So many games try to capture what Dead by Daylight (for the most part) has done fairly well (the game is not without its issues mind you). When VHS popped up in beta, house Shiney got a little bit excited.
It is still in early access/beta at the moment and the only way to get it was to apply directly to Hellbent games, and just after I had given up on getting a copy I got the email saying I had been chosen!
This is one of the few games House Shiney didn’t stream, as we decided to try it offline. With so many hardcore DBD regular viewers and given how the community had reacted to Prop Night, we wanted to just see how we felt about it without any other input.
So how is VHS different to Prop Night & Dead by Daylight?
First its very nostalgic 80’s vibes – which I can very much get behind in the current climate of all things retro… as long as it is done well.
Graphically it is better than Prop Night, but not by much – and for those of you getting pissed off at the comparisons, tough. Its literally the same genre and these comparisons have to be made (in the same way Battlefields are always compared to CODs).
Its still very Fortnite kids vibe style, despite the retro feel and as a grown ass woman who expects horror games to reflect that in their artistic choices, I was disappointed.
Unlike Dead by Daylight, each character has fixed pre-determined stats that vary from person to person instead of pickable and interchangeable perks. Which is fine, the character cards for each player are reminiscent of the board game ‘Last Night on Earth’.
The killer side of things was very similar, you started off with fixed perks which can be upgraded given enough game play time. This was one thing was was certainly lacking in the Beta we did. Despite the buzz about the game, finding a game with live action people is almost impossible. The initial community excitement seemed to fall away very quickly.
It is free to play but the gameplay itself felt clunky, I didn’t like the menu navigation or the controls generally. Its just looks weird when you run and just doesn’t feel polished.
Its also unforgiving to new players. Survivors can attack the ‘killer’ (much like Friday the 13th) but starting the game as a new killer means you essentially get bullied out, which means going in as a new killer a few weeks into the Beta was a joyless experience. Learning the controls and gameplay was hampered by the fact all the survivors we matched against clearly had more hours on us so there was no time to learn, and unlike DBD there is no tutorial. I do not see how it will keep enough ‘killers’ interested long term to make this a viable game.
Currently you will have to wait a while to see for yourself, as there is not current ETA on when the next phase of the game will be back up and running.
All in all, it is free short term competition to DBD at best but it is no real match for it.
1 paw out of 5
It feels like a free game, it plays like a free game and it has no real hook for new killers wanting to learn. It already has an established base of ‘experienced’ survivors so new players will feel like they get bullied out. This is like Fortnite DBD right down to the core. It just wont have the same staying power.