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Days Gone Director Blames 'Woke Reviewers' and Tech Issues for Mediocre Reviews

Days Gone Director Blames 'Woke Reviewers' and Tech Issues for Mediocre Reviews - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 07 December 2022 / 1,863 Views

The director and writer of Days Gone John Garvin via Twitter has outlined three reasons as to why the game had mediocre reviews. It has a 71 Metascore on Metacritic.

The first reason Garvin gave were the tech issues that included bugs, streaming, and framerate, while he also blamed reviewers who weren't bothered to play the game and that some were "woke reviewers."

"It had tech issues like bugs, streaming and frame rate," said Garvin. "It had reviewers who couldn’t be bothered to actually play the game. And three, it had woke reviewers who couldn’t handle a gruff white biker looking at his date’s ass."

"Woke" is a term that originally referred to social inequalities such as sexism, racism, and other forms of discrimination. More recently it has been used by conservatives as primarily an insult and is used to criticize liberals by accusing them of using cancel culture.

Garvin last year speaking with game designer David Jaffe on Jaffe's YouTube Show said that if you like a game you should but it at full price and that if you don't do that you shouldn't complain if it doesn't get a sequel. 

"I do have an opinion on something that your audience may find of interest, and it might piss some of them off," said Garvin at the time. "If you love a game, buy it at f***ing full price. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen gamers say 'yeah, I got that on sale, I got it through PS Plus, whatever.'"


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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53 Comments
Jumpin (on 07 December 2022)

Woke reviewers, Illuminati, AND The Nazis!

  • +11
hinch (on 07 December 2022)

Putting in the blame game isn't a good look, or that professional.

Maybe the game isn't as good as he thinks it is.

  • +10
method114 hinch (on 07 December 2022)

For both PC and PS4 the metacritic score is over a full point higher with users reviews than it is for pro reviewers. Users gave it an 8.8 and 8.4. I personally read a reviewer complaining about the MC being white

  • +3
TheWalrusCaesar method114 (on 07 December 2022)

If u trust user reviews u are equally an idiot lol

  • +1
method114 TheWalrusCaesar (on 07 December 2022)

I've trusted user reviews ever since BF4 when no pro reviewer mentioned that the game had constant lag on release. It wasn't fixed for 6 months and the game was scoring in the 8's. So far I haven't been lead astray except for a game here and there and that was mainly due to the game just not being for me.

  • 0
scrapking method114 (on 07 December 2022)

Lag online? Often the pre-release online experience is better, as only the developer and reviewers are playing it.

  • +1
method114 scrapking (on 07 December 2022)

Then professional reviewers should have went back and updated their review. At the very least they shouldn't be doing reviews when a game isn't live in the first place then. Either way it's an issue on their end.

  • -2
scrapking method114 (on 07 December 2022)

I half agree with you. I think follow-ups on reviews are a good thing. However, I sympathize with a reviewer wanting to have some kind of a review in time for the game's release, for people trying to decide on whether to buy it day 1 or not.

  • +4
Mystro-Sama (on 07 December 2022)

"Trust me guys, its the woke left that made my game a piece of shit and a technical mess."

  • +8
Signalstar (on 07 December 2022)

Somebody call the wambulance. What a snowflak. You admit you shipped your game with obvious bugs and tech issues and you're stigoing to try to deflect criticism m I plan on playing the game eventually. I hope this guy has departed from Bend.

  • +8
Runa216 (on 07 December 2022)

Bro, game was mid. Get over it. Jesus, every failure is 'the libs' or 'woke mobs' or whatever. So sick of this permeating idea that people actually caring about their fellow man and the environment that surrounds them makes them bad.

  • +5
gtotheunit91 (on 07 December 2022)

Really?? Only negative things I ever read when the game launched was reason number 1 lol.

I got it on PC earlier this year and I thought it was pretty good

  • +4
method114 gtotheunit91 (on 07 December 2022)

I loved the game and when I asked someone about the bad reviews who recommended it to me they linked me to a reviewer complained about it being "another white protagonist". I think it was Kotaku.

  • +2
Doctor_MG method114 (on 07 December 2022)

I actually think that was a preview from IGN. Not a review. Their review doesn't mention that at all iirc

Kotaku is a whole other level with regard to complaining about random stuff, like Bayonetta not being LGBT in Bayo 3. That said, I don't think their reviews are even numbered these days, and they are an outlier.

