Horror is not my favorite genre for movies, but horror games are one of my favorite genres, especially if we talk about Dead by Daylight. It is an asymmetrical horror game created by Behaviour a few years ago and took the place as one of the best asymmetrical horror games on the marketplace.
As you can see in the title, I spend about 300 hours in this game, so I can say I have some experience with it. And as this website is about game reviews, why not taking about Dead by Daylight in this review? So without any more talking, let’s see if its worth to be played.
How does Dead by Daylight work?
The game is based on s simple principle (on paper): Each game needs five people to start, four survivors and one killer. The main objective of the survivors is to repair five generators that are spread out on a large map. On the other side, the killer has to protect these generators, find the survivors, knock them to the ground, and sacrifice them to the entity.
On paper, survivors have a big advantage, as the killer can’t hunt all four of them at the same time. However, the game is more complex than you think. Killers have many options to hunt and track down survivors, by using mind games, using specific routes, or tricking them.
To win the game as a survivor, they have to repair five out of seven generators and open the exit gates. If the survivors can’t manage to repair five gen’s, and only one is still alive, a hatch will spawn on the map, which represents the last chance to escape.
To win the round as a killer, you have to sacrifice as many survivors as possible. In the early days of Dead by Daylight, you had to kill at least one to “win” the match (more about the ranking system later). But nowadays, you have to do multiple tasks, like protecting gen’s, hunting effectively, or eliminating survivors.
But there is more behind that, so let’s talk about survivors at first.
Whenever you want to play as a survivor, you have to choose one out of multiple available characters at first, equip them with perks, items, add-ons, and offerings or customize their skin if you want.
Perks are an essential part of your loadout, as these grants you buffs or abilities in specific situations. For example, with “self-care”, you can heal yourself if you get hit by the killer (if you get hit two times, you go to the ground).
There are a ton of perks available to you, but you can only add four of them to your loadout. So having a decent combination of perks is recommended.
Some popular perks are:
Items are helpful tools that can be used to escape from the killer, increase your action speed (sabotaging hooks, repairing generators, healing yourself or others) or to find chests, hatches, etc. These items can be found in chests on each map or in the blood web. To take the item with you from a match, you have to escape with it, which could be tricky if the killer uses “Franklin’s Demise”.
Addons are additional items that you can use to enhance your main item. An example would be, if you use a Med-kit, Addons can be used to increase healing speed and the item durability.
The last thing you can add to your loadout is an offering, which can be found in the bloodweb. These offerings have a direct influence on the map. Some offerings increase the chance to play on a specific map, others increase the distance between hooks, or decrease the overall amount of hooks on the map.
Addons, items, offerings, and perks have different rarities, three to be specific. The higher the rarity, the better the perk, addon, etc gets (better or additional effects).
If you’re finished with your loadout, you can join a lobby completely by yourself, or with some of your friends. In the game, it’s time to find some generators, which is not that hard. When you play as a survivor, you play in a third-person perspective, which enables you to get a better overview of your surroundings, so you can even see above bogger objects.
To repair a generator, you have to move up close to him, and press (and hold) the left mouse button. This process takes quite some time, but you can speed up the process, by using a toolbox or working with other survivors together.
When all generators are done, you should focus on opening the exit gates for your team. After opening the gate, a timer will start, and if it runs out, all remaining survivors get sacrificed instantly. Luckily the timer stops if a survivor gets knocked to the ground, or hooked. If the killer isn’t near, take the chance to save your allies, and run to the gates.
But now, let’s talk about the killer, as this is my favorite role in Dead by Daylight. If you choose to play as a killer, you can choose from a wide variety, including well-known characters like Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, The Demogorgon, Ghostface, Saw, Leatherface and more.
Each killer can equip offerings and addons like a survivor, however, they have unique abilities instead, for example, The Nurse, which can blink (teleport) through almost every object. (More about the strongest killers later)
Each killer and survivor has its own unique perks that can be found in the bloodweb, and unlocked for other characters by reaching level 40. Like with the survivors, having a good setup of perks is crucial for a killer. However, not every perk works with a killer, but some work extremely well. A good example would be “barbecue & chili”, which works with almost every killer.
Good perks for killers would be:
|Hex: No One Escapes Death|
|Barbecue & Chilli|
|Pop Goes The Weasel|
|Hex: Hounted Ground|
|Save The Best For Last|
|Monitor & Abuse|
Learning how to use the killer’s ability correctly it needed to become good at the game. Some killers are much harder to master than others, as their kit is more complex. The best examples for this case are the Nurse, Huntress, Spirit, and Hillbilly. These killers are hard to learn, but I can be insanely rewarding if you get used to them.
