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Review: Dead by Daylight

Rumpelstiltskin

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(Just sneaking in with a Video Game Review)

Dead by Daylight

What is it?

It's a video game. It's an action horror video game! 

So, what? Details?

Just the basics, though.

Okay, so content of this game I'd have to rate a solid Mature on the HPFT maturity-rating scale, specifically for the violence. If the sacrificial hooks cinematics didn't push the Teen rating, then some of the Killer's Moris (a special offering that sends the killer into an animation to kill a Survivor) definitely does as some of them are kind of gory. It's probably not great for the squeamish.

Moving right along. The basic concept of the game is to either kill all of the Survivors in the match (if you're playing the Killer) or fix five generators with three additional players, open the doors, and escape. Pretty simple, right? Right. [And let's not overlook the fact that you can play either the Killer or one of the Survivors.]

Killers using their default 'Weapon' against Survivors will need to hit a Survivor twice before they are knocked down,  at which time the Killer must pick up the Survivor and carry them to a Sacrificial Hook to hang around on before the Survivor can wriggle free. Of course, different Perks and so on can affect some of these actions [for both the Killers and the Survivors] and some of the Killers' 'Powers' can knock a Survivor down in a single hit (you'll see more about this when we're talking about the killers).

There are three stages of the Hook a survivor will go through, all based on a certain amount of time. The first is just hanging time where you can try to escape (but there's a 4% chance of doing so, so it might be best to wait unless you have something that affects your escape-chance). After a certain amount of time (which is greatly increased by trying to escape and failing), the struggle phase commences where the Survivor must hit space repeatedly to delay the Sacrifice [the Entity is summoned at this phase], and then, finally, the Survivor is Sacrificed to the Entity. Of course, another player may come and rescue the Survivor at any point before the Sacrifice happens. On the Survivor's first hook, if they are rescued before entering the struggle phase, they will be immediately put into struggle phase on the next hook, giving them time to be rescued again before the Sacrifice. If a Survivor has entered the struggle phase before they are rescued, they will be Sacrificed on the next hook.

That means a Killer may have to knock down, carry, and hook one Survivor a total of three times in order to kill them (not taking into account if the Survivor uses certain perks, like Decisive Strike, to get away, or if they wiggle free, or if another Survivor drops a pallet on the Killers head or blinds them with a flashlight, causing them to drop the Survivor). With a total of four Survivors working against one Killer, this seems like a difficult task to accomplish--

Except, Killers are faster than Survivors and cannot be stopped. Sure, they can be blinded by a Flashlight or stunned by a Pallet, slowing the Killer down and giving the Survivor a chance to sneak away, but they cannot be stopped.

It takes approximately 80 seconds to fix a single generator without any boosts (nailing skill-checks or having a toolbox with add-ons will make it go faster). Of course, if you can find a generator that another player is working on, the two (or three or even four, if you can find a generator that has all sides exposed) of you can fix it even faster. Once again, there are a whole slew of special things that can be added to increase repair speed (for the Survivors) or slow it down (for the Killers).

If the Killer begins to chase a Survivor, there are several ways a Survivor may get away from them (for the time being). Pallets scattered across the map can be thrown down in front of the Killer--blocking them so that they have to break it or go around it--or on top of the Killer's head, momentarily stunning them. Using a Flashlight may momentarily blind them as well--just don't get too close. While a Survivor is running, remember that they leave "scratch marks" only visible to the Killer that leads the Killer in the direct path of the Survivor. So, when and if a Survivor can, its best to walk/crouch and hide to evade the Killer [once again, if and when possible]. Or you can hide in a locker, but that's up to your discretion. Killers have the option of searching lockers and grabbing the Survivors from them if they're in there (whether or not they search a locker is completely up to chance, unless you happen to make a loud noise and run into the locker...then they might have a clue where you're at.

Typically, one hit from a Killer will 'injure' the Survivor (who can be healed by another Survivor, or with a Medical Kit, or with a special perk) and a second will knock them down. Once down, if the Killer doesn't pick a Survivor up, the Survivor can choose to "recover" and/or hide so that another Survivor may come to heal them before the Killer comes back.

