Previously one of the most sought-after survival games on Steam, The Day Before appears to have suffered a significant visual downgrade from its 2019 opening sequence, despite developer Fntastic’s efforts to be more open with its community.
In a new developer blog, Fntastic describes the four-year process behind The Day Before, explaining how the original “stylized” aesthetic of the multiplayer game gradually morphed into something more “realistic.” Early Day Before gameplay trailers, from 2019 or 2020, are placed alongside more recent footage to illustrate how Fntastic is gradually realizing its “dream project”.
“The development process for The Day Before began in early 2019,” says Dana Soltangazinova, a member of Fntastic’s communications team. “At the time, the game looked so different that if you saw it today, you wouldn’t be able to tell it was actually The Day Before. The game had stylized, cartoonish graphics and drawn animations by hand.
“But in 2020, there came a time when we decided to push ourselves and raise our standards, to make The Day Before not just our dream project, but a game that could win the hearts of as many people as possible. people possible. After the decision, we at Fntastic made a huge internal breakthrough and totally transformed The Day Before… our team put a lot of effort into redoing all the visual parts of the game.”
The developer blog comes after The Day Before was removed from Steam and delayed from March to November 10, 2023, when it was revealed that Fntastic did not in fact own the title branding of the game. new trailer for the game, which featured shots and footage that appeared to be heavily based on the Call of Duty and The Last of Us trailers. It was later revealed that The Day Before trademark belonged to the creator of a calendar app.
Although some of the new images, like the character models for the zombies and some of the weapon skins, look more detailed than their original versions, like someone who’s been following The Day Before since 2019, this latest blog from development, combined with the other recent news makes me doubt the survival game is going the way we initially hoped.
In many of the video’s direct comparisons, footage from the earlier version of The Day Before is labeled as being from a “semi-stylized version”, while current footage is described as being from the “realistic version”. However, in many cases the seemingly newer images look worse than the older game from the day before, or the images are so different that a comparison is impossible.
I feel like this is especially noticeable in the image below, which shows a very detailed, well-lit car model of the “first semi-stylized version” alongside a completely flat-textured vehicle. different in low light, apparently from the “realistic version”. improved. .”
In general, the so-called “stylized” images look more realistic to me than the “realistic” images from The Day Before. But it looks like the new dev diary video is trying to make us consider the earlier, more engaging footage from The Day Before less technically impressive.
When it comes to overall fidelity and quality, “stylized” has more negative connotations than “realistic,” and the way the video repeats that comparison is as if it’s trying to convince us that the older version and the most appealing of The Day Before is somehow worse: that when the game had more detail and dynamic lighting, it was part of an early “stylized” pre-alpha version, versus the higher “realistic” version “that we have now.
But this “realistic” version looks even worse. So I can’t help but wonder why Fntastic is apparently trying to get us to ignore, forget, or drop the old footage and accept something that looks inferior as better; closer to the “true vision” of the game. I also wonder why Fntastic would seemingly drop a nicer version of the game, especially if it’s trying to do a “dream project”.
In an ideal world, this would all be cynicism on my part. I wish The Day Before was exactly the game Fntastic promised, and all my doubts were completely wrong. We will have to wait until November. Here is the hope.
Check out more upcoming games to keep an eye out for everything coming in 2023. You might also want to try some other great zombie games on PC.