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Days Gone - preview coverage from Game Informer and other outlets

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Interview + New Footage: How Days Gone Hopes to Win Over Skeptics
 

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Does the world really need another zombie game? That’s one of the many questions we had before heading to Sony Bend Studio’s offices in Oregon to check out Days Gone. After spending a couple of days playing the game and gaining a deeper understanding of what the studio is trying to accomplish, we came back with an enthusiastic yes. You face a massive undead threat, but they’re just part of the dangerous open-world ecology. Virtually everything in this dark vision of the Pacific Northwest wants to separate you from your life. Fortunately, you have the tools you need to survive – including your fully upgradable motorcycle.
 

In the June issue of Game Informer, we packed 14 pages with exclusive details and developer insight from that trip, including an extensive look at how Sony Bend is working to breathe life not only into the zombie apocalypse, but open-world games in general.
 

Sony has shown off Days Gone at E3 over the past couple of years, but we didn’t fully appreciate what Sony Bend is doing until after we played it ourselves. We learned more about the game’s biker protagonist, Deacon St. John, and his broken world – and experienced some of the brutal lengths he’s willing to go in order to keep his friends safe. We also have a better understanding of how exploration, story, and action interlock to tell what could be one of the genre’s most consistent narrative experiences.
 

Starting today, we’re kicking off a month of exclusive online content to show just what we’re talking about. We’ve got lengthy interviews with the game’s creators, hands-on impressions, and a massive amount of Days Gone gameplay footage to share with you.


Hub: http://www.gameinformer.com/p/daysgone.aspx

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HELL YES!

 

This is one of my most anticipated games. I feel like if RDR2 released in the spring as originally planned, this would have easily made this holiday season. Bend gets their first console game since the PS2 era, and I really hope the GI coverage really expands on the crafting, the "nowhere is safe" open world and the completely different missions depending on the weather.

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18 minutes ago, AndrewDean84 said:

I think I'm going to force myself to try and care about this game.

 

It's going to be interesting to see how it turns out, IMO.  They really needed something like this to show what the game is like outside of an E3 demo setting.
 

12 minutes ago, GuyWhoPredictsThings said:

HELL YES!

 

This is one of my most anticipated games. I feel like if RDR2 released in the spring as originally planned, this would have easily made this holiday season. Bend gets their first console game since the PS2 era, and I really hope the GI coverage really expands on the crafting, the "nowhere is safe" open world and the completely different missions depending on the weather.


I absolutely think RDR2 was the reason for the delay.  2018 is already stacked before it, even with Sony's own properties.  They're putting it in that Horizon/GoW slot.

 

I wouldn't expect completely different missions based on weather, but I hope that they can sell us on the dynamics systems making it a different sort of open world game.

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16 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:

 

It's going to be interesting to see how it turns out, IMO.  They really needed something like this to show what the game is like outside of an E3 demo setting.
 


I absolutely think RDR2 was the reason for the delay.  2018 is already stacked before it, even with Sony's own properties.  They're putting it in that Horizon/GoW slot.

 

I wouldn't expect completely different missions based on weather, but I hope that they can sell us on the dynamics systems making it a different sort of open world game.

 

And to add to Sony's own properties, Sony has a marketing partnership with Rockstar/RDR2, so it wouldn't make sense to have both games out around the same time frame. 

 

Man, though, a SOTC/God of War/Detroit/Spiderman/Dreams/Days Gone combo in one year would have been extraordinary (to add to their normal MLB The Show fare and quirky, interesting games like Concrete Genie). 

 

In the E3 demo, the two missions didn't seem the same outside of some superficial similarities (like the zombies hanging upside-down). I would imagine it wouldn't apply to every mission, maybe? But that's a very exciting feature, especially for replay value.

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With how Sony's first party studios have been churning out great games this gen I'm now really excited for this. If it becomes the next GoW or HZD it will be very impressive for Sony and maybe I shouldn't expect it but I pretty much expect GOTY quality from all their major exclusives at this point. 

