I am no gamer. I am not going to pretend I am. No. I like my games super easy, and if you are forever stuck in beginner mode (like me) and enjoy the easy thrills of Assassin’s Creed and Tomb Raider (again, like me) then Until Dawn is perfect for you.
A group of friends return to a remote cabin on a snowy mountain on the anniversary of the death of their two friends, unaware they are being stalked by a psychopath.
Until Dawn breathes horror on every level! It’s total cliché horror and I loved every second of it. I haven’t had as much fun with a choose your own adventure formula since I was a child reading Goosebumps. Until Dawn is clearly designed for storytelling, the whole game almost feels like a movie, with twisted narratives, surprises and fleshed out characters. Using a variety of horror film techniques to scare players, it is easily viable to complete the game in an epic 10-hour run through.
The tongue in cheek nature of the script will keep you thoroughly entertained. Never holding back on exploiting your normal slasher film tropes, Until Dawn introduces you to your general stereotypical horror characters (jock, nerd, slutty girl, final girl, etc.). You will fall in love with all these campy distinct personalities. I was actually devastated on my first time through when I killed off Mike, other characters I didn’t care so much about (I’m looking at you Matt). With a strong rounded cast it isn’t surprising the characters are played with such gusto; Hayden Panettiere as Sam (Heroes), Brett Dalton as Mike (Agents of Shield) and Rami Malek as Josh (Mr Robot), but it’s Peter Stormare who really steals the show.
Stormare is absolutely terrifying as Dr Hill. Dr Hill breaks the fourth wall and addresses you directly to establish your fear and anxiety triggers by showing you a number of images and making you choose which makes you feel most un-easy. Truthfully, it didn’t matter what I chose cause it all made me feel sick to my stomach.
The graphics are fantastic, there is an overall sense of chill to the atmospheric snowy backdrop. The story is very well put together, moulding perfectly in with its butterfly effect. It was an exciting moment when those butterfly wings would light up the screen, as each and every interaction can affect a different outcome. Ultimately meaning you just fucked with someone’s future.
I feel like it should be mentioned too, as the game isn’t very hard, a personal favourite command which requires you to hold the controller dead still while your attacker searchers for you, the slightest jostle of the remote will result in capture and ultimately death. Nifty little trick from the ps4, using the tracking motion of the Dualshock 4’s lightbar.
My one and only true issue with Until Dawn… too much damn walking.
Until Dawn is just as terrifying to watch as it is to play. I look forward to my future run throughs – whether that involves intentionally trying to kill off every single character or being a saint and letting everyone see the sun rise. I am not sure exactly how many possible endings / deaths there are, but I expect it to keep me on my toes. My final recommendation, grab a friend, turn off all the lights and have a night in, as this is an interactive experience that you shouldn’t miss out on.
9.0 / 10
“Understand the palm of my hand, bitch!”