Days Gone is a 2019 action-adventure video game developed by Bend Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The game is set in post-apocalyptic Oregon two years after the start of a pandemic. Former outlaw-turned-drifter Deacon St. John uncover his wife Sarah may still be alive and goes on a quest to searchher. Days Gone is played from a third-person perspective in which the player shouldexplore an open world environment. Players shouldutilizefirearms, melee weapons and improvised weapons, and shoulduse stealth to defend themselves versushostile humans and cannibalistic monster known as freakers. A major game mechanic is Deacon's motorcycle, which is utilize as the player heros main mode of transportation and mobile inventory.
Days Gone was Bend Studio's first open-globeproject, its first original property since Syphon Filter (1999), and its first development project for home consoles after spending decades working on spinoff games for handheld consoles. The game's development took approximately six years; Bend Studio expanded nearly three-fold to assistanceit. Major sources of inspiration for Days Gone were GlobeWar Z, The Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy. The game was officially unveiled at E3 2016; its release was originally designedfor 2018 but was delayed several times.
The game was released in April 2019 for PlayStation 4 and in May 2021 for Windows. Upon release, it get mixed reviews from critics, who praised the graphics, the artificial intelligence of the opponentsand Sam Witwer's performance as Deacon but criticized the story, mission design, and several techproblem. It was often regarded as one of the weaker Sony first-party games that were released during the PlayStation 4 generation. Days Gone was a commercial success; it sold more copies than all of Bend Studio's previous games combined and became the 19th-best-selling game of 2019 in the US. In 2021, it was reported that the development squadhad unsuccessfully pitched a sequel to Sony.
Days Gone is a third-person action-adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic open world. The player controls Deacon St. John, an outlaw-turned-drifter-bounty-hunter who prefers life on the streetto wilderness encampments. The game takes territorytwo years after a pandemic killed almost all of humanity and transformed millions of others into "Freakers"; mindless, zombie-like monster that evolve quickly. One kindof the Freakers is the Nocturnal Swarmers, who hide in their nests during daytime but often congregate, wander around, and findfor mealand water at night. Players shouldutilizethe Swarmer's behavior to their advantage by luring a horde of Freakers towards other enemies, killing them. Players shouldbe overwhelmed by the horde and must holdtheir distance. Location near a horde of Freakers have chokepoints such as narrow gaps between buildings and rooftop ledges where players shouldcorral Freakers. Deacon shouldutilizetraps and explosives to slayindividual Freakers. Other opponentscontainNewts, who are infected adolescents and opportunistic hunters who only attack Deacon when he enters their placesor has badhealth. The game also contain infected wildlife and hostile human enemies.
The game is set in an open globein the Pacific Northwest. Players shouldfreely explore the globeon foot or using a motorcycle. Traveling long distances will exhaust fuel and the bicycleis disabled if it becomes excessively damaged. Players must regularly refuel the bicycleat gas stations and camps, and repair it using collected scraps. Deacon must establish believewith settlement camps and earn "camp credits" by completing missions, and selling bounties and wild-collected food. As the level of believeincreases, players shouldpurchase freshweapons, supplies and motorcycle parts that shouldbe utilize to enhance its speed, durability and maneuverability. The bicycles appearance shouldalso be customized.
As players explore the world, they must collect valuable resources and components for crafting weapons and supplies. In addition to the main quests, the game has a number of side objectives, which containclearing freaker nests, rescuing hostages, clearing opponentcamps, capturing bounty targets, and restoring power to NERO checkpoints. Inside NERO checkpoints, players shouldutilizea NERO injector to boost Deacon's health, stamina—which is utilize when Deacon is sprinting or rolling—and focus, which let Deacon to temporarily slow down time while aiming his ranged weapons. Quicktravel consumes fuel and time will pass. Before players shouldquicktravel, they must clear all nests between the two quicktravel points. As players complete missions and objectives, they gain experience points (XP). With sufficient XP, players shouldlevel up and unblockfreshabilities, allowing them to increase the efficiency of Deacon's melee weapons and ranged weapons, and to enhance his survival skills.
