Developed by Bend Studio, Days Gone is an adventure game that explores the story of Deacon St. John, a biker who is searching for his wife in a post-apocalyptic world where hordes of zombie-like monsters called Freakers are hungry for raw flesh. The game has players riding through the dusty backroads of Oregon, looking for supplies and searching for clues while they evade Freakers and human gangs.
Although the game had a rough launch and failed to impress many critics, constant updates have greatly improved it. Unfortunately, it seems like Days Gone will not be receiving a sequel. This is sad, as Days Gone’s ending has a cliff-hanger that sets the stage for a promising successor.
Deacon St. John’s Search for His Wife
Deacon is a rough and tough biker, and Sarah Whitaker is a scientist. On paper, their lives should be incompatible, but they somehow make it work. When a pandemic that turns humans into Freakers breaks out, Deacon, Sarah, and Deacon’s friend Boozer flee. When they find a NERO helicopter, there is not enough space for all of them, and Boozer is injured. Selflessly, Deacon allows Sarah to board the helicopter while he remains with Boozer. This is the last time Deacon sees Sarah for a long time. Years later, Deacon crosses paths with a NERO researcher named James O’Brian. With some help from James, Deacon eventually finds his wife. However, a lot of unpleasant secrets are uncovered, including the fact that Sarah's research was used to make the Freaker virus.
After the credits, there is a final scene that has Deacon seeing O’Brian one more time. O’Brian takes off the mask of his hazmat suit and reveals that he is infected. However, although he is deformed, he does not look like the rest of the Freakers. O’Brian warns Deacon that the infected are evolving and that NERO knows about this. Before he leaves, he warns Deacon that the evolved infected are coming and that there is nothing Deacon or anyone can do.
O’Brian’s transformation suggests that the infected have evolved to gain super strength without losing their mental faculties. This opens the path for a sequel where Deacon goes up against zombies that are faster and stronger but are smart enough to not simply flood Deacon in a horde. This will require players to strategize more intensely and learn of new ways to outthink the infected.
The Likelihood of a Days Gone Sequel
Unfortunately, it does not seem that a Days Gone sequel is currently in production. According to Jeff Ross, who is the director of Days Gone, the game did not get a sequel due to the departure of Shawn Layden from PlayStation. Days Gone was made possible through Layden’s support, and with Layden gone, it became harder to pitch a sequel. Ross also express disappointment that although Days Gone had similar sales numbers to Ghost of Tsushima, local management made the studio feel like the game had failed. John Garvin, who is Days Gone’s creative director, claimed that the game never got greenlit due to poor support at launch. This has led to him saying that players should not “complain if a game doesn’t get a sequel if it wasn’t supported at launch.”
A Days Gone sequel would have the opportunity to solve a lot of the mysteries of the first game. Players could find out more about NERO, how the virus has evolved, and what role O’Brian plays in it all. It would also give players the chance to go up against smarter infected.
Although there is plenty of material to work with for a Days Gone sequel, it is unlikely that gamers will ever see another entry in the series. This is unfortunate, because Deacon’s world and the Freakers that inhabit it left gamers with far more questions than answers.
Days Gone is available on PC and PS4.
One year after Days Gone's release, developer Bend Studios celebrates the many milestones the game has achieved throughout its existence.