Days Gone 2 would have been "the definitive version" says former director

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,
Days Gone has been in the news a lot three years after release. It is certainly in the news a lot due to its non-existent sequel, with game director Jeff Ross having given us more details on what Bend's sequel would've looked like.

Days Gone Screens

Jeff Ross, former game director at PlayStation Studio Bend, has done a huge interview with USAToday's For The Win. In it, Jeff Ross has talked much more openly about what a sequel would have looked like for Days Gone, the open-world zombie apocalypse featuring motorbikes that was a PlayStation exclusive title released in 2019.

Though it has sold well, the game performed "poorly" critically and currently sits at 71 on Metacritic, though the game code given out by PR was mired with technical issues and bugs that were fixed on day one. The result was a sequel pitch that Sony's local management was not interested in, in the slightest.

Days Gone Screens

So, what new details and juicy gossip do we have? Well, Ross says that, if allowed, he would have used the sequel as the opportunity to “create the definitive version” of Days Gone, on which he “didn’t have to necessarily apologize for so much”. This would have included a renewed focus on the narrative and the relationship between protagonist Deacon and wife Sarah: “Yeah, they’re back together, but maybe they’re not happy. Well, what can we do with that? Okay, we were married before the apocalypse, but what about the future?" queried Ross.

“We would have kept the heavy, strong narrative. We would have kept the bike, obviously. And I think we would have expanded the tone a little bit in a more technical direction, kind of like, ‘Alright, now we have all this NERO tech — what can we do with it?’ The tone would have expanded one ring outward towards some of the new reality. I think this would have been a little bit more — I don’t want to say Avengers, but something where the player had resources, he had some sort of the remnants of whatever the government had.”

E3 2017 - 1

Finally, Ross states that he would have looked at stripping out forced stealth, restricted swimming, and some of the linearity: "I didn’t want to do them here. I kind of had to, but we have the data now.” Moreover, the article states that the director was interested in pushing forward "the ecology of the world, allowing bears to dig through trash cans, wolves to roam and hunt more dynamically, and generally give every enemy and ally more varied behaviours."

“I would add more systems. Systems are very simple. And if they’re simple, they can be elegant and very rich for the player. I knew adding one or two more layers to the systemic elements of it would have been something that we could have wrapped our heads around, it would have led to a ton of richness for the players and a ton of unique open-world moments and responses that we haven’t seen before. Let’s sink our teeth into this and do something even more epic," concludes Ross.

Ross sounds like he really wished he had the chance to build on the world. But, what do you think? Were you a Days Gone believer? For our money, it felt like a compilation of disorganised parts that occasionally purred. Let us know in the comments!
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Hey, I'm Kes! I'm a Staff Writer, and I've been here since 2021. What do I like? The Outer Wilds is top notch. The Witcher 3 blew my mind over the course of five years completing it. I want Burnout back — I really miss crunching mechanical wonders into walls to the sound of Guns N' Roses. Cool, now we are acquainted, I'll see you around.