When it comes to a game that’s been around as long as Behaviour Interactive’s Dead by Daylight has, the seams can start to show and players can spot where the game looks long in the tooth. Or at least they could at one point. However, in addition to bringing exceptional new original and licensed content to Dead by Daylight, Behaviour has also poured effort into revamping its older work to bring everything up to the quality of newer content in being made for the game.

We’d be thrilled even if Dead by Daylight was just focusing on its new stuff this year. In 2021, Behaviour Interactive got the licensing to create both Resident Evil and Hellraiser content for Dead by Daylight. It also produced quite a collection of original content with a K-Pop chapter and a Latin American chapter bringing their own sets of killers, survivors, and perks to the game. Then, later this year, killers and survivors alike got a new collection of universal perks that further changed up how we could play the game.

That’s all fantastic stuff and has made Dead by Daylight well worth continuing to explore, but it was really The Realm Beyond remastering that puts this game over the top on improvement. Going back to the very beginning, Behaviour Interactive has been remastering its oldest content, including maps, killers, and survivors to bring them more in line with the newer content it has been producing. That includes revamped textures, effects, animations, and more. Behaviour has even prepped next-gen versions of the game for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

Dead by Daylight is maybe the single best asymmetrical competitive multiplayer game out there right now and it’s Behaviour’s ceaseless efforts on both new and old content that make it so. New content continues to flow, but old content isn’t getting left behind as the studio develops newer techniques for gameplay design and visuals. Put the improvement of the old in with the new and it might be easy to see why we’re awarding Dead by Daylight as Shacknews Most Improved Game of 2021.

Watch the Shacknews Awards 2021 YouTube playlist or read our Year of the Games: 2021 article  for all of the awards in one place. We wil be announcing our Shacknews GOTY 2021 on December 31.