More information has come out about Days Gone‘s horde system, main play styles, and the secret to making Deacon’s bike work.
During an interview with PlayStation Access, Bend Studio revealed that it has spent a long time working on the basis of how the world interacts with itself, the ‘Freak-o-System’. Of course, all entities are out to kill the player, but the zombie-like Freakers also attack each other. Furthermore, animals are no friends to Freakers, as both parties will attack one another. The ‘Freak-o-System’ is built to make a cohesive and smooth running world that truly feels alive, and because of this, the player can use that as a tool to create fights among the enemies.
Players must collect Freaker ears in the game as proof to settlements that they are trying to make the world a safer place.
Each of the settlements and campground specializes in different aspects; some work best on weaponry, while some may be good for motorcycle upgrades. In the wild, survivors of the harsh world can be found, often in trouble, and when saved the player can send them to any camp they want, boosting the human-power, thus better upgrades.
The development team focused on developing three different pillars to combat: stealth, ‘planned attack’, and run and gun.
Stealth uses hiding and crouching to get around with fatal takedowns to make the player feel powerful. The main character Deacon also has a crossbow for silent range attacks, and can be manipulated for different advantages. For example, the player can use a crossbow bolt with Freaker essence on it to turn other humans against one another.
Planned Attack is all about setting up traps, getting to know the area, devising a strategy, and enacting it. Players can use binoculars to scope out an area and tag enemies, akin to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Traps are just part of this method as getting the drop on a group with a Molotov cocktail to burn multiple enemies and creating a route that funnels the swarm into an explosive trap is paramount to devastation hordes.
The last mode of attack is the run and gun method. Players will have access to three quick access weapons: a sidearm, rifle, and special weapon. The guns use various types of ammo and calibre sizes so bullets cannot be shared across multiple guns. Melee weapons play a big role in taking down enemies in a close range, but because the game is a survival horror game, the weapons do break. Luckily, Bend Studio has allowed players to repair their weapons using scrap. Melee weapons are not available for purchase from in-game merchants because, as the studio says, “buying something that breaks sucks.”
The game features 40 hordes throughout the open world that move and wonder as they look for food and their own special bare necessities. These hordes range from 50 Freakers to 500 for the player to battle against. The story will feature an additional three hordes that are used for the plot. Hordes are persistent, meaning if the player kills a number of them, the total will stay that number until random stragglers come to join the horde.
One strange aspect of Unreal Engine 4 that Bend Studio revealed is that it does not support two-wheeled vehicles, so the studio had to make the adjustment to the engine; the bike technically has four wheels, but two are invisible and cannot interact with the world.
Upgrading the bike is important as secret areas require the specific upgrade to the motorcycle to access the area.
A fun bit tidbit of information is the internal code name for Days Gone was ‘Red Chair’, based on a beer brewed in the city the studio is named after: Bend, Oregeon.