Days Gone was a frustrating reveal for me personally. Last year the game was revealed with a lengthy demo that showed Deacon desperately fighting for survival against an unimaginable number of Freakers (what Days Gone are calling their zombies).
This year we saw some of the open world and some of the things that can happen as Deacon motors around on his bike. It looked like more of the same, but from a stealthier perspective and against Human enemies. Yes it was cool that Deacon could use Freaker swarms against the Human antagonists, but it didn’t look too special.
That’s because Sony Bend were trying to showcase something that’s incredibly difficult to actually show off effectively – a completely dynamic open world.
An alternative look at the same demo, which was shown behind closed doors, showed some big differences to the events that transpired and offered a glimpse into how the world of Days Gone works.
Human enemies will lay traps for Deacon, such as the one he ran into in the showcase demo. That only happened because his (and presumably the players) attention was taken by the dogs that were chasing him. Had he been paying attention he might have seen the trap. In the alternate demo Deacon goes around it, sneaks up on the Marauders and takes them out without driving full force into the tripwire.
The dynamism will drive everything that happens in the open world. Freakers react differently depending on the weather – they’re faster and deadlier in cold weather, for example. Meaning that you’ll need to change your tactics up depending on what the weather is doing.
Whether you’re confronting a few lone Freakers, a swarm (what we saw in Tuesday’s showcase) or a Horde (what we saw last year), the best option is stealth and evasion. Or drive them towards your enemies and sneak by in the chaos. If you do end up drawing the attention of a large number of Freakers, however, Sony Bend have some great advice for you:
“You just do what Deacon did last year – you run for your life.”
Days Gone is coming exclusively to Playstation 4 with an as yet unannounced release date.