Dead by Daylight
With Until Dawn, players got to live the gruesome fantasy of dying horribly in a teen slasher flick. Behaviour has taken its own stab at the horror genre that is less campy and more "I'm going to die a bloody death in the woods and all hope is lost."
The asymmetrical multiplayer genre has gotten off to a rough start. Evolve failed to hold onto a strong community. Fable Legends is DOA. Dead by Daylight has a shot, because Behaviour is learning from the mistakes of others.
First, before you close the link when I say "4v1," let me paint a picture. You're in a ruined estate with three other people. You're task is to repair five generators, find the exits, flip the switches for the door, and get the hell out.
It doesn't matter how many times you've played. The nightmare is different every time due to procedural generation. Oh, and you're not alone, of course.
In the demo at PAX East, we had the chance to play The Trapper. He is a slow moving, machete-wielding monster that sets bear traps to ensnare the hapless victims.
As a victim, you must seek out the generators and avoid the killer, but it isn't that easy, of course. The killer knows where the generators are, as they are outlined in orange.
Repairing a generator is tricky. You need to pay attention, because a quick timed event will pop up at random intervals. Succeed and you'll fill the meter even more. Fail, and you'll lose some progress and a loud explosion will alert the killer to your location.
You're fast, though. Diving through windows, knocking over barriers, and running circles around the killer to disorient him are your only defenses. Each encounter with the psychopath is tense. You'll know he's nearby, as your heart starts beating louder and faster. You know if he's behind you, because his gaze spills a red light on your back.
Should you get caught in a trap or slashed by the killer, you'll be wounded. This leaves you panting, whimpering, and easier to locate. If you are found and knocked to the ground, the killer will hoist you on the nearest meat hook. There, you'll have a limited amount of time to be saved by a compatriot before being sacrificed to a dark power. You can attempt to wriggle yourself free, but there is only a five percent chance of success and trying drains your bleed-out meter faster.
Our headsets weren't enabled with microphones. Were they, I suspect the victims would have had a better chance. Instead, all four of us scattered and repaired the generators piecemeal.
I survived. Barely. I managed to wriggle off the hook and finish a repair before finding the exit. As the killer, an intense experience in its own right, I managed to sacrifice two of the hapless fools that stumbled onto the ruined MacMillen Estate.
The experience was full of tension and action from both sides. As a victim, it's a truly terrifying experience when the killer locates you. As the hunter, it's a mind game that can be lost if you let the victims toy with you by purposely setting off loud noises.
Should you escape, the horror doesn't end. You step into the fog, and a new nightmare coelesces around you. There will be multiple killers and scenarios to keep players coming back.
Dead by Daylight will be out on June 14 with early access on May 29. It's priced at a reasonable $20 on Steam.