Note: Some killer perks require totems to work, which are spread out on the map. If the killer uses a Hex perk, a totem will have a little fire underneath it, so survivors can tell what totem they have to destroy. If you use Hex totems, make sure you check them from time to time, if a survivor wants to destroy them.
The main objective of the killer is to sacrifice as many survivors as possible and prevent them from repairing generators. Killers are also a bit faster than a survivor can run and have a terror radius. Depending on which killer you play, the radius is larger, or smaller. If you play a killer with a big terror radius, you can use “Monitor & Abuse” to decrease the terror radius outside of a chase.
Some killers don’t really need this perk, for example, Ghostface or Michael Myers, as they have a small (or no) terror radius. Sneaking up to a survivor and surprise them is one of my most favorite tactics to catch them as fast as possible, especially when I play slower killers.
Catching is one of the trickiest things to do in Dead by Daylight, as most maps have a lot of objects, buildings, walls, or bushes that survivors can use to hide, which gets even harder if they wear dark outfits.
However, if you manage to find them, following each of their routs isn’t the best idea, as they can jump through windows or throw down pallets (if you get hit by a pallet, you get stunned for a few seconds). Most of the time, these are a pretty save spot for them, as killers have to break it in order to catch them. Running around a killer is called “looping”, and there are some pretty strong loops in the game.
Some of them are so strong, that you can run around the killer for several minutes in one spot, without getting caught. Learning where these loops are and how to reach the survivor as fast as possible is crucial, especially if other survivors already work on the next generators.
Note: If you tap on the left mouse button, killers will swing their weapon, but this attack lacks range. However, by holding the left mouse button, you can perform a launch attack that has a much larger range.
To be successful as a killer, you have to learn what they are made for, and how to use their power correctly. Killers like Huntress or Nurse are one of the slowest killers, so you have to use their power to strike down survivors. The clown, on the other hand, is one of the fastest killers, which makes him much harder to loop around a pallet.
Playing as a killer can be frustrating if you face people who know all loops on each map, and especially if they play together (survive with friends). I’m not a bad killer, but I got literally destroyed by some survivors multiple times. Luckily, there is a special offering that helped me a lot of times.
It’s called “Memento Mori” which allows you to kill a survivor instantly after hooking them for one time. Moris can be found in different rarities, but the “Ebony Memento Mory” is by far the strongest one, as it allows you to kill all four survivors. The other Memento Mori’s only allow you to kill one survivor in comparison.
Note: When I play killer, and a full SWF group joins the lobby, I already think about using a mori in this game, especially if all of them have toolboxes.
When you play as a killer or survivor for quite some time, you will get better at it. If you like to play mainly as a survivor, I highly recommend playing as a killer as well, to understand how they think and react to specific situations (or vise versa). To get better in the game, I watched many different players (like TrU3Ta1ent) which are really good in the game.
Who is stronger; Killer or Survivor?
In such a complex game like Dead by Daylight, the developers have to make sure everything is balanced, so one side is not too strong. The game receives every three months a new killer and survivors, and between these “chapters” there is a mid-chapter patch. Normally, big changes take place during this time, like changing killers, perks, or the ranking system.
Which role is currently the strongest is probably the biggest discussion in the community, and there are a lot of things to consider. Currently, when I write this review, killers, and survivors are well balanced.
As I already said, if you want to get to rank 1, you should take some time and learn how to play effectively. And don’t tunnel or face camp as killer… no one likes that. And you get fewer blood points, and probably lose a pip.
Is there a progression system in Dead by Daylight?
With over 300 hours spent in this game, I want to play it even more to improve my skills as a survivor and killer. To keep the players engaged, they added a player rank system to the game, which rewards you with special shards, that can be used to buy new killers or outfits.
There are many fantastic outfits for both sides, however, I still want an Emperator Palpatine outfit for the doctor ?. Depending on what outfit you want, you have to collect a larger amount of shards.
Note: Skins (Outfits) can be bought with two currencies: shards or auric cells. Auric cells are an in-game currency, that can be bought in the shop.
To unlock perks for killers and survivors, you have to level each character with blood points, that you receive after surviving a round. If you reach level 50 with a character, you can prestige him, to unlock a new and exclusive outfit. This can be done three times currently.