  • +3
gtotheunit91 Doctor_MG (on 07 December 2022)

You're kidding.........I knew I never read Kotaku articles for a good reason

  • +1
Doctor_MG gtotheunit91 (on 07 December 2022)

Yeah, I didn't believe that's what they said either until I read it. Definitely save your clicks for other reviews. Kotaku is after a different crowd.

  • +3
DonFerrari gtotheunit91 (on 07 December 2022)

Do you think a reviewer would say "I didn't play the game so score 4/10"?
And on the time of release there were plenty of reports of outlets bashing the game for being opposite to their political spectrum.

  • +1
coolbeans (on 07 December 2022)

-"More recently [woke] has been used by conservatives as primarily an insult and is used to criticize liberals by accusing them of using cancel culture."

I kinda contend with limiting it down to that, partially because I believe Garvin identifies as a pretty hardcore liberal. When Bill Maher can spend countless New Rules over some new "woke" item in the news, it's tough to see a clear conservative/liberal dividing line. Anyways...

At first, I threw the woke/SJW accusation out after reading the few reviews directed my way. Now? Eh... he's not totally wrong, but he's exaggerating those points to an unfair degree. For #2, he's relying on Sam Witwer's testimony of reading ONE review (that's never named) showing signs of the writer not reaching the late game: no single mention of Freaker Horde gameplay & what I assume are plot-related tells. #3 is more complicated because it's combining a few review snippets, additional commentary outside of one review, and snippets from various site writers.

https://old.reddit.com/r/DaysGone/comments/nfg1rj/i_am_sam_witwer_i_play_deacon_st_john_also_i/
https://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/bhrpbd/days_gone_are_they_at_it_again_or_is_it_actually/

Not all of this reaches Garvin's threshold, but there is this weird fixation on a few choice aspects. I still don't follow Gamespot reviewer Kallie Plagge's implied discomfort over... a girlfriend showing off her ass to her boyfriend? Like... it's just basic relationship fun between adults lol. I'm not sure how else to read that when tied with her scathing review. Plus, a couple odd sprinklings of this "sigh... another white male protag" attitude. He's still painting with too broad of a brush.

A part of me gets his venting too. I can't imagine it being easy to pour 5 years of work into a big game and notice these weird fixations among some popular critics. It doesn't suggest his work was getting a fair shake. Still, it's not the appropriate response.

  • +2
pitzy272 coolbeans (on 07 December 2022)

Great, fair, balanced response.

Article author was definitely too reductive in their explanation of woke. I would say that “woke” is appropriately used to explain liberal extremism. I’m an independent who believes in gay marriage, adult transgenderism, and other primarily liberal social views, but I can’t stand the liberal extremism that gets thrown around. Example: Transgenderism in adults is a reasonable concept, backed by research, and should be allowed in our free country. But then they say children as young as 6yo should be able to make this decision, and that individuals generally <18yo should be able to make decisions to permanently alter their bodies; yet, a person can’t even be tried for crimes as an adult until 18. It’s so preposterous, it seems like it must be a joke. This is the type of liberal extremism, not backed by science, logic, or reason, that frustrates people. And ultimately, it’s political extremism on both sides that is so severely dividing us and creating anger and even hatred of the “other side.”

  • +4
coolbeans pitzy272 (on 08 December 2022)

Appreciate it, pitzy. Even then, I'm not a fan of ceding the term as some kind of super-liberalism because it's giving it too much credit. At times, it feels closer to a type of attitude than a formal ideology; like a preening progressivism fueled by undeserved validation or petty vindictiveness. A good example that taps into how I see it would be Malcolm Gladwell in a recent Munk Debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vkgROIINEs

Matt Taibi: "We need to return to the 1950's era of journalism. You know, of Walter Kronkite and being more neutral while hearing out more people. That's why there's no trust with these institutions today."

Gladwell: "Hmm... I noticed you've brought up the 1950's in your argument. I'm surprised you're happy to go back to a time where blacks, women, gays, etc. didn't have as much of a voice. Very curious..."

