Saturday, June 24, 2017
'[The world of Days gone] is a very dangerous place and we’re trying to push that as hard as we can. A lot of open worlds have all these elements that you need to go out and explore — and we still have that — but we’re also bringing things to you.' That was one of the first things a developer at Bend told us when we sat down to watch a demo of the upcoming zombie survival nightmare, Days Gone.
It’s a statement of intent. Days Gone doesn’t just want to be another open world game where begrudging players explore drearily try to clear off every icon on the map. It wants you to feel the threat this Pacific North-Western place has. There are undead everywhere, there are raiders that’d rather see you dead than survive, and there are mutated animals that are just outright savage. All of this is always a threat, and Bend wants to make that very, very clear.
The demo we were shown was very similar to the E3 gameplay trailer that was launched at the Sony presser, but Deacon St. John clocked the clothesline that would have knocked him off his bike this time around and pulled off to the side of the road and brutally ambushed the two marauders that would’ve had his bike and his life.
It was a clear example of how a lot of the events that go down in Days Gone aren’t scripted. There are apparently a multitude of ways to deal with every threat, and that was made clear by how stealthily and brutally Deacon dispatched his foes this time around. That did bring up a slight issue for us, though: Deacon’s enemies begged for their life before he executed them in a very desperate way. We can’t remember the last time we heard that done so harrowingly in the game, and whilst it’s a bit off-putting, it just goes to show how brutal life out here in this new wasteland is.
It also says quite a lot about Deacon’s character. “We haven’t said too much about the story yet, but it is a very big part of the game,” our Bend rep told us. “We start the game with Deacon, and he’s gone through a lot of hardship, he’s lost an awful lot, he’s a heart-broken, angry person. And the story is going to be about exploring him and how he changes as he moves through the world.” Bend told us that one of the main themes in the game is hope - and that suggest to us that maybe we’re going to see Deacon evolve, turn from this outlaw mercenary into something softer, more human, despite the decaying world around him.
Deacon doesn’t exist as a singular entity - he has a small community that he’s a part of and he cherishes his identity as an outlaw. To that end, his motorbike is a pretty big deal in the game, too, and it’s another way Bend is messing with the open world conventions we’ve all become so familiar with. “The motorbike is a huge part of the game. We’re treating it as a part of Deacon,” our Bend rep explained.”He’s crafted it himself over the past two years, and because it’s a survival-based game, you’ll have to keep it maintained, think about fuel and all that kind of thing.”
It’s different from a lot of open world vehicles because you simply won’t be able to use this bike, ditch it, then pick up another one somewhere else - this is a part of Deacon’s personality, and it’s vital to his survival. You need to look after it - you can’t just leave it somewhere and magically expect to pick it up again later. Weirdly, the thing it put us in mind of most is the Regalia from Final Fantasy XV - make of that what you will.
Days Gone looks like it’ll offer something different to the myriad zombie games that already proliferate the market. If Bend’s claims that this open world really will react like they say and come to you are true, then we could have something special on our hands. If not, though, it’s possible Days Gone could just be another one of the many open world survival games out there. From what we’ve seen so far, however, we have faith.
Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 03:32 PM
Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 04:42 PM
Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 11:15 PM
Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 03:19 AM
Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 09:03 AM
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Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 03:14 AM
Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 07:43 AM
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Saturday, July 01, 2017 @ 10:55 AM
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