Dead by Daylight

Dead by Daylight
 
 

While Dead by Daylight lacks the pop culture legacy that another recently-released asymmetric horror game possesses, it reminds you that when a game executes its concept well, it doesn't require a guy in a hockey mask for people to take notice. While the gameplay is fairly straightforward, the deep RPG-like upgrade system and the way it executes its mechanics make it the superior product.

The premise is simple: the survivors begin the game on one of the procedurally generated levels, with no mini-map to guide them. In order to survive, they have to start up five of the generators scattered about, then make their way to the exit by opening the doors.

 
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The killer's premise is even simpler: prevent the survivors from escaping. They can either incapacitate and carry them to hooks in order to hang them as tributes to “The Entity,” or allow them to bleed out.

Each killer has unique powers that changes the way they are played. The trapper, for instance, can set bear traps at various parts of the map to catch the survivors out. And the nurse can morph into a cloud of smoke to go through walls. The roster of six killers – not including the Michael Myers DLC  – make for a unique combination.

But what’s interesting about Dead by Daylight’s asymmetrical design is that the survivors are in third-person view, giving them an idea of their surroundings, whereas the killer is in a first person, therefore having a limited field of view and subsequently balancing the game.

Furthermore, survivors can see each other should something happen to them, good or bad. You can see an outline of fellow survivors if they are hooked or incapacitated. You can also see generators that have been started, giving you an idea of how many are left before reaching freedom. The killer, however, can also see the generators started, as well as any birds that are disturbed by survivors, and marks left by survivors when they run.

The stress levels ramp up when the chase begins; survivors can pull down pallets to stun the killer, vault through windows, or hide in cupboards. Although these actions can buy you time, there's no reprieve when the hunt is on. Toying with the survivors can also be a sadistic game, if you plan it right. Fooling them into believing you're out of the picture when you know exactly where they are is satisfying when you lead them into your grasp.

So it's no longer a simple game of hide-and-seek, it is now a game of cat-and-mouse, where the mice are trying to work together (or separately) to escape the cat’s grasp.

Headphones or a good sound system are a must, not only to help avoid the killer or track down survivors, but the atmosphere created adds to the intensity of the hunt. The dreaded heartbeats heard when the killer is nearby pumps up the pressure, especially when you’re furiously rotating the camera while trying to fix a generator.

The above system also has its own mini-game in the form of a quick time event. Timing the prompt correctly can expedite the repair process, but timing it wrong will not only impede progress, but the generator will choke, notifying the killer of your location.

At first glance, the upgrade system seems one-dimensional, with benefits unlocked through Blood Points (an in-game currency earned by playing). These give access to the aptly named Bloodweb; each level requires all previous perks to be unlocked. Once these have been acquired, the character levels up, opening a new set to unlock.

With each character possessing their own unique set of perks, the upgrade system actually provides a lot of depth, and incentivises playing all the characters in order to get the maximum Dead by Daylight experience.

As the game originally released on PC over a year ago, the eventual console release has its pros and cons. Getting all the extra survivors and killers in the special edition release means the roster is essentially doubled, and notable bugs plaguing the original release have been remedied.

However, there’s still the occasional hiccup, like lag at the most inopportune times. It is also obvious that the game is a port from PC, as the controls are mouse-orientated. It isn't a deal-breaker, but the cursor occasionally disappearing makes you wish the developer had incorporated joystick/d-pad controls into the console version.

There are – and have been – asymmetric multiplayer games released over the years, with fairly middling results. Dead by Daylight has improved the niche by creating a product that balances simple gameplay with minimal downtime, and giving players plenty of depth to come back to again and again. It is – by far – the superior asymmetric multiplayer game to date.


Tony received a digital copy of Dead by Daylight from the developer for review.


Dead by Daylight
"Deeper than you think, with simple mechanics that make it a great asymmetric game."
- Dead by Daylight
8.1
Great
 
Follow Own it? Rating: R16   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 15 Min


 

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Comments Comments (8)

 
Posted by Unfathomable-Ruination
On Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 12:52 PM
2
Nice, seems better than Friday the 13th
 
 
 
Posted by Ryzlin
On Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 10:21 PM
3
Certainly better than Evolve. My boss keeps wanting me to play with him, despite us being on different consoles.
 
