Two anticipated PlayStation games make different post-apocalyptic pitches: hordes of virus-infected undead walking, or romance in a pitiless, violent world. Pick your pandemic …

Who knows what could possibly be driving this, but post-apocalyptic video games are having a moment. In the past year we’ve already seen Fallout 76, Anthem and Metro Exodus, while an open beta for Ubisoft’s online shooter The Division 2, set in a ruined Washington DC, started on 1 March. Arguably, however, the two most anticipated genre pieces are still to come on PlayStation 4: Days Gone and The Last of Us 2. Both set after most of the population has been wiped out by a pandemic, their different approaches tell us a lot about what it takes to stand out from the shambling, undead crowd.

Days Gone, out April 26 from Sony Bend Studios, takes an open-world approach. Set after a virus has turned most of humanity (and a lot of animals) into bloodthirsty monsters, you play as roving bounty hunter and motorcycle fanatic Deacon St John. Cruising around Oregon’s High Desert region with his best friend Boozer, he gets into confrontations with the infected – called freakers – as well as the low-life thieves and bandits who prosper amid the anarchy. The world is a vast space, featuring dense woodlands, sparse mountainous regions, small towns and deserted compounds, all freely explorable.

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Read More Days Gone and Last of Us 2: the video games predicting the end of the world

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