Days Gone (Life After): First Look for an Exclusive for Sony PlayStation 4

Sony and its subsidiaries Sony Interactive Entertainment are renowned for their excellent single-player AAA games that go

exclusive to Sony PlayStation. This is especially valuable against the background of general trends of indulging in online, loot boxes, shareware schemes, and so on. Sony PlayStation and SIE Bend Studio held a series of events around the world, at which they introduced media representatives to the upcoming exclusive Days Gone (Life After) for the Sony PlayStation 4 console. Revision gg visited such an event in the Czech Republic, weI managed to spend some (quite impressive) time in the game to create a general first impression and chat a bit with a Bend Studio representative Emmanuel Roth (Senior Staff Animator). An interesting place was chosen: from Prague we were taken to a forest, to an abandoned hotel, where everything happened. The place is extremely picturesque and in general really resembles the world of the game:


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Like the hotel itself, with dubious ceilings andthe roof. In fact, we were lucky to get to this hotel while it is abandoned. In the near future it will be rebuilt, restored and will begin to work for its intended purpose.


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What did Emmanuel Roth tell about?


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Days Gone is developed by SIE Bend Studio,which was formed in 1993 under the name Eidetic. Under this name, the studio existed until 2000, in which it became part of Sony Interactive Entertainment and changed its name to Bend Studio in honor of Bend's hometown in Oregon, where the studio is based. Of the significant projects worth mentioning is the Siphon Filter series. For a long time the studio was engaged in the release of games for the PlayStation Portable and Vita, and Days Gone was the first really large-scale project in a long time. We will not publish the full text of the interview, but concentrate on the most interesting facts that Emmanuel Roth kindly told us about.

  • The studio was very happy to have the opportunityto work on such a large project and the first work on Days Gone began immediately after the release of Uncharted: Fight for Fortune for PS Vita. In general, “Life After” has been in development for 6 years;
  • the concept and theme of the game were invented almost immediately;
  • Days Gone was originally conceived as a plot Single Player project and the multiplayer component it was not planned at any stage of development;
  • Freaks are not zombies in our usual way.understanding. Freaks are infected people and animals that eat and sleep, like all living creatures. Yes, and they behave more consciously: they can move quickly, build their own “nests”, gather in flocks or whole hordes, and can also steal the desired item right from under the nose of the main character;
  • Day and night, different weather conditions will directly affect the gameplay: starting with the behavior of freaks and ending with the bike's handling, which will significantly decrease in the rain;
  • large plot DLC is not planned (at least for now): the studio wants to release the game in the form of a full, completed story;
  • the scene of Days Gone is the “post-apocalyptic” Oregon, the studio’s “native” staff, so that nature, landscape and climatic conditions are transmitted close to reality;
  • The game uses the Unreal Engine 4 (unlikefrom most of the biggest exclusives for PS4 on their own designs). Unreal Engine 4 is simple, easy to use and copes with all the necessary tasks, including hordes of freaks in the amount of about 300 individuals on the screen.

What are Days Gone all about?


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The plot of Days Gone is one of the most important.components of the game. The action takes place two years after the pandemic, as a result of which the vast majority of the population has turned into the very freaks from which we have to fight. However, not only against them: in the game there are gangs, sectarians and military along with scientists who clearly know about the virus that has declined the population much more than the rest of the surviving population.


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The protagonist of Days Gone - biker DeaconSt. John, who lost his wife during a pandemic. By the way, he is played by Sam Whitver, who is probably familiar to the gaming audience through Star Wars: The Force Unleashed games, in which he gave his appearance to the main character (the actor is a big Star Wars fan). I remember him most as Neil Perry on Dexter, although he has a number of roles in other shows and films. The main character turned out to be quite charismatic, with its past, cockroaches in the head, a certain sense of humor, goals and approach to solving problems.


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Initially the main story idea looks liketrite, but Bend Studio did a lot of work to make the story interesting. Yes, we have the “backbone” of the open world after a pandemic, phreakers, various groups, gathering the necessary resources, safe shelters, locations for “stripping” and a camp in which you can “stock up” with everything you need, refuel and improve your bike and get a new the task. But all this is richly seasoned with an abundance of interesting additional characters with their own stories, relationships with Deacon and additional plot branches. All this is felt very well.


