Releasing fully within just a month of each other — Friday the 13th: The Game being fully released and Dead by Daylight becoming more accessible by being released on consoles — considering purchasing either one of these games will often result in at least considering the competition. Both being asymmetrical horror games where a group of survivors attempts to escape a twisted killer, the games have some stark similarities while also proving to be substantially different from each other.
Neither game was perfect on release, and they've both experienced their own set of issues regarding glitches, servers, abusable tactics, and other criticism, but both games have developed a fan base that seems intent on sticking around, even if they may dip into the other game for a bit to see if the grass is greener over at Camp Crystal Lake.
With both F13th and Dead by Daylight out on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One,
Both of these titles are marketed as survival horror games, one of them definitely more obvious than the other. Friday the 13th: The Game may be based off the immensely successful horror series, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's always the more frightening option here.
When you fire up F13th and find a game, you'll notice when you find a map that the maps are pretty large, and it's easy to get turned around without the proper guidance. You can play in iconic locations like Higgins Haven and Camp Crystal Lake, and while fans of the series will appreciate the homage, the big maps can slow down the pace of the game and limit the scare factor just a bit. It's necessary when you have to fit so many players on a map, and the tension definitely picks back up when you see Jason over your shoulder and hear his music as he closes the distance. Jason's a bit slower than the Counselors, but the Counselors will eventually run out of stamina, so you can bet that he will close that distance. When your screen darkens and all you're looking for is a way out of a cabin, that's when this game truly feels like the horror game that it is. This game feels like you're stuck in a horror movie, so the devs certainly succeeded in that aspect.
Dead by Daylight, on the other hand, has smaller maps to traverse, and even though there's plenty of places for the smaller group of Survivors to hide, the game can still feel quite claustrophobic at times as you run through maze-like environments to throw off the Killer. Even though the Survivors won't be running out of stamina, the Killer has speed on their side, so you'll have to think quick to escape. This game also focuses much more on a competitive multiplayer aspect as opposed to every man for himself, so it plays more like a team-based game than a horror experience overall. Once you get the hang of some of the game's mechanics though, the Killers lose some of their intimidation
Both of these games focus their efforts entirely on multiplayer gameplay at the moment, but they go about it a bit differently. Their tutorials are equally cumbersome to digest, so you'll probably be better off looking up some instructional videos instead of screening the wall of text that both games have. Each game also has a private match function if you prefer to play with friends instead of going public.
In Dead by Daylight, an entirely multiplayer game, players control either one of four Survivors or a Killer as they look to either escape the map or kill the Survivors. By fixing up some generators or dipping out of the map through a secret hatch, Survivors can win the round as long as they don't get sacrificed to the Entity first. The game's been out for just over a year now after starting on PC, and it's remained purely multiplayer since then, so you can expect more of the same in the future.
A similar escape-or-kill style is seen in F13th and can be achieved by straight up murdering the Counselors or escaping via vehicles or with the help of the police if you're playing as the Counselors. While F13th is also totally multiplayer based for now, it won't be staying that way for too long. The Gun Media devs have already stated that a single-player mode is in the works and should be released this summer, a change that may help ease the $10 gap that's currently between the games.
All of the Jason variations in F13th carry different advantages and disadvantages such as an increased/decreased throwing knife or bear trap count, how much melee damage they do, and how fast they can move. The differentiations have led to some Jasons climbing to the top of the meta; traps are pretty important when it comes to controlling objectives, so Part 2 Jason who has more traps and can run is a solid choice. A couple of supernatural abilities like moving extremely fast and teleporting coupled with a fear mechanic that helps isolate Counselors means that when you're playing Jason, you're in total control of the pace of the match.
That controlling factor would ideally feel the same in Dead by Daylight since both games' Killers are outnumbered, but it doesn't always work out that way. In Dead by Daylight, the Killers have more variations to them with exclusive perks that can eventually be taught to each other and a special ability that's unique to each character. Bear Traps for the Trapper, Invisibility for the Wraith, and a violent chainsaw for the Hillbilly, each Killer is instantly recognizable in the growing roster. Despite doing their best to stand apart, each Killer boils down to knocking around a Survivor and hanging them on a hook. More impactful gameplay choices can be made because of the Killers' diversity, but the end result remains the same, just like Jason's goal to kill the Counselors. The teamwork element mentioned previously can sometimes make it frustrating to keep up with the Survivors, especially when they're looping you around pallets and generators are being fixed around you while you fruitlessly give chase.
Survivors in Dead by Daylight come with some of the same qualities that the Killers do in that they have unique perks that can be taught to each other and more common perks that can be acquired, but you'll have to rely on these perks to differentiate the Survivors from each other. They look different, but each one has the same base stats, so the Survivors can unfortunately fall into the same similarity trap that the Killers do but in a greater way. When chasing a Survivor, you don't have to adjust too much based on who they are, you just have to run them down. While they can hardly fight back against the Killer except by blinding them temporarily or stunning them with pallets, they can move through obstacles quicker to evade the Killer.
Each Counselor in F13th has their own base stats though, and you can further customize them with perks that help your chances of survival or give you an item to start out the game with. Choosing your Counselor here is more impactful than grinding a Survivor's level in Dead by Daylight to obtain their teachable perks since the stats will certainly make a difference when Jason's chasing you. Stamina will help you run longer distances, speed will help you do it quicker, and stealth will help you avoid having to run at all. A Jason who comes up on a Counselor also has to make different decisions on how to approach them too, as a Bugsy with a baseball bat is much more likely to turn around and slug you than a LaChappa is.
Friday the 13th is one of the most iconic horror franchises of all time, and it's fan base as been growing for decades with each release and horror convention since 1980. The game began as a Kickstarter/Backerkit project, and fans of the series are entirely responsible for bringing it to life. Playing as the legendary Jason Voorhees is too good a chance to pass up for
While Dead by Daylight doesn't have such a legacy to back it up, it does its best to keep up with some twisted lore of its own. If you take a look at the game's page, you'll find the game's lore explained through a series of journal entries. If you're a fan of the found-footage/lost journals, it shouldn't take too long to get through the content and get acclimated with the Dead by Daylight universe. It's fun to dig through and develop an attachment to your favorite Killer or Survivor, but it's no competition for Friday the 13th.
Both of these games have proven that they can stand on their own, and neither one shows signs of slowing down with both promising new content in the works, sometimes free and sometimes paid. They're not too expensive either, so take a stab at both if you still need help making a decision and see if either one — or both — fits you best.