REVIEW – With the free weekend, we decided to take Dead by Daylight out for a spin, to see if this would be worthy of purchase. After playing the game for two days, I am not sure if this product released this year was a good idea. The concept is a great twist on the usual Asymmetric Multiplayer games. Four survivors versus one monster and the objective are to escape and survive the ordeal, while the monster’s goal is not to kill everyone, but to offer them up to a Lovecraftian entity as a meal.
Dead by Daylight provides some interesting ideas and mixes survival horror elements with the popular multiplayer concepts. However, the result may not be ideal for everyone.
This is not The Cabin in the Woods
The basic premise is that the survivors are stuck in an eternal loop, always trying to escape from various killers. The player can select to either be a survivor, or a murderer before entering a match. There are multiple survivors to choose from; each has their own skill trees, plus unique items. The Killers have their own skill trees and special abilities that allow them to capture or terrify the characters to reveal their location. The survivors play in third-person view enabling them for a better field of view, and the Killer is played from a First-Person perspective which is limiting and puts the Killer at a disadvantage. Although that disadvantage is minimal since the monster has multiple abilities that make the game easy. Both sides have various skins, and items that can be unlocked, or learned throughout the game – called the Bloodweb.
After playing through with either the Killer or a Survivor, you gain blood points that can be spent for skills and items. Some items are only good for one round, and other items can only be used once per match. In order to escape the survivors have to restart five generators that power the two doors leading to freedom.
The general gameplay loop is fun, and entertaining, although being a survivor is extremely difficult, and the chance of actual survival is slim. This is in line with the usual tropes of horror movies, where the monsters are actually overpowered. It is a great dynamic, and I actually enjoyed the concept, the thrill of trying to survive, and as a killer trying to catch all the survivors.
While the gameplay loop is fun, and the concept is interesting, almost every other part of the game sadly fails in all of the other departments. Whether it is on the PS4, and Xbox One or PC it looks horrible. It barely looks better than an early PS3 game. The models look janky, and washed out, the textures on the Killers look unimpressive. The sound design is very basic and does its job, but other than that it is rather dull. For the survivors, there is a small gameplay that is reliant on a sound cue, and the noise of the heartbeat to signal the monster being neat, but other than those two, nothing exciting is done.
Oh and while I appreciate the concept of randomly generated maps, at this point due to the engine, and graphics, it pretty much looks the same. There might a bit different tint on a map, but otherwise, it is the same forest layout, with menial differences. It would have been spectacular to hide around in an actual insane asylum, or on a haunted cruise ship. Instead, we get very minimal effort from the developers. Sure the game is tense, but there are really limited abilities for the survivors to actually do something against the monster. Not killing a monster is okay, and is an excellent way to raise the tension in a game, but the bland environments (even if it is due to story reasons), are a hindrance to the overall game. While the monsters are fun to play as the environments just ruin most of the gameplay. The load times are also a bit slow, and when I look at the game, this should not be the case. The game also tends to lag quite a bit, even though my Xbox is right next to our router. So not only does it look ugly, but the game is glitchy as hell.
A one night scare
Dead by Daylight is a fun game, but not a very good one. The concept is great, and compared to Friday The 13th: The Game it has more monsters… But that’s about it. Instead of leveraging the different monsters, or having each monster have a unique map, it ends up being rather bland. It is great that the game got a free weekend because unless this drops to five dollars, I do not see the point in dropping money on it.
+ Great monster designs
+ Fun lore, and story details for the monsters
+ Superb gameplay, and mechanics
– Bad graphics, and mediocre style
– Environments are cobbled together lazily via random generation
– MSound design not the best
Publisher: Starbreeze Studios
Developer: Behaviour Interactive
Genre: Survival Horror
Relase date: June 20, 2017