When I first discovered Dead by Daylight on my Xbox One, I was overjoyed. The concept of an online multiplayer using the survivors-versus-killer platform was a refreshing change from the multiplayer shoot-em-ups I had been playing for so long. And since the game’s initial release, it’s grown and expanded it’s library of killers, survivors, and maps, becoming a forerunner in online multiplayer games. It’s the kind of game you can always come back to and still find each game you play a new thrill. For me, loading the game up after a long day at work and stalking survivors as Michael Myers will never grow old. But now, I don’t have to wait until I get home to do that, as Dead by Daylight Mobile has unleashed it’s dark entity onto your phone.
I downloaded the game yesterday onto my Samsung S10+, and I won’t lie, I had my reservations about how the game would work on mobile. It’s a complicated game when you compare it to other popular mobile games like Animal Crossing Pocket Camp or good old reliable Candy Crush. You don’t collect flowers and bugs, or match three coloured pieces of candy in Dead by Daylight. You fix generators whilst avoiding a ferocious killer, or you play as that killer and stalk your prey to please the entity. So surely this isn’t going to work on mobile, right? But I adore the game on console so thought I’d might as well check it out. The game is free to play (another warning sign that it can’t be that good) and available for download now. I’ve played for about an hour so far, and to my amazement, it actually plays really well.
Obviously it is different to the console version in respect to the graphics, controls, and general pace of the game. But essentially, it is still Dead by Daylight. I’ve played the tutorial (which is essential to grasping the new control system), five or six rounds as a survivor, and then the same as the killer. I can’t quite believe that the game plays so well, it feels so much like the console game. Being chased by the killer is intense, fixing the generators is satisfying, and working as a team to survive is just as rewarding. Catching survivors in bear traps feels rewarding, swiping at them mid-chase can get stressful when they know how to dodge, and feeding them to the entity is the ultimate reward. It’s Dead by Daylight, but it’s in your pocket!
Taking a more in depth look at the different elements that make Dead by Daylight such a great game, I thought I would compare some of the vital parts that make it one of my favourite console games. Starting with the graphics, the mobile version of course couldn’t match the console version. But it still looks pretty great, and feels impressive for a mobile game. The character models are great and match what we have grown used to in terms of style and sound. The maps still feel dark and spooky, and the lighting is reminiscent enough of the console version to make it feel like a genuine representation of the original maps. The menus and loading screens look great and it’s fun to see our beloved characters in a new light. And whilst simplified, actions like repairing generators or hooking survivors still look the way we, the fans, expect them to.
Another element I found impressive right away was the variety of characters. I assumed we would have maybe four survivors and four killers to choose from, at least in the initial release. Surprisingly, the game offers an impressive fifteen killers and eighteen survivors. They need to be unlocked using iridescent shards and auric cells, but still, they are there! I plan on saving enough cells to unlock Myers, and I’m half way there already! You can, of course, use actual money to buy cells and shards, but personally I’m not a fan of that. I prefer to save up the cells and shards earned from completing rituals and challenges, so I’m glad this is still an option here in the mobile version. To start with, you have one survivor and one killer, Dwight and The Trapper, but I’ve already unlocked another killer and three other survivors just from playing the game.
The next element to work well is the Bloodweb, used on the console version to unlock perks and items for killers and survivors alike using Bloodpoints you earn for playing well. Luckily, the Bloodweb is back in the mobile version, but this time it’s simplified. Character perks like Hope, and old reliable Barbecue and Chili, are unlocked automatically when you level up your characters by playing the game. The Bloodweb here is used exclusively for buying items and offerings, such as Toolboxes and Hazy Reagent. These can come in handy when trying to beat the more experienced killers out there. So far Bloodpoints have wracked up quite quickly, and as I’m not spending them on perks, they go a lot further here than in the console version. Character progression seems to be something that will keep us playing for a good while to reach those all important purple perks.
As for the actual gameplay, Dead by Daylight Mobile offers a fun experience to start with as you get used to the new controls and play style. It’s great seeing the mobile version of the maps we’ve grown to love and to see how certain parts have been tweaked to work on this platform. And once you’re into the real meat of the game, it quickly becomes addictive. I wouldn’t say the game is easier exactly, as certain things like The Hillbilly’s chainsaw lunge don’t seem to work for me at all yet. But the mobile game feels almost faster paced. Playing as the survivor I’ve only died once so far. And I’ve even made it out through the hatch. These are both opposite to my console experience, particularly on day one. And playing as the killer on mobile I’ve hooked survivors like it’s going out of fashion. Maybe it’s still too early for the game to be really challenging as gamers find their feet with the controls. But so far, Dead by Daylight Mobile feels like a walk in the park compared to the console version.
As for the all new mobile controls, this game offers a much easier way of playing, once you have the hang of it. Fixing a generator for example comprises of pressing a button once to start the fixing, then tapping a button when a skill check pops up. No more holding a button down whilst waiting for skill checks and trying to keep an eye out for the killer. Almost all survivor actions now are a simple button press. As for character movement, holding the direction you want to run in for a moment activates an auto run, meaning you’re free to move the camera to direct the character without having to hold down the run button. The only annoying part I’ve found so far is when you’re being carried by the killer and have to struggle. Two buttons appear on screen which you have to tap quickly. The same appears when you are hooked for the second time, so it’s impossible to look around for nearby survivors when you’re in struggle mode.
When playing as the killer, this again feels simpler on mobile. When you get close to a survivor, an aim-assist kicks in, meaning that if you have auto-run on, the killer follows the survivor without needing hardly any guidance from you. This means you’re free to make that well timed strike with your weapon to hurt the survivor. This can become a hindrance when running through a collection of trees, and some players have already worked out how to dodge attacks, but mostly this benefits the killer experience. Killer actions like placing traps and damaging generators have also been given the one button makeover, meaning the game flows well and doesn’t often feel slowed down as you hold buttons down. The controls may seem alien at first but trust me, you’ll grow to appreciate them a lot.
Dead by Daylight Mobile has blown me away in the short time I’ve had to play it, and I’m confident I will continue to enjoy it the more I play. It’s fun, easy to play, and holds enough of the console version charm to keep the die hard fans happy. The fact that the game is free is another bonus, and I would recommend it to any fan of the game or of horror games in general. It may not be as sophisticated or as complex as the console version, but for a mobile game it’s pretty impressive. It’s dark, bloody and will get your heart pumping when you hear the killer lunging at you from the shadows. Lunch breaks at work will never be the same again.