Friday, 28 August 2015

Until Dawn (Video Game Review)

In just about every respect, Until Dawn is a Quantic Dreams game until you realise David Cage wasn’t in the directing chair. It retains many of his ideas of the games he has worked on, but Supermassive Games have opted to take things in a rather unique direction. Your choices made here matter less about what you do, than who is left by the end.

The story follows eight friends, visiting a mountain getaway to celebrate the winter. However, as time progresses, things begin to take a sinister turn. As bodies start to pile up, the group begins to realise they are not alone on the mountain.


  1. I've seen a lot of people that have bashed this game in social media for various reasons, usually it's because the plot takes a while to get going (because screw character development) and there's a lot of scenes that don't necessarily lead anywhere (because screw immersion) and finally that it takes way too long for any sort of horror to appear (because screw buildup).

    Personally I'm not any of those people, which is why I really enjoyed the game. It felt like one of those old horror movies (something you mention in the final paragraph), where you spend half the movie with the characters so you could get to know and like them before they were put in danger, rather than a lot of modern horror movies where characters either have no personality or are designed to make you hope they die.

    If the game did have one failing it's the unskippable cutscenes, you can get past that by splitting up the times you've played the game, but it gets really annoying when you have to sit through the same thing just because you're trying for a specific ending and accidentally screwed something up.

    1. Yeah, seen that in a few places but it's sadly not all that surprising. Along with the issues you cite, a bit part of it seems to be down to the sort of grey area between films and video games these sorts of things fall into. They tend to be criticised for the worst elements of both in many cases, and the sub-genre seems to really require a kind of personal connection. Well, that or just an acceptance in a lot of cases of what's required to help video games in terms of breaking narrative. For example, with the scenes which seem not to go anywhere, two of the big ones brought up seem to be the snowball fight and unlocking the lodge. The former really helps as a tutorial, much needed for the main mechanics, and the latter to better familiarise players with the environments or growing tension, running into sudden reactions. Well, that and setting up a lot of things for later on.

      Yeah, do have to agree with the issue of unskippable cutscenes and it does seem to be a game people would only want to come back to once in a blue moon. In this case it kind of suffers from having a film angle but a problematic length by comparison to that medium. This said, can kind of see why they'd be needed in some regards. The first is really thanks to keeping players on their toes with QTEs and the like, turning up once in a while, and also because so many flow directly into the gaming segments. The second is that another game, Blues and Bullets, did try skipping cutscenes in regards to deaths and such. This, as a result, proved to be one of the few big weak points, as it basically could leave players getting killed and leaping right into a QTE, then dying. Admittedly, that might have just been a one off though.