Days Gone has endured a rather unspectacular inception. Gaining dubious recognition for being the reprobate amongst the more accomplished retinue of PlayStation exclusives. A reputation informed by its generic open-world, incipient protagonist and crippling technical issues. This unfortunate notoriety – though warranted in some respects – belies a game that at times conceals its considerable potential beneath layers of mediocrity. Yet in spite of its flaws, Sony’s decision not to pursue a sequel is downright contemptible!
Personally I adored Days Gone. The environments, scattered with fleeting moments of respite from the “freakers” and isolated fortifications instilled a true measure of desperation presented by a world-wide pandemic. Thankfully a scenario that isn’t entirely prophetic! The scarcity of supplies assured that you were never truly safe. Ammunition – though readily available- was entirely dependent on the limitations of what your gun could carry and your bike could store. As you progress, with the aid of upgrades, this obstruction would become far easier to manage. But to begin with, it’s very difficult to mitigate.
Then there’s the motorcycle, Deacon’s primary means of transportation. A provision that enabled you to navigate an infected strewn environment with some safety, was also vulnerable if durability was reduced. Suffer too many collisions with tree’s, rocks or Freakers rendered the bike immobile, forcing you to repair the vehicle in potentially hazardous locations. Maintenance is crucial, especially when fuel consumption was also a major concern. It wasn’t simply enough to just roam around, scavenging materials from long abandoned facilities and return victorious with your pilfered loot. You had to ensure that fuel depleted by your spontaneous excursions retained enough reserves for the return journey, or that you could forage for additional gas, again leaving you exposed and susceptible to any meandering freaker that has no doubt been attracted by your strident activities.
And the hordes. Jebus the Hordes! Comprised of 100’s of amassed freakers, huddled into caves present a challenge that is as satisfying as it is terrifying. Dispatching them is close to impossible without a prudent strategy and enough ammunition to invade a small, moderately armed country. Without considered planning and reconisance, you’ll be overwhelmed instantly. Forced to flee like Monty Python from a carnivorous rabbit.
What upsets me most about Sony’s decision to abandon a Days Gone sequel though, is the revelation that concludes the first. SPOILERS. O’brien is a N.E.R.O scientist who throughout the course of the game is conducting research on the Freakers, as well as acting as a confident for Deacon and assisting him in finding his wife. Its revealed that O’brien, conspicuously disguised in a hazmat suit despite no indication of the virus being transmitted virally, is in fact infected. Self aware, cognisant and exhibiting none of the feral behaviour symptomatic of the infection. O’brien, despite his exterior similarities to the infected, seemingly retains his human intellect, whilst displaying advanced physical attributes that allows him to leap 10 feet into a hovering chopper. The virus has seemingly mutated, which of course has significant repercussions for the remaining survivors who could become infected by this new strain.
It’s a compelling premise with incredible sequel potential that – for the moment at least – isn’t going to happen. That to me is unforgivable. For Sony to be so flippantly short sighted in recognising the enviable possibilities this game has of becoming a legitimate “exclusive” franchise seems absurd. But I’m hopeful that given time Sony will realise the lunacy of their ignorance and bestow us with a sequel this game truly deserves.
Do you think “Days Gone” deserves a second chance? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.