Once all five generators are fixed, the two exit gates will activate. All remaining Survivors must then evade the killer, find an exit gate, open the door [by holding down a switch at the gate front for 20 seconds]. If a Survivor lets go of the switch (probably to run from the Killer), the progress will be saved, so that they or another Survivor can continue opening the gate. Once at least one of the Exit Gates is opened, Survivors can then leave.

If there is only one Survivor left in the map, they have the option of escaping through the trapdoor (a door that will spawn somewhere randomly in a map). Note: 2 out of 5 gens must be fixed in order for a trapdoor to spawn. If the gates aren't already open, it might be a good idea as the Survivor to find this trapdoor. Beware: the Killer may also be looking for the trapdoor to find the Survivor and has the ability to grab the Survivor during their escape animation.

Special Note: Items called "Totems" are scattered around each map. Totems are either Dull (meaning they serve no current effect on the Killer's Perks) or Hex (meaning that they are effecting something of the Killers to the Killer's advantage). Both of these may be 'cleansed' by the Survivors to negate the Killer's effects. Survivors may also 'Sabotage' Hooks (break them) using a Toolbox on the Killers (except for basement hooks).

Beware basement hooks.

Seriously.

Games give you a certain amount of "Bloodpoints"[based on what you did during the match] that you can spend in the "Bloodweb" where you level up and buy some of those Perks, Items, Add-ons, and Offerings. There is also a ranking system that starts at 20 and travels to 1 that you can work your way up. This restarts at the beginning of each 'season', which happens around the 13th of every month.

Who are these Killers and Survivors?

I'm so glad you asked!

The Killers:

[free killers, after game purchase]  Yay, free guys!

The Trapper, "Evan Harper" [also known as "Chuckles" in Alpha]: This is the original Killer of the game -- the very first one released when DbD was just an ittle bitty game. His "Power" is his bear traps (which, good guess, can trap survivors by the ankle--they're usually escapable, but you'd best be quick about it). His "Weapon" is a Cleaver (he'll hit you with it--not fun). Note, the bear traps will typically injure a Survivor the same manner as if they'd been hit by a weapon). Bear traps are scattered around the map, and the Trapper can only carry a base of one at a time. Survivors can disarm the traps if they see them.

The Wraith, Philip Ojomo [also known as "the Banshee" in Alpha]: His "Power" is the Wailing Bell, which he can use to Cloak himself (not quite invisible, but nearly)(note that he cannot hit players while cloaked, but is faster and, thanks to the recent Wraith buffs, can see blood trails left from injured survivors vividly). His "Weapon" is "Azarov's Skull", which he will hit you with.

The Hillbilly, Max Thompson Jr. [also known as "the Crooked" in Alpha]: My personal favorite killer in the game.  His "Power" is his chainsaw (which can knock a Survivor down in one hit, though takes a bit to rev up and isn't so great around obstacles or, you know, corners). His "Weapon" is the Hammer (once again, good for hitting). His chainsaw ability in combination with him being a free killer makes him my favorite. Nothing pleases me more than to zoom around maps.

The Nurse, Sally Smithson: Scary, scary, scary. The Nurse's shriek is one of the most terrifying noises I've ever heard. She's a very slow Killer, except that she has this Power called "Blink". The Nurse can 'Blink' and fly across spaces, hitting survivors as she goes. If a player knows how to wield her correctly, the Nurse can be an extremely powerful Killer. After she blinks, the player can swing at a Survivor or Blink again (Blink starts at a base of two Blinks in a row) and then swing at a Survivor (if possible), she experiences a brief exhaustion.

The Huntress, Anna: Her 'Power' are her 'Hunting Hatchets', which she can throw and hit Survivors at a distance. She can only hold a base of Five at a time but can refill in 'lockers' (it may not be wise for Survivors to hide in lockers against the Huntress, as she'll be opening lockers at random to refill her hatchets). These throwing axes most generally take one hit to injure and two to down like a regular weapon. Her weapon his her 'Broad Axe', which she'll use close range.

