Three days ago I would have thought of myself as a kind generous person who looks out for his fellow human and is generally a nice guy. I’m not talking myself up here it’s just what my mom tells me. However, after spending a few days with Dead by Daylight on PS4, I am beginning to question all of these things. Developed by Behaviour Interactive, Dead By Daylight pits one killer against four victims with the former’s goal to sacrifice all four victims and the latter’s goal to escape the arena of death they find themselves in. It’s a four vs one arena game but with serial killers and helpless victims with no weapons, or means of attack. This is our Dead By Daylight PS4 Review.
I’ve spent the last few days playing both sides of this Horror Survival arena title and have learned that I will definitely run away and leave you for dead if the killer shows up, have no problem intentionally leading the killer to your location if it means giving me an advantage or means of escape and will go out of my way to terrify you as the killer for no other reason than it gives me an edge. I really need to spend some time in self-reflection. My personal self-evaluation aside, Dead By Daylight is a game that offers a unique twist to the horror genre as well as a refreshing take on the co-op experience. So grab that coffee, kick back and great ready for our review of Dead by Daylight on the console.
The game opens with a quick cutscene that is actually terrifying. As if torn out of a slasher film, this brief intro includes a lot of death, frights and general…well… horror and is the only real explanation we get as to what is happening. For most games, this just wouldn’t work, but it’s a brilliant opening here because one of the greatest strengths of any good horror movie the fear of the unknown. This is something Dead by Daylight excels at in general; creating an environment of the unknown, leaving victims completely in the dark (almost literally sometimes) as to what is happening or what they should do. That base fear is the fuel that could extend the game’s lifespan for years to come.
To expand on how Behavior Interactive has created this underlying setting it’s worth highlighting how they have built the world. The base concept is that the four victims are thrown into a themed based arena with the goal of turning on five generators, locating an exit and running through said exit all while hiding, running, and luring the Killer around the arena. The best part about these arenas is that although themed they are randomly generated areas. Each map will have recognizable landmarks but even these will be shuffled around with every playthrough. This alone creates a great sense of tension because the unfamiliar heightens the already tense situation of being hunted.
Visually the game presents a dark, desperate world, everything for the lighting to the general fog effect, known as the mist, all help to increase the sense of dread as you explore each map. Coupled with some great sound cues such as the ability to hear the killers heartbeat as they draw closer, everything works together to produce and exhilarating if not terrifying experience.
Another highlight of the game is the sheer depth of character development and progression that has been built put in. Unique characters both in regards to killers and victims really allow a player to handpick the style of play you want. Specifically, with the killers you will find a diverse set of play styles, from the Hag’s global map dominance through the use of Phantasm traps to the Wraith’s stealth abilities, there really is a playstyle here for everyone. Throw in custom load outs that directly impact everything from your base abilities to the types of kits you have on you and your character really begins to become specialized. A unique progression system found in the game is the Bloodweb; a series of tiered abilities that you can spend currency on to unlock. The uniqueness comes in the form of random generation, as in every tier’s abilities are randomly generated which will definitely make min/maxers cringe. It’s a system that I found to work quite well and appreciated just how much freedom it gave for catering the character to my play style.
As this is a port from the PC version, released in June 2016, I was curious to see how the console port would hold up. For the most part, everything translated quite nicely. The controls and layout are well thought out and feel tight when playing. Visually, although not as pretty as its PC cousin, still captures the essence of what makes Dead by Daylight such a compelling world. All of the typical social constructs built into the PS4 make grouping for matches extremely easy and the added bonus of the built in party chat really does help with successfully surviving as a victim.
The only two issues I came across during my play time was a slight shudder visually from time to time. It wasn’t a major issue but it did cause me to lose track of a victim or end up looking at the ground a few times. I imagine this is mostly due to the game still being fairly new to the console and with new servers there are typically some bugs to be squashed.
This brings me to my only other concern with the game. It is a four vs one arena game. The very nature of these games make them extremely dependent on their audience to really reach their full potential as a game. When I could get matches with others it was a blast. Playing as either the Killer or the victim offers some unique features and experiences. The issue is getting a match. As the game is still fairly new to console having only released a few days ago my hope is that we will begin to see the servers fill up soon. Plus people tend to want to play the survivors, but if you run as a Killer, you have better luck getting in quicker.
Final Thoughts on our Dead By Daylight PS4 Review:
If you love co-op or horror or both, I highly recommend checking out Dead by Daylight. It offers a refreshing take on so many different game mechanics. This title really does bring something unique to the table. Aside from a couple of minor issues the console release really live up to the legacy that Dead by Daylight has already fostered since its initial release. If you’re in the market for a great co-op gaming experience in a unique setting this game will deliver.
Editor’s Note: Our copy of Dead By Daylight for the PS4 was provided by PR for review.