I am a survivor. I have always been a survivor. I survived for my daughter Alyssa. I survived as long as I could out here for her. The longer I survived, the longer her memory would remain in me. But now, a part of me knew it was going to end like this…
After years of abuse from my piece of shit husband, I would hide the bruises and the tears from Alyssa each night. Of course, she heard the yelling and screaming, but I stayed strong for her. She was so young and pure. I stayed with him because I thought it would be better for her. I didn’t want her to grow up in a broken home where I would only see her every other holiday. One day, I had enough. He went out to a bar like he normally would, so I told Alyssa we were taking a long trip. I had our bags packed and we left and never looked back. I started a new life with just me and her. That’s all I needed. Unfortunately, my time with her was cut short. The world came to an end and I lost her.
I pushed forward to make her proud. It sounds silly because she’s not even here, but it was the one thing that kept me going. Being able to still remember her laughter or her soft voice made my life worth living. That’s why I made it this far. Now, I became a different person. A person that I wouldn’t want Alyssa to meet. That fact alone makes me despise myself. Each day the memories of her faded. Each day got darker. Each day I would do something worse than the last.
So, here I am. Leaning against this tree struggling to even write down my last words. I got shot in the stomach and my blood is everywhere. Some drifter came into our camp and killed us all. I was the only one that survived. I guess our reputation got around of our ambushes and this time someone ambushed us. Survival of the fittest.
It’s getting dark now and I can hear the Freakers coming from all directions. Ironically, I have only one bullet left. Like I said, a part of me knew it was going to end like this.
For my daughter,
If you haven’t read the first two journal entries from Katie, you can check them out at the links below.
A group of incredible fans from around the world contributed in creating a very special message dedicated to Bend Studio, the creators of Days Gone. From the USA stretching all the way to Australia, we wanted to express our love for Days Gone and share with you our appreciation of your tireless effort in creating such an incredible game. Days Gone impacted us all in different ways, and became a favorite for everyone here. Now, I will go ahead and let their words speak for themselves.
“You asked why I loved Days Gone. Well, here it is: Never has a video game brought so much emotion out of me. Anger, pain, joy, love…so many tears. This game took over, is still taking over my life, no other game has done this. It horrified me to no end. The sounds, the environment, the music, the story and the immersivity. This is my favorite game…EVER.”
“Days Gone became sort of an addiction to me. Not exactly because of one specific area of its gameplay, world, or characters, but an overall combination of them all. Exploring the wilderness, a place filled with so much beauty and yet so much danger, just invoked a complete sense of contrast. I loved it. I cared about the characters, and I can’t wait to see what Bend has in store for the series.”
“I will never forget the feeling I had watching the reveal trailer for the first time. The music, the emotion and the beauty of the world had me hooked from that moment.
Since the first Day Gone, I have been following Bend Studio’s journey down the Broken Road with every piece of content they showed us, and I would analyze every frame just wanting to know each detail. I would share my excitement in every video about it that I would upload.
Bend Studio have done such an incredible job of bringing the world of Days Gone to life. The characters feel like living, breathing people. The world of Days Gone feels vibrant and absolutely terrifying. They told us that “this world comes for you” and they delivered. The richly developed story and the pacing of this game is perfection. I have said many times during my let’s play how easy it is to get wrapped up in this world and forget you’re playing a game. To me, that is all I need to know if a game will become one of my all-time favorites. To be fair, I am still playing Days Gone. I am intentionally taking my time with it and enjoying every beautiful and horrifying moment.
To be honest, I didn’t know if this game could ever live up to the level of hype that I had for it. Once I was actually able to play for myself, I can say without hesitation that Days Gone has become one of my most beloved games of all time.
Bend Studio brought their beautiful “backyard” of Bend, Oregon to us all and I’m so grateful that they did. I’m so thankful for every person who has worked so hard on this stunning game.
For me Days Gone, the story of Deacon St. John and the Broken Road created by Bend Studio is iconic and my Game of the Year.”
