PlayStation’s Refusal To Create Days Gone 2 Is A Massive Wasted Opportunity

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Time For Sony To Reconsider Their Decision!

Story Highlights
  • Days Gone might be PlayStation’s most underrated game from the last generation.
  • The game’s open world was distinct and broke away from the traditional zombie game experience, offering large hordes like never before.
  • A sequel could innovate the game’s foundations, addressing the negativity around this release.

Days Gone is one of the lesser-recognized exclusives from the PS4’s library. Where games like God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn became instant successes, Bend Studio’s take on an open world infested with zombies took a while to get going.

Many fans like me certainly enjoyed Days Gone for what it offered through its take on large hordes of zombies and a post-apocalyptic open world, but the game failed to leave a mark on the critics.

PlayStation has already rejected the pitch for a sequel, and Bend Studio has moved on to a different game. However, I believe there is still demand for another entry in this IP.

Why it matters: Bend Studio’s title reminds me of Uncharted. Like Days Gone, the first Uncharted was not an immediate hit and lacked a distinct identity, but Naughty Dog stuck with the IP, and its sequel set the tone for many future action-adventure games.

Days Gone Open World

Brutal Open World

Because of its post-apocalyptic themes, Days Gone was bound to be compared with The Last of Us. However, with the latter providing linear and more scripted gameplay, the player experience ended up quite different between both games.

Bend Studio’s approach invited exploration. The world was more threatening and brutal, with the freaker hordes being the highlight that solidified Days Gone as one of my favorites from the last generation.

Unlike most post-apocalyptic titles, Bend Studio did not design zombies for the player to pummel down. The studio threw hundreds of zombies at the players at a time, capturing fully well the horrors of being chased by sadistic killing machines.

The scarcity of resources required to deal with these threats further added to the tension in Days Gone. Bringing these elements together led to a gameplay loop that is still unique to the game over four years later.

Another big part of Days Gone was Deacon St. John’s bike. Not only did it serve as a tool to quickly traverse the large world, but it also helped make the quieter moments of the adventure more engaging.

I remember losing myself multiple times, riding the bike through Oregon’s menacing map, taking in the somber nature of a world overrun by freakers. While the fear of an impending attack always kept me on my toes, the atmosphere was enough to divert my attention frequently.

Days Gone Well Recieved

The Divide Between Fans & Critics

Audiences are typically quick to base their opinion of a game around the critical score. However, in Days Gone’s case, the delta between critical and user opinion was so wide that it may have led to many missing out.

On the flip side, it likely had the opposite effect in some cases. My expectations were low going into the game, making the experience more enjoyable since I did not expect to play a masterpiece.

My opinion aside, the game sold over 9 million units. Looking at Metacritic, while the Metascore is disappointingly low for a PlayStation first-party title at just 71/100, users rated the game 8.4/10. 

Steam user reviews tell a similar story. Over 90% of the 50K reviews on PC are currently positive, highlighting how the opinions over this game have evolved since 2019.

Some fans have even made a petition to demand a sequel. With over 200K signatures, there is no lack of demand.

Days Gone Featured

Days Gone Wasn’t Perfect

For all its strong suits, Bend Studio’s first major AAA release came with a slew of problems.

At launch, the game was buggy and suffered from a myriad of technical issues. Apart from the freaker hordes, much of the gameplay loop relied on derivative mechanics, and the story did not do enough to stand out.

With that said, all of this could have been a foundation for something bigger. Earlier, I mentioned how Uncharted had a similar start. While Naughty Dog’s characters were more charming, the first game did not establish Uncharted’s identity as the bombastic set-piece-based narrative-rich shooter we enjoy today.

I firmly believe Days Gone could have gone through a similar evolution had it been given another chance.

YouTube video

Variety In PlayStation’s Lineup

Sony’s future ambitions lie in the live service genre. However, with the threat of failure and uncertainty around future first-party releases, Days Gone 2 could have been a crucial asset to PlayStation as a major PS5 exclusive.

Currently, Sony is heavily reliant on studios like Naughty Dog, churning out re-release after re-release in the wake of wasted efforts on the now-canceled Last of Us Online.

In this situation, Days Gone 2 could have stood out. While PlayStation already has plenty of cinematic experiences, Bend Studio’s zombie-survival approach could have provided a sandbox that PlayStation first-party games rarely delve into.

Bend Studio seems to be using this very sandbox for its next game. However, with the introduction of online and live service elements into the mix, there is no telling how the spiritual successor to Days Gone will pan out.

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