Since its release in 2016, Dead By Daylight (henceforth referred to as “DBD”) has been the go-to horror game of choice for many players, and it’s very easy to see why. The idea that you are playing as the bad guy isn’t new, but when you consider that the bad guy could be a chainsaw-wielding cannibal, a creature from another dimension, or a giant biological weapon, the appeal is a little bit different.
Combining original characters with genre icons in a pretty unique setting is an incredible idea, however, the same notion is often ridiculed in other areas. DBD is essentially a fanfic, and a brilliant one at that.
The game takes place in a realm created by a being known only as “The Entity”, who traps survivors in an eternal game of cat and mouse with its employees - the killers, who hunt for the victim until the victim is hung on a sacrificial hook and dragged elsewhere. The worst part is, as the tagline states - “death is not an escape”. Once you’re in the Entity's realm, not only are you running for the rest of your life, you are running for every life after that in an eternal cycle of pain and suffering. Probably not the ideal place for your next holiday.
There is more deep lore told through the journals of the unseen character Benedict Baker, and his journey to seek the Entity’s realm and how it works, obviously becoming trapped there and meeting the other survivors and even some of the killers themselves. There are several YouTube videos who go on deep dives into the macabre world of DBD, and I have spent multiple hours watching it. I honestly adore this concept lore-wise, especially Baker’s journals, which is a great way to detail what’s happening in the realm.
Though my preferences do tend to lie with the original characters in the story, I love the Cabin in the Woods-style way to mix all of the different IPs into this universe. How often would you see Ghostface (Scream) alongside Nemesis (Resident Evil)? It could be considered a horror rendition of a “reference comedy” a la Meet the Spartans or Epic Movie, but the difference is distinct because DBD is actually entertaining, and does provide an actual narrative as to why the Demogorgon (Stranger Things) is chasing Ash (Evil Dead).
Fanfics have a bad reputation on the internet, with Tara Gilesbie’s fanfic My Immortal, a fanfic of Harry Potter, being a popular meme for a number of years, however, E.L. James’ 50 Shades series is proof that fanfics do have a market, even if it is from Twilight. Personally, I would love to see a novelisation or comic of DBD, the IPs wouldn’t make an appearance, but I think using only the original characters would be even more of a boon.
The next IP making its way into DBD is Hellraiser, with Elliot Spencer (Pinhead) being the new killer, assumedly bringing the torture porn elements of his series along with him.
I’d like to throw my hat in the ring and say a few IP characters I’d love to see turn up in DBD’s rogues gallery.
It seems to be an obvious choice to add one of the greatest sci-fi monsters ever brought to film into a game where it has free reign to hunt down survivors. Though its first outing was in an action film starring our beloved Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Predator has proven itself as a formidable killer who lives for the thrill of the hunt. These guys hunt Xenomorphs for sport and as a rite of passage, so the Entity giving them eternal hunting grounds seems to be a good deal for them.
Pyke (League of Legends)
Though he definitely isn’t the scariest character in Riot’s arsenal (looking at you,
Fiddlesticks), Pyke’s lore would line up surprisingly well with the Entity. Betrayed by his crew who cut his line, leading to his death beneath the waves, he already has an endless list of targets to kill, maybe the Entity could start adding more survivors to them?
Jack Torrance (The Shining)
A man driven mad by the Overlook Hotel, he hunted his family before succumbing to the frost. This would be a very different playstyle, because we’d obviously want the iconic line (“Here’s Johnny!”) as he breaks his way through terrain.
Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th)
The most iconic slasher villain to not be included in DBD. It must be stated that there have been ongoing legal battles between the production team of Friday the 13th for a number of years, which is one of the reasons why the game that was teased (which is similar to DBD, but with only Friday the 13th theming) has yet to see the light of day. Regardless, we hope it is resolved soon so we can hack and slash our way to victory as the drowned son of slashers.
The Candyman (Candyman)
Say his name three times and he shall appear. One of the most brutal origin stories for a horror villain belongs to Candyman, and his penchant for unleashing vengeance on whoever he pleases would lend well to the motives of DBD’s Entity. If you show up, bring the bees.
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