We’ve all had that moment during a slasher movie where we yell at the characters onscreen as they do something that gets them killed. We all think it’s so easy to survive, that the characters in these films are idiots and “I bet I would last much longer than they would.”

Well Dead by Daylight takes you up on that bet and proves, one vicious murder after another, that surviving a roaming maniac in a confined space is not as easy as you would think.

Developed by Behaviour Interactive, Dead by Daylight is a five-player game where you take on the role of either a survivor or a killer. As the survivor, players have to turn on five generators to power the exit gate and escape without being caught by the killer, whilst the killer just has to MURDER EVERYTHING THAT MOVES!

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Although that sounds simple enough, Dead by Daylight is surprisingly complicated. For starters, each generator takes a while to repair and they occasionally throw Quick-Time-Events at you that will give away your position to the killer should you fail them. So you’re constantly on edge as you look for any threats around you whilst watching out for incredibly quick QTEs that can pop up at any time.

Each of the three killers has their own unique play style. The Hillbilly, for example, is all about aggression as you charge around the level swinging your hammer or revving the rusty chainsaw like a complete maniac to terrify other players. Then there’s the slower approach of the Trapper, a hulking brute who can dump bear traps around the arena to delay players as they sneak across the map. Or you could become an invisible predator with the Wraith, blending into the background waiting to strike that fatal blow to an unsuspecting survivor.

There’s also meat hooks scattered around the game’s three levels that killers can hang survivors on to either reduce the number of people potentially turning on generators or as a trap for other players that might try to help them out.

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The killers in Dead by Daylight really provide a nice mix of variety as you’re never told which one has been chosen for each round, so you can’t really prepare for them until they appear behind you and carve a chunk out of your ass. And each one of them have extra abilities and buffs you can unlock to increase your murdering capabilities.

The monsters you’re up against as one of the four survivors are quite a serious threat, but you do have some tricks up your sleeves. You can unlock flashlights to temporarily blind the psychopaths, toolboxes to speed up generator repair and first aid kits to help friends. In addition to all those  there are also various perks you can unlock to help you survive a little longer.

Plus, as the killers close in on your location, a loud heartbeat will play to tell you how close they are. It can be quite terrifying to think you’re completely safe in your hiding spot only to hear the heartbeat get steadily closer and closer, not knowing exactly which direction it’s coming from until it’s too late.

One of the most interesting things I found about Dead by Daylight is that your point of view is based on the role you choose.

For example, as the killer you see everything from a first-person perspective so you have to constantly look around you for signs that a survivor may be nearby. Whilst as a survivor you play everything from a third-person view to emphasise stealth – it actually helps a lot when you’re hiding behind a rock and the killer is only a few feet away.

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Dead by Daylight has quite a learning curve to it, but it’s an incredibly fun and terrifying game once you get a few matches under your belt. When you’re playing it alone with random players online it can get a little repetitive and stale, but where I found it really took off and got fun was when I played it with friends. It was hilarious to constantly chase down one specific person as the Hillbilly, revving my chainsaw and waving it about like a lunatic as I watched them panic and get progressively worse at running away. When you play with your friends you can afford to get in touch with your inner sadist and torture people that little bit more like a cat with a mouse, letting them run ahead just a tad more before you corner them.

It’s a perfect water-cooler game to talk about afterwards as we joked around about who was the better killer and what made us laugh or jump in fright. Being able to hear your friends react to the revving chainsaw of The Hillbilly or the ominous clanging of the Wraiths bell as you skulk ever closer to where they’re hiding perfectly encapsulates what a good multiplayer horror game should be.

Dead by Daylight provides that little burst of endorphins as you swing your killer’s weapon around yelling “Boo!” in a silly voice at someone who thought they were hidden. Or when you’re sitting inside a cupboard and the killer decides to stop just right outside it and torture you with anticipation in a “Will I, Won’t I open it” sort of way.

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It got me incredibly nostalgic for when I was a kid playing Hide-N-Seek with friends and there was always that moment of sheer terror when you thought someone had discovered your hiding place. Nothing bad would happen of course, but you still had that irrational fear of being found before you could get to home-base, and that’s what I loved about this game. On the outside it’s a slasher multiplayer, but at its core it’s all about hiding and picking that perfect opportunity to make your move.

Dead by Daylight is hilarious, incredibly thrilling and it’s filled with so many of those moments that puts your heart in your throat that your adrenaline levels will be up at ceiling height. There’s so many terrifying moments in the game to enjoy, from seeing the killer walk by inches from your hiding spot to accidently giving away your position with a backfiring generator Dead by Daylight really knows how to get your heart pumping. It’s still early days for the game, but with rumours floating around of a new killer coming in future updates Dead by Daylight will no doubt find more inventive ways to send me screaming in fright from my chair.

About The Author

Contributor

A self-described child of the 90s, Matt is obsessed with everything nerdy in that era from Transformers to G.I Joe. Found inside a bargain bin of Doctor Who DVD's, he was quickly adopted by the Indie Haven team and tasked with writing humorous articles.

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  • This is a fantastic game, ever since purchasing it on Steam I have been playing it non stop! The graphics are superb and the game play is unique and quite scary. I hope to see more games like this in the future,