Kingdom Hearts bring a special excitement with it. Whether you get giddy at the sight of Disney characters or have spent the last 16 years piecing together every intricate detail of its spiraling plot, a new mainline entry in the series brings a certain level of fervor. Every new reveal is dissected, theories are born, and cheers (sometimes even tears) pour from fans after seeing Sora and company on screen for a new adventure. This franchise has brought a lot of people joy; it has also left them hanging to see the final chapter in the Xehanort arc. After slowly trickling out information and showing off some worlds, in particular Pixar’s Toy Story and Monsters Inc., Square Enix finally allowed hands-on for the game at a recent press event in Santa Monica. For a game that always seems off in the distance, this was a big step, making its 2018 release window seem not so far off.

Raining On A Titan’s Parade

In Kingdom Hearts III, everything is bigger, with more detailed environments and a speedier feel. Think of it as a cross between Dream Drop Distance’s Flowmotion and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – aA Fragmentary Passage, where you have to use the world around you to get the jump on enemies alongside comboing your heart out to unleash special attacks. The demo first placed me in a boss battle with a titan at Olympus Coliseum. I quickly notice movement is much more fluid and the increased verticality for this entry really shows. Sora can run up walls in a jiffy, and in one sequence, must consider his speed and placement as the titan throws huge boulders to deter his progress up the wall. That being said, be prepared for the poor camera that’s plagued the series since its inception.

Soon, I’m attacking the titan’s humongous feet in hopes of stunning him so I can attack his most vulnerable areas. The key to dealing major damage is using keyblade transformations, attractions, and links. Sora’s keyblade transformations occur by building up combos. Early keyblades only have two transformations, but later in the game, you get three. In this fight, I often activate his second form, which issues a stun impact. In another instance, I trigger Goofy shot, spinning and flinging him at the enemy. Attractions are only available at certain points and can also be activated by building up combos. Big Magic Mountain is the attraction option for this battle. Once activated by pressing a button when the prompt appears on screen, you get a to do basic attacks with the attraction, before pulling off your big finisher, which has you trying to line up your shot in a smaller area to hit the target for increased damage. At first, the window seems small to get it perfect for optimal damage, but I do better on another playthrough.

Links have now taken the place of summons and can be activated by using the d-pad. This fight is early in the game, so the only link I have is Wonder Balloon, which features Dream Eater Meow Wow, who fans know from Dream Drop Distance. Combos flow quickly and build up to specials at a speedy rate. You also want to use magic in your combos, because it gives you access to higher spells like Firaga. Before I know it, the titan is stunned and I must climb him, which is another speedy process of jumping from one gold orb to the next, to deal a deadly blow to his head. It sure feels like a Kingdom Hearts fight, damaging this larger-than-life foe by taking out specific body parts.

Enter The World Of Toy Story

The Toybox in Andy’s Room is the next area where the demo takes place, and later has us escaping to Galaxy Toys. Although we saw a lot of this footage last year at D23, this is our first look at the English voice acting. It’s worth noting that the actors who originally voiced these characters are mostly absent, such as Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear and Tom Hanks as Woody. That being said, the performances do justice to these characters and match up well with the original film’s voiceovers. In Andy’s room, I face off against Heartless dressed as toys, and it’s my first real look at the power of the Infinity keyblade, which can transform into a deadly hammer that lets you knock your enemy around, making you feel as powerful as Thor. Another transformation lets you fly an unwieldy rocket with Buzz and Woody in tow, lining up your attacks to crash directly into the enemy. I also get a look at the Mad Teacups attraction here, which is just as fun as you’d expect it to be. You control the direction as it spins rapidly to knock into baddies. I should also mention parties are no longer regulated to three characters. Buzz, Woody, Donald, and Goofy can all fight with Sora at the same time.

Since this is further in the game, this is my first look at the Wreck-It Ralph and The Little Mermaid’s Ariel links. Wreck-It Ralph’s 8-Bit Blast link lets you lunge forward and topple over enemies, similar to a gorilla. He can also build. The more blocks he creates, the higher the damage he deals. Ariel’s Lagoon Showtime lets her dive and throw enemies into the air, and then you can attack them using the splash command. Her finisher is a beautiful sequence of her teaming up with Sora for a water-filled attack.

