When Sony Interactive Entertainment revealed Days gone returning to E3 2016, initially it was not greeted with much fanfare like many other exclusive first-parties. Why? Well, because the game seemed a little rough and generic. But perhaps what came out the most – apart from the fact that it was another dark and brutal zombie game from Sony – is that its protagonist, Deacon St. John, looked generic and, frankly, a little trivial. Having said that, you wouldn't know about any of this by watching the game now. It looks as good as it looks on paper, and Deacon looks much more like a nice character. And according to Sony Bend, this is no accident.
Speaking with Polygon, project director Jeff Ross revealed that many feedback-driven changes were made to Deacon during development to make it more recognizable.
"We took it from everyone," said Ross, speaking of criticism of the character. "Just as a few lines were read or the way they were written. We refined some of the rougher edges, where it may not have become the most suitable character."
"We worked hard to make Deacon's character realistic," added the writer John Garvin in the game. "It wasn't about trying to make it fun. We wanted it to grow throughout history, and you have to start it somewhere, so it can end somewhere else.
"In the first development of Days gone, we didn't realize how much time the player would have spent with this character before starting to regain his humanity. No one is willing to spend eight hours with someone they don't like. This was only part of us who learned and grew as developers of an open world ".
According to Garvin, Sony Bend is grateful for all the feedback he got, and for Sony's bosses that allow him to take the right time with the game to fix things and get things right.
"There were many moments that were too much on the nose," the writer said. "We have changed a lot of this, in order to allow the player to satisfy his expectations on how the character behaves and reacts, and not just to write everything for them".
Days gone is under development for PS4 and is scheduled for next month on April 26th. For more information on the highly anticipated open-world action-adventure game, click here. And as always, feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you think or hit me on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know there. What do you think of Deacon?