Until Dawn: Innovative Horror spectacular or Generic Yawn Fest?

June 20, 2015

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG


“Until Dawn” is a PS4 exclusive horror survival game coming out this August and thanks to E3 we’ve seen a whole lot of new game-play and learned some new information on it. The basic plot of the game is about how 8 friends are having a reunion together in a cabin up on a snowy hill. This is also on the anniversary of the disappearance of their friends Beth and Hannah who are twin sisters. Eventually the 8 friends learn that they are being hunted down by a serial killer and must survive until dawn.

The main ploy that this game is advertising is what the developers are calling the “butterfly effect” a super tight save system in the game that forces you to make hard decisions and then has you face those repercussions head on unlike other choice-based games where you can just reload the save in case you regret your decision “Until Dawn” will make sure your choices are final. The game also promises to have lots of replay value, with different outcomes affected by different choices, some endings people, some endings people live and according to the developers there is an ending where you can save everybody so that be an interesting to attempt. Lastly are the beautiful graphics, this is the best looking game on next gen so far it looks more like a movie than a game. Of course there are some flaws with aiming for such graphical fidelity.


Now in recent years Sony has had this trend with making really good looking games but are extremely empty content wise. games like “Killzone: Shadowfall”, “Knack”, “Beyond:Two Souls” and more recently “The Order:1886″. All these game have 3 things in common; they’re good looking, they’re linear and have zero replay value. So it’s nice seeing this game is breaking those molds or at least attempting to change and the promised ‘Butterfly Effect” will be something interesting to experiment with. I say the two biggest problems this game will face are game-play and story. Game-play wise “Until Dawn” is going with the fixed angle trunk game-play as made famous by games like “God of War” and “Resident Evil”. I personally don’t like this kind of game-play but I can see its use for a horror game like this. One thing I also noticed while watching some one play a 30 minute demo of the game was how it used the PS4’s dual-shock motion controls. “Beyond: Two Souls” used this method and I really hated it so of course this will definitely be a downside I won’t enjoy unless they get creative with it but if I am forced to wave around as if i’m a wacking inflatable arm tube man seen outside used car sale lots i’ll be pretty upset.


But probably my biggest grip that I’ve seen so far with this game is the story and in a game like this story is the most important but I’m not even sure what the developers aiming for. It seems like a cliche slasher flick with the stereotypical teenagers; the dumb one, the hot one, the nerd etc. And what only makes it more generic is the sub plot of ghosts also chasing after the teens or maybe the serial killer is a demon from hell I’m not sure it’s convoluted that way. We’ve seen serial killers done before, we’ve seen demons done before and we’ve seen demon serial killers done before (Jason Voorhees, Deadites from “Evil Dead”, Freddy Kruger)! I really can’t see how this game will stand out horror-wise and it looks like the only thing scary this game will ride on is the multiple jump scares or the atrocious acting both apparent in the 30 minute demo I watched.


“Until Dawn” definitely has some potential to be an extremely mind boggling horror survival game and can really go 3 ways; An awesome, suspenseful survival game like “Alien Isolation”, a prettier version of the garbage game “Night Trap” or be it’s own unique cult classic game, I definitely do have high hopes for this game but if it’s just gonna be reliant on jump scares then this could definitely be a skip hopefully i’m proven wrong. “Until Dawn” is scheduled to release this August exclusively to Playstaion 4.


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