Announced in 2012, Until Dawn (a new survival horror game for PS4) was a game originally designed specifically for the use of the Playstation Move on PS3 using an immersive first-person mode.
With the success of so many games by Telltale Games (The Walking Dead) and Quantic Dreams (Heavy Rain), Supermassive Games announced in August 2014 that the game will be developed exclusively for the PS4 and DualShock 4 technology instead. Another change noticed in the announcement, the game will move to the third person and provide a dynamic and evolving narrative experience.
The story…. you’re in your own horror movie !!!
Freely inspired by several horror movies classics (especially the “slasher movies”), Until Dawn tell the story of a group of 8 friends back to a remote private mountain lodge somewhere in the Alberta rockies for the 1st anniversary of the disappearance of their friends, twin sisters Hannah and Beth. The eight players are Sam, Josh, Mike, Jessica, Chris, Ashley, Emily and Matt, each voiced and modelled after horror-movie appropriate actors. The fidelity of the conversion is totally perfect.
During all the the game, you play one of the eight friends (alternating the point of view and the story) tormented by fear and tension while seeking clues about the events that seem to haunt this lodge.
Interactive movie ???
Throughout Until Dawn, your decisions, your actions and reactions, amplified by an action/reaction type system called the “butterfly effect”, will have a huge impact on the course of events and the fate of each character.
There’s no GAME OVER screen in Until Dawn. When a protangoniste dies, you must continue without him or her.
For the gameplay, I must say that the developers were greatly inspired by Quantic Dream. Quick Time Event (QTE), the tutorial and the cinematic greatly reminiscent of Heavy Rain. This is not a bad thing because Until Dawn, although similar, pushes further the level of detail, exploration and impact based on your choices. And not forgetting, the use of technology DualShock4.
The environements are large and nicely detailed with plenty of place to hide or… where the “bad guy” can hide too:) However at some times, the camera does not always seem to be well placed making the mouvement less fluid for your character. Nothing to ruin the game…
The campaign game is divided into 10 chapters and a prologue. It takes about an hour per chapter kinda like watching an excellent TV show. Even there is a “Previously On” before the start of each new chapter.
From the incredible game engine to the familiar faces to the caliber of writing in UNTIL DAWN, the game definitely feels like an interactive movie. The scares… well, Until Dawn is scary, whether they’re standard (and very obvious) jumpscares, moments of gore or legitimate atmospheric fright, UNTIL DAWN keeps the audience engaged in its mythology and character dynamics exceptionally. And when you come face to face with the evil of UNTIL DAWN, the action of the game really takes advantage of the built-upon suspense… And remember that one wrong move could kill your character.
Speaking of fresh and clever, UNTIL DAWN also carries a fair share of reflexive horror moments that fright fans will be sure to relish. When the game enters SAW-esque territory, a character in the game is the first to drop the term “torture porn” and comment on how tiring the concept has become. Likewise, the same character almost exclusively talks directly to the player most of the game, adding a psychologically compelling implication to our situation as the creator (and destroyer) of this fictional realm. And the dynamic of heroics as pertaining to our characters is exceptionally well-handled: one too many selfish decisions can lead to your own friends turning on you in the face of mortal danger, bringing this gamer flashbacks of Xbox’s amazing THE THING video game in the best way possible.
Above all else, UNTIL DAWN is one of the few fright games that truly values its characters, including the player, and knows that, alive or dead, these characters are the reason you’ll be coming back to the game time and time again. UNTIL DAWN can be just as valuable as a party game as it is a single-minded experience, which is even more true considering just how cinematic the game is as a whole.
- The butterfly effect and the psychological involvement of the player.
- The terrifying atmosphere with well detailed graphics
- The actors and the acting is perfect
- The story that loves to play with all the clichés of the genre and still manages to surprise and scare us.
- The soundtrack is just amazing
- Some camera plan accentuate the mood and suspense – We really believes in a horror movie … but ….
- Some camera issues prevents us several times to properly navigate the enviromments.
- 8,5 / 10