The core problem here is that the understanding of “edgy” held by people like John Garvin hasn’t actually been edgy for three decades if not more - and that the core idea is to reach “good game” through “edgy game”, as the fiction of the gameworld and the gameplay possible within that world are intrinsically tied together. The game is, at least in part, generic and tedious precisely because they’ve created a world in which the enactment of a “whoa, zombies are cool, dude” version of hyper-stereotypical gruff biker masculinity is afforded.
This failure of recognition of the world changing fundamentally precludes them from making the game good, as they think already think that’s what they’re doing. The fundamentally reactionary boringness of the game’s fiction makes it impossible for the game to surpass the level of ‘meh’ - even if gameplay was more fun and less mediocre (which would be very difficult given the ludonarrative framing of the game) there’d always be the nagging feeling of things just being off (unless you live in the 1960s like Garvin apparently does). On the other hand, actually being edgy isn’t necessarily enough for the game to be good either - but at least that might make it interesting, and would lend the game a contrast between edgy fiction/worldbuilding and mediocre gameplay rather than just being all-round meh.
While I understand your sentiment, Bend Studio has since distanced themselves from the opinion of the former director. The only instance that I personally believe you cannot “separate art from its creator” would be where there’s only one creator involved. For instance the creator of Dilbert, Scott Adams. I used to enjoy Dilbert until I found out that the creator was a nutjob.
The “former” director for “Days Gone” isn’t the sole person responsible for the game. Seeing how Bend Studio doesn’t take his stance makes me feel fine about enjoying and even recommending the game to others.
that’s a very corporate side stepping of the issue. they say the problem was his statement about the “critical reception” but what part do they mean? it’s intentionally vague
if they’d wanted to stand up for progressive ideals and, say, declare themselves as anti-racist, they could have. they could have touted their own diversity ( if they have a diverse staff ), or the desire to elevate non cis white conservative male voices. and they didn’t
i do agree that a game typically is more than just one person, and there might have been other creative voices in the mix. a sequel might jettison his baggage though the statement makes it seem unlikely. time will tell i guess
I love the game, especially for its story, setting and characters. And I’ve never seen the protagonist as anything but a damaged fool who is steered away from his hypermasculine biker delusions by a series of (un)fortunate events and a slew of friends he didn’t deserve.