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I’m Glad The Casting Of Frank Stone Isn’t Relying On Crossovers

Getting your hands on a new Supermassive game is like unboxing a classic slasher DVD you found in a bargain bin. They’re a bit camp, usually derivative, but the shlock keeps ‘em fun. Dead by Daylight used to feel similar, with each new original killer taking clear inspiration from iconic horror films but with their own Behaviour stamp, making them familiar yet fresh. Sure, they never lived up to the greats like Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees, but it added to the horror canon with interesting twists on existing classics.



Just look at the Hillbilly, a chainsaw-wielding killer born to rich parents who didn’t want him, meaning he never got a name. He was walled into a room and fed food through a hole in the bricks. It’s a fun spin on Leatherface that shifts the family dynamics.

These days, Dead by Daylight is just IP soup, the Fortnite of horror. Its own identity is buried beneath a mountain of collaborations. When it breaks out of that habit and tells its own stories, it steps back into the eerie atmosphere that first cemented it as a must-play for fans of the genre, rather than the goofy amalgamation of familiarity that it’s twisted into.

The Casting of Frank Stone is the most unabashed return to those roots that Behaviour could have done. In collaboration with Until Dawn and The Dark Pictures developer Supermassive, the two are telling an original story about a serial killer whose past horrors are manifesting and altering the very fabric of reality amidst a small industrial American town. It’s the familiar bargain bin DVD feel of Supermassive games that’s so at home with horror cinema, like The Butcher, House of Wax, and Hatchet, spliced with the guttural, uncomfortable atmosphere of early Dead by Daylight.

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Going beyond the Fog and tapping into Dead by Daylight’s monster-laden world offers a unique opportunity to dive deeper into its vision of the paranormal than the asymmetrical, formulaic structure its main game offers. Villains’ backstories are usually left to descriptions as room for story is scant, but in a dedicated, narrative-driven game built on the back of choices, the sky’s the limit.

Throwing a box of action figures into the mix would only muddy that potential. It wouldn’t be a Dead by Daylight spin-off, anymore. It’d be a mess of horror villains vying for the spotlight in an incomprehensible story that has to jump through hoops to explain why they’re all there.

In Dead by Daylight, the hook is escaping and achieving freedom, so it doesn’t matter why there are a bunch of recognisable faces (or masks, I guess). But a Supermassive game is all about narrative and decision-making. Finding the room to tell a meaningful story with Ghostface, Chucky, Pinhead, Freddy Kreuger, and all the other licensed characters would be a Herculean task. Not to mention a licensing nightmare.

Dead By Daylight: Chucky The Possessed Doll With A Large Knife

It has to be smaller in scale, with a narrow focus, building on Dead by Daylight’s aesthetic rather than its iconic crossovers. Frank Stone is an all-new character, so we’re not getting an origin story for an existing killer, but one that gives Supermassive and Behaviour plenty of room to experiment rather than being boxed in from the outset. Already, his design and the description of what will befall our cast of intrepid teens sounds like the kind of thing you’d read on a wiki about an original character, only we’ll get to see it firsthand this time.

The mere description of past horrors manifesting at an Oregon steel mill even sounds like something I’d read on Letterboxd after hopping through actors’ and directors’ portfolios for hours on end. It’s unashamedly horror shlock, which is what Supermassive and Behaviour both pay homage to in everything they do. The pairing couldn’t make more sense. To dilute it with needless IP cameos would just undermine that, so I’m ever thankful that we’re getting something completely original instead.


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