The first video game that ever scared me was the original Resident Evil and I don’t think there was another one that scared me until Dead by Daylight became free for download on my Playstation. Now, that is more than a 20 year gap and I was beginning to think the only fear I would ever experience from a video game again was the dread that my steady loss of hand-eye coordination engendered.
But then came Dead by Daylight and gosh what a fun and scary game! Like many good games, it is simple to learn but very intricate to master. In fact, there are two different things to master since you can either be a survivor (there are four each match) or a killer (one each match). Here’s how the story goes:
There is a being called “The Entity” that has created an area in which survivors and killers play games for its pleasure. The killers are supposed to hang the survivors on hooks to eventually be sacrificed, and the survivors are supposed to…well…actually, the Entity doesn’t call them “survivors” at all. They are victims. But there are some things in the playground that the Entity does not control: generators, gates, and the hatch.
As one of the teams of survivors, you need to fix five generators so that you can open one of the two gates and escape. The killer, obviously, is hoping to sacrifice you all to the Entity before that happens. And that’s where the fun comes in.
When you play as a survivor, you hear your own heartbeat in your ears as the killer gets closer. The closer the killer gets, the louder it gets. You can run, but the killer can see scratch marks that you leave behind. You can hide, but if you are injured, the killer could hear your moans.
It is stressful as all get out and when you get into a chase you have to try to run back and forth and loop around things to try to trick the killer into losing you.
As the killer you only have a first person view so it is a lot tougher but clonking someone with a big hammer and then hanging them on a hook is strangely satisfying.
Now, this is barely scratching the surface of the game play itself. There are perks to make your characters more powerful, and they have the licenses for Nightmare on Elm Street, Saw, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Halloween so you never know who is going to be trying to kill you (or who you are going to try to kill people with). And I didn’t even mention what I call “party mode”.
In general game play, you are matched among other players around the world (which can take wayyy too long) but if you want to play with friends you can make a private match where you just kill each other while you chat (and talk smack to each other). THAT is one of the most enjoyable things I have ever seen! Not only are you chasing your friends around, you get legitimately scared while playing. There is real dread built into this simple game. And I can’t think of anyone I would rather have kill me than all of you!
Just take a look at the game in action and you will see just how scary it can be. It’s available on PC, PS4 and Xbox and if you want to play with me, let me know in the comments and I will send you my PS4 handle. Happy killing!