Have you ever watched an 80’s slasher film and wondered what it would be like in a horror movie? Ever screamed at the television in anger at the victims who make stupid mistakes? Dead By Daylight puts you in the shoes of a survivor, or a killer, with only one goal in mind – survive!
Storyline and Plot
Whilst not entirely based on an exact story, Dead By Daylight evolves around 4v1 gameplay as a group of young’uns goes head to head with a killer. As a survivor, you must team up – or go lone wolf – and turn on five generators which are randomly spawned across the map. Once powered on these five generators open two exit gates. It’s the killer’s job to locate these survivors before they escape and rid of them by any means necessary: death, sacrifice or just let them crawl and struggle.
Pick a Survivor
As of the latest update, there are 12 survivors to choose from including Dwight Fairfield, Meg Thomas, Claudette Morel, Jake Park, Nea Karlsson, Laurie Stroke, Ace Visconti, Bill Overbeck, Feng Min, David King, Quentin Smith and David Tapp. Each of these characters has their own leveling system, perks, and customization options.
As you may have realised a handful of these survivors are from well-established franchises such as SAW and Halloween. The developers have successfully teamed up with the hard-hitting horror brands to bring a players variety. Survivors killing counterparts are also included in the extra content.
Pick a Killer
As for killers, there are 11 as of the latest update. Killers to choose from include Trapper, Wraith, Hillbilly, Nurse, Shape (Michael Myers), Hag, Doctor, Huntress, Cannibal, Nightmare (Freddy Krueger) and Pig (Amanda Young). Like survivors, each killer has their own leveling system, perks, and customization.
Killers have the ability unlock a variety of interesting perks. For example, Michael’s “Play With Your Food” perk lets you taunt your current obsession thus increasing movement speed. Every time you chase your obsession and let them escape, your movement speed is increased until your next attack.
It is worth noting that not all of these killers and survivors are free. The additional packs come at a premium and prices vary.
Gameplay and Game Mechanics
The Bloodweb System
The leveling system for both survivors and killers are the same. You unlock perishables and perks by using the “Bloodweb”, with each being procedurally generated meaning it is very unlikely to find two identical Bloodwebs. As you play and complete objectives you are rewarded with Bloodpoints (XP).
Bloodpoints are spendable between all survivors and all killers. Complete a Bloodweb and you gain a level, thus opening a fresh Bloodweb and as you progress additional unlockables and perks. Saving your perishables isn’t advised as prestiging a character essentially resets your inventory. Use perishables whenever you can – especially ones for additional bloodpoints.
Escaping From Death
In a match, there are several ways you can escape as a survivor. Pallets located throughout each match can be flipped in front of or at a killer to stop them in their tracks or stun them momentarily. Perishables such as flashlights can be used to blind killers, though they’re hard to master.
Doorways, windows, low walls, and lockers can also be used to confuse killers – think of it as playing hide and seek but your life is on the line. Teammates will give you an advantage, especially if they’re focussed on playing as one unit. You can gain the attention of a killer to allow others to heal and perform hook saves.
What are “hook saves,” you ask? Killers gain extra bloodpoints by offering survivors on hooks which are located in random positions around the map. Survivors can only be hooked twice before instantly being killed but they can be saved before their health reach a critical point.
Getting The Kill
Killers have a variety of tricks up their sleeves to keep survivors from completing their goals. Each time a survivor begins to run above their normal travel speed they leave red scratch markings – meaning killers who are aware of their surroundings can easily track the direction of a survivor.
Some killers like Trapper can lay bear traps down in the environment, so always be aware of where you’re stepping. If a killer manages to down you (two hits before you have the chance to heal) then they’re free to pick you up and carry you to your final resting place. Die on the hook and your body is sacrificed, meaning game over for you.
At the end of each match, you are giving Bloodpoints based on what objectives you’ve completed. The more points you earn the more likely you are to ‘pip’. Pips allow you to progress in the season’s rankings. Ranks are different from character levels and these are what other players take note of. Rank 20 is the lowest with rank 1 being the highest. As each new season plays out it’s your goal to get as high as possible – it really can be intimidating facing a rank 1 killer.
Playing Nice With Others
Dead By Daylight can be played with up to three friends or random players. This allows survivors to communicate with each other and plan accordingly. For example, 2 survivors can spot the killer whilst the other 2 repair generators. Disappointingly the game doesn’t include in-game communication options such as voice chat, text chat or basic commands. Instead, you have to either go in with a group of randoms and hope everyone knows what they’re doing or us a group chat of your own.
It would have been nice to see one of the numerous updates add voice or text chat/commands to the game. Instead, we’re stuck with either waiting until your friends purchase the game/be online and randoms causing havoc.
Audio and Visuals
Dead By Daylight focus’ heavily on environmental surroundings and sound. Compared with other recent titles the game isn’t going to blow your mind but it’s not average either. Textures are good, character models are decent and movement is generally OK. There are some mishaps here and there such as character models merging with one another or floating in mid-air and frame rate drops are noticeable but this is mainly due to the fact the game is based on online interactions.
I have however noted several instances in which audio is muted for either a brief period of time or if you’re unlucky, the entire match. This breaks the immersion and I have often found myself backing out of matchmaking or a game because of this. Searching for a new lobby or restarting the game usually fixes this issue but it’s still something which occurs every now and again.