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From a Reset user:

 

- Been in development for five years
-More than 100 developers
-Picks up several years after a pandemic has ravaged the US.
-People infected by virus are simply called "infected" by NERO(National Response Organization)
-NERO operates 12 checkpoints for quarantining and processing people.
Deacon has a friend named Boozer
-Plot is about surviving, not finding a cure
-Stealing Boozer's stuff will make him upset, which will effect your relationship
-Five encampments in the world which Deacon goes between
-Have to clear out locations to unlock fast travel
-Weapons look worn down because of the rain
-Larger towns to explore
-Weapons lockers
-Deacon can scout camps with binoculars
-Deacon is the enforcer of a biker club called the Mongrels
-Bike is completely upgradeable with cosmetic upgrades such as paint jobs. Can increase fuel efficiency and durability
-Can ambush camps
-Shotguns, sniper rifles, molotov cocktails, pistols, LMGs
-Freaker-ear bounties, hunting animals, camps to clear
-Flashback missions where you learn about Deacon's past with Sarah
-Ambush camps are bad, encampments are good
- Ambush camps will attack you roadside(marauders)
-Freakers are drawn to dark places such as tunnels and will make nests
-Only way to clear freaker nests is via molotovs, gas cans, oil drums

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6 minutes ago, GuyWhoPredictsThings said:

From a Reset user:

 

- Been in development for five years
-More than 100 developers
-Picks up several years after a pandemic has ravaged the US.
-People infected by virus are simply called "infected" by NERO(National Response Organization)
-NERO operates 12 checkpoints for quarantining and processing people.
Deacon has a friend named Boozer
-Plot is about surviving, not finding a cure
-Stealing Boozer's stuff will make him upset, which will effect your relationship
-Five encampments in the world which Deacon goes between
-Have to clear out locations to unlock fast travel
-Weapons look worn down because of the rain
-Larger towns to explore
-Weapons lockers
-Deacon can scout camps with binoculars
-Deacon is the enforcer of a biker club called the Mongrels
-Bike is completely upgradeable with cosmetic upgrades such as paint jobs. Can increase fuel efficiency and durability
-Can ambush camps
-Shotguns, sniper rifles, molotov cocktails, pistols, LMGs
-Freaker-ear bounties, hunting animals, camps to clear
-Flashback missions where you learn about Deacon's past with Sarah
-Ambush camps are bad, encampments are good
- Ambush camps will attack you roadside(marauders)
-Freakers are drawn to dark places such as tunnels and will make nests
-Only way to clear freaker nests is via molotovs, gas cans, oil drums

Sounds like Far Cry. 

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-Deacon has "survival vision" which highlights items of interest, can be upgraded to highlight enemies
-Deacons stamina, health, time slowdown are upgradable
-Radio towers that you can climb
-No fetch quests or time trials, everything has context
-Hordes are scattered throughout the world.
-300 zombie hoard is a "baby hoard" , E3 2016 demo had 500

New footage, Interview: http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2018/05/08/how-days-gone-hopes-to-win-over-skeptics.aspx

That's all from the Game Informer issue apparently.  Doesn't sound bad, but I want to hear more how the narrative fits into all of that.

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3 hours ago, ManUtdRedDevils said:

This game does nothing for me. 

 

I feel like I haven't seen enough of the game yet to know for sure.  Curiosity is more where I'm at.

 

I might be most interested in what they'd actually be able to pull off on PS4 hardware with the horde.  What's scripted, what isn't, where they spawn, how they manage their difficulty, etc.

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Based on the videos and notes above, it is coming across as a typical open world game with typical gameplay and typical content. It’s main differentiator is the zombie horde which again does nothing for me.  Generic is the word that comes to mind. 

 

If it had a Mad Max feeling with just you and your bike as you search for someone and you have to find safe locations to camp and scavenge for supplies, I would be interested. 

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8 minutes ago, ManUtdRedDevils said:

Based on the videos and notes above, it is coming across as a typical open world game with typical gameplay and typical content. It’s main differentiator is the zombie horde which again does nothing for me.  Generic is the word that comes to mind. 

 

Between the hordes and weather changing missions and "nowhere is safe" mentality, it has plenty differentiating it. If there's anything I'm curious about, it's how the gameplay holds up as you navigate the world.