“There’s something magical about the singular moment you realize a game resonates with you on a personal level. That the story you are playing, and the world you’re journeying into, are becoming part of your own memories. By the end of Days Gone I knew the names of every character, as well as I knew the landscape and the intricate roads of post-apocalyptic eastern Oregon. And I cared about each and every one of them: our best friend Boozer, the determined Sarah, the wise Iron Mike, the genuine Rikki, the selfless Addy, the stern Copeland, the tragic Lisa…
In this day and age, with so many superheroes crowding the skies of fiction, it’s refreshing to see grounded characters taking the lead. Is Deacon St. John a hero? Is he even a good guy? Sometimes he reveals himself as a ruthless avenger of death, falling upon those who live to prey on the weak, with remorseless cruelty. Other times, he is ready to put his life on the line for little more than a filled tank and a few “scraps”. The world of Days Gone is populated with authentic characters, not without their faults and contradictions, people forced to confront their own demons, as much as they face the monsters living on the outside.
As I completed the game’s journey, I felt I had gone through not just a simple story, but an entire saga. I admired the slow start of the narrative, as our main character roamed the landscape seemingly without purpose or destiny. Deacon’s sense of detachment slowly fades away, as events unfold and mysteries are revealed. He becomes increasingly involved with the world around him, and someone close reminds him that, in such uncertain world, it is harder to belong than to survive. Light a candle in the dark, Rikki tells a reluctant Deacon – a lesson he will learn in the end, as the light he brought to those around him comes back to brighten his own path and maybe keep him from falling into darkness.
Days Gone will definitely stand among my personal favorite gaming experiences. Riding through the zombie apocalypse on a bike has never been so fun, and I can’t wait to see what comes next from the talented Bend Studio crew.”
“The year was 2016 when the ad appeared on E3, my hype was high. The game in question is DAYS GONE a survival, action and adventure game with narrative, the kind of game I enjoy. It was Friday April 26, when the game was launched worldwide, and there I was waiting for the store to open the doors😁😁. I had to pick it up on the first day, and on that same day I read some analysis especially the negative one from IGN, but the analysis did not diminish my hype. I will not lie, it diminished a bit 😁😁, but when I started playing I immediately fell in love with the game. The gameplay, the story, scenery, beautiful music and the whole set. Of course, it had some flaws and bugs, but that did not ruin my experience. The game was getting better and better with the updates. I was sure a team like Bend Studio, that took care of Resistance, Uncharted Golden Abyss and Syphon filter would not make a bad game, even more being an exclusive on PlayStation. Anyway, I just have to thank them for this wonderful game, the whole team that created a single AAA player that went into my top 10. Thanks Jeff Ross, Eric Jensen, Sam Witwer, John Garvin and Bend Studio.”
“April 2019- I own an Xbox and was playing Red Dead 2 but was needing something else. Someone else playing it on the PS4 suggested to get the up and coming Days Gone. So, April 28th I placed my order for a PS4 Pro and Days Gone. On 5/1 my life was changed.
I am not a writer, or a reviewer just someone trying to put my experience into words the best I can. Another small side note, the first game I bought for my original Playstation was Syphon Filter and bought the 2nd and 3rd when they came out on that platform.
I simply just loved this game, where do I even start? Right from the beginning I was attached to the characters. I mean I just let my wife go when the worlds ending to save her life. Immediately I feel a connection to Deacon, Sarah, Boozer, and even O’Brian. The further the story goes the deeper the connection went for me. I liked that at each camp, they really tried to have unique people that you might relate with, or you might be like that guys crazy. Along with the previously mentioned, I really dug Rikki and Captain Kouri.
Getting into the open world is what really drove it home for me. I knew nothing of the game beforehand. I about lost my mind when I realized it was made in my backyard! I moved to Oregon in 1993 when I was 8, I have been living in the suburbs of Portland since then. They could have chosen L.A., New York or some other large city, or just some other state in general but they chose Southern Oregon. I myself have only been in that area a handful of times. Once I stayed at Moraine Lake to climb South Sister Mountain, which is also the 3rd tallest peak in the state. That experience was almost felt in the game with the attention to detail they put into the environment. Maybe we see the Pacific Coast Highway in the next Days Gone or maybe a DLC?
The plants, the trees, the water all was very realistic and very well done. The weather you experience in the game is for real. It’s not something the developers just threw in, “you don’t like the weather, wait a minute” is what some of us folks say here. It was funny to hear them joke about how much it rains here all the time.
The animals were also spectacular. The deer, bear, wolf, cougar, and crow were all done very well. What I really appreciated was the randomness that you could encounter them. You could have set up a bunch of traps, or just been trying to be stealthy when a pack of wolves would run up on you or even a bear! With that said, you would also have the very well randomly timed encounters with the Rager, Runner, Breaker, Reacher, Screamer or Criers. I was also impressed at the randomness they would fight each other. I loved riding up on a Breaker fighting a Rager. Watching a horde devour a bear or a pack of deer was always fun to watch.
