A new open-world 'post-civilization' zombie game featuring a biker, his motorcycle, ragtag survivors and some serious undead freaks.
UPDATE (14/07/2017): 'Alternate Playthrough E3 2017' trailer released revealing dynamic weather and events altering mission gameplay.
Release & Essentials
• Release: TBA 2018
• Platform: PlayStation 4 (Exclusive)
• Genre: Action
• Developer/Publisher: Bend Studio / Sony
Outlaw Deacon St. John
Former outlaw biker Deacon St. John is the 'anti-hero' in Days Gone. In this post-apocalyptic setting against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, Deacon styles himself a bounty hunter trying to survive the harsh new reality that mankind could be on its last gasp.
Humans have become monsters known as Freakers that hunt in large hordes and relentlessly pursue the living wherever they sense them. Deacon fights against these as well as the scheming survivors to secure resources but he's also looking for a reason to keep fighting.
As a drifter Deacon doesn't hold much allegiance with anyone but himself but from the latest gameplay revealed by Sony he does recognise some people are a little too valuable to lose in the world. While much about Deacon's own history remains shrouded for now it does seem the Freaker incident has ravage his personal life. Someone named 'Phoebe' was important to him and is now dead with Deacon embracing the lone wolf lifestyle of a mercenary.
Deacon seems disillusioned over what 'brotherhood used to mean' which suggests he's lost a lot of his faith in fellow humans following a breakdown in trust. This could be hinting at a major series of problems his former motorcycle club went through during the Freaker outbreak.
Freakers Flow Like Water
The 'zombie' in Days Gone doesn't seem to be your usual shuffler who just wants a bite of everything. These Freakers are in fact a much deadlier proposition to try and survive day-to-day. For one thing they're quite capable of picking up speed quickly and tend to gather in large numbers. Really large numbers.
If you've seen any of the footage so far of the game then you'll notice the Freakers flow almost like a river once they get going and especially if they're after someone. They burst through any weakness in a defense and just overwhelm in sheer numbers. They almost act as one together as they flow around environments. The lumberyard E3 2016 demo for example showed as many as a hundred relentlessly pursing Deacon as he traversed his way to safety and tried to stem the tide along the way.
Freakers can be manipulated to do your dirty work when it comes to human scavengers. Loud noises draw them and once the frenzy begins they seem to then draw even more in and they can be attracted from quite a distance. E3 2017's footage showed an explosive charge used to blow fencing open which also got the attention of a large gathering which burst through the new hole and then butchered their way through a camp so Deacon could rescue a friend.
It's not just humans who seem to be infected by the deadly virus as apparently wildlife can become Freakers too.
Sanctuaries and Survivors
This open world has some safe spots to take refuge in, or at least one anyway, where Deacon can rest up and resupply. Doubtlessly this while be a major source of story and missions to undertake. It will also be a place to keep your bike in order. We also manage gear and the game has a crafting system so we'll be scavenging for new parts. Examples include picking over a car to modify a pistol.
Human survivors are also a source of danger in Days Gone but can be manipulated much like the Freakers. The E3 2017 footage showed this when a scavenger was lured into some tall grass where a bear trap was waiting. Now the bear trap is hardly going to take down the camp itself but the man's cries for help was what Deacon was actually after. It drew away other survivors but also called in a Freaker horde while he moved on.
Dynamics And Alternatives
An alternate playthrough trailer for the E3 2017 gameplay demo was released by Bend Studio showing how dramatically different a mission or even a stroll outside of camp can be, depending on the circumstances of weather and roaming threats. The weather can shift from a clear crisp day, to a downpour and to snow. The video is narrated by Creative Director John Garvin and actor Sam Witwer who plays Deacon.
There isn't a rigid set way to approach a certain objective as we are free to explore more creative means, or go for a more direct and brutal approach. We see more varied gameplay in action in this playthrough as there's no swarm Deacon uses to 'do the work for him', but instead he uses the "strategic sandbox combat" of stealth, crafting, traps and a selection of weaponry.
Be sure to check back as Bend Studio continues work on Days Gone and reveals more.