Dead by Daylight Review: A horror game you can get hooked on

John is on the run, desperate and looking for help. He trips over himself and stumbles across a playground. There’s a killer out for blood and he’s in tow, not too far behind. Looking around, John realizes there’s only two choices of where he can go: into the woods to potentially lose the killer, or into a nearby basement with only one exit. That’s right, he chose the basement. How many times have you been watching a horror film, only to find yourself screaming at the screen because the people trying to escape always make stupid mistakes? Probably countless I’m guessing. Well here’s your chance to right those wrongs and show how a real pro gets out of that situation. Welcome to Dead by Daylight.

Horror and survival horror are two game genres that have been gaining popularity in recent years. From games like Resident Evil and Slenderman to The Evil Within and Amnesia, horror games continue to get better and better. One thing seems fairly concurrent through most though, and that’s the fact that most are single-player experiences. So what’s better than being freaked out and scared by yourself? Being freaked out and scared with your friends of course!


Dead by Daylight puts you in a 1v4 situation where four survivors are trying to escape the killer. The survivors must work together to get generators started. Once enough of them are running, an escape door will become available which will lead them to safety from the killer. Seems simple right? Not so much though. We’ll get into the gameplay soon, but first it’s worth noting that at no time while you’re playing will you encounter any computer-controlled players. Both the survivors and killers are player-controlled, which I think makes for a better experience.


The game has 4 modes to choose from: Survive with Friends, Play as Survivor, Play as Killer, and Kill Your Friends. Some lovely titles right? Play as Survivor and Play as Killer are both modes you can go into as a solo player. As a survivor, you’ll be matched up with 3 other random survivor players and a random player killer. Play as Killer is a lot of fun as you become the killer and face off against 4 random players.

In my opinion, the best modes are Survive with Friends and Kill Your Friends. Surviving lets you party up with up to 3 other friends against a random killer. If you don’t have a full squad, that’s not a problem as the empty spots will get filled by random players. Kill Your Friends is an invite only match, where you and 4 of your friends get to play against each other, with one person getting to be the killer. What’s more fun than torturing your friends and hearing them scream like little babies?


On the both sides there are 6 characters to choose from when starting off. Each has their own small backstory and special abilities/perks. It’s also worth noting that survivors play in 3rd person view, while killers play in 1st person. As you level up through online play, you earn access to more perks and abilities. Each character also has a loadout you can equip items in, but just as the perks, you must earn them in online play. Killers come already equipped with items because well, they’re killers and are better prepared.

The more you play with a particular character, the more they level up. In-game, you earn points for doing certain actions (which I’ll get into later) which you can spend on your skill tree known as the Bloodweb. As your level progresses higher, the Bloodweb grows larger, providing access to more items/perks.


One of the many things I like about this game, is that every map is randomly generated. Not only the type of environments you’ll be in (i.e. swamp, forest, scrapyard, etc.), but also the layout of each map. It constantly changes, which helps keep things fresh and less exploitative. Most areas are dimly lit, so it gives that really eerie feeling of being in a slasher film.


A survivor’s main goal is to escape the map from the killer. On each map there are 7 generators, and the 4 survivors must work together to get 5 of them repaired/started. Once that’s done, 2 separate escape doors will open in different parts of the map to allow for escape. You must do this while being as stealthy as possible; the more noise you make, the greater chance that the killer will notice you. As you’re repairing a generator, there will be random quicktime events or skill checks that will happen, and failure results in a small explosion and setback on that generator.

That explosion results in the killer being notified, which means they’ll probably be heading that way. You’ll know when the killer is around, as every survivor can hear a heartbeat. If you’re far away from the killer then you hear nothing at all, but as you get closer, the heartbeat starts up and gets faster and faster. If you’re being chased by the killer, you can drop pallets on them if you happen to run by one or vault through a window/opening, both of which can slow down the killer.

If you get injured, you’ll start bleeding and grunting, both of which the killer can pick up on if they’re within range. Luckily if you’re near a teammate they can heal you, or you can do it yourself if you equipped a medkit as your item. If the killer does happen to down you or one of your teammates, he’ll then take you to a nearby hook to place you on as an offering. There’s a limited time that you’ll be there before you die. You can struggle in a chance to escape, but doing so will accelerate your death if you don’t succeed. You can also be unhooked with the aid of a teammate, hopefully if one is willing to help you.


Like I mentioned before, there are different killers to choose from, each with their own ability and kill style. As a killer though, your goal is to not only stop the survivors, but sacrifice them on hooks placed throughout the map. You have the ability to see all 7 generators at once, but you won’t know if one is in the process of being repaired. A visual and audio cue will also let you know if a survivor misses the skill check event. The main thing is to rely on your senses, particularly sight and sound, as those are what will help you catch the survivors.

The Bad

While mostly everything was great while I played, there are a few hiccups that get me irritated. The main one is the server lag I’ve experienced in matchmade play. The killer is always the person that hosts, and a lot of times their connection doesn’t hold well for the 4 other players. This results in a lot of lag throughout the match, which can make the game miserable to play.

There’s been many instances where I’ve juked a killer, but the lag caught me and resulted in the killer actually getting me. Aside from that, the visuals are mediocre and are nothing to drool over. There’s other small nuances here and there that can be bothersome at times, but it’s not too hard to overlook. Luckily the sound is on point, which is very good as you rely on it so much in the game.

Overall and Grade – 4 out of 5 Atoms

While the gameplay itself may seem repetitive in essence, it’s the experience as a whole that makes it great.  As a person who isn’t a fan of horror in general, I absolutely love this game solely on the fun factor alone.

Some of our other writers, editors and friends have been playing as well together, and here’s what they had to say about Dead by Daylight:

John (Editor-in-Chief) – “The game can be very, very frustrating at first, but once you understand how the game is played, you’re in for a treat, especially when playing with your friends online.”

Robert (Writer) – “If youre a fan of a horror, youll definitely think this game is to die for.”

Arvin (Video Editor) – “At first I was like meh, but then I was like… Yeah this is pretty fun.”

Alger (Contributor) – “Dead by Daylight may have little quirks here and there, but overall, it’s a great co-op game! Being a killer is also a delight as you find ways to track down and kill the survivors. My final assessment would be that it’s an emotionally draining game as a survivor, in contrast, engages your hunting instincts as a killer. Horrifically addicting!”

JB (Contributor) – “There are a number of bugs and control-issues in this game, but the overall experience (whether as a survivor or a killer) is fantastic in the end.”

Anthony (Friend) – “Being well balanced on both sides, it keeps you on the edge of your seat, whether you are a survivor running for your life or a killer, blood thirsty and just looking to give sacrifice to the Entity.”

Jonathan (Friend) – “This is definitely one of those games that when playing with a group of friends you can’t help but laugh scream and have a good time altogether”

Rob (Friend) – “Hunting down your friends is sadistically fun.”


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