I am watching a lot of Dead By Daylight recently, more than playing it, because the game itself is kind of a grind for perks and points to level up, which is very booring.
But some of the core mechanics are so incredably cool!
The new killer, Michael Myers from Halloween, has some of the coolest game design I have seen in a loooong time.
Ok, so a short recap: This is a game about surviving an arena where you are hunted by killers. Or, if you are playing as the killer, a game where you are supposed to kill as many of the survivors as possible. There are now 5 killers available, and they all play differently. One of them puts out bear traps for the survivors to get stuck in, there is a chainsaw dude who … chainsaws, there is a wraith who can turn almost invisible so you don’t know they are there until he/she decloaks which takes 2-3 seconds and makes a lot of noise, and you have a nurse character that can teleport by charging up to a specific time. The Michael Myers character is basically just a dude with a knife.
But there is more. All killers have something called a “terror radius”, which means survivors heart beat will get increasingly loud for the survivor characters if you are around. Michael Myers terror radius is a lot smaller than all the other ones. It is 50% smaller than the others, so he is twice as close to you as a survivor when you finally hear he is near.
That is all filler tho, the real genious is his ability, which is Stalking. When he has line of sight to a survivor, he can go in to a mode where he limits his movement options, where he is just looking at his victim. This fills up a bar, and when this bar is filled up, the Halloween theme plays over the whole arena. And that interaction there, is so increadibly cool. Because you as a survivor now knows that he is looking at one of you, and you become so paranoid from it.
In this game of hide and seek, and him having a shorter terror radius, you feel safe when you don’t hear your heart beat rise. You are fixing generators, looking around for the killer, and then suddenly the theme music plays, and you know he knows where some of you are. Is it you? Did you not check the horizon closely enough?
When Michael stalks, and fills up his bar, he gets a speed boost. He can fill up to 3 bars up with his stalking, but at that point he has stalked so much that it isn’t very effective any more. There are balance issues that they need to tweak with him, but the core mechanic of having a killer rewarded for just … looking at you. Then alerting everyone that he has now infact been looking at some of you for quite a long time, that is soooo cooool!