The saga of The Day Before has seemingly reached its inevitable conclusion. After nearly three years of development, several controversies involving unpaid volunteers, copycat trailers, multiple delays for dubious reasons, and a seemingly constantly changing direction, The Day Before is finally out and you can play it.
All the years of hype, trailers, and a record-setting number of Steam wishlists have led to this moment. Pity none of it was worth the wait.
Now, if you've been paying any attention to The Day Before, this should come as no surprise. The game has always looked to good to be true, with so many systems shown that gave the appearance of depth without there actually being any, and a number of bizarre developer statements that further complicated things.
The Day Before was initially pitched as a survival MMO, with hordes of infected, survival mechanics like hunger/thirst etc., and PvP elements. All of that is quite standard for the genre, but what ended up shipping was... an extraction shooter.
While certain elements remain, the current release has barely any zombies, no survival mechanics, and a whole lot of looting abandoned cars. Even the ability to enter most buildings, one of the many features shown off initially, has been reduced to just a few of them.
Add to that the server issues at launch, and the laggy and buggy combat, and you get an Overwhelmingly Negative Steam user rating, based on over 11,000 reviews for the $40 game. The reviews really are illuminating, because a lot of them come from fans who were blind-sided by the state of the game they jumped in to play on day one.
"LMAO - not an MMO, not open world. Lying about the genre is a bad start. [It's] a bad tarkov with zombies," Steam user Captainphillis wrote in their review.
Jouxxi's review went into a bit more detail, pointing out all the (basic) missing elements of the current version. Things like no ability to vault over objects, the lack of melee combat, no way to climb ladders are just some of the issues other players echoed in their reviews as well.
There is no better review, however, than user DrComptonMD's. It sums up the whole situation very well.
"Turns out it is a real game. Kind of wish it [wasn't]," they wrote.
Developer Fntastic seemingly hasn't been responding well to feedback, opting to lock the game's official Discord server following the shitstorm of negative comments that emerged just as the game went live. The game's official subreddit has many players going back and picking apart all the statements/showcases and comparing them to the current version of the game.
The survival genre continues to be a hotbed of poorly made games that over-promise and under-deliver. For now, The Day Before is no more than yet another entry on the list.