Days Gone Dev Explains Removal Of Choice System

For narrative cohesion, basically.
  • Playstation 4
  • Action-Adventure
  • Survival
Deacon is ready to kill hordes of freakers - are you?
Deacon is ready to kill hordes of freakers - are you? Bend Studio

When Days Gone was originally shown to the public, it featured a choice system much like what you’d find in role-playing games like Mass Effect or The Witcher 3. These choices were to be made at certain points of the story, and in the end, they would have a minor effect on main character Deacon St. John. It seems that those choices have been tossed out from the game’s final release version, as stated by Days Gone creative director John Garvin.

Days Gone was recently released last week to less than stellar reviews, but there were people who did enjoy it despite its seeming lack of innovation to the zombie genre. Players have also noticed the lack of the choice system, and we now have some clue as to why thanks to an exclusive interview with Garvin at Screenrant. As he explains it:

“The thing about player choices is, players didn't get it! (laughs) ...We thought it was going to be this awesome thing where Boozer's morale was going to be this thing players would have to watch, but players just didn't understand it. For the amount of work we were putting into it, there was no payoff. It was hurting the player experience.”

In other words, it would seem like the player choice system was something of a hindrance to everything else, lowering the overall experience along with it. While Days Gone may indeed be a story-driven experience, it’s not a role-playing game where you’re supposed to somewhat add your personal insights to Deacon. Instead, the game was meant to be a cinematic, narrative driven experience where the character of Deacon St. John is set in stone.

"If Deacon has the ability to leave this guy to be eaten alive or to put him out of his misery, the player, at that moment, doesn't really know what the right thing to do is. In either case, it makes Deacon out to be... If he leaves him to be eaten alive, it turns him into a real a**hole! The same with taking Boozer's shotgun. If you have an obvious choice to make, players will always choose the good thing. It's something that we learned from looking at something like Infamous. The number of players who choose dark over light is actually very small, believe it or not."

The player choice, it would seem, was overall one-sided, even if two choices were presented to the player in the game. The experience was streamlined, skipping player choice for something like narrative cohesion and strength.

Days Gone is now available to play exclusively on the PlayStation 4.

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