Over the past few years, zombie-themed survival games have become the norm. As this genre slowly goes stale, game developers have started exploring alternate options, whilst staying in the zombie category. Upcoming action adventure game Days Gone for the PlayStation 4 features a different take on zombies. Taking an alternate avenue, developer SIE Bend Studio changes the zombies from the common slow and sluggish style to be more aggressive and agile. In his interview with the official PlayStation Magazine, Creative Director John Garvin compares Days Gone to the 2002 zombie film 28 Days Later.
“So we’re like 28 Days Later zombies, instead of Walking Dead zombies. And that’s, to my mind at least, that’s a huge difference,” Garvin says. “Because what that allowed us to do was to create an ecosystem; you’re in an open world, with a day/night cycle, and you’ve got creatures that need to eat, they need to sleep, they need to drink… all of that is built into the daily cycles of the horde.”
With such elaborate and advanced zombie mechanics, Days Gone offers players complete control of their encounters. The aforementioned “ecosystem” basically means that the “freakers” actually have their own activities and habitats.
“You find a horde den–a cave or a mine–you can track what they’ve done during the day. You can actually find where they go to feed, because we have all of these mass graves in the world. That’s why they are out here in the wilderness,” he adds.
Throughout the game, the player will learn more about the behavior of the freakers, such as their preferred habitats. Some places, such as mass graves, will definitely be considered a dense area in terms of zombie population.
“And then you can find out where they feed, where they drink, and you can follow them and learn their habits, and that’s important, because later on there’s going to be missions where you have to take them out. And they’re just dangerous all the time. If you run into one while you’re on the highway trying to do something else, good things don’t come of that.”
After encountering several delays, Days Gone is scheduled to be released on the PlayStation 4 on February 22, 2019.