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Until Dawn

Developer: Supermassive Games Publisher: SCE
25 August 2015
Until Dawn - cover art
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3.27 / 5.0
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589 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#1,475 All-time
#62 for 2015
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Title
Damn solid story/atmosphere, room for improvement on the "gameplay"
Until Dawn first impressions review

I went into this game mostly blind, all I knew was that it was a choice based telltale-esque game that was more so a movie with player dependent choices/actions than a standard video game experience - and that it featured Wendigos. I'm very glad I went in blind, because that's how this game is meant to be played.

Now, I've only played the game once - and finished it less than 30 minutes before writing this review - and I understand this is a game that will greatly benefit from a replay, so this review is mostly first impressions.

This "game" tells a very very compelling horror narrative. It is DECEPTIVELY CORNY at first, resembling what could initially be written off as a parody of slashers - asshole horny teenagers and a killer on the loose. Once you get past that stage though, you get involved in a touching narrative about grief, growing as a person, good and bad decisions, and the fact that sometimes you can't save everyone no matter how much it hurts to realize that.

The characters and their individual arcs are well written, people who seem like insensitive assholes reveal parts of their truer self under pressure, the sensitive parts of our ego that we tend to hide are unmasked and they learn that sometimes it's okay to be scared, and that there will be people there for you. People learn what grief can do to a person's mind, and how corrupt a mind can become when it becomes controlled by its own delusional narratives.

As for the horror? It's quite suspenseful once you start getting to the "meat" of the game and stays that way all the way through, there's a few moments where you have to suspend your disbelief to a degree, but once you get past that you begin to feel embedded in the tense thrills it presents you. There are a few instances of jumpscares, but I feel they're decently earned.

As for the gameplay, I do think there's a lot of room for improvement. Sometimes it feels like the quick time events (which there are a lot of and man I get the circle and square buttons confused too often out of pressure) and "DON'T MOVE" sections are a bit too abrupt, especially the latter when it literally can mean life or death, but the actual use of the choice based narrative is quite well done and feels genuine. One thing I will say, the movement controls are ATROCIOUSLY CLUNKY and THANK GOD there isn't any real punishment for being slow to move in those sections. The controls just did not mix well with the camera style.

But overall, it's was a great experience and I'm glad I played it and I probably will eventually replay it again with hindsight in mind.

Gameplay: 5/10
Story: 9/10
Character writing: 8/10
Atmosphere/Presentation/Horror: 8/10
Overall: 8/10 would recommend if you enjoy suspense/horror media
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Wayoftheredpanda 2022-04-23T06:54:48Z
2022-04-23T06:54:48Z
4.0
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Enjoyable tribute to shitty slashers movies
I had low expectations for this game after looking at the reviews and ratings online, but I shall say that this is actually quite a good example of interactive drama. You shouldn't be too serious while playing this: after all "Until Dawn" is nothing but a big tribute to the cheap slasher horror movies. All the clichés of the genre are here, and I played it the same way I would watch a shitty horror movie on Friday night, just for the sake of having fun. Never expect a deep narrative, everything is over the top and straightforward enough to keep the attention going.

Like in other similar story-driven titles, the gameplay is simple and minimal, but knowing that each mistake might permanently kill one of the characters will keep the tension high even for the simplest actions. Characters are again a bunch of slasher movie archetypes but are so easy to love or hate to the point you will feel frustrated every time you end up "killing" each one of them.

The only problem was the shift of genre during the second half with the wendigos. It just made the whole thing kind of uninteresting compared to the first few chapters. I didn't mind the game being not as dependent on the player's choice as advertised, but as I was expecting to play a slasher, I was kind of disappointed to have to deal with monsters and supernatural BS for half of the game.
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manicure 2021-07-18T03:16:07Z
2021-07-18T03:16:07Z
72
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It's bizarre to see this release get such glowing reviews from critics. I can't think of a more basic horror game with such mass appeal. I got this via PSN+ for free, and I finished it last night. I do enjoy the consequence of having characters die based on my bad inputs (killed Matt for not hitting the right button) and it seemed to change the story a bit. The Butterfly Effect is nice, but it's potential is still there. It's not properly put to use, often having you say to yourself, "I'll have to play through this again to see the other effect."