It's weird b/c he's written some solid books. Couldn't believe seeing him fit the term of woke asshole so well.

  • +2
pitzy272 coolbeans (on 28 December 2022)

Yep, behavior like this is insufferable. It’s severely manipulative and stifles conversation and civil discourse. It’s been one of the major contributors to the division in our country.

  • +2
Chazore (on 07 December 2022)

This is not how you get a sequel, and because of this, I doubt anyone is going to take him seriously anymore.

Fr I do not remember anyone in the reviews talking about how bad it was that the main character was staring at his gf's ass, like not even once.

Maybe Kotaku posted some stupid shit like that, but I just can't see points like that being brought up in other review outlets.

  • +2
pikashoe (on 07 December 2022)

From what I played even discounting the technical issues the game was pretty mediocre, well below the usual standard for Sony games. Even then I consider most recent Sony games to be solid but rarely amazing.

  • +2
DonFerrari pikashoe (on 07 December 2022)

It done some cool stuff that differentiate itself, but not enough to garn good reputation and have demand for sequel.

  • +1
ClassicGamingWizzz (on 07 December 2022)

Dude is deep in nft gaming, is next game if ever releases will fail.
Game was average, didnt even finish it

  • +2
Leynos (on 07 December 2022)

You made a mediocre game that is the most generic shit there is. I will take a quote form your own mediocre generic white man protag. "Go to hell!"

  • +2
mjk45 Leynos (on 07 December 2022)

They must have agreed since the studio higher ups decided not to pitch for a sequel although the moaners seem to change the narrative by making out that a later pitch for a open world Resistance is the same thing and for those who think gee this is old news and so late Garvin must have just woke up (pun intended) he 's been on this salt laden trail for years , what did he expect Sony already had the genre covered with Tlou and they felt the time and resources could be better spent by having Bend look at doing something else after helping out ND.

  • +1
KrspaceT (on 07 December 2022)

Didn't Boss Key do the same thing after they crashed and burned?

Look man, you had your shot, it didn't work out, and now you exist as an example Nintendo gamers can point to about why price drops aren't necessarily good for a games long term success. That is your legacy, you should keep it that way and not go down the path of blaming the nebulous 'woke'.

  • +1
LudicrousSpeed (on 07 December 2022)

Nah, game was just painfully meh. I got a free copy from Sony and still barely got into it any of the three times I tried.

Maybe when I eventually get a PS5, if they do a PS5 update I’ll try again.

  • +1
DonFerrari LudicrousSpeed (on 07 December 2022)

I may be wrong, but I saw posted around that it plays very well on PS5, but haven't gotten around to try it, had a lot of better games on line before that.

  • +1
Otter (on 07 December 2022)

As far as the "woke" reviews go, it would of done them a lot of favours to not have such a generic character and set up. Lots of people felt the game didn't stand out through its setting and characters. Some of the reviews may have politicised it a little but essentially the core point was true. It feels generic and we have some forgettable lead who looks like a love child of Nathan Drake and Joel.

  • +1
Dante9 Otter (on 08 December 2022)

Generic? I don't think I have ever played another game where I play as a biker gang member. Or is white and straight too generic nowadays?

  • 0
SquidLord (on 07 December 2022)

The game didn't even sell that bad. It didn't even review that bad! It has a fan base, even. Though, all the Days Gone fans I know will acknowledge the game's flaws, and that Deacon is kind of a dork ass loser. The game had issues, and reviews reflected that. Sales reflected that too, by not being the blockbuster that Sony wanted. John has no fucking idea what he's talking about. It wasn't 'the wokes' that killed the game because his protagonist looks like he belongs in a 2008 PS3 game. He shipped a game with flaws, which received an entirely deserved proportional response.

  • 0
mjk45 SquidLord (on 07 December 2022)

Exactly and Sony already had the genre well catered for by a superior post apocalyptic pandemic game with far better characterisation.

  • 0
SquidLord mjk45 (on 08 December 2022)

Honestly I like plenty of games with huge flaws and middling reception. I don't dislike Days Gone at all, and I'm disappointed the pitch for a sequel was denied on the grounds of critical reception of the first. That said, it also suffers from open world bloat like most Sony games have for the past five or so years. I don't think Last of Us replaces the niche they were going for just because it's a third person shooter with zombies.