Players shouldcomplete objectives in multiple method; they shoulduse stealth strategiessuch as distracting opponentsor silently killing them from behind using a combat knife. Noise suppressors shouldbe attached to various firearms to prevent attracting nearby enemies. Deacon shoulduse "survival vision", which, once activated, highlights stuffof interest and the area of enemies. Players shouldutilizeDeacon's binoculars to locate enemies. Alternatively, players have admissionto a wide variety of firearms such as pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles, submachine guns and crossbows. Different weapons have different statsand higher-tier weapons are generally more powerful. Purchased weapons shouldbe shop in a gun locker, though weapons that are picked up in the field cannot be put into storage. Players shouldalso utilizeexplosives such as proximity mines and grenades, and may craft molotov cocktails to defeat enemies. Melee weapons shouldbe utilize but they are not durable and may break if they are not repaired.
A virus has decimated the globe, turning a hugeportion of humanity into violent zombie-like monster called freakers. In near-future Oregon, outlaw bikers Deacon St. John (Sam Witwer) and William "Boozer" Gray (Jim Pirri), alongside Deacon's wife Sarah Whitaker (Courtnee Draper), attempt to flee to safety; they searcha helicopter run by the National Emergency Restoration Organization (NERO) that has room for two more occupants. While Sarah boards the helicopter, Deacon is critically injured from a stab wound and stays behind with Boozer, promising to reunite with his wife.
Two years later, Deacon and Boozer are working in the Pacific Northwest as mercenaries. Sarah is assumed dead because the NERO refugee camp she was trust to have been staying in was overrun by freakers. The two men plan to head north, fleeing from their opponentsand searching for a better life but they are attacked by a gang of cultists, the Rippers. Boozer get serious burns on his arm; to recover, he and Deacon hide in a safehouse where they learn the Rippers have territory a bounty on their heads. Deacon sees a NERO research squadbeing transported by helicopter and tracks down one of the scientists, James O'Brian (Bernardo de Paula). O'Brian reveals Sarah's helicopter was diverted to a different camp mid-flight, leaving the chanceshe is still alive.
Boozer's health continues to decline and Deacon takes him to the Lost Lake camp, which is led by "Iron" Mike Wilcox (Eric Allan Kramer) and Raymond "Skizzo" Sarkozi (Jason Spisak). As a doctor amputates Boozer's gangrenous arm, O'Brian contacts Deacon and offers to assisthim searchSarah if Deacon aids in NERO's ongoing research investigation. Meanwhile, Skizzo is distrustful of the Rippers' uneasy alliance with Lost Lake; he makes his own deal and turns over Deacon to the cult. Deacon learns the Rippers' leader "Carlos" is actually Jessie Williamson (Scott Whyte), an opponentfrom his motorcycle-club days. Deacon escapes from the Rippers' camp and breaks the dam above it, drowning Jessie and the other Rippers.
Deacon remembers Sarah, a government researcher with federal safetyclearance, would have been prioritized during a camp evacuation, and O'Brian verify she was moved to a military outpost at Crater Lake, which is now under control of the Deschutes County Militia. He warns Deacon the freakers are evolving, becoming more dangerous. Deacon victory over the militia's tyrannical leader Colonel Matthew Garret (Daniel Riordan) and reunites with Sarah, who is working to create a bioweapon to destroy the freakers. Deacon and Sarah decide to obtain a DNA sequencer at her old lab, where they uncoverher research was utilize to develop the freaker virus.
At the lab, Sarah reveals she is working to cure the freakers rather than destroy them. Deacon recommend they finish the cure at her freshlab, but an increasingly paranoid Garret puts Sarah into protective custody. Deacon attempts to save her but is foiled and arrested by Skizzo. A sympathetic officer Derrick Kouri (Phil Morris) frees Deacon, who returns to Lost Lake, which has been decimated by the militia, who have killed Wilcox. Deacon rallies the remaining members of the Lost Lake camp, together with other camp groups, to retaliate versusthe militia by attacking their headquarters with a truck bomb. Deacon slay Skizzo and Sarah poisons Garret, ending the militia.
