'Until Dawn': The Ultimate Horror Game


I can't believe I didn't find out about this game sooner! It would have been perfect for Halloween! Until Dawn is an incredible and wonderful game and it's just the right amount of scarefest for someone who hates scary movies like me!

Until Dawn is about this group of kids who reunite at a remote winter lodge to celebrate / get over a tragedy that befell them a year before. Little do they know that behind the shadows of the cold, dark night, something sinister awaits them.

Not your typical teen horror flick! Trust me!

Starring Grant Ward and Claire Bennet. (Or at least that's what we kept calling them.)
Along with other notable actors including Rami Malek (Mr. Robot), Peter Stormare (Count Vertigo), etc.

Until Dawn can probably be best described as an interactive horror movie-game. Playing it is like watching a horror-slasher-whodunit film, except you play all the characters and control all their actions. LITERALLY. Even down to twisting a door knob and pulling to open it, or picking something up and turning it over. It's silly how trivial the things you can do are, but the more you do it, the less silly it feels. In fact, you grow more and more into the character, like you ARE that person. It feels like you're really in there with them, in the same horrific situation. It's heavily immersive and deeply intimate.

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Beautifully chilling environments.

No, that's not a photo. That's in-game animation!

And a game like this, the immersion makes all the horror elements that much more effective. I hate horror movies. But even I enjoyed this game. It's scary enough that my throat got some much needed exercise with all the girlish screaming, but not so much that it leaves one with a permanent psychological scar.

But what really amazes me about this game (more than all that horror fun!) is its elaborate story-telling. It's sort of like those "choose your own adventure" books we used to read as kids. You can choose to hide or run, to help or ignore, to explore or stay put, respect or aggravate and all these decisions have consequences. It may affect the character's qualities, his relationships and his opportunities (or lack thereof) to stay alive in a later time. Until Dawn is malleable, organic; and it's a trait you don't normally see in video games. 

Character traits and relationship statuses could determine if you live or die!

There are multiple endings for each character, but the main thrust being "will he/she survive the night?" It's utterly difficult to predict whether or not a certain choice will lead to a character's death, so you really just try to make the wisest decision and hope for the best. But yes, unlike most of these horror slasher thriller films, in Until Dawn, it IS possible that everyone gets out alive. (Albeit improbable.)  

No more 'stupid teens in slasher films'!

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6 characters, and it's up to YOU who sill survive...Until Dawn!

I am seriously not a fan of the horror genre, but I surprisingly found myself truly enjoying this game. This is the next stage in gaming and story-telling! I can't wait to play more of these type of games and I'm excited to see how much further they can push the concept. There's a lot more to say about Until Dawn but it's best I leave the rest for you to enjoy. Whether now, or even better, next Halloween!

+ A refreshing twist in the horror genre
+ Action and consequence game mechanism (aka The Butterfly Effect)
+ Intimate and immersive game play
+ Intricate and multi-layered story-telling
+ Effective use of horror tropes
+ Likable characters played by a wonderful cast
+ Beautiful backdrops and great lighting

- I wish they pushed the multiple ending concept further
- Sometime facial animation looks like the characters are dead inside


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