The combat/movement did take me a minute to get used to, but it also felt very familiar. After I realized it was a possible spin off from Syphon Filter the memories hit and the controls made more sense. I really like that the aiming wasn’t just lock on and shoot like some games. I liked that you really had to try to be accurate. I think ALOT of people just expect when you shoot a gun in games that it’s going to be easy, but I think they really took into account of how someone in real life would be able to shoot a gun.
Photo Mode- I’m just going to leave it at that. 😉
There is much, much more that I could touch on and keep going on and on about what and why I love this game so much. I just want to again from the bottom of my heart thank you for such a wonderful gaming experience and bringing the wonderful state of Oregon to life in such a beautiful way that all of you at Bend Studio did. I’m really looking forward to what your studio will be bringing into this world next. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.”
“From the moment I started playing Days Gone I was sucked into the world. It oozed atmosphere and I felt immediately connected to the characters and invested in their story, which only deepened as the game progressed. I wish I could list in detail everything I love about this game, but we’d be here forever haha. So, I’ll just say one thing that became clear while journeying with these characters through this incredibly detailed, immersive and beautiful world, is how much love and care has been poured into every aspect of this amazing game. Thank you to all the talented, hardworking and dedicated people at Bend Studio for bringing us such a fun and memorable experience. Days Gone has become one of my all-time favorite games. Respect! I’ll leave you all with one of my favorite captures from my journey.”
“When I started Days Gone I knew nothing about it, but I quickly became immersed in its world and surviving in it felt believable and terrifying. Bend Studio created a game that by the end became a masterpiece to me! Thank you Bend Studio!”
“From the first minute I saw Days Gone at E3 2016, I knew this game was something really special. The setting, the main character, that FEELING – it all captured my attention immediately, and my heart. There was something new and unique to it, something that no one could deliver. It was to me that perfect mix of a post-apocalyptic setting with a strong third-person-character. A biker, that wasn’t really done before. And of course, the Hordes. I never saw anything comparable before and after. And I knew, if Bend Studio can keep their promise, I will love this game no matter what. And oh boy, you delivered so much. It’s hard to put my admiration for this game into words, but it is my first ever platinum-game. I think this speaks for itself. It is the most underrated game of the decade. I never understood people saying they couldn’t get what kind of game it was and that it was a mash-up of many other games. OF COURSE it was, but every game is. That’s like saying Horizon: Zero Dawn is just a mash-up of Tomb Raider and Dinosaurs. To me that’s no critique point at all. Days Gone mixed the adventure-genre so perfectly with a post-apocalyptic open-world and a crafting system, to me there is nothing like it on the market. With just one screenshot you can clearly say “that’s Days Gone”. And nothing gives me more chills then facing a horde of 300+ Freakers. Till date Bend Studio doesn’t get enough credit for what they pulled off with this. Not just graphics wise, but also in terms of tech and atmosphere. I have been playing videogames for 30 years now, but I never had feelings like I had with Days Gone. That’s freaking awesome. All that’s left for me is to thank you Bend Studio, from the bottom of my heart for this amazing game and your courage to create something new. Keep going, I can’t wait for Days Gone 2. If you would announce it today, I would pre-order immediately. Thank you.”
“Since I first heard about Days Gone I was interested. I finally had the chance to view the trailer and was intrigued by beauty of the open road and photo mode. Then came release day! My first 20 minutes into the game I was hooked! Had everything I was looking for in an open world game, action, drama, terror, love, friendship and more. The beauty of the world around me was jaw dropping and the storyline kept me interested.
As I progressed further through the game, I was happy to realize how huge it was and how many different creatures roamed. I felt a multitude of emotions from loss, disappointments and trust issues. Also, many happy and inspiring moments from the storyline! At the end of the day I’m very happy with this game and glad it’s a part of my library.
