After five years of development, multiple delays, engine switches, legal issues and controversy over workplace culture, The Day Before has finally emerged as a publically-available and “playable” product thanks to an Early Access launch that kicked off last week.
Unfortunately for those who’d been anticipating the game, and given it once topped Steam wishlist charts there were a lot of people looking forward to it, these past years of potential, promotion and promises have not borne the delicious open-world zombie MMO fruit that folks were hoping for. Rather, this has fallen off the tree incredibly underripe and been left to rot in the dirt for passing rodents to gnaw at and piss on.
With 17,825 reviews and counting at the time of writing on Steam, The Day Before has an “Overwhelmingly Negative” user rating, with the vast majority of reviews citing a lack of content and features, a litany of bugs, recycled and unoriginal assets, shoddy servers and – most damning of all – the failure to deliver on the genre of game that was originally advertised. Where developer FNTASTIC had spent the game’s entire marketing run positioning it as “open-world MMO survival” and still does on its Steam page, players have since discovered that it’s more accurately described as an extraction shooter set in a small-ish map with none of the promised scope. Some reviews have even pointed out that the studio has been pulling down videos describing the game as more than what’s been delivered.
And of course, videogamedunkey has published a pretty telling video describing the experience of the game:
Granted, The Day Before is in “Early Access” and plenty could change in the coming months and years, but given that it was only a month prior to release that FNTASTIC changed its plans from launching a full product to starting out in Early Access, it’s hard to see things getting any better any time soon. The problems being described by players definitely seem fundamental and indicative of a completely misleading marketing cycle more than genuine work-in-progress troubles.
For its part, the studio has promised at least some initial fixes, sharing that “A huge update, including server and AI fixes, is coming in a few hours.” a couple of days ago:
A huge update, including server and AI fixes, is coming in a few hours. #thedaybefore