If I had to summarize Until Dawn in one sentence it would be that this game is the perfect blend of all those Hollywood movies that are the pinnacle of psychological horror cinema; movies like Psycho, The Shining, Scream, The Descent, Saw and Cabin in the Woods. This game is all of them rolled into one!
Before proceeding any further, I would suggest that you play the following Theme Song of Until Dawn. Yeah, you’re already in love with the game, aren’t ya? 😉
Taken from Until Dawn Wikia
“When eight friends become trapped on a remote mountain getaway gone wrong, things quickly turn sinister and they start to suspect they aren’t alone. Every choice the player makes while playing as each of the eight friends – even the seemingly trivial ones – will carve out a unique story. The player’s actions alone determine who survives until dawn.”
My Take on the Game:
Let me be clear, I don’t appreciate games in which you’re just this big badass with a massive gun and you just run around shooting people (or creatures) and stuff without any solid purpose in mind. I crave a meaningful plot and characters that I can relate to. The last time I loved a game this much was when I played “Heavy Rain” back in 2010.
I’m not a pro gamer; that’s why I won’t get into the technical nitty-gritty details. If you want that, stop reading and go to Gamespot or Metacritic or something. The forthcoming rant is all coming from a gal who just adores classic horror.
Until Dawn isn’t a tough game at all. It all revolves around pressing the right buttons when the QTEs are prompted, using your right stick to select actions/responses and keeping your controller very still when told while holding your breath so that the Wendigo don’t find you and rip your head off.
The reason why I finished it in ONE day wasn’t because it was easy or short (it has an approx. 9 hours of gameplay), but because it was so NERVE-SHATTERING and ADDICTIVE that I couldn’t bring myself to put the controller down.
The Reasons Why I Loved It:
Story and Gameplay:
Until Dawn is all about choices. “To every action there is always an equal or opposite reaction.” It all comes down to triggering the right butterfly effect. Making conscience decisions and overcoming moral dilemmas is the biggest challenge and it leaves you emotionally EXHAUSTED. You and your friends’ destinies are dependent upon your choices, and I’m proud to say that only one of my players died (the one who I didn’t even like that much) 😛
As for the story, haha oh boy. This game is FILLED with the classic horror movie cliches. Jumpscares (oh there are plenty of them), teenagers out partying in the lodge/cabin on a mountain and a terrifying psycho in a mask hunting them down, crazy cannibalistic creatures in the woods, creepy backstory of torture and weird medical experiments, friends turning on each other etc. It’s all very exciting to finally experience how it must feel to be the victim in movies like that 😀
Another strong point of this game was its incredibly likable characters. Yes, ALL of them. Even the bitchy and assholic ones, because they were relateable. We’ve all known people like them at least once in our lives. The funny and goofy one, the one whose a little bit stupid but a complete sweetheart, the one who cares more about her phone than her boyfriend, the kind and brave one, the one who always wants to take care of his/her friends but no one truly appreciates the poor guy/gal, the one whose a real jerk but proves his worth when you need him, the one who acts funny on the outside but is broken inside.
Yeah, we’ve all had friends like that (or you are one yourself), and saving such characters’ lives by making the right decisions was the best experience I’ve had in gaming.
Atmosphere and Score:
The art director of Until Dawn is a genius! The atmosphere he has created is… terrifying yet BEAUTIFUL! The entire game takes place in the dark hours before dawn, within the locations of a lodge, the woods, a sanitorium and mines. You can truly feel that the creative team behind this game are true horror movie fans because they have taken those ideas from the movies and implemented them to create a bone-chilling world for all of us.
As for the score, is ‘O Death posted above not enough for you? 😀 But that’s just one track – it does sum up the whole feel of the game – but the rest of the score that goes on in the background during the gameplay, THAT is what makes mundane situations incredibly scary and the tense situations all the more frightening.
That soundtrack, that atmosphere, plus that gameplay where anything can happen anytime; you just can’t relax your muscles while playing Until Dawn. 😀 It keeps you on your toes. I have cramped my own shoulders because of it. But it was so worth it.
If you own a PS4 please get yourself a copy. You might not like it if you’re not a horror fan (btw I can never trust someone who doesn’t love the horror genre), but I promise you even then you’ll have the most amazing time playing it.
5 out of 5 Potahtos