Days Gone – Sons of Zombie Anarchy

PREVIEW – Sony Bend returns after a long sleep of making original games, they are bringing us Days Gone, which reminds me a lot of Sons Anarchy and a bit of Walking Dead. The studio was responsible for the Syphon Filter series, and after that, they went to help out to create portable games of bigger franchises such as Uncharted or Resistance.  After a few years of silence, at this year’s E3 they have announced Days Gone a post-apocalyptic survival game.


Our first instinct was to call this The Last of Us GTA! It does seem different enough not to have that feeling of a copy paste from TLOU. In fact, Sony Bend might be providing what a lot of people have been clamoring for many years. A big budget open-world zombie game with vehicles (Dead Rising is something else entirely).

The game takes place two years after humanity has been ravaged by a deadly plague that killed off most people, while some survived, the remaining were turned into zombies. To be honest, they seem more like monsters from 28 Days Later. Upon reveal, Sony showed us a 6-7 minute demo where our main character Deacon St John needs to track down a fellow human, but during this, he is chased by a horde of zombies. Will our hero survive the horde or will he succumb to them?

Running up that hill!

Well ever since the E3 demo Days Gone has not had too much new footage, only an extended cut of the demo. Still, the footage shown was impressive. It reminded me of Left 4 Dead’s zombie horde, but with better visuals, and much more zombies on screen. We also see two types of zombies, the simple shambling ones, and the most specialized ones that will be tougher to take down. They’re not boss fights like in Dying Light, or Dead Rising, rather they’ll just have a few unique abilities, and will be harder to take down.

During the demo, we could see Deacon use stealth to his advantage not to be noticed by the horde around the old factory. However, things quickly escalate and luckily the game seems to have a good overall grasp of the movement/shooting mechanic. The animation looked smooth, and the shooting dynamic, the bodies of the undead drop dead with grace.

There is an open world map on the lower left corner; that has bright red spots that show a blip of zombie movement. A mix of GTA and Dead Rising, a great combination, with driveable vehicles, mostly motorcycles, roaming the countryside. There can also be multiple methods to tackle missions, from guns blazing to stealthy takedown and avoiding enemies.
HDR, and sound design.

Sony touted the game as a massively expansive world, with detailed environments and enemies. They also showed off how HDR effects the game.

The colors are brighter, the flames of a molotov cocktail are even more detailed against the base game when it comes to the PS4 Pro version. Based on the 4K footage shown there are barely edges and antialiasing works wonders. The enemy count is massive and showed no slowdown during the footage. It looked impressive especially considering the level of detail.

Everything looks ideal for Days Gone, but I did have one problem with the footage shown. The sound design of the weapon (that one machine gun), sounded so bland and lacked a punch that it was disappointing to hear. We really hope that the guns and general sound design will have much more impact. Not expecting DICE quality sound work, but it should be better than what we heard.

Last of Us 1.5?

Not much is known about the story or the mission design, but what was shown does hint at a less story driven gameplay. The developers did not comment on the cutscene lengths,  and rather than being an interactive movie, it is aiming for an interactive experience. Which is a good goal, but hopefully the open-world mission design will not harm the usual Sony quality storytelling.

We hope that there will be interesting tasks and not the usual – kill the bounty, or kill XY zombie numbers.
Sony Bend seems to be aiming for stellar production quality but let us hope we will not feel tired of their zombie concept – considering how many zombie games we had in the past few years.


Could be good:

+ Massive zombie hordes
+ Biker zombie apocalypse – neat concept
+ Stellar graphics

Could be bad:

– Could have generic regarding mission type
– Sound design, not the best based on the footage
– Hopefully, the story will not suffer due to the open-world nature of Days Gone

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Developer: SIE Bend Studio

Genre: Action-Adventure, Survival Horror

Relase date: TBA

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Bence is a Senior Staff Writer for our site. He is an avid gamer, that enjoys all genres, from Indie to AAA games. He mostly plays on the PS4 or on the laptop (since some indies get a preview build there faster). Loves obscure Japanese games that no one else dares to review on this site.

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