Dead by Daylight is an asymmetrical multiplayer survival horror game developed by Behaviour and published digitally by Starbreeze for the PC (via Steam) on June 14, 2016. It was later ported to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which were published on June 20, 2017 (with a retail edition published by 505 Games).
Up to four players, as a group of "Survivors", must figure out a way to escape various horror locales (including a haunted farmland and an abandoned asylum) while being hunted by another player (one of the various "Killers" of the game). The game is known for the use of multiple camera perspectives (third-person for Survivors and first-person for Killers), procedurally-generated levels, persistent experience point system, and unlockable skill tree system (known as the Bloodweb system).
Since the game's original release, numerous downloadable content (both paid and free) have been developed for it, including new skins and Chapters (each of which includes a new map, a new Killer, and a new Survivor). The game also received cross-promotional content (including Bill from the Left 4 Dead game series as a Survivor, Michael Myers from the Halloween film series as a Killer, Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre film series as a Killer, Freddy Krueger from the A Nightmare On Elm Street film series as a Killer, and The Pig from the Saw film series as a Killer).
Originally published by Starbreeze Studios AB, Behaviour Interactive acquired the rights in March 2018 and became self-published.
The game's mascot, Evan MacMillan takes inspiration from the likes of Jason Vorhees, obsessed with one parent and wearing a twisted, makeshift mask. Idolizing his wealthy, harsh father, Evan was driven to become a mass-murderer to stop a worker's uprising. He now stalks the Entity's playground, setting immobilizing bear traps to ensnare Survivors who don't watch where they step as well as where they're going. Wielding a makeshift cleaver, Evan's abilities are focused on quickly hooking and sacrificing Survivors.
Philip Ojomo immigrated to America to follow the dream of prosperity and self-made manhood. Instead, he wound up entangled in the seedy world of organized crime at the auto yard he worked at. Catching his boss disposing of a person in the car crusher, he went on a rampage of vengeance before being drawn into the Entity's game. A folk spirit of revenge, Ojomo can shift into the spirit realm, leaving only the slightest shimmer as he hunts his victims with horrid subtlety. His Perks focus on tracking Survivors wherever, or however, they flee.
Max Thompson, Jr. was born a deformed child of wealthy parents who hid their shameful, mutant child away on their ranch. Taking direct inspiration from Leatherface (the devs thought they'd never be able to get the Texas Chainsaw license, and created a rough analog), he broke free and slaughtered his parents with his hammer and chainsaw. The latter is his special ability, allowing him to rev and then charge forward with shocking speed and almost no fine control. This gives him both a traversal mechanic and an extremely powerful ability to catch up with, and take down, Survivors in a single hit and his Perks only reinforce this relentless pursuit.
Sally Smithson was forced to take a nursing position at the ill-reputed Crotus Prenn Asylum after her husband met with an unfortunate factory accident. There, she was slowly driven mad by the horrors she witnessed in those cursed halls and enacted an overnight mass-murder of patients and staff members, using her own hands to choke or the utilitarian bonesaw to cut, releasing them from the misery of the Asylum by her own twisted hand. The ambulance that took her away never made it to its destination, a wreckage found crashed in a cursed wood with no sign of Sally to be found. Inspired by any number of paranormal ghosts haunting abandoned hospitals, The Nurse can quickly close distances by warping to Survivors through the spirit world. No one is safe for long as her perks focus almost entirely on revealing and tracking Survivors.
The daughter of a survivalist mother, Anna grew up in the middle of the northern woods of Russia. When her mother died suddenly, impaled on the antlers of an elk the two were tracking and humming a gentle lullaby as the life faded from her, Anna was left to fend for herself using the hunter's skills that she'd learnt from her. Expanding her territory, and the size of her prey, the little girl grew into a hulking woman and began hunting The Most Dangerous Game, while stealing away any little girls she found to try and rebuild her shattered family. As war descended on Russia, German soldiers would be found butchered with massive axes in the woods, but no trace of the massive beastwoman was ever found. Anna wields hatchets to hit and disable prey at a distance, her haunting lullaby preceding her. Her Perks are varied, allowing her to track and beguile Survivors as they try to evade her sight.
Drawing inspiration from J-Horror films like The Ring and The Grudge, Rin Yamaoka comes from a family of Japanese samurai, warriors that struck terror and devastation on the field of battle. Her father, an overworked salaryman, went into a murderous rage after his unjust firing, murdering Rin's bedridden, sickly mother and attempting to do the same to his daughter. Driven by the Entity's whispers, he nearly succeeded, shattering his family's ancestral katana as it bathed in the blood of his family, until the Entity saw in Rin greater fury and fire, and moved its influence to her, reanimating her to seek screaming vengeance with that very same blade that would not claim her. She can traverse the map in spirit form, emerging to strike quickly at unsuspecting Survivors. Her Perks are focused on seeing her prey at a great distance, so she can close in and attack quickly.
From the terrifying horror film franchise "Halloween," Michael Audrey Myers murdered his sister Halloween Night in 1963 when he was only a small boy. Fifteen years later, his reign of terror continued and across the decades, he's shed gallons of blood, silently peering from behind his blank mask. Dr. Sam Loomis attempted to corral the heartless killer, to understand then to contain him, but Michael continues to escape. To stalk. To kill. Drawn into the Entity's game willingly, given a bottomless well of victims to inflict pain and death upon, Michael stalks from the shadows, his power growing into a horrific, violent crescendo. His perks assign one Survivor as an "obsession" of Michael, giving him powerful abilities centering around them, either to keep them alive until last, or kill them immediately.
