Until Dawn Review
It’s 2013 a group friends have travelled to a lodge and things start to go wrong very quickly. Two of the girls leave the lodge but never to return. A year later and the friends return (Sam, Ashley, Matt, Jessica, Mike, Emily and Chris) to the lodge on the anniversary of the Washington Girls disappearance. You maybe wondering what happens next – well the choice is yours….
OverviewUntil Dawn is a survival horror game that incorporates choices and consequences for an intense storyline. The Butterfly Effect in the game for me is the best and worst because I get extremely paranoid about my choices. Until Dawn is great in the way they execute this; by showing some of the consequences almost immediately and other times further along into the story. In the game they also have timers on the choices which make the game more exciting. The Totems you find are made by Indigenous people and give you Butterfly Prophecies; these give hints on potential futures depending on the path you take…
StorylineI fully enjoyed the story even though in some respects it’s a short game – it’s roughly about 7 hours to complete the story. That in mind because of the many possible story lines it makes a good game to replay. I love that you interchange between the characters to have different aspects on the story and explore their different personalities. I also found this immensely frustrating because like a book you get captivated with a certain event that’s starting to unfold and then suddenly you’re onto the next chapter; it’s a different character. This made Until Dawn a fantastic game by keeping you on your toes and you never knowing what’s around the corner.
As I mentioned previously about the Butterfly effect – I can’t emphasise on the importance of this because you essentially chose who lives or dies or the circumstances the characters are put into. The choices can be made by making a certain decision, taking action, interaction with characters or not doing anything. Until Dawn has an aspect of a set storyline in which the same scenarios will occur in each play through. I mentioned that you can collect the Totems to aid you – there are lots of other collectable items and clues to find out what happened on the mountain. I appreciate in any survival horror game it’s very easy to run to the objective than taking your time to explore. This game is short so take your time to explore and I also loved the snippets of backstory that I got from the collectables. It gave me a better understanding of the story and the attention to detail Supermassive Games did created a great background story. The Totems were fantastic and captivated me because it made me want to find out what happens next in the story. This also made me more self-conscious of the decisions I was making. I have to mention the jump scares are the worse – I mean everytime there was one I had to take a couple of minutes (it really scared me to death). Well done Supermassive Games 10/10 for making me see my life flash before my eyes!! I can never play this game at night because of the jump scares XD.
Graphics & Controls
The graphics are stunning and the attention to detail on the smallest of things is one of the many reasons that make me love this game. On some of the scenes where the characters either have fur on their coat or on their hat – they ensure that when the wind is blowing the fur moves. To me that makes Until Dawn more realistic and more captivating – it is just so graphically beautiful. This helps to set the scene on the severe weather conditions up in the mountains. The only issue I have with the game was the camera angles – to me in some areas it was difficult to see what was happening or it was very dark. I appreciate that Until Dawn is a very dark game because it’s a survival horror and they almost want you to be scared of the dark. This could also be said about the camera angles which enhances the gameplay because you can’t always see clearly around the corners.
The controls in the game were ok – in my opinion I wasn’t overly fond of them in some parts of the gameplay. I enjoyed some of the timed controls where you have to press certain buttons e.g. X or O to ensure you make it onto the next ledge or you don’t fall. These especially worked when you are in difficult situations and time isn’t on your side but you need to have good reaction speeds. I also loved the Don’t Move aspect where you have to make sure that the blue light on the controller stays within the outline. I found this difficult when you are in a tense moment and you are trying not to move. The only thing I found difficult about the controls was when you are moving one of the characters and having to move the light source as well. This became increasingly frustrating because it felt that I never had it in the right direction for the various camera angles.
Overall this is an excellent game which has a great replay option to test out alternative choices. The characters are amazing and this gave a typical American Teen Horror Story which I loved. The choices in the game made it more intense and captivating to see how they played out. The storyline keeps you guessing with interesting twists that make you want to play more. It’s a nice easy game to jump in and out of with the Chapter recaps – if you are having a long session playing Until Dawn it gets kind of annoying. I wouldn’t say it’s a scary game but I can’t cope with jump scares even though I know they are coming. I found this game graphically beautiful with every scene being pretty much flawless. The graphics made the game more realistic and the scenes at times made you feel that you were there - this created the perfect horror story game. The camera angles at times were very dark but made the gameplay more intense. The control interactions in the various scenarios were exceptional in heightening your experience e.g. pressing certain buttons or Don’t Move. The only issue I had previously mentioned were the struggle to point the light source in the right direction became personally frustrating.