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10 minutes ago, GuyWhoPredictsThings said:

 

Between the hordes and weather changing missions and "nowhere is safe" mentality, it has plenty differentiating it. If there's anything I'm curious about, it's how the gameplay holds up as you navigate the world.

I guess you didn’t play Dying Light. It is exactly what you just described. 

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Man, Dying Light was so fucking good.  Traversing night was edge of your fucking seat intensity.  At least for the first 2/3 of the game, then at some point you're a god (as all games should treat you) because you've leveled up aor attained the right gear and even the night becomes your bitch.

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14 minutes ago, ManUtdRedDevils said:

I guess you didn’t play Dying Light. It is exactly what you just described. 

 

Dying Light has hordes up to 500 zombies, weather that can completely change a mission, an upgrade-able bike and no safe place at any point in the day (not just at night, which is a common zombie staple)? Between that and the crafting (which we don't know much about yet), it's quite a bit different than most games and doesn't seem much like Dying Light besides zombies existing.

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Are we actually going to kill a horde of 500 zombies?  If so, how many times? Might the population of infected go down, once we've killed maybe (5) 500+ hordes of zombies?  Can we even carry enough ammo/equipment to kill 100 at a time? My guess is no, which makes me wonder at what point does the number of actual zombies in a horde matter.  I get that it's cool to say they have 500.

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32 minutes ago, AndrewDean84 said:

Are we actually going to kill a horde of 500 zombies?  If so, how many times? Might the population of infected go down, once we've killed maybe (5) 500+ hordes of zombies?  Can we even carry enough ammo/equipment to kill 100 at a time? My guess is no, which makes me wonder at what point does the number of actual zombies in a horde matter.  I get that it's cool to say they have 500.

 

Wow, from trying to split hairs over how to kill hordes of zombies to try to make it seem similar to other games to just assuming what you can't do, people really go out of their way to put the game down for some reason.

 

Whatevs. If people want to sleep on this, that's their loss.

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2 hours ago, GuyWhoPredictsThings said:

 

Wow, from trying to split hairs over how to kill hordes of zombies to try to make it seem similar to other games to just assuming what you can't do, people really go out of their way to put the game down for some reason.

 


I don't think that was Andrew's intention.  In any case, the number of zombies isn't the interesting part.  It's more how they move together as a pack/hivemind.  It'd be cool to see some AI at work where they can branch off into different 'lines' to cut you off.

But yeah, the snap judgments around this game have been hilarious elsewhere.  First it was a TLoU clone, now it's B-rate Far Cry with zombies.  All because people heard the words encampments and radio towers.  We don't even know how those function in this game yet.  They could just be landmarks for all we know.

 

4 hours ago, ManUtdRedDevils said:

If it had a Mad Max feeling with just you and your bike as you search for someone and you have to find safe locations to camp and scavenge for supplies, I would be interested. 

 

Haven't heard anything about setting up camp, but they've said there are safe zones, and you'll have to scavenge for gas and supplies to not get killed out in the world.
 

@SFLUFAN turned me away from trying Mad Max.  I'm not sure if that comparison would be a good thing.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:

 

@SFLUFAN turned me away from trying Mad Max.  I'm not sure if that comparison would be a good thing.

Mad Max is a competently-executed, totally inoffensive, completely unremarkable open-world game that you will play for 40 hours and completely forget about the minute after the credits roll.

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Yeah, I'm not trying to put the game down.  I'm gonna play it.  It just seems like it's using a lot of other games ideas.  Which makes me automatically think, Jack of all trades and King of none.  But I would love for Bend to prove me wrong.  I love this developer.  They're the #1 reason I haven't written this game off as a biker Mad Max.  Their PSP work was phenomenal.  It's a shame Sony didn't use them more on the Vita.

 

And here's this:

Quote

 

Will watch in a little bit.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, AndrewDean84 said:

Yeah, I'm not trying to put the game down.  I'm gonna play it.  It just seems like it's using a lot of other games ideas.  Which makes me automatically think, Jack of all trades and King of none.  But I would love for Bend to prove me wrong.  I love this developer.  They're the #1 reason I haven't written this game off as a biker Mad Max.  Their PSP work was phenomenal.  It's a shame Sony didn't use them more on the Vita.

