Dead by Daylight is a 4v1 asymmetrical multiplayer game where four players control the survivors and one player controls the killer. It was originally released on PC last year and now console owners have the chance to try this multiplayer survival horror game out for themselves.
The first thing that stood out to me about Dead by Daylight was the fact that there is no in-game chat. If you want to communicate with your fellow survivors, you have to create a party chat outside of the game. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue with most online games, but given the fact that Dead by Daylight is about communicating to work as a team, it seems like an odd choice that developer Behavior Interactive decided to forego this option. It makes it difficult to know what your teammates have accomplished or what they are about to do.
The few times when I was in party chat, the game was a lot of fun, even when the person playing the killer was in the chat. We would have to create our own language to try and get to our objective without giving away pertinent information. Unfortunately, those times were very few and far between.
Another thing that didn’t work for me was the fact that there were only two objectives as the survivor, which are: get the five randomly placed generators running to turn on the power; hit a switch to open the gate so you can escape. You can also find a hatch hidden somewhere on the map and escape that way, either by being the only survivor left or to have one of the four survivors carry the skeleton key, which can be unlocked as you reach a higher level. It becomes very repetitive and I just felt bored going through the motions over and over again.
It even becomes boring playing as the killer because you just stalk the generators to catch the survivors and sacrifice them. There isn’t much in the way of varying kills, you just hack and slash the survivors till they fall, then attempt to carry their bodies to the sacrificial hook. Speaking of carrying the bodies, if you just so happen to be one of the unlucky characters to get dragged to the hook, the only way to escape the killer’s grasp is by wiggling, which is done by moving the left analog stick back and forth really fast. That can’t be good for an expensive controller. Once you reach later levels, you can unlock a perk so you can at least kill the survivors by attacking them instead of sacrificing, but it still isn’t really inventive.
The last minor complaint in Dead by Daylight that I want to talk about is that there doesn’t seem to be a timer on the match. For the most part that isn’t a problem, most matches go by rather quickly. However, when I decided to play as one of the killers for my first time, I ended up playing against a lone survivor who was really good at the game and was always able to keep out of my sight. That match lasted an hour until he/she was able to escape. Granted, since it was my first time playing as a killer, I didn’t expect to win right away and after a few more playthroughs I started figuring out ways to capture everyone. However, Dead by Daylight isn’t a welcoming and easy to learn game, especially when you play as a killer in a match similar to my own. I could see newcomers getting frustrated and being turned off by the game.
Now that I’m done complaining, let’s take a look at what works. The first thing I want to get into is the variety of characters. For the survivors, you have a good variety to choose from, each with their own unique specialties and perks. For the killers you have 5 to choose from, each with their own own strengths, weaknesses, and unique special abilities as well. That allows you to pick a playstyle that suits you best. I had fun playing around with each character and learning to master their abilities, though some are very hard to master.
Next up is the progression system. After each match you earn Blood Points, which act as currency that you can spend on the Blood Web. These points will either get you items that can be used a certain amount of times, tickets that you can use in the beginning of a match to possibly help you choose what map you play on, and perks that are permanent enhancements to your character. These Blood Points can also be used for the killer and will unlock most of the same stuff for your character of choice. This level of progression will make you want to continue to play and build up the character.
Another thing that works is the massive variety of maps. Though there are some similarities between a few of the maps, there is still enough variety to keep each map interesting. The one I like playing in as a survivor, but not as one of the killers, is the Crotus Prenn Asylum map. It has a lot of places to hide behind and many ways to evade the killer.
Though there seems to be a lot of things to keep a player coming back for more, including prestige levels that further enhance your playing experience, there just isn’t enough here to keep me interested. The gameplay is decent, but a bit repetitive and the overall experience with the game just left me feeling bored.
With that being said, there is enough here that I would recommend you try it out for yourselves. Hopefully you will have a better experience than I did. The price tag of $29.99 alone makes it worth checking out. Not only that, but it sounds like there are plenty of DLC packs on the way. Starting in August, we will get Michael Myers from the Halloween franchise as a killer, along with a new map and playable survivor. So check back here for my review of that when it is released.