As the month of Halloween nears, the creepy and horrific only becomes more and more exciting. In the world of video games, almost nothing is more bloody and exhilarating than Dead by Daylight, the best multiplayer game where you can happily kill your friends.
Dead By Daylight is an asymmetric survival game that was released in the summer of 2016. Players can either be survivors working in teams of four to escape a killer’s murder arena, or as the killer hunting down the survivors. The base game came with 5 different survivor options and 4 killers. In the past two years, that has expanded to 14 survivors and 13 killers. Some have been added to the game for free, but others exist as low-cost DLCs.
The game came out amidst a few others similar to it, but its largest competitor, Friday The 13th, ended its updates earlier this year because of decreased sales. Right now, Dead By Daylight is the king of its fun, niche genre.
Though it sounds like a crazy concept, Dead By Daylight is so popular because of how it taps into the excitement of cat and mouse chases while giving independent, human autonomy to both parties. As a player gets better, the mind games and strategies one plays to succeed become exhilarating and satisfying. Though the learning curve can be tough at times, it’s a blast once fans get into it.
Its best assets are, of course, its expansive cast, its frequent updates, and its strategy. The sheer options that a player has between 29 characters and 107 different perks make the game far more personalizable and diverse than one might expect. The game has even gotten licenses to classic horror characters, like Mike Myers, Freddy Krueger, The Pig, and Leatherface. The updates the developers churn out also decrease the amount of problematic bugs, overpowered abilities or characters, and add new content to keep the game fresh and the fans hyped. This year, the game has even been including seasonal events to give players more in-game points and expand game objectives.
Conversely, the game has its flaws. The aforementioned bugs can really ruin a player’s day. Most times the developers are fairly on top of things, but sometimes an avatar will get stuck on a stray tree and the entire game will be ruined. Also, climbing ranks can be grueling. To climb, some killers will aggressively focus on certain survivors or even make it impossible for their team to save them from danger. On the flip side, sometimes better survivors will find a low-rank killer and torment them to build up a lot of points. This can frustratingly trap a new or weak killer in a situation they painfully already know they can’t win. The community, because of this, is prone to being quite angry and toxic at times.
Recently, the game has had a big update: it’s added its next killer and survivor combo in its new Shattered Bloodlines DLC. The new faces are The Spirit and Adam Francis.
The Spirit once was a college student named Rin Yamoaka. She was from a traditional, proud Japanese family. Between her college bills and her mother’s sudden illness, her father was overworking himself until he was untimely fired. This broke him mentally and he subsequently killed his wife and daughter. With her dying breath, young Rin swore vengeance and the spirits of her ancestors raised her ghost to become a vengeful killer from beyond the grave.
In-game, she has the ability to phase-walk. This leaves a still version of her body in one spot while she turns invisible, moving swiftly wherever she pleases. Her spirit makes a distinct noise when rushing by, but survivors have no visual clues to where she might be. Her perks and gameplay center around deception, mind-games, and fury.
Personally, I find the Spirit to be one of the most fun killers to play. While it’s doubtful she’ll become a top-tier killer, she has fantastic potential heading into the late game because of her speed and her unpredictability. Rin’s at her best when tricking survivors during a chase or surprising them on a generator. It’s no surprise two of her three perks are about revealing survivor locations. The more she can find them, the easier she can kill them.
The survivor accompanying her is Adam Francis. He’s a college professor who moved to Japan to begin a new life. After some adjustment, he was beginning to fall in love with his new adventure on the other side of the world. After a train crash, his body went missing and teachers whispered that perhaps he survived, he’s just somewhere out in the forests, running. Fittingly, his perks all center on intelligence and evasion.
I had less time to experience Adam, but his abilities to save himself from dangerous hooks and blind the killer are useful tools in saving himself instead of waiting on others. He’s a powerful addition to the roster of survivors.
Both new characters still have some bugs that need working, such as The Spirit’s limited reach when it comes to the game’s pallets, but they are solid on launch. It’ll be fascinating to see if, with time, the community really takes off with them.
For now, Dead By Daylight persists as a unique, creative, innovative, and exciting game that fulfills that love for multiplayer gameplay but break up the monotony of MOBA’s and battle royales. The Shattered Bloodlines DLC has only made the game even stronger. Right now, it seems Dead By Daylight is only getting better from here.