Until Dawn

[Review] Videogame/film...is this really a game?
The Details
  • Title: Until Dawn
  • Web: Official Site
  • Developer: Supermassive Games
  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Released: 28 August, 2015
  •  
  • Platforms: PS4
  • Reviewed On: PS4

I purchased Until Dawn last week, and I completed it in around 8 hours.  That was the disappointing thing.  But, were those 8 hours of my life worth it?  Did I have the jump-fest I had heard this game lead to be?  In parts maybe, yes.

The story goes a little something like this, in its cliché kind of way.  Eight friends (all with very nice teeth, may I add) go to a mountain getaway to sort of make closure with what happened last year.  Last year, Josh’s sisters went missing on the mountain, and were never found.  Josh invited his seven friends back to that very place, one year later, to draw the line between what happened.  After all, it would have been what his sisters wanted, right?  Whilst on the mountain, lots of scary things start to happen to the eight friends.  A mad man in a clown mask, and supernatural beings were not what they had in mind when they came back to this place.

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This game is pretty much an internet sensation.  It has a mass amount of views on Youtube, where people record their gameplay and upload it, so people can see each other jump out of their skin and see the different possible outcomes they have.  Speaking of outcomes, this game has a number of different endings, decisions can all reflect the gameplay and it’s basically down to you, the player, on who lives and who dies.  Think of Heavy Rain, think of any of the Telltale games, and you’ve got this.  Would I say this is more appealing?  There is indeed some interaction, and the scare-fest does make it more appealing, yes.  But, is it a better game than say The Walking Dead tales?  Er…no.  But that’s because this game relies heavily too much on scare and gore, and it does get quite predictable sometimes.  However, I bloody enjoyed it. 

I said there’s some interaction.  There’s walking, there’s running, and there’s finding different objects for unlocks.  It’s not just a yes and no game.  There are clues in it to find, that you probably won’t find them all the first time round.  The game is 90% based on decisions though, for if you press triangle instead of square when it tells you to, something drastic could happen, maybe even death.  Sometimes it’s not easy, you don’t get long to press these buttons, which can make it hard if you’re aiming to keep every character alive.  This is something that can be done, but isn’t as easy as you think.  When you make a decision, it will affect the gameplay, this being known as the butterfly effect.  Every time you make a game changing decision, the butterfly in the top left hand corner will flutter.  There’s no going back.  Every time a decision has been made, the certain characters perks will either go up or down.  For example if Chris does something brave, his bravery will go up.  If he chooses not to do something, his bravery will go down.  Aside from the eight friends, there is also a psychiatrist present.  I personally thought he was a creepy old fool, and found him worse to tolerate than the clown!

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The psychiatrist. Creepier than everything in the game put together!

 

The story is good, if a little cliché. Some people have thought about getting a petition together to turn it into a movie, but really…isn’t it already one?  I mean, it’s a game yeah, but it’s a game that really does feel like an interactive movie.  I can’t see a movie having the same appeal, because the only appeal here really is that it’s all down to the gamers choices.  The first part of the story basically has the eight students being chased down by the man in a clown mask and the second part goes annoyingly very supernatural.  Personally, I found the clown more scary.  I wish they had stuck with that story more.

The graphics are absolutely stunning.  The facial features are fantastic, and the characters are all based on their real voice actors. The voice acting is incredible, may I add and helps make this work.  I noticed some of the cliff edges and rocks looked a little cartoony compared to the realism of the rest of the graphics, but they do kind of contrast well. 

It tries to make use of the PS4 pads motion controls, by you having to hold the game pad really still when it tells you not to move.  This actually does make you feel like you’re really in the horror, and it’s a good way of bringing the gamer closer in to the game.  It relies heavily on quicktime events, so expect a lot of button bashing.

 

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What makes this game what it is, is the serious amount of replay value that comes with it.  You can save all eight kids, you can save three, two, etc, it really is worth it to see what different decisions bring to the table.  One of the kids might get stabbed in one play through, which could affect the story at the end of the game, and it might not happen in the next play through.  Personally, I have only played it once.  Whilst I was playing, I was already thinking about doing certain things differently again the next time.  My only gripe, is that I really wish it had been longer.  I played a couple of hours before work over two days, and maybe four hours one evening, totalling around eight hours altogether.  I wish it was longer, I really do.  Would be good if they released some extra dlc for it, that would certainly make the next play through more interesting.  I wish I had found it a bit more scary.  I jumped in parts, and shouted at the telly when  things popped out of nowhere, but for all the hype, I still don’t think it’s as scary as say, Outlast.  If you actually controlled the players in terms of fighting, I think it would be a lot more scary.  But that’s not what the game’s about, so fair play for what it is.

If you own a PS4, this is a must have.  If you’re into Telltale games, this is a must have.  Playing it once however, you don’t really get your value for money.  Play it twice, maybe three times max before you think about trading it in, just for the decision making process.

 

Judgement
Pros:
  • Lovely graphics
  • Lots of replay value
  • Nice motion controls
  • Great voice acting
Cons:
  • Not long enough
  • Not THAT scary
  • Over hyped
  • Too many quick time events
  • Predictable in parts
Lozzykinz
The Boss at CoupesCorner
The gaffer of this ranch!

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In my spare time I like to play games (obviously) and read. I'm a fan of DC Comics and manga.
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