Home Gaming Days Gone could be interesting one day, but it’s a little confusing right now

Days Gone could be interesting one day, but it’s a little confusing right now

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Sony Bend have been hidden from the public eye for years now, so I was personally excited at the chance to finally see what the in-house studio has been secretly cooking up for years at the Sony conference earlier in the week. Days Gone might have had a strangely lukewarm debut during the show, so you could say that I was at least looking for more reasons to be a little intrigued by the new PS4 exclusive after stepping into a room for an extended hands-off demo.

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A demo which did a little more pushing away than reeling in.

Days Gone puts you in the shoes of Deacon, a former biker gang member turned bounty hunter in a world that is still adapting to a cataclysmic event that has changed the landscape of civilization globally. Bend don’t go into detail as to what happened, but it doesn’t take much to guess how normal, functioning society rapidly turned into mindless, hungry creatures they’re calling Freakers. Not zombies, Freakers. There’s a difference (or so we were told).

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The demo itself veered only slightly from what was shown on stage at Sony’s conference, and the differences did a little to establish some of the different ways Deacon can deal with the seemingly endless horde of Freakers he finds himself suddenly in the middle of. The mindless horde is exactly that at the best of times, which allowed Deacon to shuffle their movements using the environment around him. Bringing down conveyor belts to block paths or simply ducking under low gaps to force a choke point, the freaker horde struggled to adapt to the more nimble movements of the protagonist, which gives you an edge in combat.

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Sometimes though, Deacon won’t have the intricacies of building layouts at his disposal, which means weapons and gadgets are the next best thing. At one point he pulls out a previously crafted airbag mine (Deacon can basically make anything he wants from salvaged parts, like that pistol silencer from a car oil can), and attaches it to a nearby stack of felled logs. As the horde approached the mine detonated with great effect, sending countless enemies flying and the rest crushed under the weight of the shifting mass, and still more freakers pressed on.

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It’s around this point where Days Gone started losing me a little, because there didn’t seem to be any real endgame in sight. Just like on stage, most of the demo time was spent showing different ways Deacon can deal with a admittedly impressive number of enemies, but it failed to really show why it’s even necessary. When you’re wasting hundreds upon hundreds of bullets on a force that seems to simply shrug it off, the meaning behind it gets muddier with each encounter. And by the end, which sees Deacon stranded atop a large metal storage drum and completely surrounded, it was hard to really see anything at all.

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I’m inclined to think a lot of it comes down to Sony Bend just not wanting to reveal too much too soon. They offered up some small details about the game’s dynamic open world, and even more so on the bond Deacon has with his almost companion-like motorcycle (which doubles up as your only inventory too). But there was just so much about Days Gone that remained a mystery to its own detriment.

Deacon himself seems like a man without motivation beyond his bounty hunting, which makes him a strangely hard sell to empathise with. I’m almost certain that there’s a backstory to his current line of work that should make players connect with him on a more personal level. But right now there’s just no way of knowing how he fits in this world, if he’s in any way connected to this event and just what his motivations are for hunting people in a world that has simply lost touch with civilization.

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And until more of it is fleshed out, it’s difficult to get excited over Days Gone over mechanics alone. There’s pieces of a game here that could sound very interesting if extrapolated on, especially if it plays to some of its strengths with crafting, open-world exploration and the constant fear of massive hordes of freakers. But sitting through a demo that is little more than stop start shooting without any real impact, as left me a little sour.

Last Updated: June 16, 2016

11 Comments

  1. Freakers, lol.

    Reply

  2. Jac7

    June 16, 2016 at 12:38

    Did we watch the same gameplay? It looked pretty awesome from my perspective. And bounty hunting seems like a cool way to kill time when the world ends, unlike Rick and the gang from the Walking Dead who want to do nothing more that grow potatoes.

    Reply

    • Geoffrey Tim

      June 16, 2016 at 13:07

      Well, no..you didnt.Alessandro is at E3, and has seen a bit more gameplay than was shown on stage or in the trailer. 😛

      Reply

      • Jac7

        June 16, 2016 at 13:12

        I know, simply a knee-jerk reaction because I’m slightly jealous that I’m not there.

