Friday, 16 September 2016

Review: Dead by Daylight

Dead by Daylight is a 4v1 survival horror game, and graced our computer screens on June 14th. 4v1 sounds pretty unfair, that is until you realise that the 4 have literally no way to defend themselves and the 1 has some form of murder device. The best part? You can choose to be hunter or prey, and you have a fair bit to choose from in what you play as.

The object of the game is for four survivors to get five generators up and running to power two escape gates, as well as avoiding a murderous man or woman who wanders the map trying to put them on a meathook, summoning the Entity to attempt to take you away if you aren't rescued in time.

Having clocked 180+ hours of gameplay myself, I have to admit originally I thought that it would get repetitive and old really quickly. For some it has been that way, as for me – no way. As I'm writing this review, I'm itching to get back out there and run for my life.
Every game is different. Yes, the maps are the same – four maps with three different areas to run around in – but the fact is that the killer is controlled by a person and not a computer, so every single one has a different method of how they're going to hunt you down and put you on a nice, shiny hook. (I use the term 'shiny' very loosely, I don't even want to think about what's been on there before a survivor).

What really hooked me, if you'll excuse the pun, is the ranking system. It's a somewhat competitive component of the game. Every 'season', or rather 13th to the 13th of every month, you must win pips to increase your rank. I spent the better part of a week before the end of the August season tirelessly working up to rank 1 from rank 10.
While the system is flawed, and the devs are working on that, depending on your rank you will be matched to a certain type of killer/survivor group. That is, assuming there is a killer who is your rank waiting in a lobby, otherwise you get anyone available. Basically, the higher your rank is, the more likely there'll be challenging opponents in your next match. But rank doesn't mean everything – I've gone up against a rank 1 who unluckily didn't cross paths with my group once. Or rather he did, just didn't know it.

Now despite all of these good things, there have been a few bumps and snags to the game. The lobbies are leaving much to be desired for many, especially if you're playing with friends. I'm sure 'Dead by Daylight - Lobby Simulator' is swirling around the internet somewhere. Though, that seems to have improved somewhat over the last few weeks.
There are bugs and glitches, as with any game, but mostly it makes the game hilarious, especially if you're sent rocketing up into the air, land outside the map and somehow escape because of it - much to the annoyance of my teammates who kind of needed me right then. But I digress.

So, you're probably wondering about these killers and survivors I keep mentioning. There currently are five survivors and four killers, each with their own personal perks that can be taught to the other survivors/killers at levels 30, 35 and 40. Levels are gained via the Bloodweb and Bloodpoints that you earn by playing matches. The Bloodweb, which is a nasty little thing once you hit level 10, is how you get your perks and items.
There are prestiges once you hit level 50, which you then shoot back to level 1 without your perks but with an elevated chance of getting better ones this time around.
The killers are formidable, but personally I find if you have your sound loud enough none of them are anything to be concerned about. They have tells, and if you listen you'll hear them before you get stabbed in the back. Not to mention the musical cues. The same goes the other way around. If you're injured, your character is going to whine like crazy and draw the killer to you. Best reason to stay near other people really, isn't it?

The Killers
The Trapper
The original killer for the game. As his name states, he wanders around with bear traps which a lot of survivors forget to check for in the long grass, and a machete that well... definitely leaves a mark in your back. He wears a mask that quite honestly I'm sure is his father's skull, judging from his backstory anyway.
His main map is the MacMillan estate, which is very much dark and fitting for such a killer. It has a mine and a watertower, reminiscent of it's previous uses.

The Wraith
He used to be the one that I was most wary of, but after a while you realise he's just a warm and cuddly person. That is, when he's not invisible and then appearing behind you when you least expect it. Most players will be aware of the 'Friendly Wraith', and for the most part they are – if it's at all possible to slap someone in the face with some poor soul's skull on a stick and call that friendly.
The Wraith's main map is Autohaven Wrecks, an abandoned scrap heap for old cars. For some reason, there is a white tree in the centre of some maps, but it's never really explained why it's there. Even so, I like this map. It's dark and has lots of places for you to hide.

