The Day Before has been released on Steam, but the long-awaited open-world multiplayer game comes mired in controversy.
Developed by Russian studio Fntastic, the zombie-filled survival title made waves when it was revealed over two years ago.
The debut trailer showed off a graphically stunning game that looked to combine the multiplayer open-world action of The Division franchise with the survival-based horror gameplay of The Last of Us.
It looked to be too good to be true. Well, now that the game is here, maybe it was.
A Bumpy Road to Launch for The Day Before
After its stunning debut trailer shocked gamers in 2021, things have not been going well for the long-awaited multiplayer survival game The Day Before.
Being pitched as a massive multiplayer experience (akin to The Division and World of Warcraft) with stunning graphics and an incredibly detailed open world, the PC game would go on to become the most wish-listed game on Steam in the history of the platform (via IGN).
But the first signs of something wrong started to show almost immediately.
Throughout its development cycle, The Day Before would be delayed three times, with the first coming as the title transitioned from Unreal Engine 4 to the much-talked-about Unreal Engine 5.
Another would come early in 2023, as the developers were involved in instances of copyright infringement. According to a statement from the development team (via Game Rant), as late as January 2023, Fntastic was having trouble securing the trademark for The Day Before.
Documentation surrounding the title revealed a trademark for the game's title was only filed after it was officially announced, prompting some to wonder if the development team was misleading gamers to secure funding.
Things worsened when The Day Before team was accused of plagiarism in its marketing. These claims sprung up as eagle-eyed fans started to see lines and specific shots pulled from marketing from other games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto V.
Per Game Rant, the 'final trailer' for the game touted that "The open world of The Day Before is beautifully and richly detailed," which sounds similar to verbiage from a Grand Theft Auto trailer ("The game world is beautiful, massive, and diverse").
Lack of Gameplay Worried Fans
Another worrying note before launch was that developer Fntastic kept pushing off the reveal of gameplay.
While the game had seemingly debuted with a gameplay showcase in its initial reveal, after that, new looks at the game were few and far between.
This gave fans the sense that the development team was hiding something.
Fntastic did not do itself any favors either, as the team kept pushing back a full reveal of what the game looked like.
This all ended when the dev team finally released a first look at gameplay a mere six weeks before the game's release date.
When fans finally saw what The Day Before gameplay had become since its flashy debut trailer, they were disappointed, to say the least.
Gone were the stunning lighting effects and incredibly detailed textures. In their place were drab, low-poly textures, plain-looking character models, and a world that looked significantly worse than what was initially promised.
The Day Before Releases With a Thud
Following the release of The Day Before, widespread outcry about the game is making its way around the internet.
The title currently sits at a dismal 2/10 on Steam, with over 11,500 "overwhelmingly negative" reviews as gamers begin to see they were sold a different product than what they got.
Gamers claim the title is not what was promised, and developer Fntastic has 'scammed' people.
The biggest point comes with the 'massively multiplayer' part of the MMO (massively multiplayer online game) branding that has been connected to the game since the beginning.
Upon playing, fans realized The Day Before is not an MMO but an online extraction shooter. It features no crafting system, no survival elements, and few other players, despite the game being marketed to look like those would all be present.
Fntastic seems to have duped not only fans but gaming media as well, with the likes of IGN covering the title and giving it prime placement in events like their various gaming showcases.
This apparent deception has caused some fans to call out the game for false advertising, which could eventually lead to legal action. This has been seen in the courts before, should the parties involved take it that far.
The Day Before is now available on Steam.