The Day Before: A Failed Promise of MMO Glory

The Day Before: A Failed Promise of MMO Glory

Two years back, Fntastic developers unveiled their ambitious "open-world survival MMO," The Day Before, through a captivating trailer. Featuring players navigating a post-pandemic American city teeming with detailed lighting effects and dynamic zombie hordes, the game promised a blend of The Last Of Us and The Division, quickly amassing the highest wishlist count on Steam.

Fast forward to the present, and The Day Before has not only exited early access but has also been abruptly shut down, rendering it unavailable for purchase. The disappointment isn't surprising, considering the final product fell far short of the initial promises, transforming into more of an extraction shooter than a true MMO. What follows is a recounting of the frustrating experiences endured during its brief stint in early access – a time when spending £40 on stinging nettles for sock lining seemed preferable to another minute in this desolate shell.

Launching The Day Before on release was a burdensome experience, akin to the weight of unresponsiveness where tabs refused to click while it sluggishly came to life. Frequently opening at a resolution lower than my monitor's default, it often presented as a bloated black screen with a pixelated bar across the top. The character creator, offering basic options like hair, eyes, and unremarkable voices, led to the selection of a server from a list of states with an unhelpful "High" population designation.

Attempting to enter a server on the first try felt like witnessing a miracle, an occurrence that rarely transpired due to a cascade of error codes. The imagined culprit was a server infrastructure resembling a sprouted potato wired in someone's drawer, causing the clips to dislodge and hinder access. Minutes were spent clicking on servers, hoping to avoid yet another dreaded error.

Upon overcoming the hurdles of errors, players awoke on a doctor's table in a resistance camp, prompting a series of monotonous interactions with various NPCs. Conversations with the ammo person, the barman, and the stash-keeper filled the precious early access window, eventually leading players to a "land plot" for upgrading with furniture. The intended purpose, returning after excursions to spend money on beautifying the house, offered little engagement.

Following the camp introduction, players consulted a tablet to find fetch quests, such as acquiring plumbing kits, soldering kits, and sealant for Chris. The map, small for MMO standards and unzoomable, added to the game's drawbacks.

Entering New Fortune City exposed the game's failure to meet the MMO criteria, devolving into a mere extraction shooter. The aim shifted to looting and escaping without encountering many players, a far cry from the promised shared world experience. The faint MMO semblance lingered in occasional encounters with others in hub areas or glitches. When spotting fellow players in the city, the encounter usually ended with a hostile encounter.

Even as an extraction shooter, The Day Before was a letdown, offering a monotonous experience of running through an empty city with sparse, enterable buildings. Discovering a building didn't guarantee the needed items for quests, making the gameplay more frustrating than anticipated.

The Hyper Casual Remake Dilemma

Considering the myriad issues and unmet promises of The Day Before, the question arises: would remaking this game as a hyper-casual experience make sense? The original vision of an open-world survival MMO is a far cry from the delivered extraction shooter, and attempting to rebrand it as hyper-casual might be an attempt to salvage some value from the concept.

However, the core problems of server issues, lackluster gameplay, and unfulfilled promises may still persist in a hyper-casual remake. It's crucial to address the root causes before considering such a transformation, ensuring that the revamped version aligns with player expectations and avoids the pitfalls that plagued the original release. Ultimately, whether The Day Before can find redemption in the hyper-casual realm depends on a thorough reassessment of its foundation and a commitment to delivering a satisfying gaming experience.