  • 0
mjk45 SquidLord (on 08 December 2022)

The denial of a sequel is really muddied ground, firstly the word was going around that Sony knocked it back then it was it wasn't Sony it was Bends upper management that didn't support a sequel, followed by these guys saying they pitched an open world Resistance game that Sony knocked back , the mention of Tlou demonstrates a number of things one being that Bend couldn't point to the value of having a game that helps fill out a missing part of Sony's 1st party library, two it a reminder of the strength of those other 1st party studios and games aren't made in a vacuum and prioritisation exists regarding first party funding, that then leads to looking at value for money and how much growth did they see a sequel having compared to other possibilities .

  • 0
DonFerrari (on 07 December 2022)

He isn't wrong, the three indeed happen and the game is good imho. But when even on what is under your control, meaning delivery of a game without technical issues you failed, then blaming the reviewers for their political agenda doesn't help at all (and anyone that scored without playing is a moron).
Also agree that game not getting enough revenue will have hard time getting a sequel, so if you didn't contribute to its success you have little power on complaining about lack of sequel.

  • 0
mjk45 DonFerrari (on 07 December 2022)

The fact is with Tlou Sony's has the post apocalyptical pandemic genre covered and with many first party games being more critically and financially successful the best allocation of first party resources comes into play and in this case because of reasons like those above Days Gone 2 wasn't seen as the best use of those resources it not like they canned the Studio after all they are working on a open world game.

  • 0
DonFerrari mjk45 (on 07 December 2022)

Worse yet is that their own management saw it was better to make another IP than a sequel, Sony didn't even got to veto the sequel. So it is just individual frustration instead of whole team being upset (as far as we know at least).

  • 0
SecondWar (on 07 December 2022)

‘Woke’ has just become a buzzword to lazily slander anyone who disagrees with you. It is run of the mill in politics, but it’s actually pretty sad to see someone use it in this context.

  • 0
rapsuperstar31 (on 07 December 2022)

The game was okay, I had some fun with it years later. I wouldn't say it's a must play by any means, but there is fun to be had there. Those that worked on the game, seem to blame everyone but themselves on the game.

  • 0
DonFerrari rapsuperstar31 (on 07 December 2022)

It is mostly the 2 directors that think they wronged by the company.

  • 0
mjk45 DonFerrari (on 07 December 2022)

They are most likely upset by the claim at the end of the game that states that no Egos where harmed by the making of this game.

  • +1
DonFerrari mjk45 (on 07 December 2022)

That is likely, from what we hear they were let go of the studio because they were poor teamworkers/managers.

  • 0
Bandorr (on 07 December 2022)

So that's why this is trending lol.
I heard the gameplay was bad at the beginning. Didn't it get a lot of updates?

  • -1
method114 Bandorr (on 07 December 2022)

I bought it when it was like $20. No technical issues. Overall game is very very generic at first. It slowly starts to open up though into a great game. Deep characters and interesting story overall. The ending I thought was a great cliff hanger.

  • +2
Leynos Bandorr (on 07 December 2022)

If you played Mad Max and other zombie end of the world games. You played this already. It's the most generic thing made in the last decade by a AAA publisher

  • -2
the-pi-guy Bandorr (on 07 December 2022)

I heard it was really buggy at first.
I've also heard complaints that the game doesn't really get to be great until you're like 30 hours in.

  • +3
DonFerrari Bandorr (on 07 December 2022)

I don't know if I played close to release or not, but I don't remember having many bugs when I played, so most likely it was a few months after since the complains about bugs was really prevalent. That may be the reason why my personal score for the title is so much above reviewers (and likely if they had delivered the game smooth it could had been a full 10 points higher or more).

  • +1
Azzanation (on 07 December 2022)

Who cares about the reviews, if it sold well enough and fans enjoyed it, make a bloody sequel. If Sony is stopping the funding of the sequel because of review scores than their is a bigger problem.

  • -2
LivncA_Dis3 (on 07 December 2022)

Fcken Nintendo gamefreak and the pokemon company gets a free pass with their ridiculous amount of glitch and bugs,

Back to back mind you with sword and shield + scarlet violet.

They should've been crucified just like cyberpunk 2077

  • -2
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