        Reply

  3. Marc O Polo

    June 16, 2016 at 14:15

    Rumour is that it was put in cos they had to pull the red dead 3 reveal

    Reply

  4. HvR

    June 16, 2016 at 22:32

    They are called Freakers so that people can not say this is another Zombie killing game.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      June 17, 2016 at 07:28

      XD massive difference

      Reply

  5. Original Heretic

    June 17, 2016 at 08:29

    Hey, looks like a cool zombie killing game to me. Just hope there’s a cool story to go with it.

    Reply

  6. DarthDiggler

    June 17, 2016 at 19:19

    @Alessandro Barbosa

    like that pistol silencer from a car oil can

    They call that an oil filter.

    It’s around this point where Days Gone started losing me a little,
    because there didn’t seem to be any real endgame in sight. Just like on
    stage, most of the demo time was spent showing different ways Deacon can
    deal with a admittedly impressive number of enemies, but it failed to
    really show why it’s even necessary.

    Is this your first E3? LOL Seriously often developers just want to tease what they have been working on and showcase some technical prowess.

    I’m inclined to think a lot of it comes down to Sony Bend just not wanting to reveal too much too soon.

    Well thank you Captain Obvious! 🙂 Likely this game is at least a year off, I am betting more. It is likely not all the gameplay mechanisms have been flushed out and even more likely they are not 100% done with the plot. So why would a developer waste their time giving too much information on a project that is still very, very fluid? Right now they know they will have a guy on a bike and they know they will have tons of on screen bad guys. That is why the demo was as limited as it is. If they give up too much more information they are likely to say something that may not make it to the final cut.

    It seems we have many gamers these days that are very entitled brats. When things get cut there is a small riot on the internet about it. Sometimes developers receive death threats. I largely blame a very uninformed press that seems these days to be absolutely clueless to the process of game development or they play dumb in order to create click bait headlines because at the end of the day quality and accuracy doesn’t matter — just how many people visited the article. Any game that isn’t released is subject to change.

    This article falls a bit on the click-bait headline side. The author should have more expertise on this industry than to suggest that Sony Bend is confused about their own game because he didn’t understand the characters motivations and plot. Which was obviously under wraps for a very good reason.

    Deacon himself seems like a man without motivation beyond his bounty
    hunting, which makes him a strangely hard sell to empathise with. I’m
    almost certain that there’s a backstory to his current line of work that
    should make players connect with him on a more personal level. But
    right now there’s just no way of knowing how he fits in this world, if
    he’s in any way connected to this event and just what his motivations
    are for hunting people in a world that has simply lost touch with
    civilization.

    IMHO this paragraph spells it out plain and simple. The author just seems completely unaware that some initial game reveals do not tell a great deal of story.

    And until more of it is fleshed out, it’s difficult to get excited over Days Gone over mechanics alone.

    Hundreds of NPC characters on the screen at once is very impressive tech — ESPECIALLY in an open world engine! Perhaps you aren’t impressed with the technical aspects because the technical aspects are yet another arena you lack expertise in?

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion, it just seems much of what is said in this article comes off as someone who is just unaware of a great many things. The thing that really irks me though is you don’t even provide some of the basic information that would help establish that you were at E3. Pretty much everything you said could have been extrapolated from the video we have all seen and the additional videos showing some of the other ways to fight.

    What was the name of the person doing the demo for Sony Bend? You didn’t get a chance to ask any questions about the character? Likely they would have told you that they are keeping that close to the vest, but this article doesn’t seem to indicate you had any honest curiosity about those things and you just wanted to position those observations in a bad light, to generate controversy and generate page views. Some where I am sitting there seems to be a lack of expertise and even worse a lack of curiosity based on what was published in this article.

    Reply

    • DarthDiggler

      June 17, 2016 at 19:32

      Want to really be confused? Watch this…

      https://youtu.be/yC19PWQN6Hg

      Even less understanding about what this game is but the only article you guy shave about it simply call it weird. It is definitely way more confusing than Days Gone, but I am still interested. Kojima decided against a technical approach here and instead went for a a highly artistic and stylized cinematic approach.

      Who knows what the final game will look like.

      Reply

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