"That's our tagline: In Days Gone, you don't have to go seeking out trouble, the world comes for you," Days Gone creative director John Garvin explains in the new video above. It shows a different playthrough approach to the scenario depicted in Sony's E3 2017 stage demo, highlighting how different conditions in the world can shape how you play. It's a good watch, but it's a bit long at just over 11 minutes - I've pulled out the most important points below.
Time and weather make a big difference
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It's late afternoon and snowing instead of late evening and raining in this demo. Open-world games commonly cycle between day and night and various kinds of weather so you may not have even noticed the difference. But once you're playing, you will. The inhabitants of Days Gone - human or less so - will respond appropriately to their climate.
"Especially the freakers, they're mostly nocturnal, but they will come out as the weather gets colder," Garvin explains. "They become stronger in the cold. So that will, again, change up the way the game plays." And remember the big Fight Club-type scene that handily distracted all the thugs when protagonist Deacon rolled up to their outpost in the first demo? Unfortunately, a wintry night is no time for Durden-ing around.
"They were punching each other and everybody was getting into it and nobody was really paying attention to what was going on," Garvin says. "Now it's getting dark, and it's getting cold out, so they've built these bonfires. It's not just a cosmetic change. It changes the way the Marauders behave in the level."
Your approach matters
There is, of course, a skill tree with upgrades that you can unlock by investing XP. But sometimes your usual tricks just won't be applicable. If the guards are on point for once and there's no handy horde of nearby freakers to sic on the camp, you'll have to take another approach. That could be the stealth-into-open assault we see in the demo, or perhaps something sneakier.
"You saw that waterfall way up there, off in the distance," Garvin says. "There's a bridge that goes in front of that. If you had a sniper rifle and enough ammunition, you could have driven your bike all the way up there - there are trails that go all the way up there - and you could have used your sniper rifle to take out this entire camp, because it would have taken them a while to figure out where the shots were coming from and to get to you. That's a different way to play."
You can't be worse than The Shittiest Sniper
Sorry for the digression but c'mon. The clearest shot and Ghosty McRecon over there keeps waving that laser sight around like it's a business presentation. Back to the info.
Days Gone was originally going to be campy
You look at this grisly, hard-boiled action in a cruel, hard world and - regardless of whether it does anything for you personally - it's apparent that Days Gone is trying to evoke a certain mood. But according to Sam Witwer, the actor behind Deacon, the game started off with a campier vibe.
"Early on, I think there was a more like… what were we, it was more Kurt Russell, sort of a two-fisted thing," Witwer says. "And then it turned into, hey, let's take this more seriously. And what that required is a lot more taking this combat and showing the horror and the violence that happens, were this type of circumstance to take place. Realism, weirdly enough, is the thing we keep going back to when it comes to not just the stunts but with the performance style. It was very important that it doesn't seem like a bunch of actors saying lines! It was all very incidental."
For more open-world zombieing, read our Days Gone info article and check out how Days Gone's zombies fit into a larger, lethal ecosystem.