Once we enter Galaxy Toys, I get my hands on the Gigas for the first time. These are mechs that Sora can battle and control. Three different Gigas are in this demo, all with special attacks, such as the ability to launch canons, create explosions, and tackle enemies to the ground. The mechs control really well and were one of my favorite additions in the demo. Each has their aforementioned special attack, but you can also fire your guns and have a punch option to line up a hit that can make the enemy fall. If your Giga takes too much damage, you can always eject and enter another one on the battlefield. This level also has you riding on rails. Each is a different color that leads to various areas, as we saw in Dream Drop Distance. In this level, we do everything from finding a way to new areas through vents to running around on a record player to get musical toys to perform. We also fight a good variety of enemies, such as those called “Monstrous Monsters” and a creepy doll boss.

I also use this time to test out more keyblades. The Monsters Inc. keyblade, called Smile Gear, transforms into agile claws (it’s just like what it sounds like) and twin yo-yos that spin with speed to damage baddies. The Ever After Keyblade from Rapunzel gives you access to a flowery mirage staff, but the big highlight is its finisher which features Rapunzel’s tower and her teaming up with three Soras to damage an enemy. Speaking of Rapunzel, what they’ve done with her hair is amazing. She holds a great deal of it, with some of the excess she can’t carry flowing on the ground. I also manage to unlock another attraction: the pirate ship, which just like the ride sways back and forth into enemies.

So far, it’s hard to say just how the rest of the game will shape up. I like how much smoother combat feels, and there’s certainly a lot of bombastic action going on at every turn. Sometimes keeping track of all the keyblade transformations and activating them accordingly has you watching your action commands more than paying attention to what’s happening in front of you. I have no doubt this will take some adjustment time. My other observation is just how detailed the environments are and how fun it is to explore them. For instance, Galaxy Toys housed a cool video game section and even had a nod to Dissidia, the Final Fantasy fighting game spin-off. Even the fun interactions between characters I love are here. At one point, the whole party inhales helium to have high-pitched voices for a fun, optional dialogue. The game plays very in line with what Square Enix has said they wanted to achieve, from going bigger and incorporating various elements from past entries. I just hope we have a release date soon. It sounds like Square Enix may have more information for us in June.

Hello Games’ Sean Murray recently went on Inside Xbox to talk about the controversial sandbox survival space title’s port, which arrives on Xbox One on July 24. Murray revealed that an extensive multiplayer update would be shipping to all versions of the game alongside the Xbox One release.

“This is something that I wish we could have done sooner, but I’m so glad it’s happening,” Murray said. He describes the multiplayer elements of the game as “more Battlestar, it’s Star Trek away team, it’s fun and funny and emergent and kind of intense.” Murray notes that you can play with friends while exploring or “just come across other travelers.” The multiplayer elements will allow for both co-op and a more aggressive PVP style of play within No Man’s Sky’s sandbox.

You can watch the discussion in full here:

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For more on No Man’s Sky, here’s our review of the original version here.

Microsoft has announced an on-rails Halo arcade game titled Halo: Fireteam Raven.

If you have been to an arcade, or more likely an arcade machine graveyard in a movie theater, you might have noticed that a lot of arcade machines are big cabinets with two guns for players to essentially play lightgun games with licensed properties. Most of those are made by Raw Thrills, which was itself founded by Eugene Jarvis, and Halo: Fireteam Raven is much in the same vein, but with four players. The game is also being aided in developed by Play Mechanix and 343.

The arcade game tells the story of an ODST squad during the story of Combat Evolved. While it doesn’t appear to be limited to Dave & Busters, Microsoft announced the game as first arriving at the arcade/eatery. 

[Source: Microsoft]

 

Our Take
This seems like a fun little thing to try out, but I’ve never noticed much difference between any of these games. Does anyone have favorites or ones they think do new or interesting things? Let us know below in the comments.

Brave Neptunia, one of the spinoff Neptunia games, is coming to the west as Super Neptunia RPG this Fall.

The full title, Brave Neptune: World & Universe! Pay Attention!! Ultimate RPG Declaration!, is being thankfully shortened for the western release. The title seems to be intentionally trying to resemble 32-bit RPGs, emulating the look of sprites over pre-rendered backgrounds, even though everything is in 3D.

The strangest thing is that the game is being made in Quebec, but is made primarily for a Japanese audience. The final game will have Japanese and English voice acting, with English and French subtitles. Super Neptunia RPG is coming to PlayStation 4 and Switch this Fall.

