Dead By Daylight was released for PC this time last year, and has just had it’s recent release for Consoles. It will set you back about £24 on consoles currently. Offering it’s unique take on A-Symmetrical multiplayer horror fun sounds like a match made in slasher heaven! One player is the killer working against the four human survivors for whom surviving boils down to avoiding the murderer, activating five generators then escaping through one of two escapes to freedom and, more importantly, safety. While the Killer needs to sacrifice on hooks, or kill, each of the Survivors to claim victory.
- Graphics: The game looks bleak. The characters: bland and largely lifeless. The environments: dark, dreary and inhospitable. The entire game plays with a hazy fog adding to the sense of dread oozing in from every angle. These may sound like criticisms, but they truly do work to compound the claustrophobic and catastrophic nature of the game, but ultimately the graphics aren’t going to win it too many GOTY Awards…
- Audio: One of this game’s aces up its sleeve. An integral part of the game that the developers have clearly worked hard to get right for the Survivors and the Killer; clearly understanding its overarching importance to the inducement of fear or necessity during hunting respectively.
When the Killer is getting close, the heartbeat of the survivors will increase, leading to some close moments as you near fixing a generator and don’t quite want to leave it just yet. Or even just crouch walking in the long grass before you have gotten line of sight with your doom. You know it’s there, but exactly where? Hmm, well right behind you if thirty years of horror films have taught you anything!
For the Killer, sound is no less vital. Hearing a Surivivor mess up a skill check (a small QTE) while fixing a generator will give you a fix on their location, as will a Survivor sprinting past a murder of crows. A decent headset will go a long way in helping you during this game, which ever side of the psychopath coin you land on.
The audio is fantastic; perfect for the job.
- Verdict: Yeah!
- Gameplay: The is purely an online game, best played amongst friends that you’re talking to for obvious reasons. The balance between the Killer and the Survivors seems rather finely tuned, Survivors have no way to “fight” the Killer, stealth and situational awareness (Survivors play in third person) are their strengths, while the Killer’s strength is usually just that: Strength. Once a chance is instigated, the deadly music kicks in, your heartbeat is going and you have to run for your life, quite literally. With the use of throwing obstacles in the Killer’s path, breaking line of sight and hiding in a hiding spot, you can make it out alive, but you’re not the only one with a few tricks.
The Killer can see tracks you make, follow blood trials made by injuring your prey and have the upper hand in a protracted chase due to their system of “Bloodlust” granting them speed boosts after a certain amount of time chasing their victims. They can see the generators highlighted on the map from the start, unlike Survivors who have to tentatively search the map for them. Their view is restricted to first person, which can lead to some incredible moments of missing something right in front of you as a Survivor keeps their line of sight away from the Killer with a tight margin; they can walk right by you and not know you are there! Once you sufficiently injure a Survivor, you can take them to a Butcher’s Hook and wait as they are sacrificed. Team mates can help them escape at this point, or they can focus on the generators…
Five generators to fix between the four of you, then an agonisingly slow door switch to open before you’re home free. Sounds easy, no doubt, but it has been genuinely one of the most terrifyingly tight mutliplayer experiences I have had the pleasure of playing! While playing as the Killer offers an interesting aspect of being the propagator of the shrill sense of fear! Two sides of the same rare and shiny coin!
- Verdict: Yeah!
- Replayability: Matches have elements of procedually generated layouts, so “learning the maps” isn’t quite as helpful as in other games, but keeps things refreshing when you have put in more-than-a-few heart pounding hours. Multiple Survivors and Killers to level up and progress with, and plenty of content both in the original game and the subsequent releases after that. The replayability for online games is always a tough one to objectively judge. With a group of people you play with and talk to consistently, this game may never get old. But playing on your own with the slightly inconsistent matchmaking could make you tire pretty quickly.
- Verdict: Yeah!
Final Thoughts: This game is strongly recommended to any fans of the Slasher Movie genre or anyone looking for something different. I’d recommend playing with friends, but it could be you are more taken with the idea of being the Killer and that can offer a *very* fun solo experience. Regardless, the game is a unique, multiplayer heavy game. Not the greatest looking, but incredible fun and well worth the price of admission!