“It’s really a dynamic environment,” says game director Jeff Ross.
Days Gone developers Sony Bend have spoken plenty about the harsh and unforgiving world of the upcoming open world title, while we’ve also recently learned more about just how big the map in the game is going to be. According to game director Jeff Ross and creative director John Garvin, there was a very specific reason that Sony Bend went with the Pacific Northwest for the game’s setting.
While speaking with GameSpot, the developers spoke about the region, talking about its varied weather systems and its landscape, mentioning how it perfectly suits the kind of tone they’re going for in Days Gone. “From the beginning we wanted it in the Pacific Northwest,” said Garvin. “Most people actually don’t know that the region is actually the mostly desert. Seattle is on the west side of the Cascade Range, as is about a third of Oregon, and that’s where all the rain is. That’s where all the green forest is. Where we live, it’s mostly all desert which means that it’s all scarred by volcanism. Which means you have ravines, you have buttes, you have all these steep sort of crevices everywhere. So all the vegetation is built up around that because it’s high desert, it’s very harsh, very extreme.
“We haven’t seen this in a video game, and we thought it would be interesting, fun to explore and it would look beautiful. What better backdrop to fight a horde than this amazing environment that you’re in.”
Garvin then went on to talk about the unique weather systems in the game, something he says the developers haven’t really spoken much about, but is a feature that they’re quite excited to share. “Something that we really haven’t talked about, that we’re really proud of, is the fact that all the different regions in the game have unique weather systems,” he said. “It rains a lot less in the Belknap area, whereas the Cascade region it rains a lot more. As you move further south and into other biomes, you’re gonna run into other types of weather patterns that are totally unique to those regions.”
Game director Jeff Ross chimed in as well, calling the setting of Days Gone “a character in the game in its own way”. “It’s a beautiful and sinister environment,” he said. “And honestly, it’s like a character in the game in its own way. It can be snowing in the morning, it can be hot at lunch, then it can be snowing again or raining at night. It can snow as late as June or July too. It’s really a dynamic environment, so we’re not really stretching much for the game. We’re just delivering on what’s there.”
In the same interview, the duo also talked about how Days Gone will balance its open world nature with its focus on characters and storytelling. Read more on that through here.
Days Gone recently wrapped up development, and is slated to launch on the PS4 on April 26th. Recently, we learned that the game will be roughly 30 hours long, and that six of those hours will be occupied by cutscenes.