Thank you all very much for all the time Bend Studio crew invested in the making of a masterpiece. Excited for your future dlcs and other projects! You have a fan for life! Well done! 💪😉👍”
“From the moment the game started up, to the incredible ride and frightening experience with Boozer, building the bike back up, trying to find middle ground and peace, going through hordes and hordes for a love thought lost, Deacon’s amazing resolve. This game, this story shared, I consider a masterpiece. If a picture is worth a thousand words, this game is worth a million ten! The beauty of emotions shown by the incredible cast, gameplay, graphics and the mechanics. No matter how many compliments I give of the incredible experience I have, it will never amount to the way it made me feel, the feeling, so indescribable, literally brought out all my emotions!!! That is a feat!!! I am personally not a fan of zombie survival games or genre, but this one, since the first trailer dropped, I felt such a connection to this game I had to play it! PSX 2017 made me want to play further, getting to “ride” the bike, hangout with the rage bear and the amazing actors portraying the Freakers!!! And then don’t get me started on those Syphon Filter references!!! So glad I got to play and enjoy this game!!! Thank you so much, again and again for all your incredible work, developing, imagining, and creating such a beautiful experience into this gorgeous game!!”
“I was on board for this game from the moment I saw that first announcement trailer, becoming even more keen when I heard of the photo mode options – in a big, busy field of good photo mode games I’m glad to say it hasn’t disappointed in the slightest and indeed, has added to the canon of photo mode. I love the implementation of game mechanics in a fresh manner, such as tracking hints prefaced by controller vibration. I am only on the second region so far, unfortunately being late with being able to get the game – but today I met Rikki and loved how the hint of a third area was introduced by her entering the game in a kind of reverse fourth wall situation. Like with Techland’s three zombie games, I just know I’ll be notching the hours up in a similar fashion with Days Gone – an excellent game, thank you very much.”
“I found out about Days Gone in 2017, few months before E3. I’m a huge fan of zombies (now also freakers), so I was beyond excited. It was literally my dream game. 3rd person, open-world and zombies. I’ve watched every video, I’ve read every piece of info and I was hoping for a release date. Unfortunately, we had to wait until 2018 to get one. I pre-ordered the Special Edition and was counting down the days. Nothing would stop me from getting it, even mixed reviews! Days Gone, together with Dying Light are probably the most underrated games of this generation. Both deserve better. I still remember my first few minutes with the game. I was really excited. I will never forget when I was running out of fuel and I left my bike on the road and I saw a power plant. I decided to get down there and look for fuel. Suddenly the weather changed – it started raining, ‘Freakshow’ started playing in the background, goosebumps all over my body and I was so unsure and so afraid to look for the fuel because I thought freakers were close! I was also really low on ammo.
Or my first horde… That was intense! Hordes are outstanding. Something new, exciting and fresh. The whole world is beautiful and dangerous. I always had to be aware of my surroundings. It’s extremely immersive and relaxing. I can just play this game to chill, drive on my bike, hunt and kill freakers. The atmosphere is mind-blowing. Very dark. You feel lonely but you’re never alone. I loved to explore and see all the abandoned buildings, cars, trucks etc. Everything was left in a hurry and you see that. You can only imagine how hard and awful it was. It’s like a combination of The Last of Us and The Evil Within 2 but in an open-world. I love how the weather changes and how it affects the bike and freakers. Simply amazing. Huge attention to details. And when the danger is near… The music starts playing and you know that freakers are close. Soundtrack and sound design are just top notch. Songs perfectly fit the game. Sounds of the wind, total silence or screams somewhere nearby makes the atmosphere even better.
I have to compliment the main story. Some people complained that it was too long, but I have to disagree. Perfect length. When the game is great, I don’t want it to end. I can get to know characters better (they were very memorable), I could better understand Deacon, his actions and motivations. Raw but with emotions. Finally, a character that wasn’t nice from the very beginning. He wasn’t fake. His attitude made him more believable. Also, I was really impressed by the bike. Driving model? Best ever! The handling, the way it sounds, weight… Very realistic. I can’t imagine Days Gone without the bike. I loved customizations too! So many cool skins and upgrades to get! I just wish we could change clothes for Deacon. That would make the game even more immersive. Maybe in the sequel? It’s one of the best games of 2019 (if not the best, I will see at the end of the year haha). Most fun game of 2019 that made me love open-world games again (after groundbreaking RDR2 I thought it would be impossible). So, I’m thankful for that. Bend Studio did a great job. Amazing secret ending at the end gave me hope, that in the next few years we will see Days Gone 2. I just hope they’ll add more cities to explore! But seriously… I can’t wait for the sequel!”
“Days Gone. What a game. I went into this experience with my expectations low and came away with my mind blown. To come from a small team, Bend Studio really went the extra mile on this game and their love, passion and dedication is seen all throughout my 80+ hours through Farewell, Oregon.