 

Our Take
I’ve never played any of these games for more than an hour, but this one seems more RPG-like, so maybe it will be more appealing for me.

video podcast

Welcome back to The Game Informer Show! On today’s episode, we talk about the fun and frustrations to be had in State of Decay 2 from Undead Labs with Jeff Cork, Jeff Marchiafava, and Andrew Reiner. Then Javy Gwaltney and Leo Vader join the crew to talk about the survival game The Forest that was finally released and the reveal of Rage 2 from Bethesda. Then we keep on going with Matt Kato, Suriel Vazquez, and Kyle Hilliard talking about Descenders and Laser League. After some great community emails, we’re joined by Sony Santa Monica’s Matt Sophos and Richard Gaubert to talk about writing the new God of War. If you’re worried about spoilers, don’t worry – we give a clear warning before we start diving into them.

You can watch the video below, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Play, or listen to episode 399 on SoundCloud. Also, be sure to send your questions to podcast@gameinformer.com for a chance to have them answered on the show!

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Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show’s intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website.

To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below…

1:50 – State of Decay 2
21:50 – The Forest
36:10 – Rage 2
44:00 – Descenders
49:45 – Laser League
55:00 – Community emails
1:38:20 – Writing God of War interview with Matt Sophos and Richard Gaubert
2:12:50 – God of War spoilers begin

When making a sequel, most studios make it a priority to build on the strengths of the original while patching up weaknesses. State of Decay 2 gets the first part right. Five years after the first game clawed its way to cult-favorite status, Undead Labs has released a follow-up that offers incremental improvements over its predecessor – and co-op – but the sense that this game isn’t ready for wide release is as tough to shake as a feral zombie.

At the beginning, your small group of survivors is homeless, and their truck is out of gas. Fortunately, safety is within walking distance. Setting up a new base of operations is simple, after you’ve cleared your dilapidated starter home of zombies. The tricky part comes with making sure that the fledgling community is safe and happy. Regardless of which of the three maps you choose to start in, you begin your journey in a small split-level. Its size requires a number of tough trade-offs. Should you build an infirmary to nurse your characters back to health when they’re inevitably injured in the field? Or would that space be better used by building a watchtower to provide additional security? There aren’t many wrong answers, and I enjoyed trying to make the most from those limited resources.

There may not be many wrong answers, but some are less wrong than others. Players who forego an infirmary are in for a rude awakening, thanks to the introduction of a new strain of zombie. These variants are infected with something called the blood plague, and they’re more than happy to share. If you get munched on too many times by these tougher foes, your characters run the risk of getting infected as well. Dally too long on administering a cure, and you have to say goodbye to the infected character – either through exile or euthanasia. Getting a cure is easier said than done, particularly during the early stages of the game. Some infected zombies drop plague samples, which can be used in your medical station to create vials of curative.

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These new zombies add a welcome wrinkle to world exploration, which is largely the same as before. On its surface, the focus on supply runs and fetch quests might seem overly repetitive. Thankfully, Undead Labs has created a systemic world that’s deadly and reactive enough to remain interesting. Most of my sessions included at least a few “hell yeah!” escapes, where I was barely able to limp back to camp or pull my smoking car into the lot with a horde in hot pursuit. The thrill is certainly magnified by the game’s permadeath elements, where a favorite hero can easily die if they’re fatigued, injured, or a victim of poor planning. New randomly generated characters are always available to fill up those empty beds, but it doesn’t make the loss of a favorite character sting any less – not necessarily for their personalities, but the time and effort spent leveling them up.

You can take an A.I. companion along with you, but if you’re clamoring for companionship you’re better served bringing an actual friend (or three). One player is the host, and the others can lend a hand in battle and in keeping the host’s supply full. It’s fine, but it seems at odds with the overall emphasis on being a permanent part of a community; you’re definitely a guest in someone else’s world. Playing with friends makes some of the tougher tasks, such as destroying nest-like plague hearts, fairly trivial. Supply runs are also faster and more lucrative, since the A.I. refuses to pitch in when it’s time to loot. I loved the idea of having my friends come along for the ride, but Undead Labs clearly struggled with the co-op implementation in some frustrating ways.

