Ever since the PS Plus announcement for April, the internet has been abuzz with questions about the games included in Sony’s subscription service. “How good is Oddworld Soulstorm?” “Is Days Gone multiplayer?” “What is this Zombie Army game?!” In short: Soulstorm is great, Zombie Army IV not so much, and as for Days Gone – read on.
What is Days Gone?
Days Gone is an open-world third-person action-adventure/survival game. It’s set in Oregon, two years after a global pandemic ravages the planet, turning millions of people into feral, zombie-like creatures known as Freakers. Days Gone story follows Deacon St. John, a former biker gang member looking for his wife Sarah in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested landscape.
The game was developed by SIE Bend Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment as a PS4 exclusive on April 26, 2019. It later came to PS5 as a launch title for the next-gen console and is set to come out on PC sometime this spring.
Does Days Gone Have Multiplayer?
No, unfortunately, it doesn’t. Despite a long list of Sony’s PS4 multiplayer co–op games, Days Gone was developed as a single-player experience, with no local or online co-op or competitive multiplayer.
The aim was to reinforce the feeling of isolation and despair as players take on the role of Deacon, who needs to survive against overwhelming odds using his wits and skills alone. Multiplayer and co-op would dilute that experience of helplessness and despair, which is probably why it was never made. That’s not to say that the idea wasn’t on the table, however.
A Dream Unfulfilled
Days Gone multiplayer was never planned by the original developer SIE Bend Studio; however, World War Z studio Saber Interactive pitched the idea to Sony at one point. According to the company’s CEO Matthew Karch, he reached out to Sony, saying, “I’ve seen what you’re doing with Days Gone. Look what we’re doing with World War Z. Maybe we can help you with a multiplayer component.”
Unfortunately, the idea was scrapped by Sony, likely to avoid a Doom 2016 scenario. Our readers may recall that a completely different company developed the game’s multiplayer component for ID Software, with somewhat disappointing results.
So what would Days Gone multiplayer gameplay have looked like had it ever been released? This video about World War Z’s PvPvZ (player vs. player vs. zombies) mode gives us some idea. As with other multiplayer-only games, WWZ featured both competitive multiplayer and co-op, pitting players against zombies and other players alike. Considering the similarity of the Freaker hordes to the zeds in World War Z, Days Gone gameplay could easily be adapted into a frantic multiplayer gorefest, akin to the game’s existing survival mode, except with more than just Freakers to worry about.
Days Gone online play could have, much like WWZ, taken cues from classic multiplayer shooters by including modes such as deathmatch, domination, king of the hill, with a Freaker horde twist to spice things up. Alas, it was not meant to be, and the title remained a single-player experience only.
The Future of Days Gone
Despite the mixed reception at launch, Days Gone did well commercially, especially in Japan. As such, it was surprising to find that not only will the game not be getting a multiplayer element, but that Sony has scrapped the idea of a sequel as well. As Bloomberg reports, there will be no Days Gone 2 multiplayer, single-player, or anything else related to the game anytime soon, if at all.
Instead, the developer, SIE Bend Studio, initially got tasked with helping Naughty Dog with several projects, including a new Uncharted game. Many of the staff left, while some were given the green light to start a completely different project. Either way, Days Gone 2 and any chance of its multiplayer component were officially out of the window.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The game’s PC version should be out soon for folks who prefer using a keyboard and mouse over a controller. Will Days Gone have multiplayer on PC? No, of course not. But, barring any unforeseen delays, it should be out by the end of spring 2021.
While the game’s official requirements show that a reasonably modest rig will be able to run it on PC, don’t expect 4k 60 fps goodness or even solid 2k performance without a beefy graphics card, for example, RTX 2060, 2070, and 2080 models – if you can find them on the market, that is.
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Is Days Gone a local co-op?
Unfortunately not. “Is Days Gone co-op” is a question we get almost as often as the one about traditional multiplayer. The answer is still the same, though: Days Gone is single-player only, with no co-op or competitive multiplayer options.
Does Days Gone have split-screen?
No. SIE Bend Studio originally planned a rather extensive multiplayer component, including several game modes such as deathmatch, domination, king of the hill, and even a co-op multiplayer component. You can read about it here. Split-screen was never planned, however.
Is Days Gone worth playing?
If you like zombie survival games, definitely. Days Gone reviews are generally mixed, though, with most critics praising some innovative open-world ideas while bashing the generic nature of the story and gameplay.
Will Days Gone have multiplayer on PC?
Sadly not. The upcoming Days Gone PC version is in many ways billed as the “ultimate” way to experience the game, but both SIE Bend Studio and Sony remain dedicated to keeping the game a single-player only experience, in spite of numerous fans’ hopes for a multiplayer version.
As such, Days Gone on PC will only bring higher fidelity graphics, ultra-wide monitor support, and unlocked frame rates to the table. No new features such as multiplayer, though. Is Days Gone multiplayer something that fans clearly want? Yes. Does that bother Sony? Apparently not.