This slasher movie game is exhilarating and can be a lot of fun to play, if you can get past some of the online hiccups. It's hard to deny that there's something oddly engaging in a horror film. You watch the tension build. You argue with the people on the screen when they make some ridiculous decision. Sometimes you even yell "WATCH OUT!" when the killer is stalking his prey. You always think you could have done better, that you would have lived to fight another day. Dead by Daylight gives you the chance to put your money where your mouth is, either by slipping out of the clutches of a supernatural killer … or by proving there's no escape from your wicked grasp. The game's presentation is fantastic, with environments that are suitably creepy, an audio track that builds on the tension, Survivors that react with pure terror, and Killers pulled right from your nightmares. The game also does a great job of making things feel fairly balanced. Sure, the Survivors have the odds stacked against them, but never completely feel helpless. And the Killer, though outnumbered, feels like a force of nature as it stalks its prey.
When everything comes together, it's an exhilarating adrenaline rush that can leave you with your heart in your throat and a cold sweat breaking out on your face. The key part of that statement, unfortunately, is "when everything comes together". The online-only nature of the game opens it up to a number of frustrating issues. For starters, the matchmaking leaves a lot to be desired. Unless you're diving in solo for some quick play or you already have a party of at least four people to play Survivor, it can take an excruciatingly long time to get into a match, with more than a few disconnects in between. And once you do actually get in, the human factor comes into play. You might get a good group looking to get the most out of the game, or you might run into online trolls simply looking to ruin the fun. Worst of all, if you do manage to find a good group to play with, after the match, there's no way to stick together for another match. Even with friends, players have to start all over (inviting each other, setting up lobbies, etc.) before jumping into a new game. Hopefully, this will improve in time, as Dead by Daylight is a genuinely terrifying experience when at its best, and a must play for horror movie fans up for a good scare.