Dead by Daylight: Special Edition Review

2K Games’ Evolve was arguably the most hyped-up game of this generation. As the vast majority of gamers, and industry-centric journalists, dubbed it to be the next billion-dollar franchise, as the title’s asymmetrical approach to player vs player multiplayer, was set to revitalise not just multiplayer games, but the industry as a whole. But unfortunately for the publisher, Evolve turned out to be one of the biggest flops of this generation, as ultimately, its execution was sub-par to say the least, and the asymmetrical aspect of the title, was downright abhorrent due to its microtransaction-ridden structure.

The resulting aftermath from Evolve’s launch had the opposite effect to the one which the developer, and the publisher behind the game have desired. As instead of elevating the asymmetrical multiplayer to the limelight, it has subsequently relegated it to the darkest corner of the industry, and it has taken a long time for such titles to make a fully-fledged return in form of games such as Friday the 13TH, and most importantly, Dead by Daylight.

Dead by Daylight, just like Evolve, is an asymmetrical multiplayer title where a group of four weak and fragile survivors, is trying to escape a raving, sinister and hostile antagonist, capable of tearing the survivors apart with a couple of stomach-turning, and gruesome strikes. But where Evolve was all about the hunt of the antagonist, then Dead by Daylight is all about the pursuit of the four survivors, who in this instance play the roles of the main protagonists.

In-game, one can choose between an abundance of different survivors as well as horror villains. And each and every single one of them possess their own skill tree, unique equipment, and most importantly cosmetic items. And while the vast majority of the in-game characters is loosely based on classic horror movie personas, there is still a handful of licensed characters such as Halloween’s Michael Myers, Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leather Face, and Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Kruger, who is the most recent addition to the game at hand.

In total, Dead by Daylight features a tremendous amount of in-game content, which will take one tens if not hundreds of hours to unlock. And while not all in-game skills and abilities, are as impactful as one would like them to be, they’re still significant enough to make a difference throughout a match. And title’s core design gives one an impression of constant progress, as no matter how much time one spends with the title, he/she will always feel like there is a yet another proverbial avenue to explore. As no matter how many matches one completes, he/she will always be given yet another goal to pursue, and yet another objective to complete.

In order to get the most out of Dead by Daylight, one has to be a completionists at heart. As besides of the overwhelming variety of the in-game unlocks, there is not much else to pursue, as most will care very little, if at all, about the seasonal rankings, which according to the hardcore fans of the game, are the main point of the entirety of the Dead by Daylight experience

When turning the title on for the very first time, one will be greeted with a message about seasonal ranks. And while ranked gameplay is a great feature for titles such as Overwatch, and Call of Duty, it is not necessarily as beneficial for Dead by Daylight. And that’s because the in-game ranks, ultimately devolve the otherwise flawless co-op experience, for the survivors, into a free-for-all. As you get your rank up by escaping the killer. But if you are completing the objectives in order to open the escape-gate, you are always placing yourself in immediate danger, meaning that you are more than likely to die, and subsequently, fail to rank-up.

Within the first hours which I’ve spent with Dead by Daylight, I found myself in three different matches where at least one player was refusing to cooperate. And one of my games was so bad, that once we’ve reached the end, and all that we had to do, was to simply open the gate, all my teammates were cowardly hiding behind the scenery waiting for somebody else to make the move, expose themselves to the killer, and unlock the gate. And as you may have already guessed it, I was the person to do so, as all the other players were simply way too afraid to die, and ultimately miss out on their brand new, and sparkling rank.

Playing as a survivor within the world of Dead by Daylight, as you could observe for yourselves, can be hit and miss. As your enjoyment of the title, in the most part, depends on who you’ve been matched with. However, if one were to eliminate the human element, and dissect just the core gameplay of Dead by Daylight, from both the perspectives, of a survivor and a killer, all that one would have to say about the title at hand, is that it is a more than a reasonable multiplayer title, which despite of some of its flaws – is leagues above the aforementioned evolve.

The dynamic between the two entities is thrilling, and each and every encounter between the two is adrenaline inducing. And if one were to compare Dead by Daylight, to its direct competitor, Friday the 13th, he/she would have to admit, that Dead by Daylight, is the title which comes out on top in this particular bout, as it is quite frankly a good game. And most importantly, it is a game which delivers not only on its base premise, but also on all the promises which have been made by the developer in the past.

In conclusion, all that has to be said about Dead by Daylight, is that it is what Evolve should have been. An exciting, nerve wracking experience, which delivers on all its promises and then some. And while it may lack the polish, and all the bells and whistles which the vast majority of modern AAA titles possess, it is still miles beyond its direct and indirect competition. Because unlike the large portion of modern multiplayer-only games, Dead by Daylight has the ‘fun factor’, which in unfortunately incredibly rare in this day and age.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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