To most people, Sony’s latest IP Days Gone is another zombie apocalypse sandbox where the best way to survive being turned into an Atkins diet lunch is to play around with fight or flight mechanics. For me, Days Gone looks like the perfect E3 simulator, as it manages to capture the ferocity of a horde of mindless near-human creatures going berserk in uncanny detail. Sort of like what happens whenever bloggers at E3 smell blood in the air as a sacrificial game developer hands out free T-shirts on the show floor.
Thing is, you’re not fighting zombies in Days Gone. You’re fighting “Freakers”, actual living humans with an infection that drives them onwards and results in individual decision-making according to the world around them. “Every creature is different, they are a living type,” senior animator Emmanuel Roth said to GamesRadar+. “They have some needs and behave differently depending on the weather, the location.”
Which all comes down to the hordes, as the more open world is built to allow you to avoid large-scale confrontations until you’re ready for them, as senior artist Brian Pape explained, while keeping mum on just how big these Freaker mobs can get:
So what happens between running for your life and shouting expletives as loud as you can when a horde comes for you? Nobody knows, but you’re more than likely going to encounter smaller groups of Freakers, or even lone infected sub-humans wandering around. They are not weak … Maybe we dumbed them down a bit for the demo but they are not weak,” Roth said.
Days Gone is probably going to be out in 2017, as a PlayStation 4 exclusive. And since I’m a massive wimp, you can expect me to Long Gone before it arrives.