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Alan Stock

Dead by Daylight (free on PSN this month)

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I can't find a thread so I'm making one. Dead by Daylight came out free for PSN subscribers this week so I decided to try it - and I've been having a blast. It's pretty great. If any rllmukers want to team up this weekend for some jolly surviving/killing, let me know.


Anyway, here's an overview and my first impressions:


I was surprised to find that what started out as a kinda fun-looking - but janky - PC Youtuber favourite has come a very long way. Two years of constant updates and refinements have left the game polished and with loads of hidden depth. Dead by Daylight is an "asymmetrical multiplayer survival horror" game, where one player plays as a classic horror movie Killer (for example Freddy Kruger or Shape from Halloween), who hunts the 4 other players; the Survivors. It's all presented in a horror movie style with the appropriate music when you are in a chase sequence, lots of tension, creepy arenas, and of course gruesome deaths.


The survivors have to evade the killer whilst starting up 5 generators around the arena. Then they can open exit gates and escape to freedom. Survivors are fast and agile, and have a 3rd person camera for better awareness. They have to be careful and sneaky - they are very vulnerable and can only get hit twice by the Killer before being downed, then they're are at the killer's mercy. Survivors can work alone or help each other out. Different Survivors have different traits and equipment to suit your playstyle. 


The Killer is invincible and stalks the players, putting them on meathooks around the arena if he downs them. There they will eventually die, unless they are rescued by other survivors. There are a bunch of Killers to choose from, some of which are paid DLC characters (like the licensed horror movie villains). They range from simple, like the Hillbillie Texas chainsaw massacre guy - to the brainier, like the Doctor who sends Survivors mad over time. The Killer uses a first person camera and each Killer has their own special skills, such as bear traps or turning invisible. Killers can hear wounded survivors, and track their movements by red scratches during chases - making them deadly efficient at hunting their prey.


Both survivors and the killer get points at the end of each game, so even if the killer doesn't stop all the survivors, that's ok - likewise if you die as the survivor but make a good stab at it, you still get rewarded. The scoring system encourages you to roleplay your role - so killers get points for chasing, hitting, hooking, damaging stuff. Survivors get points for hiding, losing the killer in chases, helping fellow survivors, and so on.


So first impressions are, it's really fun - and hard. For such a simple concept, there's a suprising amount of depth. Aside from the basic mechanics, there are a host of survivor and killer characters to get to grips with. Each have their own perks and equipment you can upgrade and customise between rounds. Maps are procedurally generated, with generators, exits and cover changing position. Different killers have their own strengths and weaknesses. Survivors can tip killers off to their position by disturbing birds, or failing skill checks whilst fixing generators. In chases, survivors can pull down pallets and slow down the killer for a second or two, hop through a window to gain time, or hide in a cupboard. Fog in the map varies depending on what player items are used. It goes on and on. 


Being a survivor is pretty terrifying at first - sneaking around, running for your life, desperately trying to fix generators whilst constantly checking your back. When the killer finds you, the horror music pumps up and you run for your life, trying to lose them (Killers get faster over time in each chase so you'd better lose 'em fast!). Hard decisions have to be made with strategy and heroics - do you try to rescue a hooked teammate when the Killer is nearby, patrolling the hook? Or sacrifice your buddy to get more generator progress? Maybe you could distract the killer to let a teammate run in and make the save instead? Friends can group in matchmaking and play as a team of survivors against a random killer - or a full group of mates with one as the killer for belly laughs.


Being a killer can be like living the horror movie dream - where you ruthlessly stalk down your prey - outrunning them, outthinking them, taunting them when you catch them. Or it can be a bit of a nightmare, as experienced survivors run circles around you - as you struggle to get to grips with each killers move-set and limitations. When it works, it feels badass - and in balanced games it's really fun to be the killer, just catching that pesky survivor before he makes the exit, or leaving one lying wounded on the ground and using him as bait - then jumping his friend when they arrive. The other day there was one survivor left and the exit was open. I patrolled around, hoping to catch her as she ran for it. But no sign of her. I kept hearing noises nearby using my Killer senses, but couldn't locate it. Then I had a flash of inspiration and checked a cupboard meters from the exit - she had been cowering there the whole time waiting for me to move away and hunt for her!