From the first time I saw a Horde and the sheer mixture of excitement and terror I got, to the way Deacon grew over the story to a biker boy who only cared about his circle to a man who saved not only his wife, but himself and the town he called home. Thank you for this experience. Thank you for adding a photo mode so I could capture special moments and thank you for adding in free content after the fact.”
“Confession: I almost did not buy this game after reading some of the early previews, saying how cutscenes would account for a third of the main story and such. I feared the game would offer little action here and there, and not much more than that. Boy, was I wrong! Days Gone turned out to be one of my all-time favorite games!
Checks all the boxes that are important to me in a video game: single-player, action, weapon and enemy variety, open-world sandbox, visuals, side missions, characters, and replayability. Most of all, it’s just plain damn fun! We’re free to roam about the Oregon countryside on a kick-ass bike, fight off hordes and animals, and have the ability to try crazy and creative things with what’s been given to us. And to top it all off, Days Gone’s Photo Mode is exceptional, with its advanced controls and options not found in other current popular games.
THANK YOU Bend Studio team for giving us a fun, memorable game, and the terrific follow-on support with patches and DLCs!! Days Gone is one hell of a game!”
“Days Gone is a game that far exceeded my expectations. The story had me hooked, helped by its engaging characters and immersive music. The combat and riding your bike in the beautiful open world is so satisfying.
One stand out moment for me was my first encounter with a Screamer. I could hear that haunting hum, from taking shelter inside a house. As I looked to see where this tune was coming from. I saw her and discovered my new favorite enemy. So wonderfully designed!
Thank you Bend Studio for all these things and an outstanding photo mode to boot. All wrapped up in a game I just didn’t want to turn off and I will continue to enjoy.”
“Thank you to Bend Studio for the incredible new franchise (I hope!) that is Days Gone. The beautifully dangerous open world, the memorable characters and gripping story will forever be one of my favorites of this gen. I truly hope we see more of Deacon St. John and what Bend has to offer.”
“Days Gone became more than just a game for me, it became an experience that went beyond the game itself. After anticipating this game to release, I was unable to play it due to my third child being born at the time. A few weeks go by and as I’m awake at 3 o’clock in the morning on a daily basis and my son has passed out on my chest, I would boot up Days Gone and play it in small chunks while he slept. This game was with me in life and provided an escape for me in death. Not too long ago my dog was diagnosed with cancer and just recently passed. During the last couple nights of her life, she would lay by my side as I played. Days Gone provided me with a lot of memories outside of the game creating a deeper connection with it.
It also motivated me to share my in-game photos on Twitter from the amazing Photo Mode and got me involved in the Virtual Photography community. Through this community I have met some awesome people (some of them you see above), and it’s a great place to share the beauty of art and video games. Not only that, but it inspired me to create this blog to share my passion for the game through writing. I love to write, and this gives me the ability to be creative and form stories inside a brand-new original world by picking up the world-building pieces that the team at Bend Studio crafted.
So, what draws me in so much? To me, the story, world and characters always comes first. I placed myself in Deacon’s shoes and connected with this character on multiple levels. How would I deal with regret and loss? What kind of person would I become to get my wife back no matter the cost? Deacon is such a relatable character because he isn’t a god and he doesn’t have superpowers, but a man who served in the military and lived within a brotherhood. After the world went to hell and Sarah was placed on that helicopter, he had one mission and as little as the odds were he kept fighting. To never give up is an admirable trait, and that resonated with me from my previous trials I have faced in my own life.
I would be amiss to not even mention the other spectacular characters that surrounded Deacon, who helped mold the person he became by the end of the story. The standouts for me were Boozer, Sarah, Rikki, Iron Mike and Captain Kouri. Each character played a critical role in Deacon’s story, and each one proved to be unique. I was excited every time I saw these characters on screen. I loved hearing conversations between them giving me a background of who they are and what they have experienced. I never felt so connected to a group of characters in any medium before, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them.
As I’ve said multiple times, Days Gone has become my favorite game of ALL-TIME! Between the story, characters, world, gameplay and music, it grabbed me and never let go creating a beautiful, thrilling and captivating journey on the broken road. What makes this game even more special to me is all the interaction I have received on Twitter from the people at Bend Studio. It makes the experience that much more enjoyable.
Once again, thank you for all your hard work and commitment in creating Days Gone! I never thought I could be so invested in a game, but you have captured my heart and created a huge fan for life. I truly look forward to the future of this franchise! In the mean time I will continue taking photos, playing the challenges, going through the story repeatedly and writing more about Days Gone. THANK YOU!”