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The Day Before launches to Overwhelmingly Negative reception

The Day Before has been heavily criticised as players finally got their hands on the game.
the day before game fntastic

Prior to launch, The Day Before was one of the most wishlisted games on Steam. An early trailer had proved promising, with footage revealing an MMO with shades of The Division. But it wasn’t long before doubt derailed the excitement around the game. As a smaller developer, Fntastic was the subject of major scrutiny, with many players expressing trepidation about the potential quality of the adventure, and others outright alleging that it was a scam, and couldn’t possibly deliver on its potential.

After months of furore, several controversies, and multiple delays, The Day Before has now released – to Overwhelmingly Negative reviews on Steam.

The issues with The Day Before appear to be countless, with player reviews again alleging it’s a scam, as it doesn’t seem to contain MMO gameplay at all. While described as such in earlier marketing, it appears to be a “bare bones” looter-shooter with extraction-style gameplay. Some have likened it to a cheap copy of Escape from Tarkov, with just a sprinkling of enemy combat.

“This game is a scam and you can’t convince me otherwise,” Steam reviewer CRREAM wrote. “You can’t advertise your game as a Survival MMO and then its basically Tarkov w/ a handful of ‘Infected’ sprinkled around the city. They used buzzwords they knew we would all like and then slapped this slop down hoping we wouldn’t notice.”

Read: The Day Before studio co-founders deny scam allegations

Various reviews allege the game is fairly “empty” with only basic combat and exploration. Not only that, but many claim to have encountered serious bugs while playing, including gameplay lag, poor enemy AI, crashes, server issues, and, according to one player, a bug where standing on a car makes you practically invincible.

Players have also criticised its lack of basic features, including its lack of melee combat, no opportunity to climb ladders or genuinely explore the environment, little earnable loot, and no progression. Per many reviewers, the game is simply not what it was advertised as, and while it has the basic semblance of gameplay, it’s not satisfying enough to maintain interest in any capacity.

Now, it’s important to note here that Fntastic is a small development team. The Day Before is a project that seems to have gotten away from them somewhat, with a viral first trailer setting up expectations that simply couldn’t be met – yet the issue is complex. Following The Day Before‘s virality, Fntastic leaned into the project, making ambitious promises about its nature as a massive MMO zombie game.

Recently, the studio apologised for this false marketing, and claimed it had learned from its mistakes:

“Please forgive us for not doing the best marketing and teasers. We learn something new and improve ourselves every single day. Please don’t accuse us of scamming; that’s not true. We didn’t take a penny from anyone. Please don’t accuse us of asset flip; that’s not true also. Our team worked day and night for five years to make our dream game a reality. Please don’t underestimate our work; it wasn’t easy. We are like you; we worked hard. And we’re incredibly happy that our game will finally see the light of day for everyone to explore.”

As the company states, it did not handle its early marketing well, and may have overstated the reach of The Day Before, as well as its gameplay potential. Now, it’s contending with a major storm as unhappy players continue to criticise the game, and the initial promises made.

The Day Before is out now on Steam.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.