Here’s everything we know about ‘Days Gone’ so far

Sony closed its E3 2016 conference with gameplay footage from Days Gone, a new open-world action game that with post-civilization crafting, a biker anti-hero, and massive hordes of zombie-like enemies. In a conference that included reveals of God of War and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, choosing to end with an unknown entity like Days Gone could only mean that Sony has high expectations for developer Bend Studio’s first PlayStation 4 game, and a second gameplay trailer at the following E3 only confirmed that. Days Gone looks to be a resurgence of the zombie-infested, survival-horror genre, but from what we’ve seen, it looks like the title will deviate from the traditional zombie tropes. Here’s everything we know about the forthcoming title, from its characters to its settings.

A drifter in the post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest

As revealed at E3 2016, Days Gone, a third-person action game, takes place in the Pacific Northwest two years after a global virus wiped out much of the population, turning people into zombie-like “freakers.” You play as Deacon St. John, a biker turned bounty hunter/mercenary following the global pandemic.

While we don’t know much about the character, we know that the virus affected his personal life. In the trailer, he recounts riding down the open road with a woman, presumably his wife or girlfriend. The assumption here, based on the language he uses, is that she either fell victim to the virus herself, or was taken out by someone afflicted with the virus. A man with a head tattoo, possibly a member of St. John’s biker gang, reminds him that “Phoebe” is dead. St. John appears to be on a vendetta as a bounty hunter, and it seems as if he is a lone wolf, working outside of his biker gang in the present.

He is described as a drifter, and at this time, we don’t know of any close allies. St. John remarks that “brotherhood” used to mean something, implying that he has lost hope in humanity. In the reveal trailer, however, St. John enters through a gate into what appears to be a safe haven, suggesting that there are camps where St. John can regroup before setting back out into the apocalyptic wilderness.

Although we haven’t seen much of the game’s world outside of the forested area surrounding the lumber yard, Days Gone is set in an open world, with a heavy emphasis on the wilderness. And from what we’ve seen so far, St. Johns’ main means of traveling is by motorcycle.

“Freakers” aren’t your typical zombies

The E3 2016 demo picked up right where the game trailer left off. Presumably on a bounty, St. John rides into an abandoned lumber yard in search of Two-Dog. While on foot, chasing down Two-Dog, we witness the effects of the virus during St. John’s encounter with a massive swarm of freakers.

days gone release date gameplay characters setting screen 7

Freakers don’t move like typical zombies, however, as they’re swift on their feet. As showcased in the demo, St. John will encounter huge masses of freakers at a time. It’s difficult to gauge how many chased him down in the lumber yard, but it was easily more than a hundred. And while they appear to travel in packs, they do seem to be at least relatively autonomous, as they converged on St. John from multiple directions. One other important thing to note about freakers is that they come out during the day, but if they follow zombie lore, there may be even more of them on hand when night falls.

It doesn’t appear that all freakers will be humans, either. In the game’s E3 2017 demonstration, we get a glimpse of a zombified bear for a few seconds. Wrapped in razor wire and with skin missing from its head, its brain appears to be exposed, but it doesn’t move with the same gusto and aggression as the other zombies do.

Gear management and crafting

Prior to going after Two-Dog in our preview, we moved gear from our motorcycle stash into our inventory. Besides high-powered assault rifles and pistols, resource management appears to be key to survival. In the demo, St. John uses Molotov cocktails to take out swarms of zombies, but hand-to-hand weapons like axes will be key for close-quarters combat.

St. John’s motorcycle is also considered a “character” of sorts in Days Gone, leveling up as you progress through the game.

On top of maintaining healthy ammunition levels and throwable weapons like Molotov cocktails, Days Gone will feature a crafting system. In gameplay footage shown at E3 2017, St. John pillages scraps from a broken down car to modify his pistol.

Interactive environments

Along with your own inventory, there are other ways to slow down hordes of freakers. In the lumber yard sequence, for instance, the yard is littered with interactive points such as cradles of timber that can be knocked over, conveyor belts, and mechanical doors that can be shut to stave off, and eliminate some of the swarm, if timed well.

We can infer that other set pieces throughout the open world will have similar interactivity, giving players unique ways to defend themselves, and in some cases, escape, even if it’s just momentarily, from the freakers. Another moment was seen in the game’s E3 2017 demonstration, with a rope wrapped around a tree working as a suitable choking device when Deacon is attacked by bandits.