 

And here's this:

 

Will watch in a little bit.

 

 

 

Then I apologize. There's a lot of "concern trolling" on different parts of the web, which also happened with a bunch of other games that ended up being great, and so it's seemed like some people are finding ways to dismiss the game instead of just giving it a chance. I probably jumped the gun.

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54 minutes ago, AndrewDean84 said:

 It just seems like it's using a lot of other games ideas.  Which makes me automatically think, Jack of all trades and King of none. 

 

Unless most of what they've shown is smoke and mirrors, I think the fast moving horde thing is a big distinction.  We haven't seen a game do this before.  Well, at least not in an open world setting, because of the technical demands.

 

Whether they master it is another story.  We'll have to see how the AI and framerate pan out.

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I don’t see anyone trolling on the game on D1P. People get way too defensive when you provide a negative opinion about a game.  

 

Bend has done a terrible job with pitching its game. From the reveal trailer to this Game Informer feature, there has been nothing that I have found interesting.  It doesn’t mean the game will be bad or that I won’t enjoy it. I had a similar feeling for God of War before it’s release. (Boy was I fucking wrong!)  GoW didn’t do a great job of selling you on their concept. In hindsight, this was a conscience decision by the Devs so the players can learn about it themselves. A risky move that paid off though there was risk to this as preorder sales were reported as “soft”.

 

A Ubisoft-style open world formula + zombies = :shrug:

 

I hope to be proven wrong again. 

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27 minutes ago, ManUtdRedDevils said:

I don’t see anyone trolling on the game on D1P. People get way too defensive when you provide a negative opinion about a game.  

 

Bend has done a terrible job with pitching its game. From the reveal trailer to this Game Informer feature, there has been nothing that I have found interesting.  It doesn’t mean the game will be bad or that I won’t enjoy it. I had a similar feeling for God of War before it’s release. (Boy was I fucking wrong!)  GoW didn’t do a great job of selling you on their concept. In hindsight, this was a conscience decision by the Devs so the players can learn about it themselves. A risky move that paid off though there was risk to this as preorder sales were reported as “soft”.

 

A Ubisoft-style open world formula + zombies = :shrug:

 

I hope to be proven wrong again. 

 

The "soft" preorders was bull that Colin Moriarty posted before people even knew the release date of the game (early January). God of War preorders were in-line with expectations, and a surge happened when reviews went live (which was also predicted).

 

And yes, people troll on the game, both here and around the web. It went from TLOU clone to Ubi-Soft now, and I don't know what people will call it later this year. It happens for multiple games that end up doing very well critically (God of War, Horizon, even Zelda).

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1 hour ago, ManUtdRedDevils said:

I don’t see anyone trolling on the game on D1P. People get way too defensive when you provide a negative opinion about a game.  

 

Bend has done a terrible job with pitching its game. From the reveal trailer to this Game Informer feature, there has been nothing that I have found interesting.  It doesn’t mean the game will be bad or that I won’t enjoy it. I had a similar feeling for God of War before it’s release. (Boy was I fucking wrong!)  GoW didn’t do a great job of selling you on their concept. In hindsight, this was a conscience decision by the Devs so the players can learn about it themselves. A risky move that paid off though there was risk to this as preorder sales were reported as “soft”.


How should they be pitching Days Gone differently then? 

Objectively, I don't see much wrong with the rollout this far.  Story trailer -> Horde tech -> Brief open world/dynamic systems demonstration(s) -> GI Cover feature.  It's all been spaced out over 2 years, so perhaps there's fault in that?  But getting the cover feature out there before E3 was a great decision.  More people will watch more of this game.

I just think they need to show footage of Days Gone uninterrupted, being played as is, outside of an E3 stage demo format.  That's inevitably going to happen this month as part of the coverage.  It's only been 3 days, with the initial focus on dev interviews.  This should be dropping sometime today:
 

 

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Why force yourself to care about a game if you're just not really interested? There's plenty else out there to enjoy. 

 

Personally, I look forward to the game. 

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