The Day Before, the much-anticipated open-world zombie MMO, has made its debut on Steam after spending two years as the most-wish-listed game on the platform. However, the Early Access Launch on Thursday has left players disappointed, prompting a flood of negative reviews targeting various issues, from bugs and crashes to poor performance and multiplayer server problems.
While encountering bugs and glitches is not uncommon for a newly launched PC game, The Day Before‘s player base is particularly irked by the apparent disparities between the promised game and the one they received. Many users express dissatisfaction with the game’s size, criticizing the so-called open world as “smaller than a New York apartment.” Moreover, the massively multiplayer experience that was heavily marketed appears to fall short of expectations, with players and streamers likening it more to an extraction shooter akin to Tom Clancy’s The Division, lacking the balance and depth of similar titles.
One prevalent criticism revolves around the absence of melee weapons in a game where resource scavenging and potential scarcity of ammunition should have made them a crucial element. Players have also raised concerns about the inability to vault over small obstacles or climb ladders. Despite early trailers promising explorable buildings, players note that very few structures can be entered, leading to a perception of dullness.
Acknowledging the server issues, developer FNTASTIC posted on X, stating, “Overload on North American servers. The servers are working. Fills up too quickly,” in response to the overwhelming demand. The Day Before managed to peak at over 38,000 players on Thursday, according to Steam’s most-played stats.
The game initially revealed in 2021, generated immediate interest and drew comparisons to acclaimed titles like The Last of Us and The Division. Skepticism arose early on due to Fntastic’s status as a relatively unknown developer, primarily associated with simpler-looking indie games. The skepticism wasn’t unfounded, as The Day Before faced multiple delays, a trademark dispute that briefly led to its removal from Steam, and controversy surrounding the studio’s “philosophy of volunteering” workplace culture, where some developers worked without compensation.
Despite the challenges, The Day Before is now available. However, it appears to be a work in progress rather than a polished final product. Polygon has reached out to Fntastic for comment on the community’s response, and updates will be provided as the studio responds.
The journey of The Day Before from a highly anticipated reveal to a contentious Early Access Launch highlights the challenges faced by developers in meeting player expectations, particularly in the competitive landscape of open-world MMOs. As the gaming community eagerly awaits improvements and updates, only time will tell if The Day Before can overcome its initial setbacks and evolve into the immersive experience promised during its early marketing campaigns.