From the performances, jump scares, writing, and logic, "Until Dawn" suffers on many fronts. I am very particular when it comes to horror, but I don't think it's a lot to say that the horror here feels like it came out of a film production company like BlumHouse. The scares are cheap, the characters are aggravating, and it's a drag to get through. Admittedly, there are a few moments I did enjoy. I did, also, want to see it through to the end, so it couldn't have been that bad.

In short, "Until Dawn," is what happens when films such as "The Conjuring," do well; someone feels the need to put it into a game. There are plenty of unrecognized horror experiences out there that should get the praise the game still, to this day, gets.
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gas33 2018-12-06T20:16:44Z
2018-12-06T20:16:44Z
2.5
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I remember seeing this game about a year before it came out and seeing it advertised as a Heavy Rain style game where your choices impacted the outcome of the game, and it would be done in the style of a cliche horror movie. It vaguely interested me, as it claimed you could have characters die if you make the wrong choices and the ending would actually reflect this, which is a step up from most of the Telltale games where no matter what choices you make the ending will almost always be the same. I ended up renting this through Gamefly a few weeks before Halloween through a free trial I had about 2 years back. To be honest, for the first half of the game I found it pretty entertaining and engaging. It did come off as a bit cheesy with some awkward dialogue, but it had a nice murder mystery going, and was full of some really tense moments, and I actually felt like my choices in the game were making a difference plus I was enjoying the environment, and the graphics in this game are excellent, some of the better I've seen on PS4. But then about halfway through the game changes its focus and tone, and goes from being a psycho killer murder mystery, to a supernatural horror with monsters.

It just felt really odd and abrupt how the game shifted, and I found the second half of the game to be way less interesting. It just felt like most of the second half was running away from monsters. Plus some characters in this game have plot armor and just can't die until the final chapter, which is stupid because theres one point where a character is attacked by tons of monsters and if you fail that segment he just gets knocked out until he's rescued. But overall, the game isn't bad, it was fun collecting totems and making choices that could be risky and kill off characters, and up until the big plot twist, the game was an enjoyable horror thriller that kept me captivated. The game just got a bit ridiculous and went a bit downhill in the second half with less good moments and lame generic monsters. Plus the ending doesn't really change much, the helicopter will still arrive to rescue everyone, the only different is the more characters you save the more interviews show during the credits. Also did I mention some of the characters in this game are just super awkward and annoying that its like the game purposely wants you to hate them. This game still is worth playing one time at least, maybe 2 if you want to save all the characters and get the collectibles, but it still has some pretty glaring flaws, and a story that starts falling apart in the second half, plus some characters that have plot armor, I mean if it would have just stuck to the murder mystery with a psychotic killer and given more points where characters could be killed off, this could have been a lot better.
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jweber14 2017-07-21T22:34:41Z
2017-07-21T22:34:41Z
3.5
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godbless ps plus for proving me on a plate one of the games i had been meaning to play for a long time. And it didnt disappoint. Even if the first act is littered with way too many fake jump scares that distraught my poor heart with needless adrenaline injections, its a really suspenseful and tense game at its best. The diverse cast of characters, most of which you dislike but still root for to survive the day, is well written. Its a game more about illusion of choice rather than actual choice, considering how little the main narrative changes, but its well written around that. I loved the little preludes to each mission, all the foreshadowing. The visuals are amazing, particularly in terms of facial animation. For me the game was at its best in those moments in which you are allowed to explore a location and piece together clues, felt much like the Silent Hill games albeit with no combat. Its narrative is extremely gripping and strong enough for me to overcome its unnerving brand of horror.
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Threntall 2017-08-21T20:09:44Z
2017-08-21T20:09:44Z
4.5
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Too many false jump scares in the first act hide maybe the best David Cage-em-up, with a great attention to detail, developed atmosphere and narrative and the most skillful implementation of both quick-time events and "choose your own adventure" decision-making. The end goal of keeping everyone alive rather than simply seeing different paths makes all the difference, with the difficulty curve being just right, and the story having enough subversions and allusions to remain compelling throughout. More games like this, please.
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Lowlander2 2017-08-13T13:51:03Z
2017-08-13T13:51:03Z
4.5
2
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Catalog