The Hillbilly
Probably one of the most frightening of them, but not the most frightening in my opinion. I'm saving that for last. He wields a chainsaw, looks surprisingly similar to someone I know of, and sprints out of nowhere to one-hit you to the floor with said chainsaw. There is no such thing as a friendly Hillbilly, unless you're doing what I did and just racing around the map and colliding with some innocent survivor. (I didn't see him, honest!)
Fitting for the Hillbilly, Coldwind Farm is his home. I personally hate this map, as either survivor or killer. The cornfields are disorientating, and the only part of it that I do like is the landmark often used, a meat tree or Demetri by myself and a friend, which is made up of mutilated cow parts. Lovely. 

The Nurse
The newest of the killers. I honestly think she would be less frightening if someone found her a damn inhaler. She wheezes constantly from under a bloodstained pillowcase, and not quietly – and that isn't the scary part about her. She can teleport and grab you without much notice. More knowledgeable players will know how to throw her off, but better players mean better Nurses who know how to counter that. It's not fun. Especially when her special kill is sweetly choking you to death and stroking your face. I lived in fear of that particular event happening to me until five days ago – and I still get chills if I'm against a Nurse.
Fittingly, the Nurse's map is the Asylum. The location that her backstory says she smothered multiple patients because she just couldn't cope anymore. Explains why her special kill is what it is, really. I don't particularly mind this map, it's better than the farm to me, but there aren't many places to hide and everywhere you go you're close to a hook.

The Survivors
Otherwise known affectionately by me and my friends as Walmart Boy. He's geeky looking, fairly wimpy from those I've witnessed, and to be honest a lot of Dwight's I've come across all have the same MO – they ruin your chance of survival, intentionally or not I'm never sure. Definitely feels intentional when he brings the killer to you or messes up a generator that's almost done.
Her backstory is fairly bland and boring, which is a shame because I'm not sure it's fair for the only character who can heal herself without a medkit to seem so boring. Every Claudette I've met is fairly helpful, that is except for the more hilarious one who demanded none of us remove hooks and then promptly died on one within three minutes of playing. I like to think her dying thoughts were “Why didn't anyone remove this hook?”.
I'm hugely biased for Meggy. I love playing as her purely because she runs, and fast. Killer on your tail? No problem! Sprint burst, gone. While the poor sod is slicing at thin air where you used to be. And with Adrenaline, the moment that last generator is powered you're fully healed and ready to run again, assuming you're not already on a hook or being carried away by the killer.
He's somewhat of a stereotype Asian personality. I'm unsure what nationality he is as it's never really said, but with his backstory this definitely looks like this was the intention. His father is a CEO, and he has huge expectations put on him. So, as we all do in such situations, he decides to live in the woods. Where he learned to sabotage hooks and become one with nature, I assume. I wouldn't know, I've not lived in the woods and birds scare me.
She's the newest of the survivors and personally I don't like her. But her skills she picked up from the streets are fairly handy and make up for any dislike I hold for her. She can leap out of windows and land gracefully, and crouch walk really quickly which is very useful when sneaking through the grass.

Personal Opinion
I haven't enjoyed a multiplayer game like this since Left 4 Dead 2, and that's the truth. I saw videos of DbD being played and thought "I need this". Luckily my birthday was coming up and someone got it for me, not that I wasn't already going to buy it for myself but it just so happened we were discussing it at the same time.
The lore and backstories to it are enthralling, at least to me. The big mystery is 'what is the Entity', and honestly no one seems to know. It feeds on Hope, and somehow forces the killers to well... kill. I'm hoping eventually they explain why this is happening, through DLC or future characters.
The biggest draw back was when I reached rank 1, I felt relieved that on my first full season I had done it, but then season ended and I have nothing to show for my hard work. Which sucks, but it just means I have to work back up to it again. I highly recommend this game, and if you're unsure about it that's fine - there are free weekends of it coming up again I'm fairly sure. And after that? If you're enjoying it, get it and bring some friends. Believe me, it's so much better with people, even if they are sometimes more of a hindrance than help - how many times have I rescued someone just because of how close we are in reality and died because of it? Too many. But that's the game, and I'm still playing.

If you'd like to read more about the lore, survivors, killers and locations, click the link below!
Dead By Daylight Lore

Dead By Daylight Is currently available via Steam for £15.99

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