Days Gone Video Game Features Post Apocalyptic Survival Skills


Days Gone game cover

Ruth Aguilar, Staff Writer

Days Gone is an action-adventure survival horror video game developed by SIE Bend Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4 on April 26, 2019. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic Oregon two years after a global pandemic. You play as a former outlaw-turned-drifter, Deacon St. John, as he faces a brutal struggle while searching for a reason to live. As you progress through the game, Deacon discovers the possibility of his wife Sarah still being alive, which leads him on a quest to find her.

Deacon St. John

Days Gone is played from a third-person perspective, in which you can explore an open-world environment, and immerse yourself in its beauty while trying to explore its secrets. You can search abandoned vehicles, houses, truck stops, and towns as you scavenge for resources to adapt to quick environmental changes, inspired by the harsh high-desert of the Pacific Northwest. Day and night cycles, along with dynamic weather systems, all affect gameplay and enemy behavior. One minute, Deacon could be riding through a dense alpine forest—or snowfield or lush meadow—and the next, he’s fighting his way through harsh desert lava fields and caves. Ancient lava flows, scar and define the hazardous environments, delivering a breathtaking and diverse backdrop of regions to explore. From small towns and mountains to cliffs and river basins, explore the beautiful but threatening world, left in the wake of humanity’s destruction.

In its wonderful form of capturing the essence of open-world video game mechanics, there also comes a diverse range of skills to be used for securing your safety. Players can use firearms, melee weapons, and improvised weapons, and can use stealth to defend against hostile humans and cannibalistic creatures known as Freakers. Deacon has been through hell, and the world he knows doesn’t seem to be lighting up anytime soon. After the pandemic spread across the nation, people began to turn into monsters, with humans as their primary diet. Even with so little humans left with sanity, there are a few who don’t understand that sticking together is the only way to live. Most survivors fled to the wilderness in search of safety. Some formed groups that roam the broken road looking to murder the helpless. Others lost their minds. In the open world, Deacon has no one to trust and must always keep himself on high alert.

A major game mechanic is Deacon’s drifter bike, which is used as the player’s primary mode of transportation as well as mobile inventory. The bike is crucial to surviving in the world, as it will allow the player to quickly escape from situations where they will be overwhelmed, such as when unprepared to face an alerted horde.

Deacon and his bike

The bike will require refueling and repairs as the situation arises. If the bike takes too much damage, it’s performance will be severely hindered, and too much damage will render it immobile. If the bike runs out of fuel, players may walk it along but must be careful for what’s to come along the way. The bike will need to be in at least working condition and have sufficient fuel for fast travel. Even so, the bike is extremely useful and is the real OG in Days Gone.

Sarah Irene Whitaker, Ph.D., is a major character and the deuteragonist (character second in importance after the protagonist) in Days Gone, and vital to the game’s backstory. Sarah is a research scientist and botanist, and the wife of protagonist Deacon St. John. She is presumed deceased at the dawn of the Freakers outbreak; a large part of Days Gone revolves around Deacon’s search for her. Deacon and Sarah first met when her car broke down and Deacon happened to pass by. He gave her a lift and soon after this they began dating. She was sweet and well-mannered, which quickly caught Deacon’s attention. The game is perfectly set up, keeping the cool persona Deacon throughout the game, and it also dives deep into his mind and past, revealing many things about him. It also answers many questions and still manages to keep the players in suspense.

Deacon and Sarah

At its core, Days Gone is about survivors and what makes them human: desperation, loss, madness, betrayal, friendship, brotherhood, regret, love—and hope. It’s about how, even when confronted with such an enormous tragedy, hope never dies.