Dead by Daylight — Only You Can Hear Yourself Scream

I FINALLY get to play this!

This game has been around for like… 5 years, give or take. Because Steam virtually monopolised PC gaming, I hadn’t had the chance to play this game since it came out because I don’t use Steam (which is, again, something that I still need to talk about). But it recently came out to the Epic Games Store, and I’m glad for that because this game is entertaining. It’s only a popular trend on Twitch that goes by the name of Dead by Daylight.

Asymmetrical games are rare, and they don’t have a lot of demand after people witness Evolve’s travesty. But Dead by Daylight does it right since it’s quite popular, although not in the proportions of Fortnite, unfortunately. It’s a game that takes heavy inspiration from the slasher film genre, where you have several human characters trying to outwit an unstoppable zombie/demon/monster that’s heavily invested in Halloween and who will kill the majority of the cast by the end of its movie. The game has a similar premise. You assume the role of either a survivor, a regular human who must rely on their wits to defend themselves, or the Killer, the typical Hollywood murderer who goes around killing weak humans (because that’s really how it feels like). It’s four survivors versus one killer where one side must outwit the other, but playing it has slightly rekindled my interest in long-term online games… but not too much.

The game isn’t much for story; there’s a supernatural being of some sort named “The Entity” (how creative…) that visits different worlds in search of killers who can bring it more humans to eat. This is the game’s explanation for the various crossovers that happen throughout because the game lets you impersonate classic horror icons, such as Freddie Krueger and Michael Myers. But you come because the gameplay is clever, and it feels engaging when playing it instead of the usual braindead pattern popularised by Call of Duty. Because it is through wits that one wins the game here, and it’s even more daring when you can’t talk to your friends… or the random people you play with on solo queue… who are just friends you haven’t met yet.

Michael Myers doesn’t talk… or anyone else for that matter

In essence, Dead by Daylight is an asymmetrical game where you assume one of two roles, and people will say different things about which mode they like better (I personally like playing as the Killer). But out of all the things that Dead by Daylight is a masterpiece that nobody gives credit to, one of its more fascinating features is the fact that you can’t talk to your buddies during the game.

Aside from the chatroom that happens before/after the game starts/ends, there is no option whatsoever to communicate with whomever you’re playing with at the moment, meaning that if you want to convey your intentions properly, you have to do it by means that are not written letters.

This is an interesting feature, mainly because this means that people won’t be flaming you during the game if you don’t play well, which is a curse that is very much present in some of the most toxic communities on the web. But even more so, it means that you need to know how to communicate appropriately to succeed in this game. I mean that players need to read the mood of the current situation and respond accordingly because standing still and running can make quite a difference. Through clever decision-making, people win in this game, and not by typing something like “the Killer is at the northwest corner” because the elimination of chat during gameplay is what makes this game so intuitively fun (but, like everything, it’s not for everyone).

How silence contributes to a healthy community

As for me, I enjoy playing games that require me to use my intelligence while not getting flamed at because I fell short of someone’s expectations. This seems to come as a plus, but is it practical in today’s general video game design?

A key component to making a successful online game is making communication as seamless as possible, and eliminating chat during the game contradicts this aspect. Though this does not pose a problem for some, others might find it irritating not to be able to talk during the game.

I haven’t tested it out for myself yet, but I suppose people who want to communicate can just use Discord, making communication all the easier. But yes, it is a problem that it’s not an inherent feature in the game, although some games don’t require communication during the game. Games such as Among Us and Fall Guys prove just that, and I suppose Dead by Daylight accomplishes the same.

What’s your take on the slasher genre?

I suppose that the minimal communication present in the previous games only works because of how they’re designed, so that it wouldn’t have worked for every game out there. But if you have something to say about Dead by Daylight, or maybe you just want to say something about the slasher genre in general, then this is the place… because I don’t always dedicate my comment sections to slasher films (they’re not my favourite).

In Conclusion…

Dead by Daylight is available on the Epic Games Store, so if you don’t use Steam (like me), then you finally have the chance to check it out. It’s fun, so do it.

As for the whole communication thing, I would be more than happy to have more games where you don’t talk just to see what becomes of it and how it grows as a phenomenon. Maybe it’s the key to solving toxicity in video games… who knows?

With that in mind, I guess I’ll write about Among Us next time… or maybe Fall Guys… one of those.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store