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Bend Studio was well up for Days Gone 2, but Sony shot down its pitch for a sequel. It's a shame, to be honest, as there were some very cool ideas in the second game like a "shared universe" where players would fight the Freaker threat together.
Set a few years following a global pandemic that got out of control and ravaged civilisation, the game tells the story of Deacon St. John, a former soldier who became an outlaw. Not the most traditional of protagonists when thinking of those in zombie apocalypse fiction, but it's this that offered Days Gone a uniqueness in a saturated genre. Deacon's motorcycle is a key transportation method in the game, as much of the roads and bridges of Oregon have been destroyed in the fallout of the apocalypse, so the player gets to see the sights and sounds of nature reclaiming what remains of human settlements. However, as the Freakers of Days Gone group together in huge hordes and pursue anything that makes a noise, it also becomes a mobile arsenal and an extremely cool escape option if overwhelmed.
Bend Studio is pretty proud of the game - there's even a replica of the Drifter Bike in their offices. "Days Gone has sold more copies than every game the studio has ever made combined. So it's successful in that way, and in the community and player response," said director Jeff Ross on a podcast with God Of War creator David Jaffe. In spite of this, its divisive reception with critical outlets might have been the reason why Sony didn't want to ride with Deacon St. John into the sunset of a sequel. A report from Bloomberg claims that the company is far more focused on properties that are guaranteed successes - which is why rumour abound that there's a The Last Of Us remake for the PlayStation 5 and a brand new Uncharted title in the works.
"It's not a perfect title," admitted Ross. "But it was the first entry in a series and you always know that the first one is establishing that beachhead, and then it's a platform you're going to build on top of, improve and double down on the right things." One of the additions to Days Gone 2 was an idea that the team was passionate about but didn't make it into the original game. Online co-op would have been offered as a "secondary" mode to the single-player story. "I wouldn't have complicated the main narrative... because that's really what we're good at," explained Ross.
"But then take this world that you've built, and all these assets and systems, and repurpose them for some sort of similarly themed multiplayer version of this universe. So [it] would be with guys like Deacon trying to survive, building up a clubhouse or a crew. I think it would be fun to be in that world cooperatively and see what horde battles could be like," continued the director. "It was the idea of a shared universe with co-op play." Taking down a horde is no small task, and Days Gone players like to show off their panache to eliminate the Freakers in the most creative and stylish ways possible.
While it might sound as though the sequel is off the cards, he clarified that Sony might return to Days Gone, though it won't be immediately. "Never say never to anything," said Ross. Well, the game is on its way to PC, like Horizon Zero Dawn, Heavy Rain, Beyond Two Souls, Detroit: Become Human, and Death Stranding before it
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