Dead By Daylight offers a great 4v1 experience. Thoroughly confused by my title? Keep reading.
Dead By Daylight originally came out on PC back in June 2016. It just became available for consoles last week and I recently got my hands on a review copy of the game. To be honest, I had never heard of it before getting the copy so I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In my opinion…not much.
After I had learned that is was a 4v1 where you can play as a survivor trying to escape an overpowered killer, I thought to myself, unless some RPG elements are somehow added to the game, it will die fast. Upon starting the application and navigating the menus, I was delighted to see that there are in fact some perks and skills you can acquire. This is good news, as it allows for a bit of customization we all crave as gamers.
Due to the nature of the game, the skills are random. You have a bloodweb, and in that bloodweb is a sort of skill tree. You can spend acquired blood points you receive for completing levels – more if you succeed – on a few skills available. There is a random skill you can buy, which I usually do, that can be rare, or uncommon. This means you have a slight chance to obtain a very good item early on in the game.
As you complete a level of the bloodweb, new ones open, granting access to rarer skills and abilities. As you level up, you can equip skills, making your life a little easier when trying to escape the killer. Key word here is ‘little’. If you were able to advance to a point where you overpower the killer, it wouldn’t be much fun.
Speaking of the killer, you have an option to play as one of the seven killers. Unless you start a private game with friends, this means you will be dropped into a random game. Each killer has a separate set of perks much like the survivors.
A Satisfying Gore-fest
Let’s talk about game play. Here, Dead by Daylight succeeds and fails at the same time. The purpose of each level is to repair 5 generators (there are at least 6 in each level). There is a little mini game involved where an audio cue rings out and what is called a skill check pops up. A needle spins around and there is a small area where you are required to hit the L1 button within that area. If you fail, the repair bar drops and thus it will take longer to repair the generator. Keep in mind, while you are incapacitated with repairs, the killer is running around trying to kill off anyone he sees. If you start to hear a heartbeat, that means the killer is close and you might want to start running for your life.
This part is where Dead By Daylight got my heart pumping the most. As you’re running away from the killer, they are right on your heals, swinging their sharpened weapons inches from your back. You can probably survive only 1 to 2 hits from the killer before you go down. Once down, you can try to crawl away. This effort is mostly futile as a trail of blood follows you and creates an easy path for the killer to follow should he lose you for some reason. More than likely, the killer will pick you up and string you up on a hook. The killer uses these to sacrifice you to the Entity-the real horror of Dead By Daylight.
This also works as a lure for the other survivors. They have an opportunity to help a fellow survivor stuck on a hook. If they do, and heal you back up – skill checking involved here – then you have another chance to survive. You also have an opportunity to escape yourself. It’s rare, but it happens. The first time I got hooked I escaped, only to be smacked down almost instantly by the lurking killer.
You can learn skills that will allow you to sabotage the hooks. Speaking of skills, keep in mind each survivor has their own set of unique skills beneficial to the game. At this point, I feel healers and saboteurs are probably the best. Anything that will make the killer have to work harder to win is a good idea to employ.
Once you repair the required 5 generators you then have to escape. Once you do, you win the match and obtain blood points based on how well you did. Spend these points on skills for the next round.
Bored to death
I’m ready for some hate now.
As fun as Dead By Daylight is, I feel it fails in the actual game play as much as it succeeded.
Every round is the same. Power the generators and then escape. Sure, it can get the heart pumping when the killer is close, but it can get boring really quick. On top of that, if the killer knocks you down and sets you up on a hook or leaves you on the ground, they usually camp and wait for unknowing fellow survivors to waltz along intending to save you, only to join you in death. Sure, the killer plays in first person view while the survivors are in third person, but that hardly makes me feel better about the situation. For me, this takes away from the game a little bit. Anyone who’s played this game for even one round will learn that once someone is down, they might as well be dead. Chances are they won’t survive with a camping killer.
After a few rounds as a survivor and killer, I was already bored. The lack of substance stops the game well short of being enjoyable beyond a few rounds. Does this put a damper on the game? Depends on your situation. The game play and mechanics work really well. I didn’t experience terrible cameras or shoddy HUD’s and menus. Mostly it felt like a mid life-cycle PS3 game. I would never suggest playing this game alone. You’d probably have more fun grinding for experience in whatever RPG you may be playing right now. Now, if you have a group of 4 other friends that play Dead by Daylight, this game can prove to be extremely fun. Still maybe for only a few rounds, but fun nonetheless. The problem I have is most of my friends don’t have this game. Is that Dead By Daylight’s fault? Hell no! If you and your friends have this game, then you’re in for some heart-pounding, pants-shitting fun. If you don’t, you’re in for a sleep-inducing experience.
Dead by Daylight is a good time waster, if nothing else. It makes for a great party game. Every time someone fails a skill check, take a shot. Be careful though. It’s easy to fail a skill check.
You can find Dead by Daylight for $29.99 on Xbox One or Playstation, or for 40% off on Steam (50% off the Deluxe Edition).
Even with the lack of substance, the game is worth its price if you have the friends willing to play it.
Want a second opinion? Check out Russ’s review here.