The story picks up again 731 days later, and Deacon has yet to be reunited with his love. Did Sarah even survive that night, and if so, will Deacon ever see her again? The answers to these questions were only hinted at in our three and a half hours with the game, and we imagine they won’t definitively come until much later in the game’s roughly 20-hour campaign.
Thankfully, Deacon’s decision to stay on the ground wasn’t a total waste – his buddy Boozer managed to survive that hellish night, and now the pair spend their days roaming around the Oregon countryside on their motorcycles scavenging for scrap metal (which you’ll need to repair your bike), doing jobs to earn cents (not dollars) and looking for animals to hunt and eat.
Of course, the reality of this isn’t quite as leisurely as it sounds – freakers are practically everywhere, and chances are that if you stop to take in the sights, a group of these ghastly creatures will likely show up in no time.
Occasionally, you’ll have to pass through dark tunnels infested with freaker nests to get to where you’re going, and these moments proved to be by far the most intense in our playthrough. You’ll want to keep a good supply of Molotov cocktails on hand to burn them down – just be ready to kill all the flaming ghouls that spew out.
As bad as these freakers are, they aren’t the only menace to contend with – human enemies are also prevalent across the heartland, with a murderous cult known as the Rippers being the worst we had the misfortune of meeting,
During a mission which saw Deacon searching an abandoned garage for a much needed motorcycle part, the Rippers manage to get the drop on poor ol’ Boozer, once again leaving him horribly injured and forcing you to abandon your bike in a mad rush back to the safety of your compound.
With Boozer out of commission, you’re now free to take off on your own across the beautiful Oregon wilderness. Of course, you’ll need to arm yourself to the teeth to have any chance of survival, and thankfully, there are plenty of options available to you.
Aside from the aforementioned Molotov cocktails, you’re able to craft a number of throwables on the fly, such as pipe bombs and grenades, using bottles, rags and other collected materials.
At any given time, you’re also able to carry a primary weapon, such as a submachine gun, shotgun, rifle or crossbow, along with a smaller sidearm and a melee weapon. Options include knives, bars, baseball bats with nails sticking out of them (Escape From New York-style), planks of wood and machetes (our personal favorite).