After reading and hearing lots of good things about Until Dawn, I decided to pop in on the rental list and see what all the fuss was about. I do like a good horror movie and the fact that the game can tailor to your particular fear was intriguing.
Right from the start, you get the cliche horror flick setting, cabin in the wood, a bunch of well dresses, athletic and attractive teens partying, with the general sense of “something is going to go wrong here”. The game gives you a basic tutorial at this point, how to move, how the quick time event mechanic works, then things happen and the scene is then set for the rest of the game. At this point, I’ll point out, it seems you are unable to change the outcome of the initial scene, I’ve played through it a couple of times, and the end result is always the same no matter which decisions you’ve made.
After this prologue, you sit through a third person interview with a physiatrist, who shows you some images, and tried to get a feel of what scares you. Based on these decision, the game will add more or less of particular scare factors to attempt to keep you on edge. As the game progresses, you’ll find yourself back in the doctors chair numerous times, allowing the game to fine tune it’s scare mechanics.
This is where the game gets interesting. Similar to a telltale game, you make decisions as you progress through the game, each of which alters the outcome. There don’t seem to be any right or wrong answers, as the trophy list suggests multiple play through to see all decision outcomes. From my understand, it is possible to get to the end and every teen have died. I think I ended the game with only half of the players still alive, and I’m calling bullshit on two of them, as I don’t see anyway I could have prevented their deaths.
The game is broken down into nine chapters, each of which is an hour closer to dawn. Each chapter you control one of the teens, and work through their side of the story. Based on the decisions you’ve made throughout the game, and the discussions you’ve had with the physiatrist, the game will take you to some interesting places. I won’t list the ways it attempted to scare me, but it achieved freaking me out on a number of occasions. I will however say that the mechanic used towards the end of the game didn’t get under my skin at all, kind of breaking the experience for me. This didn’t detract too much, but I was nowhere near as invested as I was in the earlier parts of the game.
I have to say, this game looked amazing. From the snowy mountain topped surroundings, to the lighting effects, to the character models, it looked photo realistic at times. Unfortunately the sound wasn’t quite as good, as it was one of those games that had a low centre speaker volume issues, there were times I was unable to hear the dialogue due to the balance being so far off.
All in all, this was an interesting experience, I enjoyed what it did, I would defiantly be interested to play a second game.
Approx Time taken to beat – 10 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:4/5]
Games TrailerTags: Approx Time, Games Trailer, Until Dawn