Okay, so I’ve been trying to write an article about Dead by Daylight for a while now and it is becoming increasingly frustrating how difficult describing my experience with this game. I never mean to, but I am constantly and unfairly comparing this game to the vastly superior Friday the 13th: The Game.
While both games are asymmetrical, survival-horror, one-v-many, online, multiplayer whatever the hell you want to call it kind of game, Friday the 13th is a fun, hilarious, and fair experience. While Dead by Daylight…well, at the risk of sounding whiny, DbD is really wants you to have a good time as long as you’re playing survivor.
Let me explain.
Dead by Daylight is a one v four online, multiplayer game that features one player filling the role of a killer on the hunt of four survivor characters as they try to escape the map. At first glance, you wouldn’t be blamed if you thought that the killers were overpowered and the survivors had a serious struggle to finish a match. While you’re not technically wrong, the survivors are much faster than the killers, and have many tools at their disposal to ensure that they both don’t need weapons, and can put a lot of distance between themselves and the killer. I won’t get into it here, but the developers seem to very much favor the survivors at the expense of the killer having a good time to. If you’ve ever see the game’s creative director play this game as a killer, you’d know that he’s terrible at playing this game, so of course he is going to give the survivors a fun experience.
By the way, I am terrible at this game too, so I know the type.
Yesterday, a brand new chapter (DLC) was released for DbD, giving us a new map, killer and survivor. Darkness Among Us introduces us to The Legion, a band of young killers that have found their way into the fog. The new survivor is Jeff Johansen, an artist mourning the passing of his father in Ormond, Alberta; the site of the new map.
This new killer was revealed last week as part of a Player Test Build the developers opened for PC players. It was during this Build where The Legion found themselves to be the center of heavy scrutiny from the bulk of the youtube streamers that play this game. With many complaining that this new killer was weak and a waste of resources. The concept of Legion is certainly fun and unique. Legion, is a killer that is roughly the same size as many of the survivors found in-game, with the intention of tricking the other survivors that there is no killer around. But, if you’ve spent more than five minutes with the game, you would know that the survivor is given plenty of warning that a killer is closing in.
From a design standpoint, I really like Legion’s look. Dressed in jeans and a hoodie, and wearing a paper plate on their face (I guess), you can really believe that someone like this both exists in real life, and that you wouldn’t know it until it’s too late. Plus, being able to pick the gender of The Legion, is a fun little trick used to further separate Legion from the rest of the pack of killers. While Legion consists of two killers named Frank and Julie from the outset, two additional killers name Joey and Susie are available through in-game purchases. Of the four killers, no one is stronger or faster than the other, it is seemingly just an aesthetic difference…for now, at least.
So let’s address the elephant in the room, is the Legion weak? At first glance, yes. While every killer in the game can “down” a survivor after striking the twice, the Legion requires three hits to successfully down a survivor. As part of the gameplay, after a killer downs a survivor, they place them on a meat hook as a sacrifice to the Entity (don’t ask). While a survivor can be taken off the hook by other, friendlier survivors, if you hook them three times, or they empty their health meter, the survivor is screwed.
While it can take up to four successful strike and three hooks to seriously kill a survivor for most killers found in the game, it can take Legion up to seven strikes and three hooks to kill the average survivor, IF everything works out. To most players, that sounds like a deal breaker, and I completely understand, but I kind of think that the fact Legion isn’t a powerhouse, is the crux of his fun factor.
Legion is arguably the fastest killer in the game with his unique “power” called Frenzy, which allows him to sprint after a survivor for a short time. During frenzy, the Legion is able to vault over obstacles and attack a survivor while sprinting with virtually no cool-down in-between strikes. While striking a survivor while in frenzy, you inflict “deep wound” damage, which results in internal bleeding that is timed on a meter that will cause the survivor to go down if they don’t mend their own wounds first. This is the point of frenzy being in the game. You’re supposed to use frenzy to put pressure on the player, while attacking them and causing internal damage, leaving them little time to heal. And I think that this is the big divide between players when it comes to the Legion. The Legion doesn’t maul survivors like most killers in the game, he’s a scalpel, not a club and it takes a lot of getting used to after two years of killers with overwhelming strength.
While Legion’s base speed outside of frenzy, is slightly slower than most other killers found in-game, but I didn’t notice it too much. Probably because when I play as a killer, I usually play as the Huntress, who is a slower character that makes up for it by throwing hatchets at survivors and using an axe when up-close; so compared to the Huntress, the Legion is a refreshing change of pace, for now.
But is the Legion fun to play? Honestly, for right now, yes. While most people have complained about this weaker character, I kind of like that he isn’t a powerhouse of Jason Voorhees-like proportions. I like that Legion is quick and “annoying”. When I’m playing this game, I’m not trying to kill every survivor in a given match. I go for high scores, successful strikes and delaying the survivor’s eventual escape. If I kill any survivors, to me it’s a bonus and not a requirement. So, yeah, The Legion is worth the eight bucks to get him, he’s fun; and “fun” is something that Dead by Daylight needs a lot more of today.
Disclaimer: I haven’t played as the new survivor, Jeff Johansen, and I don’t think I intend to.