Note: In the early days of the game, you could receive a limited outfit for a killer, if you bring him on prestige 3 in a specific time: the legacy outfit, which looks amazing. However, if you face a killer that has this outfit, it means that the person being the screen has (probably) a lot of experience. Unfortunately, we can’t unlock it anymore.
Visuals and Sounds:
Visuals and sound effects are essential for a horror game, and DBD does an excellent job in this category. If the killer is around you, you get a hearth-beat, that gets stronger the closer he comes. But beware, Michael Myers, Ghostface or Saw have abilities (or states), that reduce or nullify their terror radius. Jumpscare Myers is probably the funniest and most terrifying gameplay experiences I’ve ever had.
There are over 34 maps in the game, which are divided into realms like Autohaven Wreckers, McMillan Estate, Coldwind Farm, Crorus Prenn Asylum, and more. Each of these realms has its unique design, and structures that come with them. They also vary in their main color, for example, Coldwind Farm follows a yellow color pattern.
All of these maps look amazing and are also pretty detailed. In the last few updates, some maps got re-designed in some areas, or the entire map, like Léry’s Memorial Institute.
A tip for beginners:
Most beginners choose a rather passive playstyle at the beginning, which is not very effective to win the game, as they waste a lot of valuable time. I would rather recommend walking directly to a generator, to build up pressure on the killer. It would be best if you can work together with other survivors, as there is a good chance that the killer patrols other generators at first.
On the other hand, every time I play as a killer, I walk straight to the other side of the map, as there is a good chance to spot some survivors. If you run a hex totem in your loadout, I wouldn’t run straight to it. When a killer runs straight in one direction, there is a good chance that he checks his totem spot (or defend it with traps).
As I already mentioned, survivors can throw down pallets to stun the killer or get some distance. However, these pallets are limited and don’t respawn after a while, so they should not be wasted. I see so many survivors that throw down every pallet, without looping the killer at least once. I also think that these people don’t understand this: if there are no more pallets on the map, the killer has a gigantic advantage!!
If you have some distance between you and the killer, run around cars, houses or fences, to waste his time. And only if you’re sure that the next launch attack will land, use the pallet.
The cons of Dead by Daylight:
DBD is one of my most favorite PC games over the last months, especially if I play it with some of my friends. The game can be insanely rewarding if you know how to run the killer around the map, without getting downed for one time, but there are many frustrating moments too.
The biggest problem of DBD is the ranking system, which got overhauled a few months ago, to an emblem system. To move up in the ranks, survivors have to perform specific actions, like saving people from the hook, healing, getting chased, repairing generators and so on. The same goes on for the killer.
Note: There is also a rank reset that takes place every few weeks.
The big problem is, that very experienced players get matched against lower-ranked survivors, so the gameplay experience for both fractions sinks. Would you want to play a rank 1, prestige 3 Nurse?
Finding a match in regularly only a few seconds, to a few minutes, but in the afternoon or night, finding a match could take hours, especially at higher ranks. There are some screenshots from people that played against rank 1 killers, even if they only at rank 12 to 15 (out of 20 ranks).
Dead by Daylight is also well known for having many bugs after a new chapter came out (which is also the case as the new DLC “Chains of Hate” got released). When I watched some other reviews about the game, another person wished that there would be more graphic settings that people can make, to make the game run perfectly, even on older consoles or Pcs. I agree with that wish (We can only change the overall graphic levels from low to ultra).
Is Dead by Daylight worth to play?
If you’re looking for a new game that you can play for hundreds of hours, Dead by Daylight is definitely worth to be looked at. The gameplay experience that you get is super unique, entertaining, and terrifying at the same time, especially if you play against a good killer (or jumpscare Myers).
This game makes so much fun to play and offers a large learning curve for those who want to get serious. I would say, there is at least one character of each side that you will like, as there are now over 19 killers and 21 survivors, with unique abilities, perks, and story.
My most favorite killer is Michael Myers and Trapper, and in terms of survivors, I like to play as Dwight, Jake, and Claudette (also known as Blendette).
|?? Pros of Dead by Daylight:||?? Cons of Dead by Daylight:|
|Very fun to play||The ranking system needs improvement|
|Play with your friends||Still has bugs and connection issues|
|Play able for a long time||Cosmetics are expensive|
|Many killers and survivors||Finding lobbies can take hours at red ranks (especially in the afternoon or early in the morning)|
|New content throughout the year|