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Sadako Rising - A Frightening First Look

Dyllon Graham calls their first impression of Dead By Daylight's newest chapter, Sadako Rising, a surprisingly good time that’ll leave you saying “well, well, well.”

Over the nearly six years since Dead By Daylight launched, Behaviour Interactive has curated an impressive list of notable fictional killers hailing from all over the horror genre. However, this often has exclusively included hulking killers who stab, slash, or chainsaw their way through their victims—their weapons raining blood along the way. In December 2021, Behaviour announced that its next collaborative licensed character was going to be breaking this trend, by including a character inspired by Kōji Suzuki’s novel Ringu and the 1998 Japanese supernatural horror film by the same name. In the film, Sadako Yamamura was a girl with psychic powers who was thrown down a well where she died leaving her spirit live on within a cursed videotape. Last week, I participated in the public test build to take “The Onryō”, as she is referred to, for a stumble through the fog.

On paper, Sadako was a confusing killer to grasp, consisting of an amalgam of borrowed abilities that have been slightly canted and updated in ways that create the illusion of uniqueness. For example, being an Onryō, Sadako is a stealth killer—silent to survivors until she manifests onto the physical plane—unleashing her wrath. I was floored with the inclusion and implementation of the hallmark iconography of the creepy televisions from the film. Strewn across the various maps were television sets that, if turned on, The Onryō can crawl out of to continue pursuing her victims. These two features combined with her short and silent stature position Sadako as a truly frightening opponent to play against. To me, that’s the intrinsic beauty of her addition to the game. Most players and content creators surmise that Sadako falls on strength tier lists as being optimistically middling, they also agree that she feels fun to play both as and against. While it’s always possible this sentiment may be tethered, in part, to the novelty surrounding the DLC, it remains a breath of fresh air all the same.

While The Onryō is rightfully the most anticipated portion of this chapter, let’s not forget the other offerings we’re receiving upon release. Leading up to the release, I’d mused that I didn’t believe we would see an accompanying survivor. While I very much enjoyed Ryuji and Reiko from the Japanese film, I wasn’t convinced that either of them would cross the threshold into the fog. I was partially correct, as players will get their son, Yoichi, as a survivor. Both characters, survivor and killer, will bring their own perks that, while not shifting the meta of the game around very much, are fun supplements to use in conjunction with existing combinations.

Unlike Pinhead’s release last fall, Sadako Rising is a full fledged chapter release that sets a strong precedent for what the year could look like for Dead By Daylight. With a showing like this, I’m more optimistic for the next three chapters releasing in 2022. The new chapter, Sadako Rising, is due to release on March 8, 2022, bringing with it new Killer, The Onryō and new Survivor, Yoichi Asakawa. The DLC will be available for purchase on Steam, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.



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