They're not zombies. Promise.
The setting is the Pacific Northwest. Freakers are on the loose. A biker gang rides on at the end of the world. This is Days Gone, the latest game from Sony's Bend Studio, the team behind the Syphon Filter series and the handheld Resistance and Uncharted games. But Days Gone is bigger than anything Bend has done before. It’s an ambitious, open-world game in which you can travel vast distances while being stalked by hordes of zombie-like enemies. Here's what we know about Days Gone, along with what want to see at E3 2018.
What We Know So Far
Our first glimpse of Days Gone came during Sony's press conference at E3 2016. Sony showed an announce trailer and a gameplay demo that set viewers' expectations for a somber game about a bounty-hunting biker named Deacon St. John, who travels through a broken world after civilization has come to an end.
What caused the apocalypse is a mystery, though it probably has to do with some kind of pandemic or contagion. Though the enemies sure look and act like zombies, the developers swear up and down they aren't--they're Freakers, humans and animals that have become mindless and violent. They lust for blood and have a tendency to group together in fast-moving hordes, like the zombies in World War Z.
Though it was originally set to release in 2018, but it was delayed to 2019. Sony recently announced in June that Days Gone is set to release on February 22, 2019.
What's Confirmed For E3?
Nothing at the moment. We know Sony's presentation is set for June 11 at 6 PM PT / 9 PM ET / 2 AM (June 12) BST. While speaking on the PlayStation Blogcast, chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden said the presentation will offer "exclusive looks and deep dives on four" upcoming titles: Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima, Spider-Man, and The Last of Us Part II.
Notice there's no mention of Days Gone. It will probably still appear in some form or other at E3, but we currently have no promises from Sony.
What We Hope To See At E3
Sony is pitching Days Gone as a story-driven game, with a heavy emphasis on the "golden path" rather than on dozens of side quests like some other open-world games throw at you. With that in mind, it would be great if we could get a better idea of what the plot of this game is. What is Deacon trying to do in this ruined world?
There's been a lot of talk about "zombie fatigue" in the run-up to Days Gone. While the developers have sworn up and down that Freakers are distinct from zombies, it's on them to convince us of why we want to play yet another game with zombie-like enemies.
On the subject of wondering why we should care, it’s important to note Bend Studio hasn't released a game since 2012's Vita card game Uncharted: Fight for Fortune. Prior to that, the developer worked on four games for PSP and PS Vita. They were fine games, but they were significantly smaller in scale than a massive open-world game like Days Gone. Can Bend Studio pull off a game like this? It looks good in trailers and demos, but let's hope Bend does more at E3 2018 to convince us we want to play this game.