Sony closed out their E3 2017 press briefing last night with a new look at Days Gone, their first-party survival horror game. It has been roughly a year since Sony announced Days Gone, which is being developed by their in-house studio, SIE Bend Studio, whose known primarily for developing the Syphon Filter franchise for PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Vita, as well as two of the last few installments in the Uncharted franchise for Vita: Golden Abyss and Fight for Fortune.
Jumping from handheld games into an open-world survival adventure game for the PS4 is an ambitious move for the studio, though it’s something that many studios have been doing lately. Also, it’s arguably the perfect opportunity for Days Gone to release, especially considering the plethora of zombie-related content in the entertainment field, due in large part to the popularity of The Walking Dead (as well as its companion series, Fear the Walking Dead) and a resurgence in interest in survival horror games.
Last year, Sony officially announced Days Gone and introduced the game with a brief gameplay video showing off the scale of the upcoming title. During their E3 press briefing this year, Sony showed off a more intimate, stealth-oriented gameplay demo (video above) that showcases the post-apocalyptic setting, the various undead threats (including a zombie bear), and the legion of zombie hordes, as well as the central protagonist, Deacon St. John, played by actor Sam Witwer (Star Wars, Being Human).
Zombie video games are nothing new to the industry, though it’s rare to see something that stands out of the crowd these days. Most titles tend to focus on simulating traditional expectations of a zombie apocalypse, such as DayZ, Dying Light, and the Dead Rising franchise. Bend Studio attempts to take the genre in a different direction with Days Gone, which appears to be something crossed between Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead, mixed with aspects of World War Z. Just because there are zombies, though, that doesn’t mean there won’t be human antagonists as well.
It’s clear by last year’s reveal as well as this year’s gameplay trailer that Days Gone will take full advantage of its mature rating, showcasing gory and intense combat mechanics. Aside from fighting zombified animals, the most intriguing aspect revealed in the gameplay video is that players can utilize zombie hordes to their advantage, unleashing the undead on their enemies. At this point, it’s unclear when Days Gone will release on PS4, though showing off this level of gameplay seems to indicate that Bend Studio is at least past the halfway point. We’ll keep you updated of any new developments.