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— “November 26, 2021”

Behaviour Interactive’s Dead by Daylight, the world’s premiere serial killer simulator, will be the next freebie offered up by the Epic Games Store. I mean, it’s hard to argue with ‘free’ for anything, but this is one of the best asymmetrical multiplayer experiences out there: a game of cat-and-mouse where you’ll get some of the biggest scares in your life and, when it goes right, the utter exhilaration of escape.

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Things like No Man’s Sky may get more headlines, but the way Dead by Daylight has changed since launch is remarkable. “In the five years since Behaviour Interactive released Dead by Daylight on Steam, the game has developed razor-sharp mechanical intrigue, an ultra-complex web of versatile builds and strategies, and a diverse suite of characters, each equipped with relative strengths and weaknesses,” reads our review from earlier this year. “What was a comedy-horror romp mutated into something much closer to League of Legends and Dota 2 in terms of depth. It may be bewildering to consider that hardcore players can spend months scrutinizing the relative power-level and optimization path for Ghostface from Screambut that’s where Dead By Daylight finds itself at the beginning of 2021: an esports-worthy venture hosted by Freddy Kreuger, Bubba Sawyer, and Michael Myers.”

I play DBD fairly regularly without being super-invested, simply because it’s so much fun to go in as a small group of buddies and try to out-smart the killer. The game’s complexity is real but can also be oversold: at bottom, this remains a game about hiding from a big nasty killer, or being the killer and trying to find those sneaky rats.

It also provides ample opportunities for old men to be toxic.

Dead by Daylight will appear on the Epic Games Store on December 2, alongside an absolute landfill of DLC, and be free until December 9. 

Alongside it is While True: learn(), a puzzle game where one must apparently “use visual programming to build a cat-to-human speech recognition system.” I suppose if you’ve had enough of being murdered by Pyramid Head, that might be a pleasant alternative.

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