This has been a big year for asymmetric multiplayer fans, as well as fans of horror titles. The launches for Friday the 13th The Game and Dead by Daylight were bigger than maybe most had anticipated, and equally addicting. Owning both of them, I can say that if you’re a fan of one, you should definetly check out the other. If you’re like me and already own both, then you already know why. They are similar at face value; there are a handful of survivors trying to escape death, and one monster/killer trying to hunt them down and leave nobody left alive.
While Friday the 13th focuses on 1v7 gameplay, and a variety of ways to escape to freedom (or even kill Jason), Dead by Daylight vies for a straight up 1v4 where the survivors can only escape by turning on enough generators to power the doors of exits. Although the vague idea of run away from death is similar, they challenge the players in very different ways. White Noise 2 brings in a third opinion regarding how an asymmetric horror multiplayer game should work. The same principle applies to this one as the others, if you like one of them; chances are you’re going to like the others.
White Noise 2 is not at the level of graphical excellence as the others, but you wont find any more bugs in it than them either. The maps you’ll traverse are dark, scary, and really confusing. Having only a flashlight, a compass that gives you a general direction every 30 seconds, and a call out for teammates to see where you are, it doesn’t take much to get lost or confused. As you work your way through this 1v4 experience, you’ll find you either control the investigators or the creature (but more on the creature soon). As the investigators, you need to move around the map and collect 8 clues that will then progress.
You might find a tape, which is the most common clue type. Grimoires, which are a handful of books scattered in an area, and it requires you to check them all, or until you can get the one with the correct information in it. The third type is a chest, which requires you to decipher a pattern via nearby switches to unlock. The fourth includes prisms, which are crystals that can be broken by shining your flashlight on, and the fifth clue type are rifts, which can be closed by collecting all the nearby shards and performing a ritual. Once the investigators have collected all 8 clues scattered around the map, they will need to locate sigil statues around the map and destroy them so that they can then destroy The Artifact. Once The Artifact is destroyed, so is the creature.
The whole time you play, you will have a creature hunting you down and trying to catch people off-guard. If you see him, you will need to shine your flashlight at it to force it into a retreat. If he grabs a fellow investigator, you need to still shine your flashlight at him or you’ll find yourself down one person. After three times being grabbed, death will be the fate, but not the end of the match. Once someone dies they are put into the spirit world where they will be able to run around and help guide-surviving teammates to clues, while also disabling the creature’s traps. You can play single player, where you try to survive and destroy the AI controlled creature, or you can play with up to 3 friends (4 total investigators) trying to survive against the creature. It wouldn’t be an asymmetric multiplayer though if nobody could play as the creature.
If you play as the creature, your job is simple and straightforward. Hunt down the investigators and kill them before they kill you. There are a few monsters to play as, but they require some grinding to unlock. But the skills remain fairly similar. You can teleport around the map, or at least to a position relatively close to the investigators, you can go invisible, and you can throw down traps that will either harm them or slow their progression by thinking it may be a clue, and you can EMP their light sources.
You’re underpowered early on, sometimes taking 5 minutes before you even find them because the map is so big, and special abilities feeling like they take even longer before they can be used, but by the end you are on a constant chase and it’s exciting for everyone. I’ve played 5 online matches as the monster, each game taking anywhere from 20-30 minutes, depending on how many investigators there were. Out of the 5, I won all 5. The monster definitely has the advantage, especially when all the clues are found and it’s a constant ping on player locations.
There’s not much else to the game though, it’s very straight forward with its system and gameplay mechanics, and offers a few varieties in the way of flash bangs, glow sticks, and candy bars for stamina. The higher the level you get to, the better variety you will find in characters and their appearances, which is incentive to keep playing. Right after launch there is already a decent community of people playing. There’s a find game search engine, which almost always yields a dozen or so matches that you can join. The real fun will be when you play with friends though, and thankfully the developers have worked everything in a way that this game will never live and die with the online community population.
As I said in the beginning, if you liked Friday the 13th: The Game and/or Dead by Deadlight then you’ll most likely love this game as well. Two things work in its favor when compared to those relatively giant games; the fact that you can solo-survive against an AI creature (or you can coop with friends against the AI creature), and it has a price tag of only £7.99 / $9.99. If all of those aren’t reason enough to just go buy it, the first sale you’ll find on the PlayStation store will bring it down to only several bucks, if not less. If you like asymmetric multiplayer games, or even horror games, this is your new go-to little bundle of joy.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com
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