I ran into a steady drip of bugs and glitches during my solo experience. Some were funny, like watching zombies fall into the world while driving quickly on the roads (roads that, State of Decay veterans should know, now aren’t frequently littered with impassible blockades). Animations unfurl in goofy and unexpected ways. Others were less hilarious, like when items vanished or companions teleported back to base without any provocation. Those issues are magnified in co-op. Characters skitter around each other, barely able to keep up with their friends. Flashlights are basically broken. Cars disappear or warp onto their sides before bursting into flame. Zombies materialize within arm’s reach, and start chowing down on your character before you have time to react. I won’t recite the litany of problems; you’ll see plenty if you spend a few minutes playing the game.

Individually, these issues sound silly, and some players might relish in its masochistic “so bad it’s good” delights. I can’t do that. This is a game where you can realistically lose a character you’ve spent hours honing through no fault of your own. I appreciate the tension that permadeath brings, and how it leads to an investment in the characters that I wouldn’t otherwise have. But State of Decay 2 doesn’t play fair. It’s unpolished and sloppy, and you’re at risk of losing progress, failing missions, and having to say goodbye to one of your heroes because the game was pushed out of the nest too early. The fact that this was the main complaint players had with the first game and its subsequent remaster makes it all the more inexcusable.

That’s a shame, because State of Decay 2 has so much to love. If you manage to level a character high enough, you can promote them to a leadership role. Depending on their dominant trait, your group can focus on trade, construction, maintaining order, and acquiring power through force. It’s a simple, but effective way to tailor your group’s goals beyond mere survival. The narrative is a bare-bones affair, which makes it easy for your imagination to fill in the gaps, and it works well. See it through to its conclusion, and you can bring a trio of survivors along to build an all-new community, with unlockable end-game perks that let you save precious time in subsequent attempts. After seeing my first group’s story to the end, I wanted to see what came next for my survivors, who worked to bring peace and cooperation to the land. But I’m not going to, or at least not any time soon. It’s not worth the aggravation in its current state. 

After an experimental process on the Xbox One PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds test server, the desert map Miramar will arrive in the game for everyone.

The new episode of Inside Xbox revealed the date of the map’s launch, so fans who have been waiting for Erangel will only need to wait another week or so. The second map is defined by its lack of cover, so players have to struggle harder to find somewhere safe to check out and not be out in the open.

Miramar launched on PC on December. A third map, Sanhok, is in development on PC and should eventually come to Xbox One.

 

Our Take
This is a fairly fast turnaround, all things considered. It seems like the Xbox One team is eager to catch up and then work in parallel with the PC team.

It’s been a long, weird road for IO Interactive with their episodic Hitman game, culminating in what appears to be the final release.

The game was developed when IO Interactive, brought under the Square Enix umbrella when the Japanese publisher purchased Eidos Interactive, had plans for an episodic Hitman title. The idea was that the team could be reactive to feedback and allow players to truly master an area before moving on. Soon after the first season ended, Square Enix divested from IO Interactive and the studio was cut loose with ownership of its IPs.

This leads to this week’s release of Hitman: Definitive Edition, now published by Warner Bros., which brings together the entirety of the work IO Interactive did under Square Enix, then did independently, with some new costumes and extra bonus missions. This makes the Definitive Edition disc fascinating in that it contains work from two different publishers and transitional work from the developers.

In IO’s financial report, the developer reported a desire to get a season two of the game, but given the complicated history of the game, it is unknown if or when that will come.

During Ubisoft’s financial call today, the French publisher teased information about the rest of its year for major games.

With the news that their pirate combat game Skull & Bones is getting delayed to next year, Ubisoft explained that they still expect to release three more major AAA titles this year even without Skull & Bones. Two of the titles are already known, The Crew 2 to be released next month and The Division 2 which will be unveiled at E3 and released this Fall.

The third game, Ubisoft explained, is going to be revealed at E3 and be a major part of Ubisoft’s release schedule this financial year. The Wal-Mart Canada leak, which the retailer has claimed was based purely on speculation, suggested that an Assassin’s Creed title is on the way, but there have also been rumors of a new Watch Dogs in development. What do you think Ubisoft has in store this year? Let us know below in the comments.

 

Our Take
I feel like the retailer leak was more or less proven by Rage 2 getting announced later, as it is extremely unlikely anyone was speculating about that. Ubisoft might be back to a yearly cycle for Assassin’s Creed.

