Let’s get something out of the way nice and early. No one expected The Day Before to shake up the games industry, at least not in a positive sense. Controversy surrounded this game from the very beginning, but I held some hope that the final product, whatever it was, would at least be playable. How wrong I was.
If you want to play one of the best survival games on PC, look elsewhere, literally anywhere, because my time with The Day Before was tragic, despite initially lulling me into a false sense of security.
In the first 20 minutes of The Day Before, performance was admirable. Not perfect, the odd frame drop was noticeable, but on the highest possible presets at 1440p (with no DLSS), the game put out around 75 fps. For context, this was using an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 and Intel Core i7 11700F, backed up by 32GB of RAM, and an SSD.
As soon as I stepped foot out of the hub area and into the city map, however, performance tanked to incredible lows of around 10 fps. I gave The Day Before the benefit of the doubt and lowered the graphical settings to global highs, with DLSS turned on to Quality, which should normally return a sizeable fps boost thanks to upscaling.
This doubled performance to a mighty 20 fps, but the stuttering issues persisted, and the game was simply unplayable. I once again downgraded the settings to medium and got no performance gains whatsoever. Better still, I encountered another player who was either an NPC, bot, or clearly unimpeded by performance issues, because they landed a shot on me from a considerable distance. The problem? Getting hit crashed The Day Before with a ‘fatal error’ and the game hasn’t booted since.
I would love to say that the issues in The Day Before were at least humorous. Funny bugs that messed around with character models or the environment to some degree. Instead, I spent nearly an hour watching a slideshow that crashed, never to load again, at the first sign of action.
You can read about other issues surrounding The Day Before, including the deletion of any indication it was ever an MMO or the fact that it is one of the worst-rated games on Steam, less than 24 hours after launching.