Dead by Daylight’s next Chapter takes us back to an iconic staple of the horror games genre: Silent Hill. That’s right – Behaviour Interactive has revealed the asymmetric survival game’s next adventure ushers in a new map, killer, survivor, and more inspired by Konami’s long-running and spooky series.
If you’re wondering which of the many iconic Silent Hill locations has been plucked out for Dead by Daylight’s new map, you might be excited to find out it’s a core area of the very first Silent Hill – none other than Midwich Elementary School. “The first time you get into this location in Silent Hill,” creative director Dave Richard tells me in an interview, “you really get the full experience of what Silent Hill is. It’s really, really a creepy place and has the perfect fitting in Dead by Daylight.”
According to the dev, the map isn’t just an “interpretation” of the location – much of the original has been recreated, “so the fans of Silent Hill will be able to recognise the location perfectly.” There are plenty of “secrets” and “winks” tying into the original school’s puzzles and symbolism in store to discover, too. Neat.
As for the killer, there’s another familiar – very scary – return from the series, this time as portrayed in Silent Hill 2: Pyramid Head, the Executioner. He’s a “sadistic and merciless killer fixated on dispensing punishment through pain,” the studio says in a press release, “never without his hulking great blade in tow”.
He’s also got a new power, bringing something very new to Dead by Daylight’s gameplay. Pyramid Head has a big knife with a special attack – a ranged ability, that lets him “use the dark forces of Silent Hill” break through walls to shock survivors, with only a fraction of a second’s notice to try and dodge it. He can also plant it in the ground to “draw a trench around the level”. Survivors will have to either try and navigate around the trench, which slows them down, or go through it – and become “tormented” by the Silent Hill power. Gulp.
The Silent Hill survivor making her way to Dead by Daylight is Cheryl Mason, otherwise known as Heather Mason, Silent Hill 3’s protagonist. She’s a “very powerful and conflicted protagonist,” as Richard highlights, being the “vessel of God” and the “reincarnation of two different souls”.
In DBD, she has some “funky mechanics and perks” at her disposal, one of which even lets her have some control over the Entity, meaning you’ll “be able to control this dark force for the first time as a survivor”.
Plus, for the first time this chapter, Behavior’s introducing a new type of cosmetic to the game: Legendary outfits. These are more than just skins; they let you transform Cheryl into another character “completely, visually” – in this case, Lisa Garland, the nurse in the first Silent Hill.
“The cool thing about Silent Hill and the teams they’re using in their storyline is something that we didn’t have in Dead by Daylight yet,” Richard tells me on the topic of what makes Konami’s series the perfect fit for the 4v1 multiplayer game’s universe. “So there’s this whole realm that’s really interesting and teams are really interesting to get into. They fit perfectly in that sense. They add a lot.”
“Pyramid Head, specifically,” game director Mathieu Cote adds, “is a character that’s built, not on the actual violence that he commits, [but] on the tension that he creates – the anticipation, the fear, purely being the most imposing, terrifying presence just by turning a corner and seeing him there.
“And that’s a great fit for Dead by Daylight, where most of our ‘violence’ is on the tension that’s built up, and not on the depiction of it. It works really, really well in that sense.”
The Dead by Daylight Silent Hill Chapter launches on June 16.