Sicko or survivor; those are the two options in Behaviour Interactives upcoming asymmetrical multiplayer horror game, Dead by Daylight. Imbuing many qualities of 2k’s popular asymmetrical game, Evolve, the Behaviour team gives the player the option to either be the killer or one of four survivors. The primary goal for the killer is easy: hunt and kill anything that moves. For the survivors, it’s a little more difficult, as they must complete a set number of objectives before they can escape, all while trying to avoid the sociopath playing the part of a serial killer. The role you choose has a myriad of differentiating playstyles, but the one constant factor is the human behind the keyboard. Panic as a survivor, and you’re bound to get caught. Become too confident as the killer, and the survivors escape. Human nature is the constant dynamic, and it is what Behaviour Interactive is banking on to be the core element in the gameplay of their upcoming horror genre game.
One of the major differences between Dead by Daylight and Evolve is that the roles are reversed. In Evolve, there are four hunters vs one monster where the two sides compete for survival and battle each other. In Dead by Daylight, there is one hunter and four survivors to track down. Survivors can’t fight back, all they can do is try work together (or not), in an effort to escape the procedurally generated map. One of the coolest looking aspects of the game is the diversity of the killers and survivors. Each killer is different, having distinct abilities and tools to help find and kill the opponent. In the Dev video below, Ash Pannell, the creative director, describes a killer that wields a bear trap that can be placed anywhere in the map. But because the game is one person vs four, the killer is given some distinct advantages. Whenever a survivor runs, makes a loud noise, or completes a task i.e. turning on a generator, the killer can see exactly where they are. Ultimately, the game devs want the killer to feel that he or she has ultimate control; sadism and the thirst for power are the core elements of what makes a good killer, and if you’re not hanging your victims from hooks, then you’re not doing it right!
For the survivors, they are given a “survival” tool to bring with them. From a med kit to a toolbox, each tool will serve a specific purpose in an effort to escape as quickly as possible. Team work is encouraged, but it is not the primary goal for the survivors, the primary goal, is for the individual to escape. Yes, helping others will assist in character progression, but this is where the game gets interesting; are you going to be someone who helps to save your friend, or are you going to be the person that lets them get chopped to pieces as you sneak out the back door?
One person vs four isn’t the only reason Dead by Daylight is an asymmetrical game, the perspectives of each role is completely different. The killer is a first-person experience, providing the player with more focus and precision. The Behaviour team wanted the killer to be as focused as possible on the task at hand, and with a first-person experience, the killer can perform that task with surgical precision. The survivors are given a third person experience that provides them with a few distinct advantages. Namely, they have the advantage to see everything around them. This helps by establishing a good hiding spot and being aware of fellow teammates. Precision or vision; the two other major asymmetrical factors of Dead by Daylight provide the user with two distinct versions of the game, all wrapped in one.
Overall, Dead by Daylight looks like a very intriguing game, adding innovative elements to a videogame which I’ve never seen before. The game was available to be played at PAX East this weekend and is slated for a release on Steam 14 June 2016. If you’re someone who’s already played it, drop message down below and share some thoughts!