Review

Will you Survive Until Dawn?

Interactive Fiction has never been done so well.  Never has such a game completely pulled me in, scared me, and yet begged me to keep playing until final credits roll.  Supermassive Games‘ new Until Dawn is such a game.  If you can even call it a game.  Until Dawn is an interactive survival horror fiction in which you, the player, decide the very fate of every character in this story. When eight friends become trapped on a remote mountain getaway, it is up to you to make quick decisions that could either save or kill every character in the story.  Every decision you make, no matter how big or small, will change the story you see and experience.

Until Dawn Screen (2)

With performances by some great, well known actors such as Hayden Panettierre (Heroes, Nashville), Brett Dalton (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and Peter Stormare (Prison Break), Until Dawn is like watching an intense 10 episode mini series that keeps you coming back for more.  All the characters in the story look exactly like their actor counterparts in a game that pushes the boundaries of what we expect to experience on the PS4, which makes the intensity of this game even greater.  With a story that never lets up and spot on performances by all the actors, this game presents an experience you will not soon forget.  Every character is fully defined right from the outset of the game.  You will love some, and possibly hate others, but all the same, you will actually find yourself caring about every single person in this story.  There will be decisions to be made that will make you seriously consider the ‘what-if’ scenarios before making that final decision.  But be warned, not all decisions give you time to think. Many are split second decisions so you had better be ready to think fast.  Because, seriously, every decision means something.  Every choice could lead these characters, that you will grow to love, down a dangerous path to their death.  Be warned: not every decision will end in the result you assume. Sometimes the good choice isn’t necessarily the right choice.

Until Dawn Screen (4)

Until Dawn is told through 10 chapters and, along the lines of Kiefer Sutherland’s ’24’ TV Show, the events in this game take place over the course of 10 hours, with each episode spanning one hour, and each taking approximately one hour to play.  The story told in this interactive fiction is so intricately weaved that it will keep you guessing until the very last chapter.  Although all the clues to the ultimate story are evident right from the beginning, there are clever plot twists that bring several seemingly separate stories together in a final confrontation that you will not see coming. Until it’s too late.

Be warned however: this is a scary game. The visuals and, most especially, the incredible music by composer Jason Graves, will keep you heartbeat at an elevated level the whole time.  Cleverly placed jump scares will keep you on your toes.  A clever addition to the game, too, is the Camera Captures.  If you have and enable the PlayStation Camera in the game, you will be captured in certain key jump scare moments so you can see how you reacted and, believe me, these are classic.  I played Until Dawn with my daughter present as we both love horror/thriller movies and watching these camera captures were a highlight of the game. These take something that just truly scared us to something we can laugh at ourselves about.

Until Dawn Screen (1)

That’s another great thing about Until Dawn: this is a story game that you can truly share with someone. Watching my play the game was just as intense and enjoyable to my daughter as it was to me. We both discussed the story, the clues, and the plot twists as if we were simply watching a great TV mini series.  It is an experience we are still talking about long after the final credits roll. In fact, upon finishing the game, we immediately started from the beginning so we could make different decisions and try to actually save everyone.

Until Dawn is an incredible new way to experience interactive fiction.  I have never experienced something so intense with decisions that actually matter to the story.  Even the small decisions can change how each character interacts with each other in future scenes.  This is something I want to experience again. Supermassive Games has created something incredible and both my daughter and I truly hope this isn’t the last time we can do this again.

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About the Author

Sean
Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.