Friday the 13th: The Game has only been out a week today, and the question on everyone’s mind is simple: Is it better than Dead by Daylight? After all, if I want to play an asymmetrical multiplayer, survival horror game, I already have that in Dead by Daylight.
Normally, I would say something like this isn’t a fair comparison; Dead by Daylight has been out for almost a year now, and has had ample opportunity to make balance improvements, fix bugs and add content. In this case, though, choosing between the the seven-day-old Friday the 13th to the year-old Dead by Daylight, I’d still pick Jason Voorhees, and you should too. Here’s why:
Bang for Your Buck
The first thing everyone will say when comparing Friday the 13th: The Game and Dead by Daylight is “well Dead by Daylight is a lot cheaper.” That’s true, Friday the 13th: The Game is $40, whereas Dead by Daylight is only $20.
Here’s the thing, though: you get what you pay for. With the purchase of Friday the 13th: The Game, you get access to 10 counselors and six different Jasons, each based on a different installment in the film franchise. With your $20 purchase of Dead By Daylight, you get access to only six “survivors” and four killers. However, if you want to pay an additional $21 in DLC, you will then get access to 3 more “survivors” and 3 more killers.
So for $41 for Dead By Daylight, you can get one more killer and one fewer survivor compared to Friday the 13th: The Game which will cost you $40. So the price isn’t all that different. And, while not available just yet, the same $40 purchase of Friday the 13thwill also get you a single-player campaign that is due later this summer.
You’ll also get to make use of the additional counselors in Friday the 13th better than you can in Dead by Daylight, as the latter is a 1v4 asymmetrical multiplayer title, whereas the former is 1v7. So, you’ll get to play larger matches with more people, who get to use a wider variety of counselors. And before you ask, yes, each of these counselors have their own individual stats, so they’re not just cosmetic.
More Objectives Create More Variety
One of the biggest differences between Friday the 13th: The Game and Dead by Daylight is that the former has multiple ways of escaping, whereas the latter just has one. This heavily tilts the scale in favor of Friday the 13th: The Game, as each match in Gun Media’s asymmetrical multiplayer game feels different, because the counselors can be doing any one of five things.
In Dead by Daylight, your objective as a “survivor” is to repair a series of at least five generators to power up a gate, open said gate and escape. This is what you’ll be doing as a survivor every single time.
As a counselor in Friday the 13th: The Game, you have five ways to survive the night. 1. Repair one of two cars and drive out. 2. Repair the boat and escape. (A map either has two cars, or one car and a boat). 3. Repair the phone and call the police, who will provide you a safe exit after five minutes. 4. Kill Jason. 5. Survive for 20 minutes, thus “surviving the night.” Each of these objectives requires finding different items around the map. Furthermore, these ways of survival often don’t provide safe passage for everyone. The car is either a two-seater or a four-seater, and the boat is only a two-seater. Usually only one vehicle will get repaired during each match, so at least three other counselors will have to find a different way out, such as the police.
So, not only are there multiple ways of surviving, you’ll probably have to use some combination of them to survive.
No Infinite Loops
Dead by Daylight has had a huge problem pretty much since its release: it’s called Pallet-looping. Essentially, survivors can almost perpetually outrun killers by running around in circles and through tight areas where they can knock over pallets to use as obstacles. This makes chasing as the killer a ridiculously arduous task that almost always serves as a distraction. Behavior Interactive has been internally working on a fix for this, but nothing has come to fruition.
Friday the 13th: The Game doesn’t have this problem, and will never have this problem, for several reasons. 1) Counselors have a limited amount of stamina, where as Dead By Daylight survivors can run forever. Furthermore, some counselors have less stamina than others, making it even harder to run. 2) Gun Media made several changes to specifically target infinite loops:
- They made fences breakable, so counselors couldn’t abuse them as natural obstacles.
- They made windows breakable, meaning a counselor will get hurt every time they climb through a broken window.
- They gave Jason a “rage” ability that charges up over time and makes destroying obstacles easier.
Now, a counselor can still avoid Jason for a decent amount of time, particularly a counselor with high speed or stamina. They also can find items to heal them from damage they may take from jumping through or climbing over broken windows, they can use traps to slow him down, and they have a few items and weapons that can stun Jason briefly. This creates a bit of a chess match between Jason and the Counselors, whereas Dead by Daylight can feel like a really fat cat chasing a very fast mouse that never gets tired.
By most metrics of comparison between Friday the 13th: The Game and Dead by Daylight, it’ll either be a wash (i.e. DBD has more maps, but F13‘s maps are bigger) or Friday the 13th will come out ahead. Since Dead by Daylight has been out longer, it will of course have a bit more polish, with fewer bugs., but if you focus on these smaller aspects that don’t really affect gameplay, you’re going to miss the forest for the trees.
Gun Media has been developing what would eventually become Friday the 13th: The Game since before Dead by Daylight was even a concept, and it shows. They’ve been able to take all this time to develop complex gameplay mechanics with care to deliver a great, asymmetrical multiplayer experience. With everything Friday the 13th does right where Dead By Daylight falters, I’d say its Game, Set, Match.