Here’s the pitch for Days Gone developer’s open-world Resistance game
If you read our recently published longread on the Days Gone sequel that never was, you’ll probably already be well aware of what happened with Bend Studio’s follow-up to Deacon St. John’s Harley ride across post-apocalyptic America.
What you might not know, however, is that after Days Gone 2 officially wasn’t greenlit, some people at the studio pitched an open-world Resistance game in its stead. This, too, was quickly shut down.
For those unacquainted with it, Resistance is a series that was originally spearheaded by Insomniac Games, perhaps more recently known for massively successful titles like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Marvel’s Spider-Man.
The games are set in an alternate version of history in which the last bastions of humanity are tasked with fighting back against an alien invasion in the 1950s. Unfortunately, the series has been dormant since 2012’s Resistance: Burning Skies — having already developed Resistance: Retribution for the PSP years prior to that, Bend wanted to try its hand at tackling the alien apocalypse once again.
“The idea for that was just take things from the Resistance universe and have the mothership over the world,” Days Gone director Jeff Ross tells FTW. “That would be kind of cool, right? We can destroy that mothership and bring a Red Dawn approach to it like we’re just a bunch of rebels, a bunch of kids. We’re young guys and we’re going to somehow save the world.”
According to Ross, the Resistance pitch wasn’t originally his idea, instead coming from Bend Studio design manager Eric Jensen — in Ross’ own words, he just “championed it and ran with it.”
“I just thought it would be really epic to see this mothership somewhere and know that was the endgame and have it always hovering in the sky,” Ross explains. “And then in the meantime, before you can attack it, you had to level up, you had to build factions, you had to build your army, you had to figure out how to get a ship to get up there or another way to get up there.
“The Resistance series already had a lot of really great character archetypes. There’s an implied ecosystem in terms of the aliens. Once they come up, they build technology, they start to dig up their tech and they start to use it to terraform and change the world. So it would have been a fight against the Chimeran infrastructure that was going to wipe out mankind.”
Ross also notes that conversion centers and gun towers are baked-in open-world sidequests and objective types, while the different enemies and weapons would ensure there’s plenty of combat variety.
Overall, all of these aspects would have ideally culminated in the creation of a fully fledged, open-world Resistance game. After Days Gone, Bend had a whole world to play with — this was just one idea for how to properly make use of that.
“That’s an open-world loop — that’s a NERO checkpoint, that is an enemy camp, this is an infestation zone,” Ross says. “There are actually so many possibilities, the game could have been huge. But that’s it. I didn’t spend more than a week on it because nobody was having it.
“But you know, to me, it was like okay, if we’re not going to do Days Gone 2, we can leverage our open world, all of our lessons from there. This would be killer.”
It’s fascinating to think what might have come of this had the pitch been accepted. Despite Days Gone shipping around 8 million units — which is roughly the same as prestige Sucker Punch title Ghost of Tsushima — Sony labeled it a disappointment, meaning the potentially bright future for first-party developer Bend is a little vague right now. All we know is that the studio is building another open-world game for a fresh IP.
If you’re disappointed about Days Gone 2 and this hypothetical open-world Resistance game never coming to fruition, be sure to check out our lists of the best online games and best PS5 games to find alternative titles to play. We’ve also collected all the best zombie games in case you’re looking for more freakers to run away from.
Written by Cian Maher on behalf of GLHF. Reporting by Kirk McKeand.