Earlier this week, we took a look at how Sony Bend is attempting to craft a different kind of open-world game with Days Gone, eschewing the activity-filled sandbox formula for a more focused and cohesive experience. But that doesn’t mean players won’t have plenty to keep them busy as they navigate the freaker-infested high-desert region of Oregon. Sony Bend is working hard to create compelling and rewarding gameplay loops that provide numerous forms of progression for Deacon. We got firsthand experience with several of these gameplay loops, which we detail below along with more hands-on impressions.

1. NERO Checkpoints
The National Emergency Response Organization was Oregon’s best hope against Days Gone’s society-ending “freaker” infection, but NERO didn’t fare much better than everyone else. During his travels, Deacon will come across numerous abandoned NERO checkpoints, which the FEMA-esque organization used to check, treat, and sometimes quarantine infected citizens. These makeshift clinics contain precious loot – if Deacon can find a way inside the locked labs. “Each [checkpoint] has something for the player to obtain, and each one is locked down and needs power in different ways,” says lead open-world designer Eric Jensen. “So players will find a challenge and a little puzzle element with each of those.”

We investigated the earliest and simplest NERO checkpoint during our hands-on demo, but it still wasn’t without its complications. Getting the lab’s doors to unlock first required finding a gas can to fuel up the station’s generator. Once we flipped the switch, however, a recorded message started blaring over the checkpoint’s loudspeakers, drawing the attention of nearby freakers. You can disable the speakers before you turn on the electricity, but don’t expect the game to point that out to you. “There’s a contingent of hand-holders who are like, ‘No, let me go into survival-vision mode and see the speakers up there and have hint text that comes up and says, “Before you turn the power on, be sure to turn those speakers off.”‘ To me, that ruins immersion,” says creative director John Garvin. “We don’t want to telegraph everything to the player. We want them to figure stuff out, and not be too punishing if they don’t.”

Once you get the doors open (and clear out any invading freakers if you make a mess of things), you’ll find a bounty of crafting supplies inside, plus an injection syringe that allows Deacon upgrade either his health, stamina, or the duration of his focus ability. Completed NERO checkpoints also act as fast-travel destinations and respawn locations, and let you access your universal weapons stash, making them well worth the detour if you spot one during your travels.

2. Ambush Camps
By far the most familiar of Days Gone’s gameplay loops, ambush camps are home to the game’s non-infected human enemies, and require Deacon to take out all of its inhabitants in order to neutralize the location. While this is well-worn territory for open-world games, don’t expect to last long if you go in guns blazing; Days Gone’s gunplay is far deadlier than series like Far Cry, and Deacon can’t automatically heal by slinking off and crouching in a bush for 30 seconds. Because of this you’ll want to take your time preparing for an encounter, setting up traps and using your binoculars to mark enemies. 

Unlike other open-world games, you won’t have to worry about your enemies calling in reinforcements if they’re alerted to your presence – the marauders aren’t organized enough to have spare soldiers waiting in the wings. What you WILL have to worry about, however, are freakers dropping by unexpectedly. “Sustained gunfire in a compact period of time is the formula that tells everybody in the world – humans and animals and freakers – that there’s some chaos over there,” says game director Jeff Ross. “This could be a lot of food that at the very least could be lying around, and they can go get it. So you want to make sure that you’re not around when they arrive.” That said, freakers don’t have much in the way of a refined palate; bad guys are just as tasty to them as do-gooders, so drawing a freaker pack into an ambush camp can sometimes work to your advantage.

Like NERO checkpoints, completing an ambush camp opens it up as a fast-travel location and offers more supplies to scavenge. You’ll also find underground bunkers in the camps containing maps that will remove the fog of war from your world map. Taking down ambush camps also makes the world a little safer for Deacon to travel through. “Ambush camps are filled with murderous thieves and marauders, and these guys are actually the ones executing these ambushes throughout the world,” Jensen says. “If you want to lower the frequency of getting knocked off your bike from a clothesline or getting sniped at by somebody, then you’re going to have to take out these ambush camps.”

3. Freaker Nests
Freakers are an ever-present threat in Days Gone, but some areas in the sprawling open world are more densely populated than others. A red overlay on the map indicates that the surrounding area is suffering from an infestation, and in order to clear it out you’ll need to locate and burn a variable number of freaker nests. These nests are typically located inside buildings and other dark places, offering freakers a reprieve from the afternoon sun – and an opportunity for Deacon to get to work. “The freakers tend to stay indoors and hibernate during the day, and when this happens you can attack their nests,” Jensen says. “They will come out of their nests if you make too much noise; they’re going to react to what the player is doing in the area.”

