Coming Back to Dead by Daylight After 4 Years, Now with Added Caffeine
As I write this, I’m surrounded by the myriad cans of everything from low-carb Monster Energy to Mtn Dew RISE to Rockstar sugar-free. I am awash in caffeine up to my eyeballs, which are shaking. This could have been avoided. A few weeks ago, Managing Editor and supposed friend Sam G. of DreadXP fame came to me with an old article idea: Do energy drinks make you better at video games? He then said something along the lines of “Jans, don’t. Please don’t. We all love you.” I then disregarded his pleas and made a grocery order. Among the healthy greens and fruits and vegetables sat an unmistakable blight: 4 different energy drinks. I was gonna do this thing, or die trying.
I selected my drinks kind of on a whim. I’m no stranger to caffeine, though. I spent almost a decade working in Casino Security on the graveyard shift. My lunch was usually 2 cigarettes and a can of sugar-free Red Bull. Before you wonder, no, I didn’t drink sugar-free for the health benefits. It honestly tastes better than regular Red Bull. Granted, they both taste different kinds of horrible. I lived caffeine and probably shortened my lifespan. It was coffee and Red Bull, then more coffee, then some screaming in a bathroom somewhere, then more Red Bull. This idea seemed like a piece of cake.
Lemme tell you, folks. It wasn’t. I don’t do that anymore. The most caffeine I take in is the natural caffeine in those V8 energy drinks. A responsible amount of caffeine. Gone are the days of getting geeted with irresponsible amounts of caffeine. Until now, of course. Dead by Daylight was something I found interesting at some point. Steam told me that I had last played it in August of 2017, for less than an hour. I scarcely remember why I stopped playing. I think I was too involved with Friday the Thirteenth: The Game at that point (may it rest in peace). Recently, when the Resident Evil chapter was announced, my interest in Dead by Daylight kicked back in. Sam G., once again the arbiter of nightmares, plays it regularly. I consulted with him about DLC to buy and then I didn’t buy any of it because I’m a gangster.
I booted open the game, cracked open a Mtn Dew RISE pomegranate blue burst-flavored drink (180mg of caffeine, for the curious), and got to work. In hindsight, I probably should have done a control test where I didn’t just consume a 16 ounce can of blue sickness, but in the end, it didn’t make much of a difference. I chose the Hillbilly, because he seemed most in line with me aesthetically, and is living the kind of life I wish I was living (he has a chainsaw AND a sledgehammer!). After wasting 100,000 bloodpoints on some perks in the bloodnet or whatever, I was in the game. I could feel my senses sharpening as the caffeine running through my bloodstream. I was running around, swinging the hammer and revving the chainsaw. I could feel survivors before I even saw them. These are the results.
I said I was running around, I didn’t say I hit or even caught a survivor. I saw them a lot though, running in the opposite direction and juking me via waist-high walls. So that first match wasn’t my finest moment, but now it was time to step it up a notch. Monster Energy lo-carb. Once again this is a flavor preference instead of a health preference. I loaded back in, Hillbilly ready to do his dark work via increased caffeine. It…went about as well as expected.
I felt in my bones and palpitating heart that I could do better. I had moved beyond reasonable thought after chugging all that Monster. I couldn’t be the monster, but I could be a survivor. I even had some cool skins from way back in the day for some reason, and past-me had leveled a survivor up to level 3 for me. Thanks, past-me! It was at this point that I realized I didn’t have a can next to me, and I went and collected a Rockstar zero sugar energy drink. I have no flavor or health preference here, I think it was on sale. I started in on my third energy drink in less than an hour and I felt like a god. I could see every universe and every angle. I was the first one to get killed because I couldn’t get away from the lady from SAW.
At this point, I had but just one energy drink left, and as I rose from my couch to go collect it, disaster struck. You see, it’s unwise to consume that much sugary nonsense at any time. I…puked energy drink on my carpet. It was blue. I’m writing this about an hour after the whole affair and I realize now I could have just said I drank the drinks. That wouldn’t be honest, though. For the sake of games journalism, I drank enough caffeine to keep a long-haul trucker awake from Maryland to Saskatoon. I honestly didn’t feel it. It may be my years of caffeine dependency kicking back on me. Other than throwing up, I felt fine. Now, I feel very tired.
As for Dead by Daylight, my honest thoughts are that like a lot of longstanding multiplayer games, the learning curve ran away a long time ago. A pretty barebones tutorial explains the most basic of basics and then sets you out in the world. I have no idea what most stuff did. I stared at perks like they were supposed to mean something to me. What is an offering? Seems like the game might explain that, but it doesn’t. I had fun in the rounds I played. I enjoyed running around with the chainsaw and hammer. I’m a bit disappointed that Dead by Daylight seems to be suffering from the Friday the Thirteenth: The Game problem where wait times for playing the killer are obscenely long. I could get in a game as a survivor roughly 5 times faster than a game as a killer.
I’ll probably continue playing it. A lot of people I know play it. I might get them to show me the ropes. They shouldn’t have to, though. The game should be a little more clear for new players or people like me who have been gone for 4 years and have come back to a completely different game. They have Michael Myers now, so that’s cool. I can’t afford him right now, which is less cool. As a horror fan, Dead by Daylight has that Marvel effect where you want to point at the screen and say, “I know that character!” and I think that’s a very special thing for horror fans. I was having fun just browsing through the DLC characters and seeing how cool they looked in a video game. It may turn out to be not for me, and that’s okay as well. I’m glad it exists. I’m less glad that I’m crashing hard from the caffeine now.