Until Dawn is a title that is familiar in some ways, yet unfamiliar in others. For those that have played Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, the whole premise of Until Dawn will feel familiar. its a essentially a story driven game with your decisions completely changing what will happen in the short-term, but also having huge ramifications in the long term arc of the overall story as well. In Until Dawn, once a character has died, that is it. No coming back.
The small slice we played at this years E3 starts of with a quick recap of what happened in a previous episode. The game simulates what happened previously, and although each play-through starts off very similar, there are some differences each time you play (due to what others have done before you). Until Dawn is a teen-horror, story-driven game that features QTE’s for decision making. While this may put some off, the story and the general voice-acting are brilliantly done and really immerse you into the story and the characters involved.
In my time with the game, I got to play as two characters, Matt and Emily. Depending on your decision-making (which is done by selecting a piece of dialogue by using the right-stick), you can change the course of what happens in the story and carve your own unique experience. While playing as Emily, you have the option of keeping her level headed or an overreactive mess. Depending on which direction you choose, depends on what will happen further on with the story.
Playing Matt is the same. There is a section where you have to try and save Emily (from what can only be described as a horrible death), and you have one of two options to choose from. First being that you essentially say everything will be ok (while she is screaming at you), or the other option is to leave her be (after finding out she’s been cheating on you) and again, your decision will effect what follows.
The game is very linear in what its trying to do, but its main purpose of story-telling is done with commands and thats its main selling-point. For those looking for an open-world, exploration style game, this isn’t what Until Dawn is all about and you’ll no doubt be disappointed in whats on other here if thats the case, but for those looking for something different, then Until Dawn is definitely that.
The game looks superb with some fantastic ambient lighting and dark tones to really give you the sense of the horror film style look that Until Dawn is trying to drum up. Its moody and atmospheric in an abundance and to tie it all together, the voice acting is superb and brilliantly written.
Oh, just so you know (I won’t give anything away), my play through was totally different to the one Asim had, so that proves that each decision has a completely different impact on the story you have been carving within Until Dawn. All I will say, is my ending (with Matt) was brutal and involved a number of spikes. Ouch.
From what I’ve played of Until Dawn so far, I’m impressed. My only worry is that although you have the option to take multiple paths through the game they might be a little too linear. A case of black and white without any grey areas in between. Still, I’m hopeful that the final game will have enough routes to keep you interested and coming back to play again.