Have you ever watched an 80’s slasher film and thought to yourself, “I wish I was in that, I’d loved to get chased by him!” No? Me neither but according to one of my latest purchases, I must have been subconsciously thinking this.
Dead By Daylight features 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 – open one or both of these gates and successfully escape in order to beat the killer. It’s the killer’s job to locate these survivors as they go about their objective before they escape by any means necessary: death, sacrifice or just let them crawl and struggle until the end.
There are currently five survivors to choose from with a sixth added in the latest DLC update: Jake Park, Meg Thomas, Dwight Fairfield, Claudette Morel, Nea Karlson and Halloween’s Laurie Strode. Each of these characters has their own leveling system, perks, and customization options. For example, one of Meg’s perks is Adrenaline which allows her to instantly heal from injury or dying state and break into a sprint at 150% her normal running speed for 5 seconds once the exit opens.
As for killers, there are four with a fifth added in the latest DLC update: The Trapper, The Wraith, The Hillbilly, The Nurse and The Shape (Halloween’s Michael Myers). Like survivors, each killer has their own leveling system, perks, and customization. Being a killer means that there are lots of interesting perks to unlock. For example, Michael’s Play With Your Food perk allows you to taunts the survivor he is obsessed with allowing his movement to become faster. Every time you chase your “obsession” and let them escape, your movement speed is increased until your next attack.
The leveling for both survivors and killers are similar. You unlock perishables and perks by using the Bloodweb with each being procedurally generated, meaning that it would be very unlikely to find two identical Bloodwebs. As you play and complete objectives you are rewarded with Bloodpoints. Once you’ve accumulated enough of these you can spend them on each of the characters Bloodwebs. Complete a Bloodweb and you gain a level, thus opening a fresh Bloodweb as you progress and more unlockables and perks as you proceed.
In the match there are several ways a survivor can escape from a killer – it’s not just as easy as slashing away until you get the kill. 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 stun 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 save them from hooks.
Don’t get too comfortable, killers have tricks up their sleeves. Each time a survivor begins to run above their normal travel speed they leave red markings across the environment – meaning that killers who are aware of their surroundings can easily track the progress of a survivor. Some killers like The Trapper can use traps in the environment, so always be aware of where you’re stepping. If a killer manages to down you (two hits without healing) then they’re free to pick you up and carry you to your doom. Die on the hook and your body is sacrificed, meaning you’re not able to help your team.
At the end of each match, you are giving Bloodpoints based on what objectives you’ve completed during the match. The more points you earn the more likely you are to ‘pip’. Pips allow you to progress in the Season. Ranks are different from character levels, 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 does intimidate.
At this moment in time, you may struggle to get your footing as matchmaking isn’t perfect. Very often I found myself paired up with higher rank survivors and even higher rank killers. These people have more experience with the game and have access to more perishables and perks. There are complaints on both sides of the field because of this – it’s just something you’ll have to deal with for now.
Gameplay wise Dead By Daylight is intriguing, to begin with but it slowly becomes repetitive when you’re a survivor. Repair the generator and escape, rinse and repeat. What makes it worse is that outside of the lobby area there are no options to chat with your fellow survivors either with text or voice chat. I’ve had to do all my decision making in Discord – a chat function would be nice to see in future updates.