Taking a break from the journal entries of “A Look at the Other Side” for now, I wanted to talk more about the game itself, specifically Days Gone 2 and beyond. As I’m making my way through the survival run of the story, a few ideas popped into my head that I think could be fascinating features to this franchise. Probably nothing the development team at Bend Studio hasn’t already thought of, but rather my own preferences of what I would like to see. The ideas I discuss below will be related to the story, and not on the technical aspects or other game modes such as, multiplayer.
Being able to pick the colors of your motorcycle, along with adding decals and customizing the appearance of your bike was a great feature in the game. I loved switching the look of my bike every so often, especially with the stunning bike skins you would receive as rewards. I would like to take those same features and apply it to Deacon too. Take a Red Dead Redemption 2 style approach to it to fully customize Deacon any way you want. From the colors of his weapons, to the different types of hats, pants, boots, shirts and so on. Do you want Deacon with long hair or short hair? Beard or no beard? That would give the player the ability to create a unique look for Deacon. For Days Gone, no customization worked in its favor because it served the purpose of the story. It would have made no sense for them to add in this feature because wearing his Mongrels colors (cut) were a key part in the progression of Deacon’s story. The cut was symbolic toward the actions of Deacon and the path he was taking.
How would you acquire these new clothes? In Red Dead Redemption, you can go to multiple stores to buy anything you need by searching the catalogue. In Days Gone, there are no more stores or customer service left in the world. So, there are two ways you could outfit Deacon with different clothes:
- Buy clothes at the camps using credits.
- Since this world is about surviving, you could scavenge clothes from abandoned cars or take the clothes off the back of a deceased body.
This world comes for you, right? That means you need to stay on your toes and be prepared to fight at any given notice. Camps may be safe for the most part, but what happens if a horde comes through? A couple guards and barbed wire fence may stall the oncoming attack, but eventually they will break through and that camp will no longer be safe. My suggestion is to have the ability to create defensive strategies and equip your camp with traps, weapons, guards, etc. Look at the concept of upgrading Mother Base on Metal Gear Solid V. When you are out in the world, you gather materials to help you expand your base creating more room to recruit soldiers and build a stronger army. You can also extract weapons you find to better suit your soldiers for any potential attacks. You even can send people out on missions to gather specific supplies that you need. See where I’m going with this?
The same concept could be applied to the camps in Days Gone. Wood is scattered all over Oregon and could be a useful material for Deacon to gather to help create more houses in the camps or larger walls on the perimeter. That hatchet you can equip could come in handy for this mechanic! Another searchable item you could find in the world could be plants. Yes, you find plants in Days Gone already, but this time it could be used to stock up the infirmary to help not just you but the whole camp.
Weapons you find from taking down ambush campers and marauders, could be stored in the armory. The armory would be used to equip your campers with better weapons to protect the camp. This would also apply to extra kerosene, bottles, remote bombs, and other traps you craft to be placed there. Instead of Deacon using all the materials for himself, he is also finding materials to help the camp strive.
Remember riding along the broken road and finding somebody trapped in a car surrounded by Freakers? In the story, you can help that person and send them to a camp and in return you gain trust and camp credits. Instead, that person could now be used as a guard too. As the player, you can equip him with a specific weapon and place him wherever you want in the camp. Same thing with traps, you can use strategy to place them where you think your camp is weak or vulnerable. I know I said I wouldn’t talk about game modes, but this could add an intriguing online mode with players trying to infiltrate your camp to steal materials and recruit more people for their own camp.
Trust is a huge theme in the story and plays into the gameplay part of it as well. The more missions you do, the more bounties you collect and hordes you take out increase your Trust status for the camps. With the added feature of upgrading your camp, another points system could come into play as you do missions throughout the story, Security. Not only will you as a player gain access to more weapons and upgrades with the Trust you earn, but the new Security status could open another tree of upgrades and items to improve your camp.
More Freaker Animals
We are not exactly sure how the virus operates yet as we see some animals are not infected, such as wolves, bears, cougars and dogs. However, there are three infected animal species that we do see during the story. The Rager Bear, Runners and Criers. The Rager Bear is a fierce monstrous bear that is hard to take down, consuming a lot of bullets to defeat it. Runners are wolves that can run as fast as Deacon’s motorcycle. When they get close they will lung to throw you off your bike and attack in packs. Criers are annoying crows that create nests high up on trees and telephone poles. If you don’t burn out the nests, they will swoop down to attack you. Infected bats were also mentioned in Researcher Field Note 0701. Since we see that the Freaker virus infected these animals, which other animals could it infect?
I did a little research and looked at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website to see what other types of animals inhabit that territory that we could possibly see in future games. I came across an assortment of wildlife including a moose, elk, bighorn sheep, wolverines, badgers, fox and more. Think about riding your motorcycle to your next objective to get intercepted by a large infected moose standing in the middle of the road. That could be just as terrifying as coming across a Rager Bear with their massive size and large antlers. With each infected animal having a nickname in the world of Days Gone, I took the liberty in calling the infected moose Chargers. I chose this name because moose are very territorial and can become aggressive if they feel threatened. If they think you are a threat, they will charge. Adult moose can run up to 35 mph too, so there would be no outrunning it for Deacon.
This is probably going to happen in the next game regardless but doesn’t hurt to add this in too. The largest horde in the game (excluding the Surrounded challenge mode) is about 500 Freakers located at the Old Sawmill. That is a very large horde on screen at one time, and you feel it as they come at you from all directions. Imagine increasing that size to about 1,000 Freakers in one location. If you listen to the constant world building throughout the story between characters and Nero recordings, you know that the hordes can get to this size and more. That gives me anxiety thinking about it!
Those are just a few of my ambitious ideas that I would like to see implemented in Days Gone 2 and beyond. However, I have complete confidence that Bend Studio will impress everyone with the next installment whether these ideas come to fruition or not. Let’s just wait and see what they’re cooking up in Oregon, but for now it can be fun to imagine! What would you like to see added for the sequel? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter!