Dead by Daylight is a pay-to-play survival/slasher game by Behavior Interactive in June 2016. It is a 2 to 5-player game that pits 1-4 victims against one killer, where the four are tasked with surviving until daylight, while the Killer is tasked with capturing them as sacrifices for the Entity. New characters and amps are released several times a year. Players can either form their own group of survivors from known friends or can solo-queue for teammates if they don’t want to play solo.
It’s 1896 and a journalist, Benedict Baker, has heard of strange occurrences and killings going on in the town of Weeks in North America. Over 300 people have gone missing, and yet little has been done to save them. After doing some digging, he concludes that all of the strange goings-on originate from The Macmillan Estate, which is a huge industrial mining estate. When Baker goes to investigate, he loses consciousness and finds himself in a strange, otherworldly location that seems to exist between times.
In this place, there is no escape. All survivors are stuck in an endless game of cat-and-mouse, where getting caught by the Killer does not result in death by the Entity, but rather a reawakening to begin the nightmare yet again. Baker suggests that the Entity does this as it derives its sustenance from the emotions of hope, fear and despair that are evoked within the characters as they struggle to find a way to escape from this game.
As with the victims, the Killer is also drawn from other planes, due to their bloodlust and willingness to participate in the torture of these souls. Baker hypothesizes that they too were taken from the Macmillan Estate, or indeed from any place where a great deal of violence had occurred. This context explains how it is that victims survive between trials, how they can function despite horrific injuries, as well as why the killers never kill the victim themselves, but always offer them to the Entity.
Players can opt to take on either the role of a survivor or a Killer during each trial. Survivors have a third-person perspective and therefore greater visual range. Killers, on the other hand, play from a first-person-perspective. The survivors’ task is to try to escape from the map before the Killer succeeds in capturing all of the survivors and sacrificing them to the Entity. Both Killers and survivors have their own unique set of attributes and special abilities
When a survivor is caught, the Killer will take them to one of the meat-hooks and hang them on it by piercing the hook right through their flesh. If they are not rescued within two minutes, the sacrificial ritual will be completed, and the survivor will be killed, with their soul being sucked upward into the Entity. Once a sacrifice has been successfully completed, the meat-hook will break. Killers are able to locate hooks via a red glow that is visible to them even through solid objects.
However, players can survive in a number of ways. Firstly, if they succeed in fixing the generators that are located at various points around the map. The number of generators spawned on the map is one more than the number of survivors. But, the number of generators that need to be repaired only need to exceed the number of remaining survivors by one. This means that if the player is in randomized match-up on solo-queue with others who got killed quickly, they don’t need to worry about somehow repairing five generators on their own. Once this is achieved, a Hatch will appear. The survivors will then need to locate the key to unlock it. Once they succeed, its on to the campfire and then the next trial.
Survivors can also tamper with hooks by using either the Toolbox or Saboteur ability. hooks, thereby making it more time-consuming for Killers to move between meat-hooks and hook new prey before the previous victim has been saved. Once hooked, players need to either be rescued by other players or attempt to wriggle off of the meat-hook. Wriggling will reduce the time until the Entity’s claws descend, with there only being a 4% chance of success at escaping. There are special abilities and items that can increase this chance of success. Once the survivor’s health drops below 50%, the Entity’s claws will descend, and the player will have to struggle against those as well. Once their health reaches 0%, they will be drawn in by the Entity.
Regardless, either way the player will need to be healed. If other players assist, it will be faster. Until the player is fully-healed, their speed and actions will be reduced. The same holds true for other injuries inflicted to players by the Killer.
Additionally, although a group of survivors will rely heavily on cooperation, especially against certain Killers, they will not be able to do so through chat. Rather, they will need to use in-game gestures and hope for the best. For this reason, seasoned players have developed certain established signals. For instance, ‘Hook Gymnastics’ to indicate whether a Killer is hovering around or not, by either remaining still or flailing about respectively. More details on this can be found on forums.
Killers can also break generators, thereby undoing the efforts of the survivors as they slowly whittle down their numbers. They can also lay traps with which to capture their prey.
Bloodpoints are earned by players as they perform various tasks in the game. This includes rescuing other survivors, defending survivors, sabotaging meat-hooks and many other functions. The Bloodpoints can then be used to purchase items to assist in the next trial, regardless of whether the player was able to survive.
Earning Bloodpoints will allow the character to access their Bloodweb. The Bloodweb represents the level that the player is on and is comprised of a number of nodes. The contents of each node are visible to the player, so they can decide which contents they would prefer to acquire. The layout is randomly generated, and so varies from player to player. Spending Bloodpoints allows players to move between nodes, and by so doing, discover new items. The cost of each node is based on the rarity of the item, perk or power that it holds. Once their Bloodweb is completely full, they will level up and proceed to a new Bloodweb that has new rarer items. Levelling up will permanently lock the buffs that they earned in the previous level.
However, the Entity is also present in the Bloodweb, so players will need to be vigilant so as to avoid being killed and losing all of their progress in the level. The Entity will also move across the Bloodweb, and as it does, it will permanently render those nodes inaccessible to the character. Bloodwebs are accessible by both Killers and survivors and each character has their own Bloodweb, so progress with one character will not transfer to that of another.
Items can either be found in the Bloodweb or in chests during trials. There are currently 22 items available, with varying affects on gameplay. Tools can be equipped by a character prior to the trial, but not during the trial itself. Furthermore, items will only be retained by the character if they survive to the next trial. If they die, then the item will be lost. The item will also be lost if the character completely uses up the item during a match.
Items include flashlights that can be used to blind the Killer, even when they are carrying them, keys, med-kits and maps, among others.
New skins can only be obtained through the Steam shop and are purely cosmetic.