Tackling an infestation proved to be the most difficult portion of my hands-on demo; the area I was in required me to track down and burn six nests, but even as I approached the first one, the drip-feed of freakers I was attracting steadily increased with each successive gunshot. By the time I made it into the first building and started torching the nests, any semblance of stealth was out the window. Instead, I was frantically sprinting from one location to the next with an unceasing parade of freakers snapping at my heels, improvising with whatever melee weapons I could find in the environment and using explosive barrels to my advantage. After a few failed attempts, I realized that I simply wasn’t prepared for such a big undertaking – I had neither the items nor the skills after an hour of play to tackle the challenge at hand, and the world won’t simply acquiesce if you’re having a hard time. The smart play would be to regroup, gather more supplies, and come back when I was better prepared.

As with Days Gone’s other gameplay loops, dealing with these hotspots is worth the effort; infestations prevent you from fast-traveling through the affected area, even if you’ve unlocked your final destination as a viable travel point. Clearing out the nests also decreases the local freaker population, making it a little easier for Deacon to scavenge nearby areas for supplies. 

4. Jobs
Deacon will come across several friendly encampments during his travels, but “friendly” is a relative term – while the inhabitants won’t shoot him on sight, Deacon will have to do some hired work if he wants to enjoy the full benefits of their community. Encampments offer several types of jobs that are grounded in the day-to-day struggle to survive, such as hunting deer for meat to feed the local population or completing a variety of bounties to shore up their protection. “There are bounty chases that involve the bike, where you’re trying to get somebody who also rides and you have to go after them,” Jensen says. “Then we have survivor rescues, which are guys who were abducted from a camp and you have to go back out and rescue them.” Sony Bend showed off one such survivor rescue during E3 2017, where Deacon worked to save an NPC named Manny from an enemy encampment, culminating in the surprise arrival of a freaker bear. As it turns out, Manny plays a vital role in the first friendly encampment you encounter: He’s the camp’s mechanic, and can supply Deacon with a variety of invaluable bike upgrades if you can get him back in one piece.

Deacon can also collect freaker ears during his travels, which act as a universal currency at friendly encampments – proof that he’s making the world a safer place. But Deacon isn’t just doing these jobs out of the kindness of his own heart. “All of [the jobs] play into the economy of the encampment, and you’re rewarded for doing all of those things,” Jensen says. The more effort you put in, the more an encampment will trust you with their weapons and supplies, as well as discounts. Just don’t expect your sterling reputation to ring across the whole of Oregon – the next encampment you come across won’t care much about what you did to help out another group of starving survivors.

5. Hordes
Sony Bend’s piece de resistance of game design, freaker hordes are what set Days Gone apart from all the other zombie games we’ve played. These massive roaming hordes make infestations look like child’s play, and you never know when you might stumble across one. “Hordes are all over the place,” Jensen says. “They have migration behavior… There’s kind of a puzzle element to any encounter in the game, you have to be aware that a horde might be passing through at any given time. They have to eat and drink like anybody else, so they move to locations where that’s available.”

Sony Bend debuted Days Gone at E3 2016 with a live demo of a horde encounter, but the impressive early footage didn’t convey your ultimate goal. Deacon isn’t simply trying to escape or survive the horde for a set amount of time – he’s actually trying to kill every last freaker in group. Like my attempt at clearing out an infestation (but 10 times more so), trying to take down a horde puts Deacon in constant danger and requires on-the-fly tactics to stay one step ahead of the pack. You’ll have to improvise routes and use any environmental traps at your disposal, plus the stockpile of ammo and explosives you (hopefully) brought with you for the encounter.

Horde battles are considered late-game encounters, and are as exciting as they are challenging; our attempt to take down what game director Jeff Ross described as a “baby horde” of “just” 300 freakers took several tries, even with a geared-up Deacon. 

***

While we got a good look at some of Days Gone’s main gameplay loops, players can expect plenty of other surprises along the way. “There’s a lot of stuff in the open world,” Jensen says. “There’s a lot of content. We have roughly 1,200 dynamic events that can occur throughout the regions.” From roadside ambushes to massive freaker hordes, Sony Bend is pulling out all the stops to make Days Gone its biggest and most ambitious game yet. 

For much more on Days Gone, check out our month of bonus coverage by clicking the banner below.