Updated: Mar 23
Developed by Behaviour Interactive and released back in June 2016, Dead by Daylight was a fresh and unique addition into the world of horror games. Fast forward over four years, players have been treated to a plethora of new content and updates. But have all these changes been good additions, or are they simply there to fill in the gaps?
Dead by Daylight is a multiplayer experience, split into two styles of gameplay. One where you take on the match as a survivor, trying to elude from the killer. Alternatively play as the killer, with the focus of taking down a group of four survivors to stop them from escaping. Each style will require completely contrasting strategy’s and gameplay in order to achieve a good match result. I tend not to use the word win when referring to the match results, as winning would not really describe what this game is about. The main focus of the game is to build up in-game points (known as bloodpoints) to unlock perks and upgrade your character (which will vary depending on which character you choose). As a survivor this can be done even if you fail to escape. You could potentially get more bloodpoints than someone that manages to escape, because you have spent more time fixing generators, unhooking survivors, being chased by the killer, and so on. The game rewards activity, hence, why this could lead to getting more bloodpoints than someone who escapes. However, in saying that, any items that you decided to take with you, whether that be a med kit or a toolbox, will be lost if you die during the match. So, escaping should still be your priority.
Playing as the killer creates a completely different gaming experience. Just as with the survivors, there is a multitude of characters to choose from, each with their own abilities and perks. Extra characters have been released in the form of paid DLC, including movie icons such as Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers. The most obvious way killers earn bloodpoints is by hunting and killing survivors to prevent them from escaping. Points will also be awarded for chasing and stalking survivors, resetting progress of generators, and many other actions.
Mostly I play as a survivor as I much prefer evading the killer. Being able to take this on with friends is also another benefit of playing a survivor. Since your life is on the line, being a survivor provides a much more tense and nervy challenge, as you sneak around the map looking for generators to fix, so you can power up the gates and escape. The terror radius lets you know when the killer is nearby, with a thumping heartbeat. Upon hearing this heartbeat, you start to panic, desperately trying to stay fixing the generator you are on. But the killer will give chase, and since the killer has a speed advantage over survivors, you need to use a combination of objects and vaulting through windows to evade the killer. Beware though as sprinting causes you to leave a trail of scratch marks, which are only visible to the killer. These marks stay on the floor for ten seconds (unless you have perks to reduce this) giving the killer a good sense as to where you have gone. If the killer knocks you down, they will pick you up and place you on a hanging hook. The only way off these hooks is to be saved by a fellow survivor, or to take your four percent chance that you can lift yourself off. The matches are mostly entertaining and provide challenging yet rewarding gameplay. There is much more to this game than simply running around and fixing things, but you will have to see for yourself.
Some of the problems with the game can be irritating. The matchmaking times are atrocious in the evenings. They are fine in the day, but the evenings you can be searching for upwards of ten minutes at some points. Even with cross platform, it still takes far too long to find a game. Most of the time you will only find console players during the evening too, which is fine, but they are somewhat disadvantaged if using a controller. Another problem is that you are sometimes playing against a person that enjoys hook camping as the killer. This is essentially where they will put you on a hook and just stand in front of you waiting for you to die. This prevent anyone being able to save you as its just too risky. This ruins the match as there is nothing you can do about it, and it is regarded as unsportsmanlike to most of the community. This sours what is otherwise a fun gaming experience.
Lastly, the developers of the game need to listen to player feedback. Especially regarding one of the most recent updates in which they changed the in-game HUD. The new HUD does not look anywhere near as nice and clean as the original HUD, and even after taking player feedback and hearing that it was mostly disliked, they still went ahead and made these changes. If they were to take on what their player base has to say and the feedback received, this would result in a more fulfilling experience, one that players and developers alike would enjoy.
Dead by day light is a wonderful game overall, with good looking unreal engine 4 graphics and enticing gameplay. Whether you play with friends or just join a random lobby, you are sure to have a fun experience most of the time. It is definitely worth playing, offering gamers a real gem of a survival-horror game.