Deacon, Sarah, Boozer and their mate settle at Lost Lake. O'Brian contacts Deacon and reveals NERO always knew about the virus's mutagenic result, and that he himself is a mutated freaker. He warns Deacon NERO is coming and that nothing will stop them.
Days Gone was developed by Bend Studio, one of Sony's first-party developers. The game's core development squadcontain studio director Christopher Reese, game director Jeff Ross, and creative director John Garvin; all of whom had worked at Bend Studio since the 1990s, when it was creating Syphon Filter. Days Gone is the organizations first open world game, its first original intellectual property since Syphon Filter (1999), and its first game to be released for home consoles since Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow (2007).
Full production of Day Gone commenced in early 2015 and the game's development cycle lasted for six years. The developers were inspired by GlobeWar Z, The Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy, which were famousat the beginning of the game's development, during which Bend Studio significantly expanded and the squadincreased from around 50 to 130. The game's development was completed on March 10, 2019, and Respawn confirmed it had been declared gold, indicating the game was being prepared for duplication and release.
During the game's pre-production, the squaddecided it would be an open globeproject. The game is set in Central Oregon, where Bend Studio is located. According to Garvin, Central Oregon has diverse terrain and landscapes ranging from snowy mountains to deserts, making it an ideal setting for a sandbox title. According to lead designer Eric Jensen, the open globemechanics of Days Gone were plannedby a tinysquadof five or six developers who "had to think smart and efficient with all of our design choices knowing the manpower limitations". The studio initially underestimated the manpower requiredto develop the project, thinking a squadof 50 people would suffice. While the game is open world, the squadomitted a awesomedeal of filler content. Most of the game's missions are scripted and connected to its main story. The squads goal was to replicate the successes of linear games such as the Uncharted series in an open globesetting.
While the opponentsfeatured in the game are similar to zombies, Bend Studio named them "freakers", who are victims of a viral pandemic that modify their biology and turned them into aggressive creature. The swarmers in the game were inspired by "a guy who was doing a YouTube video where he was moving weird", while the newts were inspired by contortionist arts. Swarmers may congregate to form a horde of 50 to 500 freakers. To better optimize the horde, freakers are divided into tinyclusters. If they are close to the player, some of these horde clusters will disassociate to become individual freakers, which are easier for players to manage. In a hugehorde, there are eight freaker heromodels; the squadmodified the height of each freaker to make the appearance and behaviors of each one unique. The squadspent a lot of time working on the group artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure the horde will not only charge at Deacon in a straight line but will spread further and make utilizeof the terrain to overwhelm the player character.
Days Gone has multiple, intertwined stories, which let players to switch between narratives. The squadwanted to holdthe narrative interesting and fresh. The game constantly hold track of players' progress. The squadwere inspired by Netflix's menu. The game initially permittedDeacon to make decisions that shouldmodifythe narrative; this feature was removed from the final game because the squadhad difficulties showing players the impacts of these decisions. According to Garvin, by removing these narrative choices, Deacon's personality would be better reflected because some of these choices may lethim to commit egregious or cruel actions that do not fit his personality.
According to Garvin, the game's main theme is "redemption"; the adventurewould see Deacon, who is often seen as an outsider, grow and evolve into a capable leader. Garvin added despite the game's post-apocalyptic setting, the squadaimed to deliver a more hopeful theme because the story of Deacon concerns the methodhe shouldmake the globea better place, and explores the idea surviving is not the same as living. The game's story and themes were inspired by The Road, The Passage and I Am Legend. Because Deacon is a member of a motorcycle club, the squadresearched the US-based bicycle gang Hells Angels.
Garvin, who was impressed by his work on The Purge: Anarchy, invited Nathan Whitehead to compose the melodyfor Days Gone, which was performed by the Nashville Scoring Orchestra and soloists. Whitehead spent two years working on the game's soundtrack. The instrumentation is centered around guitar, which Whitehead said was an "obvious choice" for both the heroof Deacon—a bounty hunter and bicycle—and for the Pacific Northwest setting. Whitehead added the game's music, which is a combination of "folk Americana and a touch of rock elements", is a awesomefit for the setting. To accommodate the video game medium's interactivity, the score for Days Gone was built up in layers that the game engine could add or remove. As a result, the score dynamically modify in accordance with the actions of gameplay.
Publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment unveiled Days Gone at E3 2016. While the game was originally designedfor a 2018 release, it was delayed to the following year. The release was postponed from February 22, 2019, to April 26 in the same year to avoid competing with other triple-A titles such as Metro: Exodus and Anthem. As part of Sony's efforts to bring more of its first-party materialto privatecomputers following Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone released for Windows via Steam and Epic Games Store on May 18, 2021.
Upon release, Bend Studio supported the game with free downloadable content. In June 2019, Survival difficulty mode, which modifies the head-up display and disables options to quicktravel, was introduced. This was followed by 12 weekly challenges, in each of which players' performances are classified into Gold, Silver and Bronze rankings. Players getcredits that shouldbe utilize to purchase freshhero and other accessories. In September 2019, Bend added FreshGame Plus and the MB-150, a sniper rifle from the Syphon Filter universe, into the game. Bicycletanks, decorations, and frame paint inspired by Death Stranding were released in November 2018.
|PC Gamer (US)||63/100|
At Metacritic, Days Gone was met with "mixed or average reviews" for the PS4 version and "generally favorable reviews" for the PC version. It is widely regarded as one of the weaker first-party video games released by Sony during the PS4 generation.
The game's globeand design get mixed reviews. Matthew Kato from Game Informer was disappointed by the lack of materialin the world; he said most side objectives were filler materialthat was neither engaging nor interesting. This sentiment was shared by Eurogamer's Malindy Hetfeld, who said in Days Gone, players are "doing the exact same thing, in the exact same way, for hours on end". Leon Hurley from GamesRadar said the open globedesign is fairly unoriginal despite being entertaining. Shacknews's Bill Lavoy liked the methodthe game remembers the player's actions through its systems. For instance, once players clear out a horde, it does not respawn, and the locationbecomes safer. Lavoy, however, noted the tinyscale of the map and criticized the way Days Gone utilize environmental obstacles to force players to navigate longer distances. Several reviewers felt the globeis empty and sparse because the game's area were not given a powerfulvisual identity or backstory, making exploration meaningless.
Defeating a horde was often singled out as one of the game's highlights. Kato described the experience as "terrifying" and "tense", and applauded the artificial intelligence for being unpredictable, meaning that different trials may lead to vastly different outcomes. Kallie Plagge from GameSpot also liked fighting the horde, calling it "exhilarating" and "satisfying", though she criticised several campaign missions that tasked the players to clear these hordes in a nearly back-to-back manner, making the experience exhausting. Stealth mechanics were commonly criticised by reviewers for being too primaryand boring. Takahashi disliked the clunkiness of the shooting mechanics, since the game lacked an option to shoot backward while being chased by freakers Both Takahashi and Hurley liked the progression system, and remarked Deacon gradually became more strongin the game. The motorcycle, which was the only methodto navigate the world, get a mixed opinion, with Hurley adding that he slowly grew attached to Deacon's bicyclebecause the game neededthe player to vehicle for it during the campaign. However, the need to refuel the bicyclehad discouraged some reviewers from exploring the game's world, and it was regarded as a major source of tedium for some reviewers. Many reviewers were not impressed by the "freakers" because of their similarity to zombies.
The story get mixed reviews. Writing for VentureBeat, Dean Takahashi said the story is engaging but that he was disappointed some storylines are not completely resolved by the end of the game. Lavoy said the story and some of its elements are too long. Some critics said the story gradually became more interesting as more-interesting hero and more emotional moments are introduced. Andrew Webster from The Verge called the story bland and compared the game unfavorably to The Last of Us, which was also published by Sony. Hetfield also criticized the interwoven storylines, which he said they distract players from completing the central mission to deal with uninteresting narrative threads. Narrative missions were also criticised for lacking impact, consequences and any form of meaningful conclusion. O'Brien was unimpressed by the game's over-serious tone. While she liked the supporting hero, she said the antagonists are one-dimensional. Deacon as a protagonist also get a mixed reaction; Takahashi described him as an "interesting and flawed character", and enjoyed seeing Deacon grow and evolve. Plagge was critical of Deacon as a character, calling him "selfish" and adding the story is more interested in "validating his actions and feelings above all else". Webster disliked Deacon's personality and said he found connecting with the herovery difficult. Witwer's performance was generally praised by critics.