[paid killers, after game purchase]  One of the biggest downfalls of the game, imo.

The Shape, Michael Myers: Yes, that Michael Myers. :wub:Mikey boi starts off as an extremely slow character but uses his 'Stalking' ability to charge his Evil Within 'Power'. Evil Within has three tiers. Evil Within I is what Mikey starts out in -- he's slow. Very slow. Survivors should be able to outrun and lose him quickly. Evil Within II makes Mikey much faster. Evil Within III makes him even faster and gives him the ability to knock Survivors down with one hit. His 'Weapon' is the classic kitchen knife. He's also super-stealthy, so keep your eyes out when playing against him to make sure he's not stalking you from a distance or sneaking up on you to grab you off a generator.

The Hag, Lisa Sherwood: She's slow and short but has a pretty neat Power. The Hag is able to leave 'traps' she draws into the ground with her Power Blackened Catalyst. If a Survivor sets off one of these traps, the Hag may teleport from where they are to the trap! Pretty neat. Survivors may use flashlights to destroy these marks, however. Her Weapon is her Claw (her own crazy hands). She'll give Survivors a good jump scare.

The Doctor, Herman Carter: In my opinion, the Doctor is one of the most frustrating Killers to play against as a Survivor (but only if the player using him knows what he's doing). His Power is 'Carter's Spark' and his Weapon is known as the Stick, and they work in tandem with each other. Essentially, the doctor has the option of switching between two modes, 'Treatment' and 'Punishment'. When in 'Treatment' mode he can 'shock' survivors in this mode. Shocking them sends them into three tiers of 'Madness'. Madness I: Causes them to scream, exposing their location. Madness II: All the fun of Madness I and the Survivor affected begins seeing hallucinations of the Killer. Madness III: All the fun of Madness II and the hallucinations locations are revealed to the Doctor, exposing the Survivor's location, Survivors scream regularly, exposing their location, and Survivors can't really do anything until they 'Snap Out of It' -- an action with Skill Checks that must be performed for a certain amount of time (preferably without the killer nearby) [Survivors can't heal, repair, etc.].

The Cannibal, Bubba "Junior" Sawyer (Leatherface): Yes, that Leatherface! :wub: Like the Hillbilly, Bubba's Power is his chainsaw and his weapon is the sledgehammer. Unlike the Hillbilly, Bubba's chainsaw doesn't just travel in a straight line. Oh, no. Bubba sweeps his chainsaw all over the gosh darn place and, get this, he can knock down multiple Survivors in a single chainsaw action. Terrifying. What's more is that if Bubba runs into an object while using the chainsaw action, he will throw a 'tantrum' and damage everything and everyone around him. 

The Nightmare, Frederick "Freddy Krueger: Yep--One, two, Freddy's comin' for you, Freddy. True to his nature, Freddy exists in the Dream World, so his power is known as the Dream Demon, where he can pull people into the Dream state. Survivors not in the dream state cannot see Freddy--he is completely invisible save for, perhaps, moving grass if he happens to walk through some and the faintest hint of that classic Freddy song. Freddy also cannot harm a survivor until they are put into the Dream state, which takes a bit of time, allowing the Survivor to start running to escape. Once in the Dream World, Freddy can attack players using his Weapon, the notorious Clawed Glove. Once in the Dream World, it's hard to escape Freddy. Survivors aura's (a red outline of the survivors) are outlined to Freddy if they're in the Dream state (so long as they are outside of his terror radius). Survivors can be 'woken up' from the Dream World by other Survivors or by failing some skill checks (like on a generator or while healing) or, least favorably, getting hooked.

The Survivors

[free to play survivors, after purchasing game] 

Dwight Fairfield: Role: Nervous Leader. [Think, helping get things done and sticking together; comradery] Dwight's first job was with a pizza delivery service--now he escapes killers and hides in lockers ^_^. He is one of the four original Survivors. He specializes in finding others and group-work.

Meg Thomas: Role: Energetic Athlete . [Think, fast and 'think fast'.] She was also one of the four original Survivors but wasn't introduced in the trailer. Escaping is her main priority, no matter what the situation (because she's pretty awesome about getting out of some tricky situations).

