Last Sunday: $3.19 RedBox rental of Until Dawn + 6-7 hours = game completion and trouble sleeping!
Just when you think you can’t be scared from a video game, Until Dawn comes around and reinforces that fear in a game that is truly unique. Other than seeing a trailer, I read zero material going into this game, wanting to figure out for myself what all the buzz was about.
In a cozy ski lodge in the mountains, a group of friends play a harmless yet embarrassing prank on one of their own (Hannah), resulting in her fleeing the protection of the lodge. Into the woods as a snowstorm is brewing, her sister Beth follows her. The two end up running for their lives, falling off a ledge to their death. A year later, the friends reunite at the lodge for the fallen sisters by their brother, (Josh) only to have disaster after disaster befall the group as they are not the only ones on the isolated mountain side. How does it happen?
Well, it depends on your actions as a gamer.
The entire game is based on the butterfly effect–your choices, however small makes an impact on the rest of the plot, and many times over as you make certain decisions. This can be from missing a ledge or choosing a specific person to save to defending yourself against wildlife.
Every action matters.
The game let’s you know when a change in the timeline (by sending out transparent butterflies into the screen–what was interesting previously, becomes a source of anxiety the further in the game you go) has been made, but the result of it isn’t clear right away.
The beauty of this film is the excellent graphics and striking characters that’s features are based on the voice actors playing them.
And…you play every single character and it’s amazing. Here’s why:
- Each character comes with their own personality
- Because we are dealing with young characters, they split up so this allows the gamer to see different parts of the area without making the game too long or forcing the plot to keep you alive to see it through which brings me to the next benefit…
- You can die as any character! (And for me, I’ve killed most of them…accidentally, of course. And you can actually save all of them as well, though I find this a challenge that would need a 2nd or 3rd replay)
- The opportunity to interact with all characters and get to know them is genius, considering there are 8 playable characters
Which Characters I thought I’d Save: Chris, Mike, Emily, Sam, Ashley, Josh
The only characters to live: Sam & Emily only
Beginning the game starts with choosing how you play with the controller (at least for PS4), traditional method and a more interactive method where moving your controller physically, makes the motions (I tried this method first–caused two characters to die so unless you’re feeling a challenge, stick with traditional).
The POV is third person but not just directly behind the character as most games in 3rd person do, but lots of side shots of your character walking in order to fit the picturesque and slightly spooky looking landscape. Additionally, when there is no clue to be found, the camera will not follow you–giving you a clear indication there is no exit or item. This saves on wasting time, which is a plus.
After playing, I was curious of how other gamers felt about this game (mostly positive) but a few complaints were being seen:
- Price versus length of the game: It’s true, the game can be finished in a day, though like the Fable series, you can replay them to change the outcome–that’s truly half the fun. But if you’re more of a ‘hit it & quit it’ gamer, rent it on Redbox for $3.19 a day and play it through. Literally, it cost me that much to play and I started in the afternoon, finishing before 1 a.m.
- Too many quick-time events/movies: If you have ever played The Last of Us (seems more like a movie than a game), Until Dawn’s short movies are nothing. If anything, they piece necessary items that might not have been previously understood.
- Though the game changes from your choices, overall the plot still ends the same, it just depends what characters are there: I’m in agreement with this statement, however if the choices made were supposed to change the plot, there would be hundreds of plots, some that would be more satisfying than others and if you purchased the game for $60, I’d be pretty pissed with a lackluster ending.
WHY YOU NEED TO PLAY IT
- Freaky supernatural twists with monsters that forced me to leave my light on (I fought on whether or not to show a screenshot of this but you should see it for yourself!).
- Spectacular graphics and realistic dialogue–at least for young peeps.
- Can be cheap if there is a RedBox in your area and you have a weekend free.
- Good plot twists that even surprised me.
- A few good scares and sequences that creep onto your own fears as a gamer.
- Only second to the amazing graphics and unique character gameplay is the variety of locations, be sure to check them out!