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Our Review of Dead by Daylight: Special Edition for Consoles


Behaviour and Starbreeze Studios has brought it’s well received, highly regarded murder romp to the console scene. I got my hands on a copy of it…and I could not get my hands off of the copy of it. But that’s not to say that it isn’t without its fault. We’re going to delve into the ins and outs of the game, naturally, but I do have some goodies for you. The pictures throughout the whole article and console trailer are a sight to behold.

So I should probably explain the game a little bit more. Dead by Daylight, if nothing else, plays like a modified version of Evolve and its core gameplay mechanic. The game is an online 4 versus 1 horror game. In the game, there are 5 total players in the match. One of those players will assume the Killer. The other four players are known as Survivors. The idea is that they are trying to be free and escape from the Killer so that they won’t be snatched up, tortured, and ultimately killed. Now, the Survivors all play in a 3rd person view.

The idea here is to give them the advantage of seeing what’s all around them whether it be for seeing the Killer coming or to see other players, hiding places, what have you. The Killer, on the other hand, plays exclusively in a 1st person view to have a slight handicap, but ultimately they can focus on what’s ahead of them; their prey. The Survivors’ do have one goal and it’s easier said than done. They need to escape the Killing Ground without the Killer catching them. Why is this so hard if the Killer is just one man? Because the environment changes every time that you play.

I reviewed the PS4 version of this game, but it should be identical to the XBOX One version. But if you’re wondering why it’s called Special Edition, it’s because the console version comes with some free goodies since we had to hold on for so long after the PC release. I have a list below of the built in extras.

  • ‘All main Killers and Survivors together with main Maps
  • Killer: The Hag
  • Killer: The Doctor
  • Survivor: Ace Visconti
  • Survivor: Feng Min
  • Killer Outfits
  • Survivor Outfits
  • Map: Léry’s Memorial Institute
  • Map: Backwater Swamp’

That’s a pretty good haul on top of the original game.

Soundtrack: 

In the vanilla version of the Special Edition (not any DLC packs) the music for the game is simply foreboding.  It’s tonally appealing to the scenario and technically different depending on if you’re a Survivor or a Killer.  Both have the same low tones to set the mood, but it will pick up when there is a chase afoot. I do believe that you notice it more though as a Killer because you have “chase” music. But if you’re a Survivor being chased, you’ll hear the heartbeat sound that is going off when the Killer is after you. I wouldn’t even say so much that it’s a soundtrack so much as it is soundscapes. However, the mood is dreary and you know that you’re either being hunted or that you’re on the hunt. For me, the fact that it wasn’t entirely heavy on any music is exactly what this game needed. I was actually hesitant to want to play the game at first for fear that it would have really angsty melodramatic music over the game but was so absolutely rewarded. 10/10

Audio: 

The audio really shines through with perfection in this game.  If I had to pick one aspect of this game to state what my favorite was, it was the sound effects. From the mood-setting overworld “lobby” menu sounds to the in-game sounds, we have nothing but perfection. But to be specific, you have different sounds based on the setting. There are crows sprinkled about through the areas that fly off and squawk (and give away the location of the person that startled them), there are the all too realistic sounds of old generators churning, the sound of footsteps on different types of ground, and the crunch of corn stalks, and dirty chainsaws digging into flesh. I just love it so dang much, you can tell that so much love was put into the game by the foley team. And what’s more, nothing seems to overpower anything else.  All of the sounds of running are based on the speed that you are running, so the harder the foot hits the ground, the louder it will be. The same goes for if you’re running through corn stalks, they crunch and pop loudly if you’re going through them at faster speeds, but barely make any sound at all if you’re crouching and going through them slowly. So yeah, everything still has it’s respective levels. I only bring up all of these points simply because sound matters in a game where you are the prey or the predator. 10/10

Visuals:

 The visuals in this game are about, I would say launch title PS4 quality. But what they’ve done is polish the hell out of it. I would say that visuals don’t necessarily have to harbor great graphics, but they also cannot be chunky. I think what the team has managed to do was keep the graphics subtle and saved the horsepower for things like dynamic fog and lighting effects, things that really seem to set the game apart. To clarify, I don’t mean that in a ‘it has to look spooky sense’, but I also mean that in a mechanical sense. For instance, lighting on people’s clothes expose them if they’re running through a corn field with a white shirt. Or if someone is creeping and you can’t necessarily see them, you may see their long casted shadow. Another thing that is impressive is that every single time that you play a level, they are randomly generated, so you never see the same layout or places to hide. This is again a place where I think they decided to make a sacrifice on graphics so they have the legroom to leverage other aspects of the PS4/XBOX One without it failing out. 7/10

Gameplay: 

The gameplay is where we need to have a talk. I think that if I were to through my base thoughts at you I would say the following; it’s boring to be a Survivor and fun to be a Killer. That definitely takes some explaining though. Because your first natural thought would be that of course the game is made so that it’s fun to murder dudes. But that’s not what I mean exactly. The developers have put a lot of heart and soul into this game and you can see it throughout. The game seems to be balanced in every regard except when it comes to choosing to be a Survivor. As a Survivor, you’re simply tasked with getting 5 generators (quick time events) turned on and then the mechanical gate will open and you can exit. Which sounds easy for 4 people to do. It sort of is, but they have you in this every man for himself schematic.

