Until Dawn: Game Review

until dawn title

As an Xbox One owner, I was truly disappointed when i found out that a game that I was waiting so long for was in actual fact, a Playstation 4 exclusive. Until Dawn looked too good to be true; a true horror experience that plays like a lot like Heavy Rain. I cannot convey the happiness that came over me when my good friend lent me his pride and joy to experience the game that I had been desperate to get my hands on. I had the console, now all I needed was the game.

A late night trip to a 24-hour Tesco Extra was the destination as we bundled in to the car. I couldn’t wait until Sunday when I was so close to embedding myself in the story that Supermassive Games had crafted for me. I jumped out of the car and hastily forced my way to the technology department. I knew where I was heading and nothing could stop me. Except Tesco.

A ridiculous rule that means that I cannot purchase anything technology related at my 24-hour store after 8pm had foiled me previously; surely I would not be caught out again? But I was. I would have to wait until the next day for the game as the disappointment sunk in.

The following day was a good feeling when i popped open the box and gave the obligatory sniff of the fresh instruction manual – I know, weird. The game installed fast to my amazement, something that I was not used to, being an Xbox owner. The time had come..

The game begun and I was instantly thrust in to a full on horror experience; it was perfect. It played like a film and I do not regret a second that I spent playing it. It was like somebody had cut open my head, taken my thoughts and displayed them on screen. I was allowed to make the decisions that I wanted and it felt amazing. If you have ever asked yourself why the victim would stay and hide or proclaimed that you would ‘be outta there so fast’, you would also feel the gratification that I did. I spent hours playing it in my first sitting and honestly did not feel the time passing by.

The butterfly effect was a nice addition to the game because it gave me the freedom to do what I wanted as well as providing a massive amount of re-playability. I had saved a fair amount of the terrified characters but what would happen if they all died? What would happen if they all survived? How would the outcome change? All of these questions left me wanting more from the game; this is something that I believe gave me my money’s worth.

As a script writer, I instantly pick up on flaws and glaring issues that make me question the belief in what I am watching. A poor script is the foundation for a poor end product and I have to commend the creators for their hard work regarding this process. It seems as though they were not daunted by the sheer magnitude of writing multiple scripts that overlay and criss-cross throughout the course of the game. It was stable and made a lot of sense which left me more than satisfied with the story that was unfolding. The characters on the other hand were not as strong as the script and the gameplay.

until dawn emily

The characters in Until Dawn were a little bit two-dimensional and this started to show as the game progressed past the mid-way point. Some remained strong and this was apparent by my constant feeling of hatred toward Emily’s negative attitude; if i could have reached in to the screen and ended her myself, I would have.

Some character were not so good at stirring my emotions and quite frankly I found them a little bit boring and generic but I will not go in to too much detail on the matter. Nonetheless, I have hope that a game with ‘over one hundred endings’ may show more about certain characters depending on the choices that I make. Was my favouritism of particular characters making the others less important in the play through?

One of the biggest arguments for why this game is not as great as it should be is the gameplay that I love so much. Although I respect it and the product that Supermassive Games have released, it is clear to see that it may not be favoured among all. For those that prefer a more action based game it will probably not satisfy your gaming needs – That is you, Call of Duty fans. Somebody that appreciates a nicely put together narrative over run-and-gun however, will no doubt love what the developers have done.

Like i said, I truly appreciate Until Dawn and love what Supermassive Games have done. Heavy Rain was one of my favourite games and this felt like an extension of that but more geared towards my preferred genre. I would recommend that everybody should at least try it and truly believe that it is a PS4 exclusive not to be missed.

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