Dead By Daylight impressions

Freddy Krueger joins Michael and Leatherface around the campfire.

I think we can all agree that going to sleep, if you think about it, is pretty scary. Maybe it’s just me, but I watched the film You’re Next a few days ago with some friends, and when I got home I was checking every room in the house in the most casual way possible to make sure some bloke in a boiler suit wasn’t waiting to stab me when I went to bed. Either way, I’m not a huge fan of horror, especially the kind that doesn’t have any explanation, such as Evil Dead (the 2013 version). While I know that it can’t happen, that’s what the kids in the movie thought wasn’t it? And look at them. One’s got a face full of nails and another hacked off half her jaw.

So, I wasn’t best pleased when Freddy Krueger managed to claw his way into Dead by Daylight, one of my favourite games at the moment. He doesn’t look scary, but I imagine he was when he came out in the ’80s. However, despite him not looking too bad, that isn’t the issue, seeing as half the time, you can’t see him: he’s invisible. And I don’t mean invisible like Halo’s active camo, where you can see the blur as they move, I mean completely invisible, as in, the only way you know he’s there is if you see the corn moving as he walks through it (and that’s damn scary).

So, he plays out the game in the dream world, which is just a brighter version of the map with a lot more paper floating around for whatever reason. As he walks around, he can see survivors, but they can’t see him. The only way they know he’s nearby is if there’s some grass moving, or you hear the song, which for those of you who don’t know, is basically the same one the girl sings in the ‘Scary Terry’ episode of Rick and Morty, or the one sung in the movies, or so I’ve been informed. If he sees a survivor, Freddy can pull them into the dream world, which takes about a second or two, but allows him to hurt the survivors in the dream world. Seeing as he can’t hurt the survivors if they aren’t ‘asleep’, this is a big thing. When you’re in the dream world, you do everything slower: generators, totems, sabotaging, chests, and I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I swear you jump over pallets slow as well. The only way out is to A) fail a skill check (fairly easy for most players I imagine), or B) get someone else to wake you up. Funny thing about the second one: they can’t see him if they’re not asleep, so if you get downed, they’ll just see you randomly flail into the air, and if he picks you up, it’ll look like you’re too cool for walking (as pictured below).

So far, it sounds more or less standard, for Daylight at least. However, there’s one hitch, aside from him being hard (impossible) to see – when you’re not in his terror radius, he can see your aura. In other words: if you can’t hear his heartbeat, he can see you through walls. This makes waking up really, really difficult: once a Krueger locks onto you, he rarely deviates, and seeing as he can see you through walls when he loses you, it really isn’t hard to put survivors on hooks for this guy.

Going into a bit more detail for people who play Daylight, there are some counters: I found myself using perks like ‘premonition’ and ‘spine chill’, both of which give you a ping when he’s looking at you from, or is within, a certain distance. These are really more of a guess though, and have killed me a few times: I’ll sit on a generator spamming my mouse in all directions, and when it pings, I haven’t a clue which direction it was, and just bolt it, sometimes into his waiting arms. Hand. Claws. One perk combo I want to try is ‘object of obsession’ coupled with the perk that reduces aura reading range, so that I can see him within X metres through walls, but he can only see within X-20 metres. Again, I can see this getting me killed if I look at him from close enough. Another idea is just stick as a team, so you can wake each other up the moment one of you falls asleep, but this will be hard in a random queue.

And the map… eh. It isn’t too impressive, and at times feels like a variant of the Michael Myers map, Haddonfield. It kind of feels unfinished, or like they gave the map creation tools to a novice. You see a lot of white picket fences and the same sort of houses like on Haddonfield. One thing that annoys me is that there are shipping container things around the map – why are they on a preschool site? – and they have no bottom. If you look into them, there’s no bottom, just grass, and that really annoys me. I’m a firm believer that the little things in a video game make all the difference: I wouldn’t have so many hours in Battlefield 1 if a headshot didn’t give that satisfying ‘ding’. Again, it might be just me, but I don’t think this will become a fan favourite anytime soon.

My overall verdict? He is, from my view, OP, especially so if you’re not playing in a communicating group. His perks are really good, especially the one that prevents escape when you hook a survivor with an exit open, and shows him auras of survivors in the exit area (combo this with level 3 NOED and you’re chances of winning shoot up), and the survivor perks are pretty poor: searching through chests 80% faster is nice, but only in the way that having a car that goes 100mph is nice: do you really need the extra speed? As for buying it? It’s £5.19 as I write this, which I think is fairly cheap, and after putting in about three hours against Freddy, and three hours as Freddy, I can say it’s worth picking up, so long as you play killer a lot: apart from recent changes to one of the killers (The Doctor), I’ve never seen them nerf or buff killers in any substantial way, and they usually just add perks to counter the issues raised by the killers. Because of this, I imagine he’ll stay strong for a while, and Quentin (the survivor), will remain halfway – his perks will be nice with specific builds, but if you’re playing seriously, I don’t imagine he’ll get touched. In short: if you play killer, yes, if you play survivor, just wait for his perks in the shrine, and keep an eye on the grass.