Bend Studio’s open world zombie shooter Days Gone was a genuine surprise at E3 this year. Almost everything else at the show had been leaked, and while we knew the studio had something on the way, no one was expecting anything of this scale or technical level.
The game places itself in a post-apocalypse world full of diseased, feral humans (not strictly zombies in the undead sense) as you play a character called Deacon - a biker turned bounty hunter with a shadow on his past trying to make a life in whatever’s left of civilisation.
It’s an incredible looking game, with beautiful forests shown off so far and zombie hordes numbering in their hundreds. Here’s everything we know about it to date.
Currently TBC Days Gone is looking likely for a 2017 release
Days Gone is is set in a true open world, with objectives you can pick and choose. Bend has been talking about how you might chose not to do a mission until you’re better prepared for it - which suggests much of the world will be accessible as a result of your abilities and skills as you progress, rather than a gated level progression. The action we’ve seen so far is a very action orientated shooter, although stealth is also an option. So expect to have a range of choices depending on how you play.
This is a very story lead game focused on Deacon, a former biker who, post-apocalypse, has becomes a bounty hunter. Bend is heavily hinting at a troubled past, with flashbacks showing a girlfriend in happier, less likely to be eaten, times. She not around when the game starts and clearly whatever happened will play big part in Deacon's character and story.
Days Gone’s monsters aren’t traditional zombies in the undead people-eating sense. They do eat people, but that’s because a strange virus turned them into feral animals. And there's a lot of them, with the game demonstrating hordes in their hundreds to be dealt with using guns, environmental kills, obstacles and good old fashioned running away. We’ve seen two types so far the basic model - fast runners prone to lots of biting - and Newts. The latter are adolescents that seem to like lurking and jumping on people’s backs. We’re promised a range of behaviours from these creatures based on needs and reactions.
Days Gone takes place in an as yet unspecified Northwest region of America. The area’s been specifically picked for its potential to provide a range of potential environments from mountain ranges to deserts, as well as the forest we’ve seen so far. Abandoned towns and suburbs are also on the cards, with the promise of a range of different weather to vary things up.
A biker with a bike. Who would have thought it? It’s more than just a set of wheels though as it’s Deacon’s mobile base, rolling inventory and window into the world. You can’t change vehicles in Day Gone, it’s the bike all the way. It's where you can load up on gear, get around and presumably manage all the little things a post-apocalyptic survivor needs to worry about.
So far, the extent of Deacon's Crafting skills have involved sticking an oil filter on a gun and calling it a silencer. The game is promising way more than that though, with Bend hinting that your options, plans and progress could be deeply linked to what you can scavenge and make. This could be something that really sets Days Gone apart if it can offer up enough options - the world is already offering a wealth of routes and choices, if you can build a ton of mission altering extras on top of that, then who knows what you could get up.