Days Gone: Why an outlaw biker is the perfect protagonist for Bend’s new PS4 exclusive

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Days Gone: Why an outlaw biker is the perfect protagonist for Bend’s new PS4 exclusive

Deacon St. John is just the kind of guy you need in the event of an apocalypse...

At E3 last week, SIE Bend Studio unveiled its brand new PlayStation 4 title Days Gone. A brutal, post-apocalyptic open-world adventure, Days Gone follows the story of Deacon St. John – a drifter and bounty hunter eking out his existence in the High Desert of the Pacific Northwest.

We caught up with the development team backstage in Los Angeles to find out a little bit more about its main protagonist and why his background is so important to the game.

If there’s one thing the team at Bend is keen to impart about the universe it’s crafting, it’s the uncompromising, dog-eat-dog nature of things. “Desperate people do what desperate people need to do to survive,” Senior Designer Ron Allen explains.

“In most open world games, when there’s danger, it’s usually because you’ve brought it on yourself. Days Gone is a dangerous world – always.”

Days Gone

Watching a horde of infected ‘Freakers’ pour over the environment in the extended footage shown on stage at the PlayStation E3 press conference, we’re left in little doubt as to what he’s getting at.

“Pretty much any of the survivors of the pandemic had to have a certain something about them – the appropriate skills to steal, kill and survive in a harsh world,” he continues.

“If you didn’t know from the biker cut on his back, in his previous life, Deacon St. John was member of a motorcycle gang. He learned a lot from being part of that group, and that’s helped him survive.”

The team doesn’t flinch from its protagonist’s anti-hero persona. “He’s a dangerous guy. He’s using his skills where he can – his appetite for violence and mayhem help him excel at his job.”

Days Gone

“He can find things out in the field and create better tools. For example, you’ll see he’s actually threaded the barrel of his pistol with the same thread pattern as an oil filter, so if he finds oil filters out in the world he can screw them on and it’ll allow him a couple of suppressed shots.”

We ask him how much of a role Deacon’s vehicle of choice – a muddied, off-road, dirt bike – plays in the game.

“The motorcycle plays a huge, huge part,” he assures us.

“It’s extremely nimble – a car can’t fit into certain spaces, and can’t do certain things a motorcycle can do. It’s not the normal biker gang motorcycle. He’s adapted this thing to work in the wild. There’s no way you’re going to pull off jumps or cross the kind of terrain you saw here on a Harley-style bike.

Ron explains that not only can you store extra items on your bike, it’s also your primary means for traversing the game world and, of course, escaping from those aforementioned ‘Freakers’.

Days Gone

Despite the team’s insistence on an uncompromising world though, Ron is anxious to share Bend’s deeper ambitions for Deacon and his story.

“It’s about the human condition – this guy’s a broken man,” Ron explains.

“A lot of us are motorcycle riders. It’s a really vibrant culture. It’s often associated with criminals, mayhem and violence, but it’s also about brotherhood and family. Because Deacon has suffered so much loss he holds onto that aspect of his past, and cherishes those relationships. It’s about him finding himself, because he no longer has his motorcycle gang.”

We’ll have more on Bend Studio’s exciting new project as development progresses. In the meantime, make sure you bookmark the Days Gone page on

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2 Author Replies

  • I feel that if I wrote these articles, it’d be like 5 words. The title would be longer than the article haha. “Why an outlaw biker is the perfect protagonist for Bend’s new PS4 exclusive” Answer “Because Sam Witwer is awesome.”

  • This was one of my highlights of E3.
    The first time I saw the hordes of ‘Freakers’ I was floored.
    And as there’s no release date announced there’s no chance of a delay at the moment!
    Fingers crossed it’s out next year though eh?

  • Question: “Why an outlaw biker is the perfect protagonist for Bend’s new PS4 exclusive?”
    Answer: “Because, they watched Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead.”

  • all i need now is a relase date so i preorder it on the ps nstore

  • Release date and pre order would be nice , looks great

  • “horde of infected ‘Freakers’”

    – Zombies?
    – Don’t say that!
    – What?
    – That!
    – What?
    – That! The Z word! Don’t say it!

  • I don’t play zombie games, but when I do I usually get torn to shreds. After seeing the gameplay at e3 with over a hundred zombies chasing you, no way am I gonna survive that.

  • Looks very promising. If the main mode of transport in this game is on par with the one in The Witcher 3 (the god awful horse), then this is a contender for GOTY when it launches.
    There should be a bit more focus on the backstory though. What is the character’s goal in this game? Where are you going and will there be urban environments too?

    • When I spoke to the guys at Bend Studio they indicated there would be definite ‘safe zone’ communities where survivors band together for safety – though Deacon prefers to take his chances on the road. They were pretty tight-lipped about the story elements, but said they were really focused on the single player narrative.

  • Looks sweet, always great to see a new exclusive reveal. Looks a lot like an open world Last of Us to me. Not a big fan of survival elements and micromanagement (for example in the Last of Us I always had a full inventory but never used anything but melee or ammo) but other than that I’m really stoked for this.

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