One of my most surprising experiences at PAX East 2016 is Dead By Daylight and it has made a huge impression as far as bringing something new to a relatively stale market in the survival horror genre.
With the likes of Outlast 2 and We Happy Few nearby the Dead By Daylight booth at PAX East, there’s obvious competition to be seen and played. My experience on those games is nonexistent outside of observation, so we’ll come into this with one thing in mind: enjoying a multiplayer experience that hasn’t been done before in a proper way.
Dead By Daylight breathes life into the survival horror genre, thinking of the most popular games in this category, you’ll come across Silent Hill, early Resident Evil games, Dead Space, and even a recent favorite like The Last of Us, but you won’t encounter multiplayer at all. Mind you, The Last of Us online is more of a stealth based shooter, but I digress.
Dead By Daylight takes a classic 80’s style slasher flick, and puts it into game form. You have typical teenagers being chased through different environments with the goal of escape. Fighting a masked murderer isn’t on anyone’s to-do list in this game, so your best course of action is a mixture of hide and seek, while also starting up generators along the way to open up a door that will prevent you from a grim demise.
The thing is, the 4 teenagers are player controlled, as well as the killer/maniac himself. There will be future classes implemented, but currently there is just one named the Hunter. His intention, is to club you to death, bring you to the center of the woods, and put you on a meat hook while he hunts the rest of your friends down. There is no sprint option available for the murderer, but we all know it doesn’t matter how fast you run in a horror movie, he’ll always walk faster…and scarier.
My personal experience comes very briefly from one of the teenagers, but I can already tell we’re seeing something that’s going to be recreated in years to come. Running from the killer is the wrong approach, you’re visible, and the environment will betray you. Speaking of which, each map is randomly generated, meaning you’ll never have consistent places to hide or refer to if you start a new game. Think of random page and generator spawns in Slender: The Arrival.
To add a slight advantage to the teenagers, you can use different items and traits that are obtained through leveling up your character while playing the game. This being a demo, the only thing I experienced was a brief turn on of a flashlight before I was dragged and thrown on a meathook for gruesome display. In the future, it looks like this can range from a toolbox for quick repair of generators, as well as perks which will most likely attribute to the sound you make, or your run speed, however this is purely speculation.
Once you’re mauled and grabbed, there’s not much you can do, you can wiggle free, or at least attempt to. You can also attempt to free yourself from the meat hook, but this task was a lot more daunting than it seemed. To think about this in retrospect, if you play this game with 3 of your friends, you’ll have the sense to work together as a team and counter being grabbed by blinding the killer with a flashlight and so on. Just because you’re running away from a psychopath, doesn’t mean you can’t have some jolly cooperation.
In brief overview, there’s actually so many things to touch on in this game that come to mind, but at this point I think it’s best to say that if you’re looking for a multiplayer survival horror experience that has the potential for dozens of hours of fun, this is the game you want.
PAX East is unfortunately over, so you can’t demo this for yourself, but there will be a closed beta on May 29th, which can be entered by preordering the deluxe edition of the game.
Dead By Daylight will be coming to Steam otherwise on June 14th of this year, and is currently 20% off at a price of $15.99 USD. Buy a 5-pack of the game for $63.99 and gift it to your friends to share the fun.