Dead by Daylight is a five-player video game where a team of four (the survivors) need to locate and repair five scattered generators before the team of one (the killer) finds and puts them on a hook three times.
That is the best way I could boil this game down into a single sentence, but I think trying to do that does it a disservice, because this game rivals German board games in complexity.
WHAT IS DEAD BY DAYLIGHT
Without any “add-ons”, the premise is fairly simple:
Killers are faster than Survivors, but Survivors can use obstacles like pallets and windows to gain some distance. Pallets can be thrown down to block the killer, until they take time to destroy it, meaning the pallet is gone. Windows can be crawled through by the killer, albeit much slower than a Survivor.
Survivors can run, but it’s only a matter of time before they are hit twice, and the killer can put them on a hook. Getting ‘hooked’ means the survivor in question is stuck until a teammate comes over and saves them. If nobody saves them in time, or they get hooked three times, they are out.
WHAT I LIKE
One of the main draws to this game is the number of characters, from Survivors to Killers. Each Killer has their own set of attacks depending on who they are, so there is no golden strategy to avoiding them. On top of that, each player brings their own set of add-ons, which are special abilities that can be mixed and matched to favor the playstyle. For example, a popular Survivor add-on is Dead Hard: the ability to absorb a hit once, if the button-press is timed perfectly. This is just one add-on out of over 1,000, and everyone, including the Killer, can combine up to four.
The Killer is a fellow player, meaning that simply running is not going to work. The thought process during this game is exactly like the poisoned drink game from The Princess Bride. If you haven’t seen that movie, or just to explain, it truly is a battle of trying to predict the opponent. The Killer is going to try every trick in the book to catch you so you must try every trick in the book against them. If two people with the same skill level meet, it goes back and forth like 4D chess.
WHAT I HATE
You might have already realized one of the problems I’m going to mention. Indeed, the opponents will use every tactic in the book to gain an advantage, and for people who don’t know every tactic in the ever-evolving book, failure on either side can feel cheap and annoying. It’s incredibly frustrating when the reason for failure is simply bad luck, or otherwise out of your control.
The Community is horrible. Given how dirty tactics can get in this game, there is no shortage of unwritten rules, and just as many people that can’t handle when one of these rules is broken. For example, once a survivor is hooked, there is nothing stopping the Killer from standing next to the hook, making sure nobody saves them. Nothing except the unwritten rules of people online, and the rage that will ensue if the Killer doesn’t stay in line. Someone left a comment on my profile one time, and I don’t even know what I did wrong:
The double-edged sword with a live-service game is that things are always changing, and BHVR (the developers) are making the most baffling decisions when it comes to balancing and tweaking. Content creators online are starting to think the days are numbered, because BHVR keeps making changes, and not for the better.
With a group of friends at the same skill level, Dead by Daylight is a blast. There are so many characters and different abilities to experiment with that it can make every match completely different from the last.
However, going online means dealing with one of the most ‘toxic’ communities a game has to offer, which I completely understand being a deal-breaker.
Overall, I’m going to have to give it 7 out of 10 Tacos. Amazing most of the time, but be careful online.
Written by Zack Wilde, Lethbridge College
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