It's these sort of moments that make the game so fun. As a survivor, outwitting, outrunning and friendly comradery mixed with tension make it compelling (even more so with friends I imagine). As a killer, the empowerment - but combined with the knowledge that whilst you spend time chasing one lousy survivor, who knows what mischief all his mates are up to? 


Anyway, I think you get the idea. It's a lot of fun once you get the hang of the basics, and there's tons of Youtube tips videos and stuff if you're struggling. Best of all it's a cool concept that's very different (if you discount Friday the 13th), along with a lot of depth and variety. If any mukkers want to have some silly weekend antics let me know.


Interested to hear what your impressions are, as I'm sure a lot of you have grabbed it off PSN now.


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I havent had the time to play it, unfortunately, but Ive been wanting to after reading about it on Eurogamer earlier this year




Also referencing Friday the 13th



Unlike the ostensibly similar Friday the 13th game, Dead by Daylight features a range of homicidal maniacs covering a range of movie tropes, from chainsaw-wielding rednecks to mad doctors - there are also licensed characters in the shape of Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers, and all of them have different attacks and abilities. The killing process involves capturing survivors then impaling them on meat hooks. If they're not rescued by other survivors within a short window of opportunity, a Lovecraftian beast claims the writhing victim.


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Having fun with friends - it's janky and horrid - but more than the sum of it's parts.

Can't see it lasting our group long term - but a nice little freebie. Can see why it's popular on streams.


The lobby system is horrible though. If you want to play a group of 4 survivor friends you make a friend lobby. Then you search for game to join an actual lobby (fair enough) - but at the end of each game you have to quit. Back to an individual lobby. So to re queue with friends it back to main menu to start the process again.

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Yeah I was playing with friends this weekend, and on console we couldn't figure out a way to stay together after matches either. It's a baffling design choice.


I've been playing it a lot this week and I'm surprised it's holding my attention. Once you start getting to know the killers and the tactics and start unlocking perks the game has a lot of depth for what it is. As you rank up the other player's are better as well, so you start to get into strategies and mind-games. I started watching some Youtube videos and I can see now why it has such a following through streaming. Aside from being entertaining, once players have unlocked a lot of perks they can do builds which have very different playstyles. The Killers play very differently as well, your whole approach in a game will change depending on the killer you're up against. I had a lot of fun as the Hag the other day, who can lay traps on the ground - if people trigger them you can teleport immediately to that location - it's a brilliant fun mechanic as you suddenly pop up in the middle of them and they run around in panic!


It's definitely one of those games where the more you play it, the more you get out of it. At its core its a simple idea, but I'm having a lot of fun digging into its nuances and clever ideas. It's also full of great "player stories" with memorable moments. Like last night it was just me and one other survivor left, and I rescued her from the hook (eventual death) twice, risking my own life as the killer was camping the hook. She eventually got downed again which meant certain death, but instead of giving up and quitting, she deliberately distracted the killer for long enough that I managed to escape.


Or a game where all the survivors reached the exit. I ran out but the others stayed to taunt the killer when he arrived (Michael Myers). He stared them down as they toyed with him, at any time they could have made it to the exit alive. But during this time he was building up his stalking meter, making his attacks more powerful. He played their little game, threatening but not bothering to chase them. But then one came too close and bam - he knifed her with his now powered-up attack and downed her immediately. The others tried to taunt him away but now he toyed with them, waiting till the last second to pick her up and hook her. They had to give up and run away. They got a taste of their own medicine, I was laughing the whole time.


It's the mind-games and mixture of altruism and idiots that make this game so much more interesting than a shooter.



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Yes "Altruism". ^_^


The more you do it with, the more fun it becomes.


Only managed to escape a handful of time - and the Hatch in the middle is a god send.



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