Dead By Daylight is beginning to be known as the penultimate horror game. Featuring a litany of famous horror franchise characters as well as a ton of original fiends with excellently written stories, DBD is truly the closest thing to the one-stop for everything terrifying. With the addition of Sadako to the game’s roster, I have once again fallen back into the Dead By Daylight spirit and begin my climb towards prestige with the new killer.
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The Wonderful Return of Ringu
I first saw Ringu when I was a very young and very impressionable child. I couldn’t have been older than 5 or 6 when the Japanese classic was left on tv. I remember walking into the room and seeing Sadako climbing out of the tv (not my tv, luckily) and I was stunned.
I wasn’t terrified, oddly enough, but I remember feeling fascinated. This fascination eventually led me into the horror genre, Japanese mythology, ghost stories, and all of the like. These interests have become an important part of who I am today, The entire time, I sort of carried Sadako with me, remembering the fascination I felt seeing her every time I witnessed an interesting new horror concept.
Because of this, Sadako is obviously an important character to me, and when I heard she was being added to Dead by Daylight I was overjoyed. DBD, in my humble opinion, does a fantastic job of converting franchised characters onto the video game screen. The developers have a knack for bringing the fantasy of the characters to life, while also giving them interesting gameplay mechanics to separate them from the existing roster of characters.
Sadako is no exception. While working on her, the devs no doubt ran into the issue of “How do we convert a haunted VHS tape ghost that kills you after 7 days to a match-made asymmetrical horror game?” I can safely say that what they chose to do makes for the best adaptation of Sadako that their gameplay could have.
For those who don’t know, here’s how Dead by Daylight’s Sadako works. The ghost girl is undetectable and invisible, unable to be heard and only seen intermittently when very close to a survivor. In order to attack and down a survivor, she must first turn off her stealth. Doing so puts her in a short manifestation animation, afterward she can chase and attack survivors freely. She can then de-manifest at any time.
Additionally, a game with Sadako starts with several televisions posted across the map. This where she really gets interesting; While not manifested, Sadako can teleport across the map to any television. Doing so turns the tv off for a bit, plays an animation of her crawling out of the tv, and gives her a short movement buff.
If that wasn’t enough, appearing from a television near a survivor applies the Condemned status effect. This is Sadako’s curse; When a survivor is fully Condemned, they are revealed with killer instinct and Sadako can instantly kill them with a special Mori once they are downed. Survivors can temporarily turn off tvs, but doing so increases their Condemned meter.
In theory, this is really excellent. The idea of Sadako functioning like an actual TV ghost and spreading her famous curse is great, but in my experience playing her it rarely goes the way you feel it should. I have only so far managed to mori one survivor with Sadako, and it was because they made a point to interact with tvs. Survivors, in my experience, would rather not interact with the televisions at all, making it really hard to make good use of her power.
Without the Condemned mori, Sadako’s power is really just a worse version of the hag’s teleportation. It’s pretty telegraphed, takes a good few seconds to travel, and is on fixed locations on the map. It’s underwhelming enough that survivors don’t seem to feel a need to turn the televisions off.
That being said, I love playing Sadako. She feels genuinely fun to play; Her power might not be the most broken thing in the game right now, but it has good strategic uses that make Sadako viable. Her playstyle stands out from other killers too; She’s a fun stealth killer that I see myself playing a lot of.
Gameplay aside, she’s also just really fun to look at. Her animations are terrific, as are her effects; I don’t know how they did it, but the Dead by Daylight staff somehow managed to make a really interesting “VHS Magic” effect for Sadako’s generator and structure destruction animations.
She may have only been out for two days now, but I am certainly having a great time with Sadako. For only $7 USD, you can’t really ask for a better DBD DLC.
By the way, Sadako has jump scared me in the matchmaking screen three times already. Fair warning.
The Final Word
As far as Dead by Daylight DLCs go, this one hits all the marks. A fan favorite killer with an interesting power and perks, and an interesting survivor too. If I were to put Sadako on a killer tier list, I’m put her roughly in the A to B range.
Our Dead by Daylight: Sadako Rising DLC review was written based on the PC version of the game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!