Dead by Daylight, an online horror game, immerses players in a chilling experience where a team of four collaborates as survivors, while one player assumes the role of the killer. Launched initially in 2016 for Windows, the game has since expanded its reach to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Android, iOS, PlayStation 5, Stadia, and Xbox Series X/S, earning Steam Deck Verified status in 2023. Originally published by Starbreeze Studios, Behaviour Interactive took over in 2018. Despite receiving mixed reviews, Dead by Daylight has garnered immense popularity, boasting a player base of over 50 million.
The gameplay is characterized by suspense, featuring a first-person perspective for the killer and a third-person perspective for the survivors. Survivors focus on repairing generators to open exit gates and facilitate their escape, while killers relentlessly pursue them, aiming to capture and sacrifice them on hooks to a sinister force known as the Entity.
Key gameplay elements include the “Endgame Collapse,” where survivors must escape within a time limit, and the presence of a “Hatch” that serves as an alternative escape route for the last survivor. Killers actively hunt survivors, who can attempt daring escapes from hooks but face heightened risks. Survivors can utilize various movement modes, including sprinting, walking, crouching, and crawling. Each killer possesses unique abilities, and items like maps and toolboxes aid survivors, while killers have a distinctive “terror radius.” Perks play a strategic role, and characters can prestige at level 50.
The narrative unfolds within realms shaped by the Entity, a malevolent force that compels killers to hunt survivors for sacrifices, trapping them in a purgatory-like dimension. The Entity’s fascination with violence is central to the plot, pulling killers from reality and leading survivors to undergo repeated trials. Character backstories are unveiled through “Tomes.”
Dead by Daylight boasts 20 realms with maps inspired by killer chapters, such as MacMillan Estate, Autohaven Wreckers, and Raccoon City. Iconic locations include the “killer shack” and the “basement.” The game continues to expand with the introduction of new characters, maps, and lore. Notably, a movie adaptation is in development by Blumhouse Productions and Atomic Monster.