Until Dawn is the first of many choose your own adventure games from Supermassive Games, the game relies on player choices determining who will survive this horror story on the mountains of the Wendigo. The game takes inspiration from the Butterfly Effect a chaos theory where different choices and events will lead to vastly differentiating outcomes.
The game is considered an interactive drama series where players take control of eight playable characters and make decisions which will in turn effect their survival chances and relationships with other characters in the story.
After a horrible prank gone wrong two twin sisters Hannah and Beth go missing during a snow storm on the mountains and are presumed dead after search and rescues teams fail to find them.
One year later the teenage pranksters return to the mountain in remembrance of the girls but soon realise that something dark and sinister is afoot, they are not alone on this mountain and they start to wonder what really happened to their friends who perished on that terrible night!.
The game takes place primarily in four locations the Lodge, the Sanitorium, an old Hotel and the Mines and where each character ends up depends on player choices.
In my personal opinion none of the games locations are all too memorable, nothing about them really stands out although I would make the argument that this does work much more in the games favor than it may seem.
The areas of the game are basic but are all very dark helping to build upon the atmosphere and increase the players fear levels, throughout the entire journey you will be on the edge of your seat not sure if your next decision will end kindly, the Wendigo’s are absolutely terrifying and give you very little chance to escape if they manage to catch you, a shot with a gun will help you knock them back temporarily but the most common and difficult way to survive is to keep absolutely still.
The Wendigo’s are blind and track players by sound, a very clever mechanic in the game uses the dual shock controllers motion sensors to enhance realism during segments where you mustn’t move, players literally need to keep the controller as still as possible and one slight movement can easily lead to death so be careful.
The game is full to the brim with quick time events, I normally hate these in games but they work quite well in this, you don’t get much warning when they appear and if you miss them it can end very badly.
Throughout the adventure there are plenty of collectibles to find most of these are clues to discovering the three in game mysteries, those being what happened to the twins, who is the psychopath and the history of the mountain. You need to find all of the twins clues to save Josh at the end of the game so I would recommend trying to get everything.
Totems are also hidden across the mountain, finding these will show you clues on possible outcomes later on in the game, it can really help you make decisions depending on whether you want to save or kill certain characters.
There are many different way to finish the game, you can choose who lives and who dies leading the multiple outcomes, I had two issues with the game and both were a problem with its replay value, don’t get me wrong the game has plenty of reasons to replay but not being able to skip over cutscenes a second or third time around will get you sick of the story pretty fast and the biggest problem of all is that there is only one ending.
The end of the game is a helicopter shot of your survivors followed by police interviews in the credits, nothing else gets added here and the reason that is a problem is because apart from trophies if there is no additional cutscene or reward why would we want to replay this over and over again?
The game is fun but it is also very slow paced and is a bit of a drag to replay at times, I did this four times in a row to try and get all the trophies and after that I had no intention to put my self through it again and I completely understand that this is a different type of game to what I’m used too but I cant lie about how it made me feel after multiple playthroughs.
Visually the game is terrifying and graphically it holds up really well for a mid life span PS4 game, the dark atmosphere really helps to give you an uneasy feeling from beginning to end and the designers put a lot of effort into graphics helping to again build on realism with the excellent and powdery snow effects, and the slimy and meaty skin of the Wendigos.
The games soundtrack composed by Jason Graves and while very basic it works well for the game, they used an orchestra but remained very quiet only getting louder the closer characters got to a threat, the quietness makes the game feel empty and does help to put players more on edge and when the music does get louder due to it being unexpected it really set me into a panic not quite knowing what was around the corner.
Until Dawn is a game that I have wanted to play for a very long time but have waiting for the right opportunity, thankfully with this being part of the PS Plus game catalogue I finally got the chance and I really enjoyed it, I liked most of the characters and wanted to see them all succeed and the story is so well written, the twist of who the psychopath was really caught me off guard and I had even found all of the clues. The game controlled fine and was a lot of fun my only issue was with my distaste for choices with the replay value but overall I can highly recommend this one to fans of horror and gamers alike 7/10
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