Review – Dead By Daylight (Switch)

With Halloween right around the corner, there isn’t a better time to play some horror games. While I’m eagerly awaiting for the release of the Switch version of Resident Evil 6 (don’t judge, I love how hilariously idiotic that game is), I thought it was about time to tackle Dead By Daylight. A game I’ve heard so much about, but never tackled before, on the absolute last console I’d expect I’d test it on.

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It’s ugly, but I expected much worse.

Dead By Daylight is one of the most popular asymmetric multiplayer games out there. Four players take control of teenagers who need to evade and elude a big hulky killer, controlled by a fifth player. While the teenagers need to activate power generators in order to escape their assailant, the killer needs to hunt them down, grab them, and impale them on hooks in order to offer them as tribute to your god. One side is completely deprived of defense mechanisms besides the power of friendship, while the fifth character is overpowered beyond belief, albeit slow.

That’s the main issue with the game: it being an asymmetric multiplayer title. Sadly, it is only fun when you’re playing as the killer, as the amount of things you can do as the potential victims is pretty small and not that exciting. Playing as a killer is extremely entertaining, but good luck beginning a round as one of the main monsters. Dead By Daylight suffers from a serious case of unbalancing that I thought all asymmetrical multiplayer games suffered from, until I tested Predator: Hunting Grounds earlier this month at Brasil Game Show. There it was, a game in which playing as the marines was as fun (and varied) as playing as the titular Predator itself. It’s almost hard to go back to Dead By Daylight after experiencing a moment of enlightenment like within that demo.

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You’ll die quite often and you’ll wonder why aren’t you playing as the killer instead.

Technically speaking, the Switch version of Dead By Daylight isn’t that bad. The graphics are muddy and deprived of detailed textures, but the lighting effects are still decent. The game runs well on the Switch’s hardware, more often that not achieving its target goal of 30fps. There were hiccups every now and then, but considering other ports that have infamously graced the system’s library, such as Ark: Survival Evolved, I expected worse from it. I was also impressed with the fact that I had little netcode issues. There are matchmaking issues, granted, as everyone wants to play as the killer and not the victims, but once inside the game itself, I had nearly no issues.

Finally, I need to point out that this version doesn’t feature all of the previously released DLC packs available in other consoles. Everything up until the Shattered Bloodline pack is included, while other characters like Freddy Krueger, aren’t, nor are available for purchase. All of this, plus the hefty price tag, makes me wonder why should people pick this version instead of the other ports available out there. Especially since portability does nothing to enhance the game’s experience. You can’t take it on-the-go, as there isn’t any offline content in here.

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Just like that one Billy Idol song: “Eyes Without a Face”.

The biggest issue with Dead By Daylight is that I know for a fact that there are better games that make better use of the whole asymmetric multiplayer schtick than this title. Sadly, said title isn’t out yet, but it did show me how balanced and fun a game of this genre can actually be. Dead By Daylight isn’t bad, but it just feels unnecessary, especially on the Switch. It’s not that it runs terribly or anything, but this isn’t a game that can be played on-the-go, and it’s not the cheapest, best-looking or the most feature-complete of its home console ports.

 

Graphics: 6.0

It runs surprisingly well on the Switch, with a somewhat stable framerate and an impressive resolution, but it’s far from being good-looking.

Gameplay: 6.5

Slow and cumbersome, but fun, if you’re the killer. Not so slow, but still cumbersome, and not as engaging, if you’re one of the teenagers. Small framerate hiccups aside, it is somewhat responsive, and the netcode is decent for Switch standards.

Sound: 6.0

Nothing inherently bad with the soundtrack or sound effects, with no glitches or issues, but there’s nothing noteworthy about them either.

Fun Factor: 5.5

It can be very fun if you’re lucky enough to begin the round as the killer, but not so enjoyable otherwise, even with friend. It is also very expensive for what comes in the package.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Dead By Daylight is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Dead By Daylight was provided by the publisher.