The Day Before (opens in new tab) struck us as "part DayZ, a smidge The Last of Us, and a bit of The Division thrown in for good measure" when we got our first good look at it back in 2021. The open-world MMO survival game with zombies clearly wasn't the most original concept ever, but the games it's inspired by are pretty good, and it's being developed by the team that developed The Wild Eight, the game that lets you eat your own dead body (opens in new tab) to survive in a pinch. In my book that makes The Day Before worth a second look all on its own.
Interest in The Day Before is clearly high: It's number one on Steam's top wishlist chart. Unfortunately, we're going to have to wait longer than expected to find out if it's any good. In a bit of good news-bad news, developer Fntastic told IGN (opens in new tab) that it's switching to Unreal Engine 5, but that means it's going to be delayed by nearly a year past its intended date.
"Feeling and understanding the great responsibility that we face, with enormous gratitude in our hearts, we're pleased to announce that The Day Before is switching to the new Unreal Engine 5 technology!" the studio said. "The transition to a more advanced and adapted open worlds engine, will make the gameplay of The Day Before even more fantastic.
"In this regard, we inform you that the new release date of the game will be March 1st, 2023."
The Day Before looks pretty good in the release date trailer from last year that's embedded above (and which, obviously, is no longer relevant as far as the whole "release date" thing goes) but the shift to UE5 could pay real dividends. We noted in our look at the new engine (opens in new tab) last month that it offers a number of features specific to open-world games: One, called World Partition, handles on-the-fly loading and unloading of open worlds as players move through them, while another, Data Layers, enables developers to "create different variations of the same world—such as daytime and nighttime versions, or intact and broken geometry—as layers that exist in the same space."
Fntastic isn't the only studio to decide to make the switch to Unreal Engine 5. CD Projekt announced in March that The Witcher 4 will use UE5 (opens in new tab), also because of its open world capabilities.