 
 
Posted by siamese
On Thursday 6 Jul 2017 8:48 AM
3
5 July 2017, 10:21 PM Reply to Ryzlin
Certainly better than Evolve. My boss keeps wanting me to play with him, despite us being on different consoles.
I thought Evolve was a great game - it just wasn't marketed/priced correctly.

Sadly, once the community drops off its basically landfill. I'd be hesitant to buy this game for that reason.
 
 
 
Posted by cortez72
On Thursday 6 Jul 2017 3:18 PM
1
So, there I am saying; "I wonder if the Friday the 13th game concept will be better applied elsewhere in the future?"... and find that it is better applied here in the immediate present.

This game sounds amazing!
 
 
 
Posted by Ryzlin
On Thursday 6 Jul 2017 3:43 PM
1
6 July 2017, 08:48 AM Reply to siamese
I thought Evolve was a great game - it just wasn't marketed/priced correctly.

Sadly, once the community drops off its basically landfill. I'd be hesitant to buy this game for that reason.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Evolve, for the first couple of weeks or so. But there was a major issue with difficulty between monster and hunter. I didn't find a single monster I liked to play as, but did like several hunters.

The game had no sticking power though, and too much paid content. It got boring fast. At least this o e has been around for a year already.
 
 
 
Posted by RKO_NZ
On Friday 7 Jul 2017 12:50 AM
2
6 July 2017, 03:18 PM Reply to cortez72
So, there I am saying; "I wonder if the Friday the 13th game concept will be better applied elsewhere in the future?"... and find that it is better applied here in the immediate present.

This game sounds amazing!
Dead By Daylight was out first, and I think the devs of F13 got a bit of an idea on some similar mechanics from this game they could use in theres, I've got both games at the moment, I play F13 more, I enjoy it more, but both games have their issues, for instance in Dead by Daylight, a problem I seem to run into a lot, is if a player gets caught by the killer and are put on a offering hook, that if the killer camps right in front of a player whos hooked, its very,very difficult to try save that player, it works out for others and it gives them time to repair the generators, but it just seems kind of meh when this situation occurs, the thing I do like with this game over F13 is you actually have a chance to wriggle free and escape the killer, where as in F13, if your caught by Jason, and got no pocket knife, your dead., Dead by Daylight only has 1 objective and that is to fix the generators and escape, F13 has 4 options, so you;ve got a bit more variety which keeps games interesting.

So both games have their pro's and cons, although very similar in objective and the ways they play, i tell people when they ask me what they should get/try, i say tryboth because with me, each of these games has something the other is missing
 
 
 
Posted by cortez72
On Friday 7 Jul 2017 6:44 PM
-
7 July 2017, 12:50 AM Reply to RKO_NZ
Dead By Daylight was out first, and I think the devs of F13 got a bit of an idea on some similar mechanics from this game they could use in theres, I've got both games at the moment, I play F13 more, I enjoy it more, but both games have their issues, for instance in Dead by Daylight, a problem I seem to run into a lot, is if a player gets caught by the killer and are put on a offering hook, that if the killer camps right in front of a player whos hooked, its very,very difficult to try save that player, it works out for others and it gives them time to repair the generators, but it just seems kind of meh when this situation occurs, the thing I do like with this game over F13 is you actually have a chance to wriggle free and escape the killer, where as in F13, if your caught by Jason, and got no pocket knife, your dead., Dead by Daylight only has 1 objective and that is to fix the generators and escape, F13 has 4 options, so you;ve got a bit more variety which keeps games interesting.

So both games have their pro's and cons, although very similar in objective and the ways they play, i tell people when they ask me what they should get/try, i say tryboth because with me, each of these games has something the other is missing
Thanks for that, I'm curious about both titles, just off put on F13 by all the server issues.
 
 
 
Posted by RKO_NZ
On Sunday 9 Jul 2017 10:04 AM
-
7 July 2017, 06:44 PM Reply to cortez72
Thanks for that, I'm curious about both titles, just off put on F13 by all the server issues.
Oh that's no surprise, if you want to base it off the servers, I'd say take a pass on it for now, and try it when the devs have actually fixed it, I know they've been releasing hot patches for PS4 and PC, but Xbox is (I feel like) being neglected, although the devs keep denying that, seems they submit patches and MS fails it on cert.

For me, and a lot of others, the pattern currently seems to be the game crashes every 3-4 matches completed.