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Days Gone on PS4: The Origin of an Antihero

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Days Gone on PS4: The Origin of an Antihero

At E3 last week, SIE Bend Studio unveiled its brand new PS4 game Days Gone. A brutal, post-apocalyptic open-world adventure, Days Gone follows the story of Deacon St. John — a drifter and bounty hunter eking out his existence in the High Desert of the Pacific Northwest.

We caught up with the development team backstage in Los Angeles to find out a little bit more about its main protagonist and why his background is so important to the game.

If there’s one thing the team at Bend is keen to impart about the universe it’s crafting, it’s the uncompromising, dog-eat-dog nature of things. “Desperate people do what desperate people need to do to survive,” creative director Ron Allen explains.

“In most open world games, when there’s danger, it’s usually because you’ve brought it on yourself. Days Gone is a dangerous world — always.”

Watching a horde of infected “Freakers” pour over the environment in the extended demo shown on stage at the PlayStation E3 press conference, we’re left in little doubt as to what he’s getting at.

“Pretty much any of the survivors of the pandemic had to have a certain something about them — the appropriate skills to steal, kill and survive in a harsh world,” he continues.

“If you didn’t know from the kutt on his back, in his previous life, Deacon St. John was the MC of a motorcycle gang. He learned a lot from being part of that group, and that’s helped him survive.”

Days Gone for PS4Days Gone for PS4

The team doesn’t flinch from its protagonist’s anti-hero persona. “He’s a dangerous guy. He’s using his skills where he can — his appetite for violence and mayhem help him excel at his job.”

“He can find things out in the field and create better tools. For example, you’ll see he’s actually threaded the barrel of his pistol with the same thread pattern as an oil filter, so if he finds oil filters out in the world he can screw them on and it’ll allow him a couple of suppressed shots.”

We ask him how much of a role Deacon’s vehicle of choice — a muddied, off-road, dirt bike — plays in the game.

“The motorcycle plays a huge, huge part,” he assures us.

“It’s extremely nimble — a car can’t fit into certain spaces, and can’t do certain things a motorcycle can do. It’s not the normal biker gang motorcycle. He’s adapted this thing to work in the wild. There’s no way you’re going to pull off jumps or cross the kind of terrain you saw here on a Harley-style bike.

Allen explains that not only can you store extra items on your bike, it’s also your primary means for traversing the game world and, of course, escaping from those aforementioned Freakers.

Despite the team’s insistence on an uncompromising world, Ron is anxious to share Bend’s deeper ambitions for Deacon and his story.

Days Gone for PS4

“It’s about the human condition — this guy’s a broken man,” the creative director explains.

“A lot of us are motorcycle riders. It’s a really vibrant culture. It’s often associated with criminals, mayhem, and violence, but it’s also about brotherhood and family. Because Deacon has suffered so much loss he holds on to that aspect of his past, and cherishes those relationships. It’s about him finding himself, because he no longer has his motorcycle gang.”

We’ll have more on Bend Studio’s exciting new project as development progresses.

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43 Comments

  • Really, really looking forward to this game. I loved Syphon Filter and Golden Abyss!

    • Dang, that’s pretty sweet. I’m still working a dayjob like a pleb

    • iamtylerdurden1

      The visuals were extremely impressive for an open world game. Ppl need to realize The Last of Us was linear, Days Gone is open world.

      Sounds like the crafting is deep, i’m so excited for Days Gone.

  • EnigmaNemesis

    This was the biggest surprise for me at E3. I am digging the mood/setting. Sons of Anarchy post Apoc, meets WWZ/TLoU vibes. Stoked to hear more about this as time goes on. Fantastic details on the portag’s cut as well.

  • Pound_lb003

    Please don’t try and tell a story about the human condition, and what a broken man he is, in a zombie infested, post apocalyptic world.

    Because we already had that, and it won’t be better than The Last of Us.

    This game needs to differentiate itself somehow.

    • PanTheMan16

      The arcadey gun-play certainly differentiates it from TLoU.

    • CrusaderForever

      Did you see that Horde technology?! That differentiates it enough for me. Seeing them clog up and bunch up to the point they are able to climb over each other is spectacular! Also, these seem to be infected not zombies. They go down like normal humans from gun fire.

    • And how do you know that? You work with Sony Bend? Please take your BS somewhere else, and not on the blog.

    • @Rezznak Sony Bend said they are not zombies. They don’t act like zombies and they don’t die like zombies.

    • Everything they said screams TLOU. Will wait n see though.

    • @keegs I’m not disputing that. I was responding to POUND. K? Got it?

    • iamtylerdurden1

      Days Gone is open world – TLoU was linear

      Days Gone is a solo adventure – TLoU was a buddy story

      Days Gone features vehicles (heavily) – TLoU did not

      Days Gone features horde style combat – TLoU featured mostly stealth

      The only similarity is that they are both gorgeous 3rd person post apocalyptic games. Even if it was similar to TLoU, is that such a bad thing? Days Gone looks awesome.

