We’re living in a golden age for horror video games – that’s my thinking anyway. Developers know that we love to be scared, whether it be in a first person or third person world, and they’re doing a hell of a job creating cinematic experiences that either put us in a horror film, or with the case of Until Dawn, directing one.
A Playstation 4 exclusive developed by Supermass Games, Until Dawn is the story of a group of friends who gather for a weekend getaway at a mountain retreat one year after two of their gang, twin girls, went missing. Soon after their arrival, the group realize that they’re not alone, and that they all may not make it until dawn.
See what I did there.
The game features exceptionally brilliant graphic likeness of game stars Hayden Panettiere, Brett Dalton and Peter Stormare; it’s the sort of visual that actually made me pause before the opening credits rolled and wonder, “Is that Hayden Panettiere?”, and which lends credit to the notion that you’re making a horror movie, not just playing one.
Until Dawn is very much about the choices you make for your characters – the butterfly effect, as it were. By design, to experience the game in its totality, you’re required to play through it multiple times, depending on which characters survive and what moral choices you make throughout your first play through.
Some reviews out there are critiquing the game’s second half and its ending – well, straight up, I’m not there yet, so I can’t comment. What I can say is that so far I’m enjoying the game, from a visual and game play standpoint. The voice acting is top notch and immersive, which is what the best horror films and games should always strive for. The controls are obvious and make sense – you don’t have to think too much about figuring out what you’re actually supposed to be doing or which buttons you should be pushing.
Most importantly – Until Dawn is a well written, genuinely scary experience that makes you want to keep playing. With the lights out. Until….
Forget it, I’m not saying it again.