Until Dawn

Game Review

Elliot Johnson, Cactus Contributor

Until Dawn, is a new horror game for the Playstation 4, by SuperMassive Games, where you, the player, controls the fate of eight friends as they are tossed into their very own horror movie. A year prior to the main events of the game, a prank among friends had gone horribly wrong causing the disappearance of two sisters on their family’s snow covered mountain. And now, Josh, the brother of the lost sisters, invites everyone back to his family’s cabin for one more party. Unintentionally, the characters are going to learn what really happened to Josh’s sisters when they ran off on their own. The player’s job is to keep everyone alive until dawn. They have to make split second decisions for the characters as the typical horror movie scenarios come up. You hear a noise in the dark, do you check it out or go back to your friends? There’s a trail of blood in the snow, should you follow it?

The characters are on a playable rotation and fall into the typical high school tropes but are all useful in their own way. They are modeled and voiced after their actual actors/actresses. It’s amazing how well the developers have captured everyone’s emotional expressions. One of the characters, Samantha, is “played” by Hayden Panettiere (Heroes, Scream 4). Sam is the type of girl who could survive the night and save her friends along the way. But once again it depends on the player’s decisions made during the game.

Because of Until Dawn’s butterfly effect game- play, every decision you make will affect the entire story of the game. You and your friends are in a horror movie trying to survive, the last thing you need is for one of those friends to remember when you were a jerk to them. Remember that weapon you found a while back? Good thing you didn’t move it from that spot. When those chase scenes come up, you better pay attention to those instant button queues. One mispressed button and that could be it for a character.

There’s also the mystery of the setting. Josh’s family owns the mountain their cabin is on but what else is on that mountain. There’s a strange man in the shadows, an abandoned hospital/asylum in the distance, and a mine where an accident happened. Finding clues all over the house and around the mountain will help unfold the story. There are also clues that help you survive. Totems found throughout the grounds of the game give the characters visions of possible tragedies or guidance to safety.

When I played it, I didn’t know anything about the story and was unsure of what to expect. Like watching any horror movie, I can be at the edge of my seat. Throw in controlling the characters and being the one that holds their fate is nerve wrecking. I had a lot of fun playing this game. Going back through the game and picking different decisions just to see what would happen makes the replay value really high. There are so many possible outcomes. I highly recommend this game if you want a good scare and a good story.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);