    • turbowarner2015

      What day this game will come out??

      Because most of the games will come on 2017 or november,but I dont whant to wait if I could paid estra for this game I will I just need to know where can I get it and what day will come out??

  • Another story about the human condition starring a broken man on a zombie infested world? sigh, that’s getting old….

  • CrusaderForever

    Really looking forward to this game. D1P!

  • Honestly, I was a little disappointed that it was another zombie game after seeing the first trailer. But after watching the zombies move, I thought it looked very cool.

  • Please stop insulting our intelligence by continuing to call them “Freakers”. They are Zombies!

    • Except they’re not…

    • AizawaYuuichi

      They’re zombies? You mean how they only want brains, they shuffle around slowly, and their bodies are decaying from rot?

      As opposed to the freakers they actually are, normal people infected with a virus, which allows them to retain their mobility, run from danger when they are outnumbered, and be killed by simple gunshot wounds, rather than only headshots finishing them off?

      Right, you’ve totally got this… they’re just zombies…

    • Please don’t be silly. They’re zombies regardless of the nomenclature.

    • Jisatsu_Kiddo

      + Pound_lb003 and you must be another wild animal posting on the internet according to the dictionary you picked up.

    • If they don’t live normal human lives, you know, go to work, play games, shoot guns… they’re zombies, just not undead.

  • jason_redemption

    While I do love the anti-hero biker-gang vibe, I do wish you guys had done some more Independence Day alien styled concept, could have still had the hording tech on display but just something to differentiate it MORE-SO from the overfilled Zombie styled games. Most games that feature extra-terrestrials are set in space (aka Dead Space or Killzone or whatever…)

  • TrueAssassin86x

    Cant wait will be grabing this for sure.

  • Can’t wait for this…..any preorders?

  • I’ll probably get this, but not in any hurry if the reviews aren’t particularly good. What they showed looked both engaging and shallow. Anytime the player was shooting into wall of Zombies with 500+ bullets in reserve was shallow and lame, and anytime the player was using environment and traps and stuff like that to halt their advance on his escape path looked engaging (even if highly scripted).

  • The killing animations in the barn were quite esthetic

  • zzzzzzzZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZ

  • Sponge-worthy

    The unfortunate reality is that this game simply wasn’t ready to show at E3, let alone as a press conference closer.

    While we were eventually *told* about lots of interesting and innovative concepts that this title is looking to deliver, we were simply *shown* just another zombie shooter with the novelty of the horde being driven by a basic fluid simulation.

    Hopefully Sony can hit the “Reset” button on this project and re-introduce Days Gone to gamers when it’s actually ready for prime time.

  • This game will be a huge underdog. Already compared to The last of us, this game will have almost no hype. This is his biggest strength. No one will see this game coming and will have excellent review because no one expected that this game would be good. Days gone will be the exact opposite of The Order 1886 who was hyped to the roof and got bad review.

  • Yoursmacked818

    Certainly i will be buying the PS4 just for the game Days gone.Graphics are incredible and i just can’t wait till it comes out

  • LOL. Look at some of these yokels, the types that will call an 800 Lbs Gorilla a chimp or monkey because they eat bananas.

    Everything is cut and dried so Everything they see is zombies! Zombies every where!

    Seriously, looking forward to Days Gone! Sony Bend, These guys are talented (Loved Syphon filter games on PS1). I’m intrigued as to how deep the crafting of items for survival will be.

    Please have an Awesome collectors edition with Deacon St. Jones on his weathered down Bike!

    Thank you :)

  • scottjmorahan

    This is a game I am looking forward to, one of the best zombie games trailers I’ve seen in a long time, even beats the new resident evil 7 trailer which looks pants. Does anyone know when it’s going to be released?

  • AmiMaeveLafferty

    As a motorcycle rider, survivalist, and lover of zombie games, I absolutely CANNOT wait for this!

  • Not another zombie game, please!

  • It looked great at E3. While another human condition game it is, I really respect what Bend studios has done in the past.

  • iamtylerdurden1

    Bend is talented and Days Gone looks amazing, Day 1 buy!

  • Hell yes can’t wait man going to be epic

  • does anyone know the release date for this badass game????

  • Knowing this is coming has softened the blow of Resident Evil 7’s unforgivable move to first person. I doubt I’ll be getting over that any time soon, but this game will certainly help! It looks fantastic.

  • Kwazimoto777

    It looks good, but there were multiple times where he avoids the horde simply by running to one side, and they continue to run towards where he was, not where he is. It seems the horde is programmed to not have individual “freakers” capable of making independent decisions, like breaking away from the group and attacking the human it can see, instead each unit just blindly follows the leaders, so they can only change direction when the leaders change direction.

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