Some of you may remember me mentioning Until Dawn as a great story-driven game. This game is the perfect one for those that love cinematics… I’m not entirely sure what the genre of this game would be, but I’d say it’s a horror-thriller with splashes of romance.
In fact, this game was so successful that there is a whole anthology coming out afterward. All of these games are very dark and suspenseful. I mean, knowing that one mistake is all it takes to kill off a character definitely puts you on the edge of your seat.
How do you play Until Dawn?
The game has 10 chapters in total, each of them playable through the perspective of different characters. Until Dawn is set in a lodge on Blackwood Mountain. There’s quite a tragic backstory to something that happened years ago, with two sisters dying because of a nasty prank. The friend group responsible reunites for a little vacation back in the lodge, so you can understand why there would be a ton of drama and suspense.
Later on, cannibalistic creatures called Wendigos appear. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s also a killer on the loose that likes to play sadistic games and torture the group. Who knows? You might not be able to trust everyone, especially after the incident…
Still, there are a few quiet moments to calm things down. Throughout the game, you also talk to this therapist, about your opinions on characters, events and locations. This may seemingly be useless and act as just a device for suspense, but there’s actually a purpose behind it all, which will be later revealed.
When I say that choices matter, I hope you know that I’m not kidding around If you get your character killed in a chapter, then you will never see them again (except for their corpse maybe). You could potentially get another main character killed if you’re too reckless, so don’t think that anyone is safe for one moment.
Since this game is driven by your actions and choices, there is a system called the ‘Butterfly Effect’. Every single major decision you make will trigger a butterfly pop-up, signifying that this has severely impacted your story. As an added bonus, treating other characters differently will influence your relationship status with them. Be careful with who you side with!
Anyway, it’s not just all cinematics if that’s what you’re worried about. There are some cases in which you have to take over your character. You’ll also have plenty of chances to go through quick-time event sequences, where fast reactions are a must. Since this game was made for the PS4, there’s also a unique gameplay mechanic. Sometimes, you have to hold your controller still and not move, otherwise you will risk being found.
Since that aspect of the game is very important to avoid the Wendigos and possible threats, I’m not quite sure how Until Dawn could work on the computer. Still, I’ve seen a few articles claiming that you can configure it for PC.
If you’re a first-time player and are trying to find then est ways to keep your characters alive, you should look for something called totems. There are different kinds of these: Death, Danger, Loss, Guidance and Fortune Totems. These items are scattered throughout various locations, and you’ll have to keep a good eye out to find them hidden. Upon discovering a totem, you can activate it and be shown a scene. Depending on what kind of totem it is, you now have newfound knowledge of a certain event that could happen, depending on the following choices you make.
This game has aged like fine wine. Even though it was released 5 years ago, the graphics and overall narrative gameplay exceed my expectations. Until Dawn has remained one of my favorite games. There’s just so much replay potential since the whole storyline is impacted by the surviving characters.
I would highly recommend trying this game out! Will you survive until the sun comes up and help arrives?