A sequel to Days Gone, the Sony Bend survival horror open world, was pitched but never given the go-ahead. That’s based on a Bloomberg report, and it’s definitely corroborated by the departure of long-time leads like John Garvin and Jeff Ross – the latter of whom was a veteran on the studio spanning all the best way again to the Syphon Filter days within the mid-1990s. It’s resulted in an outpouring of affection for the biker-themed sandbox, though it’s maybe vital to do not forget that fanatics weren’t all the time this good to Deacon St John and his ragtag band of post-apocalypse buddies.
This sport was, on the time of its launch in 2019, very a lot thought of the unloved stepchild in PlayStation’s first-party portfolio. Many contemplated why Sony had poured assets into one other zombie sport – particularly with The Last of Us being one in every of its flagship franchises. The similarities between Naughty Canine’s collection and Days Gone have been all the time few, however the sport – with its acquainted collapsed society aesthetic – unquestionably felt like an ungainly match within the PS4’s first-party line-up.
In fact, it’s the sport that Sony Bend wished to make and was captivated with, and we now have to present PlayStation credit score for supporting the crew’s imaginative and prescient. The vital reception on the time – we described the discharge as “open world consolation meals” – was fairly good, however some unusual pacing points and bugs at launch meant it by no means achieved the highs of, say, Ghost of Tsushima – and whereas it ranked among the 20 best-selling games in the United States in 2019, it wasn’t fairly a breakaway hit.
However time has been extraordinarily type to Days Gone, and within the years because it debuted, a lot of the cynicism has eroded. Even round launch, the sport attracted a fervent fan base; it was a uncommon instance of a disconnect between critics and gamers, the place those that preferred it actually preferred it, they usually made positive to let you know so. The seeming affirmation that there shall be no sequel has resulted in an unprecedented outpouring of adoration for the collection: how dare Sony not additional the franchise?
To be truthful, the story units up a sequel, and it’s irritating that we’ll in all probability by no means know what was deliberate. To us, the unique all the time felt like a rough-cut diamond: we reckon iteration, very similar to we noticed with Assassin’s Creed to Assassin’s Creed II, may have resulted in one thing particular. The horde mechanic, which was the discharge’s flagship function, certainly may have been expanded on – utilising the atmosphere to filter waves of Freakers was undeniably enjoyable.
And in a local weather the place survival video games are among the largest round – the viewers for releases like Ark: Survival Evolved and Valheim are huge – it’s unlucky we’ll by no means see what Sony Bend had in retailer. We actually loved the unique’s threatening atmosphere, and the way your bike turned each your technique of traversal and your sanctuary in a world that was out to get you always. Base constructing and camp administration are mechanics that we’d prefer to have seen added.
For all of the criticism it attracted as properly, we loved the story. Its solid have been caricatures at occasions, from navy nutcases to spiritual zealots, however there was one thing homely concerning the relationships on this sport. Deacon and Boozer’s cohesion was relatable, regardless of the extraordinary circumstances they discovered themselves in; among the scenes involving St John and his spouse Sarah have been cute, too. It was low-budget, TV drama stuff – but it surely by no means pretended to be the rest.
The truth that the title is presently free on PS Plus and is being ported to PC later this year makes the absence of a sequel even stranger in our eyes. Sony Bend up to date the discharge to run flawlessly at 60 frames-per-second in 4K decision on PS5, and there’s by no means been an even bigger viewers for the title than there may be proper now. As time goes on, we’re satisfied that its standing as a cult traditional shall be enforced; the truth that there’s no sequel on the playing cards implies that it’ll solely be remembered extra fondly.
Anticipate to see this collection on many listicles transferring forwards, as one of many forgotten franchises that deserves a sequel, alongside the likes of Twisted Metal and Jak & Daxter. Days Gone was arguably misunderstood from the outset, and it have to be irritating for Sony Bend’s veterans that solely now could be it getting the respect it all the time deserved. This apocalyptic open world was as soon as the awkward, ugly duckling in PlayStation’s first-party line-up – however there’s no query that point shall be type to Deacon St John.