Based around the "witch of the wilds" archetype, Lisa Sherwood grew up in a small, isolated village where ancient traditions were still practiced and arcane symbols were used to keep trouble away, or occasionally draw it in. Kidnapped during a storm by depraved men, she was kept chained in a cellar while they fed from pieces carved off of her living body. Eventually too emaciated and infected to be kept shackled, she broke free and collapsed, writing out one final symbol of vengeance in the mud and the muck. When her fellow villagers stumbled upon the shack she'd been kept in, they only found the disemboweled bodies of those who'd previously lived there, but she had vanished into the swamp. Channeling her thirst for blood and want for vengeance through her Hexes, she can set traps and then immediately teleport to them and her Perks offer up different effects as she inflicts further pain and suffering upon any Survivors unfortunate enough to be caught up in her claws.
Bubba "Junior" Sawyer's reputation is known to anyone who was a fan of horror exploitation films of the 1970s, though he's better known by his moniker Leatherface. Born the youngest child of a degenerate family of meat packers, Bubba was terrified of displeasing his abusive family and would do anything to earn their approval. Up to and including murder and slaughter. After being thwarted in his attempt, after seeing his brother run down by a pickup truck driver who rescued his quarry, Leatherface was drawn into the Entity's world with the promise of another powerful figure he'd have to satisfy. And he would, for this creature offered much more than filial ties and well-being, it offered him an endless feast of flesh and victims for him to use his hammer and chainsaw against. His Perks focus on robbing them of their advantages and abilities in the face of his onslaught.
Herman Carter became obsessed with the human mind from an early age, pursuing a career in psychology and showing an aptitude for it that was nothing short of genius. Recruited by the enigmatic and sinister Mr. Stamper for an off-the-books CIA project, Herman was unleashed upon the "patients" of the Lery Memorial Institute and given carte blanche to extract information through any means necessary. Undisturbed as screams echoed through the halls, the man dubbed "The Doctor" was left alone for years as lights began flickering more and more often, electroshock becoming Carter's preferred method of interrogation. After a week of silence, Mr. Stamper was discovered in Carter's office, skull opened and electrodes attached to his still-living brain in a futile attempt to unlock the secrets of mind control. Carter himself was never seen again, the institute shuddered and all information redacted. He now stalks the Entity's world, electric prod in-hand, ready to shock Survivors into fits of madness with his powers. His Perks allow him to run the battlefield, sabotaging Survivor's efforts as he goes.
Ever have a nightmare so real, you'd swear you would have died from it? Frederick Charles Krueger knows the feeling all too well, though he's usually the one inflicting said nightmares. Clawing his way out of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films, though his appearance is taken from the remake, Freddy was a preschool janitor with a penchant for murdering children in his decrepit, terrifying boiler room. Slipping through the fingers of the law, the parents of Springwood formed a lynch mob and burnt the twisted man to death in his own shack. But he returned, demonic and terrifying, to the nightmares of the children, killing them one-by-one with his signature bladed glove, until he cornered his final quarry, only to be drawn into The Entity's horrifying realm. Freddy haunts the dreams of the Survivors, drawing them into his world where he can properly attack them, using his Perks to baffle and confuse their efforts at escape.
One of the first attempted victims of the Jigsaw Killer, Amanda Young escaped the film series' infamous "reverse bear-trap," only to become enamored of the man who'd put in on her head in the first place. Becoming his disciple, Amanda donned the robes and pig mask of Jigsaw, becoming his arms when his own failed him. Becoming her own brand of killer, more merciless and driven than even he was, she eventually fell in her duties, brought down by a policeman's gun, and as she lay dying, dark, twisted tendrils enveloped her and drew her in, giving her another chance to give the gift of life to those who deserved it. And bring death to all the rest. Amanda's twin weapons are her arm blade and the very trap that once ensnared her, giving Survivors the chance to free themselves at the price of losing their focus on their generator objectives. Her perks offerSurvivors choices of how to play the game, giving each a risk-reward that she can exploit.
Everybody loves a clown, or so the song claims. But Kenneth Chase, born in 1932, found love in short supply after his difficult birth killed his mother and drove a permanent wedge between he and his increasingly alcoholic father. A curious, athletic child, Kenneth eventually began to collect feathers that he found scattered on his walk to and from school. Becoming obsessed with the birds that left the feathers, the boy availed himself of a local dentist's anesthetic, creating a trap in his bird feeder and, eventually, killing any bird that came to rest there. Eventually graduating to larger prey, he became fascinated by the ability to immobilize a creature and literally hold its life in his hand before snuffing it out. Eventually, a young man went missing and Kenneth's father discovered the gruesome trophies his boy had kept, which now included a man's finger. Fleeing from his home, Kenneth eventually stumbled into a traveling circus and, at last, found a group of misfits to fit in with. Taking the name "Jeffery Hawk," he became a clown. What could be more disarming to unsuspecting victims? When one such victim escaped and exposed him, Hawk fled once again, eventually finding himself in a realm where his penchant for anesthetic and knives could be put to permanent use. His perks give him incredible mobility and confound Survivors' efforts to work together.