I think that’s partly due to the world not feeling very welcoming, which may have been intentional, but robbed me of that precious exploration and downtime that open-world games should offer.