Have you ever wanted to play as that innocent little survivor in a horror movie?
Now is your chance.
Dead by Daylight is a survival horror game clearly inspired by films such as ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘The Hills Have Eyes’. First of all, you have the option to play as either one of four survivors or the killer himself. Survivors will have to power up five generators in the map in order to create power for the exit doors which lead them all to safety. Of course, it isn’t that simple as someone with a huge machete will be chasing you every step of the way, trying to prevent the survivors from reaching safety. As well as repairing the generators, survivors will have the opportunity to scavenge items found in chests scattered around the map, but they can only use one item at a time. These items consist of tool boxes, flashlights, medical boxes and many more. However, a survivor must stay alive and reach safety to keep these items, otherwise they lose them. This is an excellent feature as it forces the player to make big moral decisions in the game.
As a survivor, players will hear a heart-beat sensor when the killer is within range of your position: the faster the beats, the closer he is. However, one of the killers has a cloaking ability which disables the heart beat sensor for the survivors, increasing the tension and fear. When cloaked, the killer cannot attack any survivors; instead they have to become visible. Once the killer is visible a loud bell will echo across the map, adding to the rush and extremely satisfying fear as you run for your life.
There are three different killers to choose from, all with their own individual traits and items. As a killer you have to hit the survivors twice with your weapon to bring them to the floor, where you will then have the option to pick them up and put them on a meat hook or let them cry for help. In all instances, the survivors will have the option of risking their own lives to save a fellow friend or continue alone, but they will have to move fast. Personally, I found the hunt to be exhilarating, but as a survivor, I found the game to be absolutely terrifying and full of unpredictability. The brutality forces survivors to rush as fast as they can, simply due to the sheer amount of heart pounding tension throughout the game.
Both Killers and survivors have a leveling system called the ‘Bloodweb’ which you spend blood points (earned from playing games) to upgrade abilities and add new items to help you with your tasks. The range of perks/add-ons/items is surprisingly very good for a game with this concept.
There are 12 maps that take place in 3 different areas, but they are procedurally generated, meaning that you will never remember one map. This is another great choice from the developers as it makes each game feel fresh as both survivors and killer will have to approach it differently each time. However, despite the variety, I would like to see more traps within the maps to give more options for both killer and survivors.
In terms of atmosphere and sound design, Dead by Daylight excels with flying colors, creating some of the most creepy, unsettling maps I’ve ever played in a video game. Crows will squawk as you pass, instantly giving away your position if a killer is nearby. Although the character models aren’t exactly the best graphics ever seen, the map design is superb and the sound will make you tap your toes frantically. On the other hand, It would be nice to give the killer a taunting option to further scare the survivors.
Character customization via cosmetic items is still very limited since the beta, and as of yet, there are no microtransactions, but I have a strong feeling that they are on the way. Moreover, as there is no back story with any of the characters in the game, I would love to have the ability to create our own survivors with extensive customization options.
There are a few technical issues which remain since the beta, such as the occasional texture and animation glitch, but these are only minor and can hopefully be patched soon. In addition, there is no in-game chat so there is no way of communicating with fellow survivors which is very frustrating. Furthermore, you can’t group up with friends in quick matches, thus resulting in many players constantly leaving and joining games in order to find their friends. The only way to group with friends is via custom games, which doesn’t award any progression. This needs to be fixed soon; the game is much more enjoyable with friends. Finally, there seems to be a big lack of keyboard control customization and graphics optimization. Hopefully, these features will be implemented in the game as soon as possible.
Overall, Dead by Daylight is a very addicting and enjoyable game, with the potential to be even better once certain social features are implemented in the game. Furthermore, the gameplay feels fresh and highly satisfying, especially with friends. For a very reasonable price of $17.99, I have to recommend Dead by Daylight to all horror fans as you won’t regret your purchase.