Manipulating enemies

Deacon St. John might be smart, but his enemies are a little bit gullible — and not just the undead. During the game’s demonstration at E3 2017, we see Deacon plant a bear trap near a group of human survivors and proceed to throw a rock at it while he hid several feet away. A single person immediately walked directly to the rock’s location and screamed in pain as his friends ran over to help him escape from the trap. This gave Deacon plenty of time to run past their camp.

Dynamic weather system

During our preview, the studio confirmed that Days Gone will have a dynamic weather system. In the reveal trailer, we see St. John traveling both during the day and at night, and there’s even torrential rainfall at one point.

days gone release date gameplay characters setting screen 4

At this time, it’s unclear how the weather system will affect the gameplay, but from the footage we’ve seen, it would appear that it’s safer to work during the day. At nightfall, St. John enters a gated camp with a bonfire.

PlayStation 4 Pro support

At the PlayStation 4 Pro reveal in September, Bend Studio director Chris Reese showed off Days Gone running on the PS4 Pro. On HDR TVs, the title’s environments really pop, but Reese claimed that even for users who don’t own a 4K TV, the PS4 Pro will offer a better visual experience than the PS4.

When can you play it?

During PlayStation Experience 2017, SIE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida told fans that Days Gone will launch on PlayStation 4 in 2018.

Update: Added information regarding the game’ release and motorcycle gameplay. 

Product Review

'Black Ops 4' learns a few new tricks, but it's Call of Duty to the core

Despite nods to hero-based tactical gameplay, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s multiplayer feels as stable as ever -- even as the game trades in its story-driven campaign for the new Blackout mode.

What you should know about 'Red Dead Redemption 2' before it launches

The long-awaited (and long-rumored) sequel to Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption is confirmed. Red Dead Redemption 2 will arrive next spring. Here's everything we've heard about the game so far.
Movies & TV

New 'Mandalorian' photo links series to Boba Fett and 'Star Wars Holiday Special'

Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service will be titled The Mandalorian. The series will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.

‘Fortnite’ squad sets new record with 61 kills in one match

A Fortnite squad has managed to set a world record for most kills in a single match, defeating an incredible 61 opponents. Of those kills, 25 were from a single player, and two teammates were dead by the end.

This week's PlayStation Plus deals have gems that would even make Link jealous

Free games, radically discounted hit titles, and exclusive DLC are all on the table with PlayStation Plus. We're here to make sure you don't miss out on any of the best PS4 game deals available this month.

Put your iPad Pro to the test with these great games

Did you recently purchase a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, or are you enjoying the 12.9-inch version? If so, we've rounded up a few of the best iPad Pro games currently available on Apple's mobile platform.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Open-world video games are getting too big for their own good

As technology has progressed, open-world video games have grown increasingly bigger. What seems like a universal positive has shown problems preventing the genre from truly moving forward, however.
Product Review

The Oculus Rift is cheaper, the Vive Pro is better. Is the original Vive still worth it?

The Oculus Rift may have brought virtual reality into the public eye, but HTC’s Vive, built in partnership with Valve, does it better. Does the Vive still represent the true future of virtual reality, or are there better competitors on…

As deaf gamers speak up, game studios are finally listening to those who can’t

Using social media, personal blogs and Twitch, a small group of deaf and hard-of-hearing players have been working to make their voices heard and improve accessibility in the gaming industry.

Nvidia is slowly rolling out its next generation of GPUs. Here's what you need to know about them

Nvidia's new RTX 2000 series graphics cards are impressive pieces of hardware, with some amazing advancements and some rather high price tags to match. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia's new top-tier cards.

Grab a comfy saddle — ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ campaign clocks in at 60 hours

According to Rockstar Games co-founder and head writer Dan Houser, Red Dead Redemption 2 features a 60-hour story. Houser said "superfluous" content was removed from the game. It launches October 26 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Jump into an internet DeLorean and play free Commodore 64 games online

The Internet Archive has added more than 8,800 full Commodore 64 games to its software library. Here's how you can play them completely free in your browser without the need for a joystick.

‘Fortnite’ in-game tournaments will give you the chance to beat the pros

Epic Games is introducing in-game tournaments to Fortnite. The initial schedule includes five tournaments, with commemorative pins going to the victors. Down the road, the pins might grant you access into additional rounds.