CHENNAI : As much as I would like this article to be a get-ready inventory for an actual apocalyptic situation involving collection of wrenches and katanas, it is really a list of ingredients for a typical game in the apocalyptic genre. ‘Days Gone’, releasing this month is another in a swarm of games featuring a desolate yet frightening Earth. But how different is it from the typical game on the end of modern civilsation?
An end-of-the-world situation should not picturise shiny buildings surrounded by lush green trees with the sun shining brightly; it is simply not dismal enough. All these games must have ‘The Wasteland’ environment. Think the deserts in PUBG’s Miramar or Mad Max — they fall on the extreme side of the spectrum. ‘Fallout 4’ does it with the rusty ‘pre-war’ buildings. Days Gone has gone the route of overgrown forests and rundown dirt roads.
The Element of the Disgusting is another important component of these games. ‘The Last of Us’, for example, features mild dismemberment through its grotesque zombies. “What’s a game without the satisfying thump while slashing a giant radioactive cockroach?”, challenges Fallout. Days Gone goes way further and incorporates a number of zombies that you wouldn’t even fathom in your worst nightmare. The gameplay features sequences which throws upto 500 freakers (a zombie variation) who go into a crazed run to get a piece of you (the protagonist).
An extension of the disgust element is a reasoning for it — a pseudo-scientific explanation to make everything seem realistic. In the game BioShock, they use syringes for ‘genetic modification’ to get you survival ready in the underwater universe. Fallout explains away everything using Radioactivity. ‘Days Gone’ on the other hand, de-evolves — with the protagonist’s roaring motorbike being about the only sophisticated technology in the game.
The last feature, compulsively added in even the most conscienceless of zombie games — is the sentiment. After Last of Us was appreciated for being a tearjerker, the games that followed are now choosing one of two paths in their main storyline — Tragic Backstory vs inter-character relationships. Based on the gameplay releases, it looks like Days Gone chooses the former. The game releases on April 26 for the PlayStation.