Dead by Daylight is an asymmetrical multiplayer game where 4 players are trying to survive the night with a horror movie serial killer trying to do them in a number of terrifying and graphic ways. It’s been available on the PC since 2016, with console versions having been released in 2017.
In Dead by Daylight, you can choose to play as either a Survivor or a Killer. Survivors play in 3rd person and must escape a procedurally generated killing ground before the Killer gets them. They can work together to try and complete objectives and stall the killer, or they can be selfish, trying to get other players killed so they can survive.
The Killer, on the other hand, plays from a 1st person point of view, has a variety of tricks up their sleeve, and must keep all the Survivors from escaping. Each Killer has their own set of special abilities to kill and torture Survivors. Killers can also sacrifice Survivors for extra points by picking them up and carrying them to special areas throughout each level. This takes longer but has much better rewards.
Throughout the play, every Survivor and Killer has a tree of skills that can be upgraded with experience points gained from playing matches. There’s also equipment that can be unlocked that can give each side an extra edge when it comes to surviving or hunting/killing. Sometimes it’s a first-aid kit or flashlight. Other times it’s a totem that boosts a Killer’s abilities. You can even get different outfits, etc…
What it all boils down to is a giant game of hide-and-seek with unlockable upgrades that help you either hide or seek better the next time you play.
Dead by Daylight is dark, gritty, and horrific. Pretty much what you’d expect from a top tier horror movie. The soundtrack is eerie and disquieting, while the sound effects are enough to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and send electricity down your spine.
Horror games are really not my thing. I’m not a huge fan of the horror genre at all, be it games or movies. That being said, there was something about Dead by Daylight that really caught my interest when I first heard about it. Having given the game a try, I really like it. The asymmetrical gameplay between Survivor and Killer is a really nice touch, and each side plays completely differently.
That being said the same still scares the crap out of me, especially when I’m playing as a Survivor. The anxiety it gives me is terrible. Playing as the Killer, while a bit less terrifying, still comes with its own set of stresses.
While overall Dead by Daylight is a solid game, it still has its issues. There have been a few glitches I’ve come across here and there, but nothing overly game breaking. Matchmaking isn’t the greatest, and sometimes I’d be placed in a game with players much higher level than myself. Sometimes as a Killer I’m placed with a group of Survivors that have such good equipment they can pretty much do whatever they please and I’m helpless to stop them.
The worst part? The community. It’s absolutely toxic. A quick google search for “Dead by Daylight toxic community” will bring up pages and pages of complaints and stories of the horrible treatment players experience while playing the game. Of course, there are ways to avoid it, and it’s best that you do.
At $30, the game is a pretty good value. It’s multiplayer only, but that’s nothing new in this day and age. If you can get past the salty community and minor technical hiccups, Dead by Daylight is a great game to get the blood pumping. If you’re not a fan of horror, though, steer clear. While I enjoy the game, I don’t know if I’ll be playing it much more unless it’s the middle of the day.
A North American PS4 key for Dead by Daylight was provided free for review by Starbreeze Studios.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.