You cannot talk to anyone else (which really enstills the value of do stuff alone) and sure you can help them, but I feel like it forces the singular player aspect. I several times just waited in a corner while the other 3 turned on the 5 generators and then I walked along the walls until I found the exit and left. Now, of course, I earned fewer points than they did and they didn’t always get all of them turned on and if they all died, it would just be me, but again, I’m all alone. You can always tell when the Killer is nearby because there is a heartbeat sound that plays louder the closer the Killer gets so you can just skedaddle off the opposite direction. I’m just saying that if I’m supposed to be a Survivor, hiding and escaping is Surviving. There are skill trees that reset after you use them and they have new items each time. But I didn’t find anything thrilling for the Survivor and the costume changes were boring as well.

I ended up choosing a fellow who I could wear a black tuxedo and it basically helped me elude the Killer. I just never felt in tune with this mode even though I thought that I would be in constant suspense. If you get struck by the killer you fall down and most likely he’s picking you up to sacrifice you before you finish your quick time events. Then you can struggle as he carries you, but it’s a moot point. Then you can struggle while hanging on a hook, but again, it’s pointless (the game tells you it’s a 4% success rate). Let’s move onto being a Killer.

Being a Killer was, to me, the most suspenseful part. It’s not just about finding people and then striking them on the head with your item of choice. Yes, it’s the thrill of the hunt, but there was something about it that I just couldn’t quite pinpoint. When the Survivors are moving about through the level they’re running from you. Whether or not you’re even chasing them, the event is entirely about you as a Killer. This had my heart racing. And when you find someone, you aren’t quite as quick as them. When you try to strike them down with the blow of your axe (for instance) you lose a little bit of time readjusting the axe back into your hand comfortably and they get a little bit further ahead whether or not that strike connected.

That chase is so thrilling. You have to connect 2 blows to the Survivor. The first blow knocks them into bleeding mode and then the second strike knocks them into dying mode. Obviously, if you don’t get the second hit, they can scurry off and heal themselves to an extent or another can heal them. I almost liked it if they got away, like a cat playing with a mouse before finishing it off. Now, after you strike them twice, you carry them to a sacrificial hook to hang them on and if nobody saves them or they do not free themselves, they will officially be sacrificed. The sacrificing scenes are just absolutely to die for. All in all, I love the various killers, their various moves that are specific to them and their benevolent features.

The only thing that I can say about being a Killer is that you have to be the one who starts the lobby and there wasn’t one instance where I didn’t wait 5+ minutes for the other players since the rounds of the games have no time limit. I feel as though the team of Survivors should be able to choose if they want to use less than 4 of them and just remove a generator requirement or something. I only say that because there were other times that someone was waiting with me in the lobby and after 4 minutes of waiting they ended up giving up and leaving and I was back to square one. 7/10

Replayability: The game is exclusively replay. As I mentioned before the levels change each and every single time that you go into them. This leads to infinite levels, infinite scenarios, and infinite fun. Until the servers go down I will probably play this game a couple times a week as a Killer. The replayability should be the only reason that you even actually buy this game. It’s simply a game that does not have a beginning, middle, or end. It’s the perfect way to have an asymmetrical horror game. If they would’ve tried to accentuate the game with a story, I wouldn’t have connected to it too much. We as players make the story as each level is different and unique. And since the elements, rules, and gameplay never differs on it’s own, it’s up to you to try different Killers with different abilities and enable different skills and really truly experiment. 10/10

The game’s current cost is $29.99.

Click on this link here to buy it digitally on the PS4. If you want a physical copy, click here.

If you have an XBOX One, we have the link to the digital version if you click here. If you want a physical copy, click here.

And of course, if you are interested in the game, but only have a PC, we have the game for Steam listed as well, simply click here.

Thanks to Behaviour and Starbreeze Studios we are also giveaway copy of Dead by Day Light for the PS4. (US region only). To enter leave a comment below and tell us what your favor scary game or the first scary game that really made you jump out of your seat.

You can also enter by following us on Twitter and retweet this post here. Ends 6/30

Stay tuned here on Hackinformer.com for more reviews and follow us on Twitter @Hackinformer

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