Claudette Morel: Role: Studios Botanist. [Think, healing.] One of the original four and her Self-Heal perk is ahhmazing! Somebody's been playing around with plants to find out how to heal the wounds and stop the bleeding. Medic! 

Jake Park: Role: Solitary Survivalist. [Think, calm, cool, and collected--sorta.] The last of the four original characters, he knows what he's doing. 

Nea Karlson: Role: Urban Artist. [Think, swift and stealthy.] She's all about movement--being faster, quieter, and more balanced.

William 'Bill' Overbeck: My current, personal favorite survivor to play. Role: Old Soldier. [Think, tough and altruistic.] Bill specializes in surviving and ensuring that others do as well. Bill's a cool dude.

David King: Role: "Rugged Scrapper". [Think, sometimes fast, sometimes a team player, sometimes slow, sometimes a lone wolf.] To be honest, I haven't played too much of David, his large physic and slowness often put me off (he's slow--when adrenaline hasn't kicked in--and hard to hide). I'm sure he has his plusses but I haven't found them quite yet. 

[paid Survivors, after purchasing game]

Laurie Strode: Yes, yes, that Laurie Strode! She was brought in at the same time as the Shape to be his opposite. Role: Determined Survivor. [Think, doesn't necissarily matter if you make it out, I'll make it, anyway.] Surival is priority--she will not give up.

Ace Visconti: Role: Lucky Gambler. [Think, "luck be a lady, tonight".] Ace is lucky and he knows it. Luck is extremely valuable in some cases. Was brought in to opposite the Hag, I believe (or, at least, around the same time as the Hag) -- I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure. 

Feng Min: Role: Focused Competitor. [Think: silent and swift and on top of her game]. She works on generators silently, which is pretty cool. Was brought into the game at the same time as the Doctor. 

Quentin Smith: Yes, the very same. Role: Resolute Dreamwalker [Think: support system for other Survivors]. He was brought in to opposite Freddy. Among the fandom, he's also known as Sleepy Boi. 

Of course, each of their specializations are based on specific Perks--some perks are teachable, and you're more than welcome to run whichever Perk Builds you'd like as both the Killer or Survivor.

 

And, what do you think about it?

I love this game. I love this game SO MUCH. I find very fun and I think they've done an excellent job so far. Half of the community is full of wonderful people. There are a ton of maps to play on that are procedurally generated so things are always different. They are still actively working on releasing 'chapters' that include new Maps, Killers, Survivors and other DLC. There are some wonderful streamers on Twitch and YouTube that make amazing videos (they're especially fun to watch when learning about different Killers and Survivors and Perk builds). Gameplay is absolutely fantastic and it provides endless amounts of entertainment. 

There are some things that I don't love so much, though. First is that it isn't available on Linux (which is fine for most people but terrible for me). Happily, the basic Windows 7 isn't that expensive and it allowed me to partition my drive so that I could run Dead by Daylight (otherwise, I wouldn't be able to play). The second is that there are still some minor bugs that need to be worked out (but the devs are working really hard on fixing it). The other half of the community that isn't wonderful is simply toxic (but I'm sure you'll find that everywhere).

Some people say that the game is unbalanced (some claiming that Survivors are overpowered and others claiming that the Killers are the ones that are OP)--I've played both fairly regularly (I like to switch it up), and I can't say that I agree with either side. The devs did an amazing job at balancing and are always working on improving the characters.

Another downfall, in my personal opinion, is having to buy additional characters after purchasing the game (if you want to play them). Having to buy random DLC (like clothes, etc.) to earn some extra cash flow is fine and all, but the playable characters seem a bit odd. However, it's their game, so that's totally up to their discretion. Clearly, enough people are buying some of the characters to not have it be an issue for them ( -_- guilty). 

They did add opportunities to try the pay-to-play characters in the bloodwebs, though (which is the only reason I've bought any of them; gotta try them first)! 

Overall, I'd like to give this game a 4.2 out of 5, and hopefully they developers keep up the great work in making this game amazing! 

 

 


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