bleakage Until Dawn 2022-08-16T20:51:32Z
2022-08-16T20:51:32Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cloudydonut Until Dawn 2022-08-16T13:08:18Z
2022-08-16T13:08:18Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MoonSlick Until Dawn 2022-08-16T02:37:38Z
2022-08-16T02:37:38Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Coins95 Until Dawn 2022-08-15T18:38:33Z
2022-08-15T18:38:33Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LETSPERISH Until Dawn 2022-08-11T21:48:56Z
PS4
2022-08-11T21:48:56Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Naero Until Dawn 2022-08-11T02:45:49Z
2022-08-11T02:45:49Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Hesick Until Dawn 2022-08-09T11:51:24Z
2022-08-09T11:51:24Z
1.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DcoyElement Until Dawn 2022-08-07T13:39:02Z
2022-08-07T13:39:02Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LilJazy Until Dawn 2022-08-06T23:04:06Z
2022-08-06T23:04:06Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
2trucks Until Dawn 2022-08-06T20:25:03Z
PS4 • US
2022-08-06T20:25:03Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Were Until Dawn 2022-08-03T09:37:05Z
2022-08-03T09:37:05Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
scnanook Until Dawn 2022-08-02T23:30:30Z
2022-08-02T23:30:30Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
ESRB: M
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x Blu-ray
Franchises

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  • Previous comments (2) Loading...
  • jtpavlock 2019-05-30 01:50:44.047583+00
    some of the characters are really annoying
    reply
    • Gowi 2020-07-02 15:39:09.85268+00
      its a horror movie, chief
    • menges 2022-03-09 20:11:33.478143+00
      it's because they are teenagers
    • Jackranderson 2022-06-26 14:31:36.970398+00
      That's why it's great giving them delicious deaths
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  • SneakyPete8 2021-06-29 05:18:11.944896+00
    I love this game because I watched Jev play it lol
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  • to_noid_or_not_to_noid 2021-09-01 23:49:09.644842+00
    Lot of fun, esp. around Halloween time. Although, in line w/ it's influences, you get the most out of the 'Until Dawn' experience by having at least one other person in the room with you.
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  • Melancholie 2022-01-25 03:22:08.044013+00
    This is so good. Wish they would make a sequel.
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  • theaziz2001 2022-01-30 11:33:49.708538+00
    This game is successful because it doesn’t pretend to be anything too serious. It WANTS to be a parody of cheesy horror movies. And not only does it achieve that, but some of the jumpscares, the atmosphere, the characters etc. are all very well made and genuinely make you uneasy. The story has some problems but it’s still pretty engaging. You actually do need to pay attention and care about your actions because fucking up is very easy. Unlike other similar games where your choices mostly don’t matter. I didn’t do particularly well in my first playthrough lol
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  • DaymanNightman 2022-03-26 03:30:33.601437+00
    unironically one of the best horror games released in the past decade
    reply
    • ColdVein 2022-05-15 04:55:06.679935+00
      In what way would it be ironic if it was one of the best?
    • HiroM 2022-06-13 14:34:08.585578+00
      because it sucks
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  • Ysbryd 2022-06-14 16:08:32.716053+00
    Dull gameplay, god awful writing, bad voice acting. Would rather watch paint dry
    reply
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  • twist 2022-06-28 20:09:41.023161+00
    surprisingly enough this becomes a very fun game after the first hour or so
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