SIE Bend's Days Gone: 4 Ways It Can Stand Out
From Bloodborne to Spider-Man, Sony has dominated the exclusive front for the entire 8th generation of consoles. Nearly every exclusive has been critically acclaimed and worthy of praise. Even as the 8th generation seems to be winding down, games like The Last Of Us 2 are still on the horizon. Although, despite all of these highly anticipated titles, there seem to be one black sheep that’s gotten lackluster response after response. Even at its initial E3 debut, terms such as generic and stereotypical were often thrown its way. Combined that with its seeming bargain bin Walking Dead characters and you have a game that’s barely on anyone’s radar. The game in question would is SIE Bend’s Days Gone.
In a world where we have The Last of Us 2 and now the hugely successful Resident Evil 2, your zombie game is going to have to do a lot to impress gamers. The novelty of shooting hordes of mindless zombies has long worn off for players. While the game’s graphics and mechanic have never looked poor, I’ve always felt a sense of wanting more from the game. Mind you, these are all impressions that I’ve gotten from previews, but things could change once the full game releases. Nevertheless, there are ways that Days Gone can surprise the industry and become another classic franchise among the many lists of PS4 exclusives.
Taking advantage of your open world is one aspect that Days Gone can stand out. The previous zombie games that I listed don’t exactly thrive in open world environments and Days Gone can create a unique niche for its self. An extreme focus on the biker aspect of the game can really make players feel like Days Gone isn’t just your average third person zombie survival game. Having player scavenge for bike upgrades or choosing between previous upgrades to their bike or weapons could make for some interesting dynamics. Think of how Resident Evil 2 makes players decide between which resource are more important and to use them.
Also, making the open environment truly feel lived in as well as abandoned can go along way. Players should be able to name countless landmarks within your open world and navigate without having to use a map towards the end of your game. It’s really easy to tell when a developer copied pasted their environments and Days Gone should attempt to go above and beyond with immersing its players.
Weapons And Gadgets
Since you’re going to be spending most of your time doing this, combat should have a certain weight to it. Each weapon should feel grounded and unique to the world. This is a post-apocalyptic game after all so get creative with the gadgets and weapons. I’m not asking for Ratchet & Clank levels of creativity but make great weapons.
Make your enemies intimidating! The reason games like The Last of Us and Resident Evil are loved is because they force you to use your head. The enemies in those games are deadly and relentless monsters that will expend your resources. The most interesting aspect of the game that I’ve seen so far was the World War Z style of zombies, meaning that they would swarm the players like a wave and it was technically and visually impressive. There are elements like this that have potential, but I feel like the SIE haven’t properly marketed the best aspects of their game.
Deacon St. John - The Lead Protagonist
This is me personally, but the main character of the game has never screamed interesting. Deacon St. John always seemed like generic male protagonist #500 that I'm supposed to relate to for...reasons I guess? Maybe I'm too harsh on the character, but your story has to have something to say. Trailers have given off a more serious tone unlike games like Dead Rising, so I hope that the writers have a strong enough voice to make me care. Because the key to any horror story is having the horror the catalyst for some form of social commentary or personal story.
With the release date a few weeks away, Days Gone’s time to shine is coming soon. While Sony’s first party studious have earned my trust when it comes to quality games, Days Gone still has a lot to prove. Days Gone releases April 22, 2019, exclusively for the PlayStation 4.