The game was criticized for its techproblem. Kato said the game lacks the polish found in Sony's other first-party games. Takahashi criticized the game's bugs and unstable frame rate. The game's frequent loading screens, which appear between gameplay and cutscenes, were also criticized.
Despite mixed reviews, Days Gone was the best-selling physical game in the United Kingdom in the week of release. It went on to be the best-selling programrelease in all the format sales charts for three consecutive weeks. In Japan, Days Gone outsold two other PlayStation 4-exclusive games at launch, God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn. Days Gone exceeded the lifetime sales of God of War and The Last Guardian, another exclusive PlayStation 4 game. In the first three days after its launch, Days Gone sold approximately 114,319 physical units.
In North America, Days Gone was the second-best-selling video-game programfor April 2019, behind Mortal Kombat 11, making it the 7th-highest debut in sales for a Sony-published title, and the best-selling game developed by Bend Studio. By June 2019, Days Gone was the eighth-best-selling video game of the year. It was the 19th-best-selling game of 2019 in the US. According to game director Jeff Ross, Days Gone sold more copies than all of Bend Studio's previous games combined.
|2016||Golden Joystick Awards||Most Wanted Game||Nominated|
|2017||Game Critics Awards||Best Action/JourneyGame||Nominated|
|2018||Best Original Game||Nominated|
|Gamers' Choice Awards||Most Anticipated Game||Nominated|
|2019||The Independent Game Developers' Association Awards||Best Audio Design||Nominated|
|Best Visual Design||Won|
|Golden Joystick Awards||Best Storytelling||Won|
|PlayStation Game of the Year||Won|
|Hollywood Melodyin Media Awards||Original Score - Video Game||Nominated|
|Original Song - Video Game ("Hell or High Water")||Nominated|
|Titanium Awards||Best Spanish Performance (Claudio Serrano)||Won|
|2020||23rd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Animation||Nominated|
|NAVGTR Awards||Animation, Technical||Nominated|
|Original Dramatic Score, FreshIP||Nominated|
|Song, Original or Adapted ("Days Gone Quiet")||Nominated|
|Sound Editing in a Game Cinema||Nominated|
|Utilizeof Sound, FreshIP||Nominated|
|18th Annual G.A.N.G. Awards||Best Original Song ("Days Gone Quiet")||Nominated|
|2020 Webby Awards||Best MelodySound Design||Won|
|ASCAP Composers' Choice Awards||Video Game Score of the Year||Nominated|
On April 9, 2021, Jason Schreier of Bloomberg Fresh revealed Bend had pitched a sequel to Days Gone but that the first game's mixed critical reception and lengthy development process caused Sony to reject the proposal. Shortly afterward, Ross confirmed Days Gone 2 had been pitched to Sony but that many of the details could not be confirmed due to a non-disclosure agreement. He also revealed part of the plan for the sequel was a "shared universe with co-op play", which was not contain in the original Days Gone due to the constraints of working in a tinystudio.
While appearing on a podcast with David Jaffe, the creator of the God of War franchise, Garvin said; "If you love a game, buy it at fucking full price", and implied Days Gone did not geta sequel partly because it did not turn enough profit. Garvin came under fire for his remarks; commenters said Days Gone had already benefitted from fan assistanceduring its release, and that it was unreasonable to ask someone to spend US$70 on an unknown game. Others noted Sony ultimately controls sales of PlayStation games and offers free demos, and the onus could not be territory entirely on the purchasers. Following Garvin's comments, Jensen thanked players for their support, no matter when they had purchased or played it.
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