5 years and 31 DLCs later I think I’m finally ready to write my Dead by Daylight Nintendo Switch Review. Survival horror games are a mainstay in modern media, from the likes of Silent Hill to Left 4 Dead to Alien Isolation, the number of survival horror games out there is phenomenal so standing out in this crowd is a tough job.
The thing that makes this game as fun as it is is that you can play as one of the characters from your favourite horror films. Dead by Daylight is a multiplayer game with a difference. It’s a 4v1 game that allows you to choose between playing as the killer or playing as one of the four survivors trying to escape a horrifying murder.
Dead by Daylight is a game for up to 5 players. DBD was developed by Behaviour Interactive and was released in 2016 for PC before coming to consoles at a later date. The horror genre is awash with great games so it needs to stand out in a crowded market. Stand out it does, the games objective is quite different than those I’ve played before.
Because I recently picked it up for the Switch I’m going to be talking about how the game runs on Nintendo’s portable console! (And, here’s some great reasons why the switch is still worth getting today.) So get ready for a fright as we jump into this review. How has it taken me this long to play Dead by Daylight on the Switch?
Dead by Daylight Switch Review
The objective of Dead By Daylight is to avoid a killer and complete objectives as one of four survivors to try and escape from different arenas. Teamwork is imperative to win as the survivors as the objectives can take you all over the map and to get them completed in time everyone needs to do their bit. On the flip side one player gets to control the killer and have access to a bunch of different supernatural skills. Their objective is a lot simpler: stop the survivors escaping at all costs.
Let’s start with the graphics. So obviously the Switch is a lot less powerful than some gaming consoles and a lot of PCs (mostly due to it being handheld) meaning the graphics are of a lower quality than we’ve seen previously. A lot of this graphical downgrade seems to be centered around the survivor characters, especially their faces, making them look more like a last gen character than we’re used to. The killers have got the better end of the stick as they seem to have retained most of their features and are a lot more recognisable in games.
I quite like that they’ve prioritised the killer in terms of graphical performance as it helps to keep up that scary vibe that I really do enjoy. You can tell they’ve squeezed pretty much everything they can out of the Nintendo Switch’s GPU, it’s as good as it’ll get and I think it looks great.
Lighting and shadows have probably received the least downgrades, probably due to the fact that they’re essential to creating the atmosphere of each game, adding suspense and fear into even the most courageous of survivors.
One of my biggest issues with DBD is the imbalance of power. Whilst survivors have some tools to help fight off the killers, like flashlights to temporarily blind them or interactable barricades, they don’t seem to really stand a chance against the killer’s powers and massive damage. This does make playing as the killer really fun but everyone wants to play the killer so trying to find a game as one can take ages, at which point you’ll probably just end up turning the game off and playing something else.
The gameplay runs very smoothly considering that this is a direct port and not a remaster or even a game that was designed for the Switch from the ground up. If you’re using a controller then it makes it a lot easier, unfortunately I started with the joy cons and the infamous drift effect in them really messed me up when running from killers for my first few games. I highly advise getting a controller if you plan on playing DBD on your switch and we have a great recommendation here.
The most fun part of DBD is easily being one of the many killers. The Switch edition comes with 9 killers as a base but you can “unlock” new ones through paid DLC. I’d have thought the additional content would have been made available for free but unfortunately this isn’t the case with Dead By Daylight on Switch. It means if you want to have a full roster to choose from it’s going to set you back a pretty penny. As frustrating as this is, you can still enjoy the game without having to pay for any of the DLC.
There are 2 DLC bundles and 20 individual DLC’s available to buy on the Nintendo eStore for Dead By Daylight. This amount of extra content is amazing in terms of variety but is extremely expensive if purchased one by one.
I’d like to see more bundles being made available because the most expensive one (AT £69.99) really only includes a handful of characters that are well known aswell as some more obscure horror characters that some gamers may not know of. One of my favourite DLC’s is the one from the SAW movies, which is quite reasonable at £6.
The biggest issue I found with the gameplay was when I was playing as the survivors. So when the survivors are fixing generators they have to pass occasional skill checks, this is fine if you’re playing docked onto a TV but if you play hand held it can be difficult to gauge when to press the button because of how small the screen is. I also noticed a small input delay when doing skill checks, this isn’t a huge problem but it did cause me to fail a few times.
Everyone knows that sound can make or break any good horror game and DBD delivers hard on this front. Whenever you’re a survivor and the killer gets near the shift in tone creates an atmosphere of tension and fear. But just in general the music within the game sets the scene perfectly.
Overall this port is very well done, it captures the intended horror from Behaviour Interactive even with any downgrades that were necessary to run on the Switch.
Where to Buy
You’ll be able to buy Dead By Daylight from the usual places such as the Nintendo Store and Amazon. We found the cheapest place to buy was on Amazon. Hit the link here to buy Dead By Daylight. If you want to buy DBD for the Switch it’s going to cost £26.24 for the base game, before any of the DLC.
How To Switch Roles In Dead By Daylight
If you want to switch roles in Dead by Daylight you need to be quick! It basically boils down to one of two things; a fast internet connection with low ping and have quick reactions. Once the game menu loads it’s the person who clicks Kill Your Friends that gets to be the killer, whilst everyone else in the lobby are survivors.
In order to switch roles you need to go back to the main menu and start a new game and make sure you’re the quickest person in the lobby that clicks ‘Kill Your Friends’. If you don’t manage it, just go back to the menu and try again until you’re successful.
Summary and verdict
So before I reach my final verdict on Dead by Daylight for the Switch let’s have a quick recap on the pros and cons for an easier summary:
- The music fits the tone of the game perfectly.
- Hunting down the survivors is a thrill.
- A lot of replayability.
- Different skills for different play styles.
- Small graphical downgrade.
- Hard to find a game as the killer.
- Very reliant on teammates to complete survivor objectives.
- Doesn’t fit the switches portability as it requires wifi to play.
Overall this is a very strong port of Dead By Daylight with some minor flaws but nothing that takes away from the game as a whole. DBD is an enjoyable experience for anyone who loves the horror genre and I recommend it.
I’m giving Dead By Daylight for the Nintendo Switch a 7/10. Whilst it is enjoyable personally I would recommend picking it up for one of the more powerful consoles for the improved graphics and less input lag.
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Check out the trailer for DBD below:
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