the day before

Is The Day Before the worst game of 2023?

By Olivia Richman

|

Dec 13, 2023

Reading time: 3 min

By now you’ve probably seen content creators and game critics crap on The Day Before all over the internet, from complaining about its irritating buzzing sounds to pointing out its dull gameplay. But is it truly worthy of the “worst game of 2023” title?

The Day Before was originally announced in 2021 as a zombie survival MMO that had a focus on cinematics and stunning visuals as well as immersive, complex gameplay. It became Steam’s most wished for game soon after but some gamers were a bit skeptical that it was all a scam.

Many wondered how a small studio like Fntastic would create such a massive game — especially considering it was set to come out in the summer of 2022. But a few months before its release, developers said that the game was being delayed so it could be ported over to Unreal Engine 5. It was around this time that gamers discovered the studio was copying other games, uncovering trademark disputes as the game continued to be postponed. There was also accusations of unpaid labor within the company.

Fntastic continued to tell gamers that they were not a scam but this only made some gamers more suspicious.

At one point they wrote: “Please don’t accuse us of scamming; that’s not true. We didn’t take a penny from anyone.”

The game was eventually released on Steam on December 7, available as an Early Access version. But the game was nothing like what was promised.

Why is The Day Before so bad?

IGN infamously gave The Day Before a 1/10, something the iconic game reviewer hasn’t done for quite some time. The reviewer called it “easily one of the worst games I ever played.” Is it truly as bad as the YouTube rants say?

The intro reads: “This wholly disappointing online zombie survival shooter contains essentially nothing of what was originally promised over the years leading up to its disastrous early access release. Not only is it not an MMO, but it hardly passes as a survival shooter, and I barely had time to put in a handful of hours before it went belly-up.”

Gamers have continued to complain about all aspects of the game, ranging from the egregious bugs, suspicious voiceovers that seem like the work of AI, seemingly stolen assets, and performance and server issues.

Wrote Games Radar: “The Day Before isn’t quite the worst game I’ve ever played, but it might just be the emptiest. Empty of interesting things to do, but also empty of artistic merit. The bafflingly anticipated ‘Zombie survival MMO’ from developer Fntastic is a game with nothing to say. There are no meaningful ideas, no distinctive mechanics, no creative stylistic choices, and certainly no compelling characters. It’s a reductive, insipid take on the extraction shooter in which you fight boring people in a boring city to collect boring loot to take back to a boring base.”

Simply put, the game is boring, empty, and not fun to play. And that may be its biggest sin.

Fntastic shuts down after The Day Before disaster

To make matters worse — and to make it more of a possibility that it was all a scam after all — Fntastic announced it was shutting down shortly after the game launched.

Just four days after The Day Before became available on Steam, Fnastic said that the game “failed financially” and the studio doesn’t have any further funds to work with.

With the studio shutting down, there will be no updates or patches for the frustrating, buggy game. The servers will remain up for now, however.

Did Fntastic just attempt more than it could handle or was releasing a horrible game always the plan? It’s unclear and the studio may not offer any more explanation as the negative feedback keeps rolling in. Its Discord server has already been shut down and we are now left with the baffling zombie disaster before us.

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