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Deacon survives in a not very good worldAlong the way, trying to deal with a bunch of open questions: what happened to his beloved wife Sarah, where did the same virus come from, how are the soldiers involved in this, and why do they study freaks together with scientists? In this Deacon will help his very colorful friend named Bukhar. All the characters are written very well, they are not idealized, as is often the case in games. They survive and are ready for much, including very dubious acts.


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We were available to build the game without someparts of the plot, in order to show as much as possible game mechanics, a variety of locations, tasks and characters. But after such a first acquaintance, the game managed to interest me and I will pass it with interest after the release. The plot can not be called a masterpiece, but it involves. The main “plot” takes about 30 hours, 6 of which are the cut scenes. Which is quite normal for a plot-oriented game. Performing numerous "side effects" will be able to significantly increase the time in the game.

How to play?


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The scale of the open game world to evaluate onThis moment is difficult, but it is made picturesquely. Nature and landscape are very diverse: forests, mountains, plains, streams. All this beauty can be both flooded with bright sunlight, and plentifully poured rain, under which you have to get to the next location. Across all of this world there are scattered settlements with surviving people, in which you can be both in good standing and “stab” your reputation. These settlements are used to get jobs, buy everything you need and upgrade your bikes. In each settlement, the Deacon has a reputation indicator that rises with the fulfillment of tasks.


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There are also separate locations where you canTo profit from valuable resources, but for this to be done “cleansing” of freaks. Not without pleasant trifles: in some places you can find notes with information about locations or events from the game. Separately, NERO (the same military organization) roadblocks were scattered across the map. The most faithful and irreplaceable companion of Deacon is his bike, which must be preserved, repaired and improved as far as possible. In the game, situations often arise in which the only correct solution is escape. And without a bike just can not do. The mechanics of riding a bike are very cool: the adaptation is quick and the ride is really interesting and exciting.


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Combat system without any uniquefeatures, but also made soundly. As we play, we find or buy new weapons, modify them. There are pistols, machine guns, sniper rifles, shotguns, crossbows, baseball bats and so on. The classic set, what weapon against whom to use is already a matter of taste. There are projectile explosive and flammable weapons, in particular, Molotov cocktails that need to be crafted by yourself. And, it is necessary to recognize, in many cases they are very helpful. Not only for burning freak nests, but also against large crowds or large opponents with a lot of health.


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Danger is not only freaks in differentvariations and quantities. There are also sectarians, gangsters, roadside ambushes, tree snipers and wild animals. For example, “to fill up” a huge bear is not the most trivial task, as it turned out in practice. In battles, you can and should act in different ways. Brute force, far through works not always. You can cope with two or three “ordinary” freaks without any problems, but if there are more of them, this number will not work. About the stealth component is also not forgotten: it is and it is very effective. To hide in the bushes and wait for the right moment is the optimal solution in many situations.


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Collect supplies and craft a lot to: ammunition and remedies are always lacking, and cold weapons break. In this regard, everything is well known in other Action / Adventure with elements of RPG games, but implemented as it should, it is intuitively clear. This also includes the leveling system: we get skill points, study or improve skills, progress the skills tree further. The pumping is not formal, it significantly affects the course of the game and some skills are simply irreplaceable. For example, the ability to independently repair cold weapons in the presence of parts.

What does all this look like?


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The technical part of the question is not quite assessed.It is advisable at this stage: we were given a chance to play the latest “build” of the game. At the time of the event, the studio already had later builds. In general, some nuances were, both in terms of bugs, and some elements of the graphic component. But nothing critical or irreparable. Moreover, there is still time before the April 26 release. In general, the picture looks very nice, the world looks picturesque and diverse, and the alternation of day and night along with changing weather conditions visually “enliven” the world of Days Gone. Let's leave this part for a full review of Days Gone after the release.

In the dry residue

You expect a maximum from some projects,This is especially true for high-budget exclusives for the Sony PlayStation. Frankly, the old gameplay videos were not too inspiring, Days Gone seemed “secondary.” But at the current stage, having personally played the preview version, my opinion about the game has changed dramatically. It is worth paying tribute to Bend Studio: the developers had the courage to aim a blow at the development of such a game, while not having the experience of creating such large-scale projects and it seems that they have coped with their goal. Days Gone feels like a full-fledged, quality-made AAA-project with all the necessary components. Developed, involving plot, interesting characters, fashionable now open world and let it not unique, but well-implemented mechanics, thanks to which in the Days Gone to play really fun. And let “Life After” not go down in history for many years with the title “masterpiece”, but it will obviously bring a lot of fun to gamers. So we are waiting for April 26th.

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