(thumbnail photography by Nary Fam)

Days Gone presumably started production shortly after Sony’s Bend Studio finished Uncharted: Golden Abyss — I’d guesstimate mid-2012. So the game has been in the works for quite some time (almost 4 and half years). We’ve seen two extended gameplay trailers thus far, and a short story-focused trailer. Luckily, we can easily gather a bunch of information from them — here are five reasons why Days Gone could be Sony’s next big IP.

Character Development

One thing I immediately took away from the short story trailer of Days Gone was that the game is going to focus a lot on the character development of Decon (the main protagonist), and most likely the story overall. After losing the woman he loves (I assume from the virus), we’ll most likely watch him lash out and go completely nuts, like some of us would if we were in that situation. It’ll be interesting to see how this will affect people around him. We don’t know much yet about any other characters, but I’m sure we’ll hear more as the game gets closer to release (hopefully this year).

Smart AI

Bend Studio has mentioned that these enemies, “freakers” are not zombies or any form of the undead. They’re people who are still living, just turned into mindless, feral creatures — more animal than human but still very much alive and rapidly evolving. If you watched the gameplay trailer you’ll notice a lot of ‘freakers’ will follow what other freakers are doing, plunging to their (many forms) of death. However, like real-life, some people are smarter than others — this is where things get really interesting. While some freakers are dumb enough to run off a roof or sprint straight into flames, others are much smarter, instead, they’ll choose an alternative route to chase you down. Sometimes even hiding on the other side of walls and breaking through them to attack you.

As you can tell from the trailer it’s all extremely dynamic and there’s a multitude of ways to take out freakers, but to kill the smarty-pants freakers, you’ll have to think outside the box.

Level Design

I was blown away when I first saw the gameplay trailer for Days Gone during Sony’s E3 conference — and then, my jaw hit the floor when I saw the alternate behind-closed-doors demo of the same area in the game. These gameplay videos showed off a ton of badass ways to kill freakers. Whether it was cutting down logs to collapse on them, shooting explosives barrels, rigging explosions, crafting and using a Molotov, or even the traditional mowing down enemies by spraying them with a machine gun, all of it combined together has never looked so seamless, fun, and kickass. I can’t wait to experience it for myself.

Story

I’m not sure how much Bend Studio would want to admit it but I don’t think I’m alone when saying that Days Gone screams “The Last of Us”. Middle-aged male loses a loved one (presumably) as the world is overrun by infected crazies. But hey, no complaints here, I’ve been yearning for a The Last of Us sequel ever since I beat it in 2013. Days Gone is going to hold me over in the ‘zombie’ department until The Last of Us Part II releases. Bend Studio’s previous game was Uncharted: Golden Abyss for the PS Vita, and I personally thought it was great. The writing and character building was well done in that title, so I have some pretty big expectations for the studio’s next game.

Customization and Dynamic Weather

Speaking of The Last of Us, when in comparison to the crafting in that game, Days Gone is looking to be way more in-depth than The Last of Us ever was (which is awesome). In the one gameplay trailer we’ve seen, Decan is seen grabbing a car piece from under the hood and using it to silence his pistol. I hope more stuff like this is included throughout the game (which I’m sure it will be) — it seems like an awesome way to mix up the gameplay. Whether be scavenging around for new items, or frantically crafting new mods during the heat of battle.

Similar to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the type of weather can dramatically mix up the gameplay. Link can freeze in the cold, die of heat in the hot, and not be able to climb when it’s raining. It’s a really awesome way to change up the normal gameplay loop. Days Gone is kinda similar — while the developer hasn’t shed a bunch of information on the topic, they did give us a couple details. When it’s snowing it changes the way your motorcycle handles. Also, Freakers are much stronger in cold weather. I’m eager to find out how else the environment can affect gameplay.

Are you as stoked as I am for Days Gone? Do you believe it’ll be Sony’s next big IP? Leave all your thoughts in the comments section below or on our social media pages!

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