Until Dawn: Game Review

  • Visuals
  • Gameplay
  • Innovation
  • Sounds
  • Story

What if you and your 7 friends are trapped in a cabin with an atmosphere that encapsulates over the mountains full of snow? What if your group realized that you are not alone? What if this cabin has full of terror, gore, blood and death inside? Let Supermassive Games and Sony Computer Entertainment take you to this latest PS4 game where your screams, escapes as well as life-and-death decisions are your best friends for survival – Until Dawn.

It is one hell of a game that horror and slasher fans will love to play. Basically about thinking how to survive the night, players can choose from playable characters like Sam (who was voiced by actress Hayden Panettiere), Emily (voiced by Nichole Boom) and Mike (voiced by Brett Dalton) to name such few star-studded cast.

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Storyline: Eight friends gathered for a getaway on a remote mountain only to find out that they need to escape the terrors of the night to see the dawn. In times where things are not what they seem to be, crucial decisions matter in order to determine who will survived the night among each member of the group. The unpredictability and the dynamic storyline are crafted by game scriptwriters Graham Reznick and Larry Fessenden, who are both indie horror filmmakers.

Setting: The game has a fantastic setting. The creepy scenery of a mountain covered with snow provides chills and fears all throughout the game. Add up to that is the status of being secluded from a society. There are a lot of items to pick up that have totems or clues. Totems may be a bit tricky here as they are essential to the progression of the game. They serve as your guide by providing warnings about death, danger, loss and fortune. They may seem unimportant in at the start of the game but you will realize their worth once you progress.

Gameplay: It’s a single-player mode that circles around environment exploration and putting pieces of information (such as time and events) together at a limited period. It has lots of action-packed scenes that will surely keep you going. Just rely on your decisions about what specific buttons should be pressed quickly and you’ll overcome all the hair-raising situations happening in the environment from dusk till dawn. Need to run, leap, climb, hide, go right or go left?  It’s up you to decide but keep in mind that one false decision is fatal, meaning, it could lead to the death of one character in the game.

As you run, the game randomly prompt instructions to hit a particular button in order to overcome an obstacle and lose a valuable amount of time when missed or fallen into its course. The motion controls of Dualshock 4 will be your trusted and perfect assistant in playing this game. In times where you need to hide, the Dualshock 4 controller must be held steadily or else, your slightest movement could make them find you and eventually take the life of another character. These are the moments where the tension adds thrill to the game.

Apart from using Playstation 4’s power, the game boasts its “Butterfly-Effect” interface and Killzone Shadowfall Engine’s supreme rendering capability together with great enhancements in animation systems, camera and lighting.

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Visuals: The game is graphically good all throughout however, the only minor issue is the inability to control the camera angles. Though it is not that annoying, fixed angles of the camera will let your character move out of the frame for a short period.

Sounds: In terms of sound and voice department, the game provides the perfect score for the storyline’s mood. The music and sound effects are really fit for every situations plus, the voices behind the characters really did a great job in voice acting. The actors’ voices match with the assigned characters for them because they perfectly executed what needs to be heard in situations where shock and fear are occurring.

Thanks to the game’s lead composer, Jason Greaves, for doing an amazing job in capturing all the elements and orchestrations needed to heighten and elevate every gamer’s experience. He has worked on other video games as well including Tomb Raider, The Order: 1886, Dead Space, and Evolve.

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Pros:

  • Has  creepy but gorgeous atmosphere
  • Detailed visuals
  • Sets the bar for the succeeding slasher video games to follow

Cons:

  • Light but innovative choices for Quick-timed events (QTE) gameplay
  • Not much game replays because QTEs are fixed in may plot points all throughout the game’s storyline.

In the end, this provides a terrifying but memorable experience to every gamer from start to finish. Its level of terror and gameplay set the tone for how horrific interactive survival games should be made. Indeed, Until Dawn is a game that slasher flick enthusiasts and thrill-seekers will surely love and enjoy.


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