Dead By Daylight was released in June 2016 and it’s been rising in popularity ever since. The 4v1 horror survival game is fairly unique so far, and the Let’s Play videos of the game can be found on the pages of every popular YouTube gaming personality.
You can play as either one of four survivors or one of three unique, terrifying killers. The goal of the game is simple; survive or die. By combining their skills, the survivors can work to escape the hellish zone they’ve entered and the killer must do everything he can to stop them from doing so.
An extreme game of cat and mouse is afoot, and you definitely are missing out on some unique screaming and experiences of terror if you haven’t glanced in this game’s directions yet. So in case you haven’t seen, heard of, or tried the game, here are ten reasons you should be playing Dead by Daylight!
1. Chainsaws, Traps and Bells Oh My
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre? No? Yes? Here’s your chance to find out. Each of the three currently available killers has a unique weapon and may bear some resemblance to a horror trope you know. The Hillbilly comes complete with a horrifying visage, a giant hammer and yes, you guessed it, a chainsaw. The Trapper, first of the released killers, brings honor to his name, leaving a vicious amount of bear traps all over the map to catch his victims. The Wraith is a ghostly killer who rings a Wailing Bell before and after becoming invisible to stalk his prey. Each of the killers is bound to terrify you when you meet them and wake the hunter in you when you play them.
2. Easy to Learn, Easy to Play
Dead by Daylight is designed to get you going, fast. With no in-game tutorial to play, you’re pretty much right on the brink of playing against real people. The only available tutorials will lead you outside of the client to videos, which you may want to study first. Or, if you’re the adventurous type, you’ll jump right in and find out what it’s all about.
Thankfully, the controls are very straight forward, with the usual AWSD setup, utilizing both common mouse buttons and the space bar. Actions are always shown with small notifications in case you forget what to do. It’s not a lot to remember and you’ll never need to learn fancy combinations.
3. Dead Before You Know It!
The queues for public games are never all too long. Personally, I’ve never waited for longer than 2 minutes (in Europe) before finding some willing would-be victims. If you’re not in the mood to sit down for hours, you may just want a quick round of Dead by Daylight. Matches can last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, with no limitations either way. An unfortunately clumsy teammate may lead the killer right to all the survivors, or a sneaky troupe of the living will evade their stalking hunter all game long. It all depends on you and your skill whether or not you escape or kill everyone. Once you die, you have the choice to watch and fret over your fellow survivors.
4. Keep Your Friends Close
The Survive With Friends game mode ensures you know your fellow survivors. Although the game can be played with silent strangers who may or may not help you, there’s something to be said about knowing who it is that should be saving you from being sacrificed to the great evil lurking in Dead by Daylight’s sky: The Entity.
This game mode requires nothing more than friendly invitation, opening a lobby for you and your friends to join ranks as survivors. A random killer will be matched with you and it is up to you to escape him through jolly cooperation. This is a public lobby mode and will contribute to your bloodpoints and ranking.
5. And Your Enemies Closer
You are friends and teammates in every game. You love them, but sometimes you do want to strangle them. Know that feeling? Sometimes you just have to vent it out. Here’s your chance at a healthy outlet for those tensions. Whether or not you will all be friends afterwards isn’t guaranteed, but you are bound to have a lot of fun. It is a little less creepy if you know who is hunting you down, but at least you’ll know if it’s personal this time.
Murder Your Friends is Dead by Daylight’s private lobby game mode, which you and friends can cycle around the roles, taking turns being the killer and the survivors. It will grant you no blood points and no rank pips, but it will give you something to scream about on TeamSpeak.
6. Perks, Perks, Perks
Of course, the more and better you play, the more interesting you want to make things. There is no skill set system in Dead by Daylight. Instead, playing the game as either killer or survivor will earn you bloodpoints, which can be used to unlock some temporary and permanent perks that slightly raise your abilities as either faction.
For example, as a survivor, some perks give you a sprint buff, others help you move more silently, and another increases your heal. As a killer, you may want to increase your ability to detect survivors that are injured, or stalk them more efficiently with a quicker fade time to invisibility.
There are three different types of unlockables that you can use your bloodpoints for; Perks are permanent, Addons disappear based on your performance (ie, if you don’t survive) and Offerings get used at the beginning of a match for slight adjustments, such as the increased chance to be sent to a specific map.
Whilst some perks sound as if they influence the balance of the game, how the round goes still depends on individual playstyle and skill.
7. The Very Best Like No One Ever Was
No game played against other people can escape a ranking system. Of course, it serves to make matchups even. Higher skill players with the unlocked ability of multiple perks will most likely never be paired with people who have just begun to play the game. Fair’s fair.
The ranking system in Dead by Daylight is straight forward and simple. Everyone starts at level 20, with the highest attainable rank being 1. Each game can earn you pips for survival or a brutal victory if you are the killer. Pips serve as your indicator of the progression to your next rank. But beware! Losses mean that your rank drops down again. A bad day may land you all the way back to 20. Ranks are reset every season and can be identified when you load into a lobby via different colored rings appearing over your character’s head. However, a killer’s level is not visible to the survivors.
8. Gruesome Graphics Galore
Visually, of course, this game is dark. However, the level of detail in the environment is staggering, and often times I’ve stopped just to look at something neat on the map, be it a dead cow decorating a tree or an intricate wreckage of a blimp eerily illuminated by the moonlight. Dead by Daylight is gruesome but also sort of intriguingly beautiful in a very ‘I would never want to be there’ aesthetic. It's not the super-polished gem that inspires hours of scenery watching. Of course, the gameplay doesn’t allow for much gawking. Each map has advantages and disadvantages, but the longer you play, the more familiar you become with each one and it’s best corners, juke spots and hidey holes.
The survivors play in third person perspective, offering them a more prey-like experience by revealing more of the battlefield. Killers play exclusively in first person. Dead by Daylight runs on the Unreal 4 engine.
9. Murder By Moonlight
Although the killers are sure to remind you of figures like Leatherface or a hillbilly from a horror movie, they are unique creations with an interesting backstory that ties into each creepy map. The same goes for the limbo of a world that the game takes place in, the ominous entity that the survivors are sacrificed to, and why the killers do so. Of course, each survivor has their story too.
Co-op survival games have come before, but the concept of playing as the killer, that’s new. And that’s why it’s exciting. It presents entirely new challenges whilst applying the old concept of what makes playing against other people so addicting; out-smarting each other, calling bluffs and punishing any mistake made. Here, you quite literally put someone on the hook for it.
10. Did I mention the Chainsaw?
The concept of killing fellow players or your friends in a game isn’t new. Nor is the concept of co-op survival in a horror scenario. However, slipping into the role of the devious evil that aims to kill these survivors, that’s definitely new and horribly addicting to try out.
Of course, it’s not all about killing. The game rewards altruism and encourages survivors to work together with an increased amount of bloodpoints, whilst brutality and deviousness earn you points as the killer.
Although Dead by Daylight sounds pretty grim in concept, it is a very fun, fast-paced game that is easy to learn and bound to lead to adrenaline-filled moments as you juke a tenacious killer or catch a slippery survivor. Whether it’s with your friends or alone, you are bound to realize that death is no escape, and you may just have to come back again and again to this addictive, grim little world.