Dead By Daylight (Switch) Review
What better way to spend the month of October than with a portable version of one of the most popular survival horror online games right now, and on the Nintendo Switch nonetheless? Dead by Daylight has been a leader in the survival horror online world for years now, starting in 2016 on the PC. It has quite a large following and has since expanded in size by adding DLC that has included such licenses and characters from Stranger Things, Ghostface, Leatherface, and other horror icons. But does the Switch port live up to the intensity of the PC, PS4 or Xbox versions? Let’s find out.
There seems to be a growing trend of developers porting their games to the Nintendo Switch lately. There is no doubt that developers and publishers see the advantage of leveraging the system’s ongoing success and adding a popular horror based game fills the need that some gamers have that itch for.
Fight For Survival
The basic gameplay of Dead by Deadlight is simple. You can choose to play as either a “Survivor” or “The Killer.” As a survivor, your goal is to escape from the crazed killer roaming the level. You have to repair four extremely loud generators, which send power to a closed door. Should you, or anyone of the other survivors, stay alive long enough to open this door you will be granted your pass to freedom. This is easier said than done, because each generator takes time to fix and players will have to complete quick-time events. Should you fail the QTE, it will result in taking even longer to fix and power up the generator, which in turn creates a loud noise that draws the killer’s attention to your location. Of course, playing as the Killer, you’ll be tasked with killing all the survivors, hanging them on hooks, and completing an offering to the “Entity.”
Dead by Daylight comes with 11 survivors to choose from, all with various traits. One of the few bonuses of this Switch version is that it includes every killer and survivor up to the “Shattered Bloodline” DLC. However, two killers and one survivor are missing from the lineup: Freddy Kruger, his survivor Quentin and Leatherface and are not currently available for purchase. All other add-ons including the newly launched Stranger Things add-on are available for purchase on the Nintendo eShop.
Once you choose your character you can equip one item and select various perks. Dead by Daylight uses “blood points” as the game’s XP, and these points allow you to upgrade your perks and items which keeps the game progressing as you strive to continuously improve.
Playing as the Killer is a completely different experience. First off, the Killer is controlled from a first-person perspective, while those who play as survivors will play in a third-person view. Each view helps players focus on their specific goal of either murder or survival. Playing as The Killer, you’ll need to take down each survivor, and hang them up on the various hooks scattered across the level, ensuring they do not escape as you try to complete the offering to the Entity. Survivors have the ability to escape by struggling off the hooks or having another player help them off the hook and heal them. If all four survivors die, the Killer wins the match. If even one survivor escapes, the survivors win the match.
In terms of the game’s audio, the music is appropriate and changes to create a sense of fear or excitement depending on which role you choose. And the rest of the sounds add to the experience too, such as screams of panic and being impaled on a hook so you stay put.
Using the Switch in handheld does take some getting used to, but I never found it difficult to move around or complete a quicktime event. The only downside to this port is the visuals, especially when you compare it to the other versions on other platforms. You’ll find a lack of detail and sharpness when playing either docked mode or in portable mode. Things just aren’t as crisp and clear as they are on another console or PC. However, if the Nintendo Switch is your preferred or only means of playing video games, you will have a great time playing Dead by Deadlight on it as the lack of resolution in the visuals did not take away from any of the enjoyability or blood-soaked scares of this title.
While the gameplay might seem repetitive and “done before”, Dead by Daylight is still going strong for a reason. I believe it is because of the intense atmosphere the game creates and its ability to deliver exactly what players may want, which is feeling like they are on the edge, scared, and running for their life. On the other hand, as “The Killer”, you will most likely feel that ‘rush’ as you close in and capture that last survivor before they escape and put them on the hook…literally. While the Nintendo Switch version is lacking when compared to the other platforms, developer Behaviour Interactive has worked damn hard to fix some issues that may have occurred during the launch and it shows. But I can only recommend this version if you have no other means of playing it. If you have only a Nintendo Switch and this type of game interests you, I recommend it, maybe even with the lights out, headphones on, and volume up.
***Nintendo Switch review code provided by the publisher.***
- Still a bloody scary time
- Addictive gameplay
- Portable with lots of players online
- Graphics downgrade
- Nothing new to this version
- Not all DLC is included or available