Dead By Daylight Tools of Torment Review - Right tools, wrong tools man

Dead By Daylight Tools of Torment Skull Merchant

Dead By Daylight Tools of Torment Skull Merchant

Dead By Daylight has a very noticeable split between legacy competitive players and the more casual fan. Being a game filled with tonnes of perks to learn and tiny manoeuvres to discover, it is often a little overwhelming for new players and too casual for returning ones. The Skull Merchant personifies this split perfectly.

With some pretty decent lore and a satisfying ability, I quite like the vision of this DLC but I can't help but think that she will be swept under the rug, resigned to the lower half of tier lists and left behind.

Ultimately, The Dead by Daylight Tools of Torment chapter is a great idea held back by many of the reasons the game is popular in the first place. Drip-fed content allows players to engross themselves in the world, but an otherwise fun killer is sidelined by a strict and often brutal meta.


As far as survivors are concerned, Tools of Torment gets you Thalita and Renato Lyra, two twins who were made famous by their kite-fighting business. Their stories are thorough, well thought out, and they have a nice synergy that really drives home their co-op abilities. They are altruistic survivors that add to the current state of the game well.

Thalita and Renata in Dead By Daylight Tools of Torment
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Teamwork: Power of Two grants quickness after healing another survivor and Background Player gives you a speed burst when another player is picked up, allowing you to go for a save or distraction. With 6 survivor perks in total, they add enough to the game without any one perk becoming a staple.

The twins look pretty good and they bring songs, language and stories from Portugal, Brazil, and more. This adds wonderfully to the roster of survivors, further deepening how different they all are. Fundamentally, they add something unique that Dead By Daylight really benefits from - a variance of experiences and stories.

Perk Burnout

Dead by Daylight Tools of Torment changes quite a lot. Even learning how all these new perks combine with previous perks can be a bit overwhelming. It seems likely that many players will buy the DLC, prestige the characters, and move on, with a few new perks they might use. While a handful are interesting, others provide minor stat changes to niche mechanics.

Though new characters are always nice to take in, the sheer depth of perks leaves quite a few that will likely never be picked up by experienced players. This is a broader problem with Tools of Torment. Much of it feels like set dressing that will be ignored mere weeks after launch.

I like so much of what it is doing conceptually but, in practice, some cracks start to appear. This is particularly prevalent when playing as the killer.

Making a killing

Our killer this time around is the Skull Merchant, Adriana Imai. A smart and artistic person, she became a millionaire by ruthlessly gutting small businesses and running them dry. Taking her name after a manga written by her father, she tracked down investors stopping a sale and butchered them.

The Skull Merchant in a field
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She comes across the twins in one of her last known hunts, where she uses blades and drones to lock down areas and control points. As a killer, her kit is really interesting. She can throw down drones that then ping enemies who are spotted. If they don't leave the area, they gain the 'exposed' effect - meaning they go down in a single hit.

Survivors can sneak up to drones and take them down but gain a battery on their back for doing so, which can be tracked with Skull Merchant's alternative ability. She can pull up a digital tracker flagging where enemies are. This is a really interesting set that makes valuable changes but it gets overwhelmed very quickly.

The Meta

While Skull Merchant is very fun to play, they are very easy to counter. Being spotted isn't a huge disadvantage to a good survivor so the battery debuff doesn't do much. This means drones can be taken down easily with little worry. Outside of these drones, the Skull Merchant has no real special abilities.

She is functionally just an attacker when survivors know he she works. I love playing her against relatively new survivors but a team of experienced players will dance around her. She is often left without any extra bonuses when there aren't huge penalties for just taking down drones.

This being said, one killer perk stands out. Thwack! Reveals enemies when you break a wall or pallet after hooking a survivor. This adds to the risk/reward play of the game and can punish an overly confident survivor. Ultimately, I wish the DLC had a few more perks like this.

Dead By Daylight thrives in how diverse and unique its cast is. Tools of Torment does many things to broaden the stories of the game but doesn't provide enough unique and interesting mechanics to fit into the meta.

Dead by Daylight Tools of Torment
The Dead By Daylight Tools of Torment DLC is great conceptually but a strict meta and many mediocre perks leave it a couple of tools away from a full toolbox.
6 out of 10

A copy of Tools of Torment was provided by the publisher

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