What happens when you take a prominent Steam survival horror video game and port it to consoles? You get Dead By Daylight – Special Edition.
After being released nearly a year ago on Steam, the asymmetrical player vs. player game continues to be one of the most popular multiplayer games on the platform. In fact, I had ranked it as one of my favorite games of the year here at TYF. It’s no surprise that a year later, Daylight would be heading to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. But, as many gamers can confirm, PC gaming and console gaming have their own styles and nuances. I myself was wondering if the console edition would be just as fun and addictive as the Steam version – and my worries were for not. Suffice it to say, Dead By Daylight is still a challenging and enjoyable game.
(Disclaimer: This review will cover the console edition of the ported video game and any updates made to this new version.)
For those unfamiliar with the survival horror video game, Dead By Daylight is a PvP online multiplayer that focuses on four characters trying to survive as a killer is hunting them down in a confined area. The hero players explore the map to recharge at least five generators to escape through the locked door (or, in some cases, escape through a trapdoor). The monster’s job is simple: Capture the heroes and place them on spikes long enough for them to be “sacrificed” to The Entity. All five roles are controlled by gamers.
Dead By Daylight – Special Edition keeps a lot of what made the original game so great in its console version. You’re still able to customize your characters, equip new offerings/items to change up the match, and the special abilities of the monsters are still there. And even better, the game still has the ability to make your heart race. I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m recharging a generator and I start to hear the heartbeat getting stronger (it’s an indicator the monster is getting closer), I get scared and a bit worried. The monsters are designed to look and be terrifying – they’re still doing their jobs.
The extra Add-Ons provided with the Special Edition are a nice touch. You get a mixture of clothing, perks, music and some of the DLCs from the base game to boost the experience. My favorite was the retro 80s clothing. It’s reminiscent of 80s slasher flicks and the movies that helped to start the survival horror movie trend. I love changing up characters and making them a bit different. I also liked that they gave us a balance of survivors and killers from the Steam DLCs, like The Doctor and The Hag.
I was, however, sad to see that Michael Myers and the Halloween features from the Steam game weren’t included in the initial console version. There’s nothing like getting the chance to play as an iconic movie villain (and his Final Girl protagonist, Laurie) to really bring out the movie vibe. This could’ve been due to rights issues with the movies, so I don’t hold it against the game that it wasn’t available for launch. Though, with the recent announcement that this Halloween DLC is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next month, the wait won’t be too long. (Is it free or do we have to buy? No word on that yet.)
Speaking of the missing DLC, I was also disappointed that no console-exclusive changes were made to the game. This may sound greedy (especially since I just talked about the Halloween DLC), but this is more about the characters and setting itself. Dead By Daylight – Special Edition is exactly like the game for Steam. The hero characters are the same, the villains are the same, and the maps are the same. You’re getting all the essentials and extras that you’ve come to expect from the original computer game in this version; minus, of course, the specialty-type characters like Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. However, it doesn’t seem like anything new was done to change things up. I would’ve loved if one or two of the Steam version heroes, even if it was one of the monsters, were swapped out with some new faces to learn about their histories and traits while fighting to stay alive.
Another pain point for the console edition is the matchmaking. For a multiplayer that is dependent on online play, Daylight has trouble with their lobby system. Sometimes it can take more than 10 minutes to even find a match or the remaining players to fill a game. And what makes it worse is that it’s completely imbalanced. One moment you could jump into a match of five players easily while other times you’re left waiting as the matching refuses to find you the last remaining person. I’ve had plenty of matches not happen because the matchmaking wouldn’t find us one more hero.
Dead By Daylight also suffers from glitches and overpowered villains. Don’t get me wrong, this issue still persists even in the Steam version – I much rather play as the heroes because I find it a fun and challenging experience. The villains are too quick to capture heroes and the perks they can equip could make it impossible to win. The glitches, on the other hand, pop up at the most random moments. At one point, I was crossing the gate threshold but instead of ending the match for me, the match didn’t recognize it and left me to explore the outside of the arena until it fixed itself. Hopefully upcoming patches will tweak these instances.
Dead By Daylight – Special Edition still holds true to the original game. It has many of the terrifying elements that make this an addictive match-based game. I like that I’m able to jump into a match and stop recharging generators; that is, when the matchmaking works. It’s a shame that nothing new was added to the table for this edition of the game – it seems that this version is more of a way for console gamers to join in the fun before (hopefully) new additions are added to the multiplayer. If you love survival horror and PvP games, give Dead By Daylight – Special Edition a try. But, if you’re a diehard Steam player expecting a new experience, you may need to check your expectations in the mist.
Developer: Behaviour Interactive
Publisher: Starbreeze Studios
Format: Xbox One (Reviewed) and PlayStation 4
Released: June 20th, 2017
Copy Provided By Publisher