Dead by Daylight is a game that struck gold. Many games have tried to make asymmetric multiplayer work, and it’s a subgenre that has a lot of promise. Dead by Daylight is arguably the game that’s maintained momentum for the longest out of the pack, and it’s very popular on multiple platforms. Now, developer Behaviour Interactive have brought Dead by Daylight to mobile. While the core gameplay is intact with this mobile port, it’s shoddily put together and missing the charm present on other platforms.
Dead by Daylight Mobile‘s core gameplay is brilliantly constructed. Four survivors have to activate generators to get away from one killer, all of which are real players. Each killer has a diverse set of skills that the four survivors have to work around, and each killer presents a unique challenge. In contrast, each survivor game plays out in a similar way. However, each survivor gets a different load-out. There’s a certain satisfaction in finding a playstyle that works in conjunction with a planned loadout. In addition, survivors each have their own small perk, such as the ability to repair generators quickly, which adds a bit of flavor to picking different survivors. None of the effects are outright game-changing, but survivor perks can give meaningful advantages.
The other factor in Dead by Daylight’s gameplay equation is that killers and survivors interact with everything differently. For instance, survivors vault walls faster and are able to vault dropped pallets. Killers vault much slower, and they have to destroy dropped pallets. In addition, the survivors can stun and block paths by dropping said pallets at the right time. Once all the generators are powered, a door opens that allows the remaining survivors to escape. To win, the killer must take out all the survivors.
Eyes and Ears Open
Dead by Daylight does a great job of communicating information through visual and audio queues. Powering generators takes time, and a good killer won’t make this job easy. Fortunately, there’s visual and auditory indicators that alert survivors when the killer is closing in. To balance this out, the killer can see trails survivors leave behind when they sprint. Killers are in first person, while survivors are in third person. This gives survivors a bit more awareness of their surroundings, making it easier to plan an escape.
Dead by Daylight Mobile‘s baked-in mechanics are nice, save one omission: Communicating with teammates is nigh impossible. When it comes to a free-to-play title with this level of hype, it’s no surprise that there’s tons of new players looking to get in on the action. Unfortunately, that can mean players that have no clue what they’re doing. This, combined with the impracticality of voice comms on mobile, means that the mobile version of Dead by Daylight lags behind the other versions in a crucial way.
Dead by Daylight is playable, but by no means does it reach the height of what’s possible on the platform. Controls are finicky to the point of frustration. I saw killers struggling to pick up a survivor’s body because they couldn’t get the prompt to grab. The same is true of survivors. I had a few instances where a survivor was trying to vault away from my blood-soaked blade, only to get stuck in front of the wall because they couldn’t get their character in the perfect spot to trigger the on-screen prompt. Immersion broken. This was too common an occurrence to be chalked up to lack of skill on the players’ part. It just doesn’t feel good to play at times.
There are certain mechanics Behaviour Interactive implemented to make the transition a little smoother. For example, the killer’s camera locks onto the person they’re chasing down. These slight tweaks are appreciated, but they aren’t enough to completely smooth out the core gameplay experience. While that core is well-constructed, the execution of the mobile version leaves much to be desired in almost every way. When there’s numerous instances of a killer awkwardly staring me down as I bleed to death because they can’t find the prompt to grab my body, there’s a problem.
Is it Hardcore?
Dead by Daylight‘s concept is great, but the mobile version leaves a lot to be desired. Problems borne from the transition to mobile mar the experience enough to make a full recommendation impossible.