Until Dawn

Good
  • Impactful decisions that leverage the butterfly effect and totem clues that pair perfectly within the game atmosphere
Bad
  • Loses story steam towards the second half with your pathway mostly locked in while you play passenger to your own story
7.5

Until Dawn is a PlayStation exclusive addition to the interactive drama genre which features a number of survival horror elements. Promising a twist filled adventure with many key decisions left to the players will encounter a number of distinct characters that each have their own personalities to explore while also dealing with the impacts of the butterfly effect. Alongside these story elements players will use the third person camera perspective to identify clue s in the environment that can help you solve the mystery threat at hand.

until-dawn-gameplay-characters

Following the story of friends partying at a lodge in the remote mountain location of Blackwood Mountain things quickly take a turn for the worst when all signs lead to them not being alone and event result some of them going missing. Players join the story of Until Dawn with eight friends friends returning to this location a year later and after a worrying series of events in their first trip tensions are at an all time high with fear taking hold when they become trapped. This American group of friends is well known to each other having attended the same high school and uniquely you’ll get to control them all to some degree as they adventure through their own story across a single night.

These characters include Ash Brown a curious book lover, Chris Hartley an analytical clown, Em Davis a smart fashion lover, Jess Riley a party girl, Josh Washington a mysterious film enthusiast, Matt Taylor a talented sportsman, Mike Munroe a popular leader and Sam Giddings who enjoys nature. Alongside these core characters you’ll find a number of supporting characters referenced throughout that help to further build on the story of fear and survival of Until Dawn.

until-dawn-gameplay-rural-location

With multiple game choices to make the direction of the Until Dawn story is strongly in player hands with each event provided in a series of cinematic sequences that each have a varying degree of inflection points (both in terms of number and severity). While the framework is mostly linear and all needs players along the same story structure the results of certain events are totally at the mercy of your decisions and can completely alter key plot points and in turn the result of Until Dawn. In between these visual sequences players can also perform some basic exploration of their surroundings for additional story clues and the occasional quick time event to keep you tuned in.

These story clues are primarily delivered through given different totems of death, danger, loss, guidance and fortune that provide players small glimpses of the possible future to help your decisions. Many of these decisions are not small either and often centre around moral or ethical choices such as choosing who to save during an intense moment. Until Dawn also does a particularly good job of blurring good and bad decisions so that both choices have their lasting impact on your adventure. To blur these lines of decision making further Until Dawn heavily utilises a butterfly effect which makes even the seemingly minor decisions flowing into later story stages in unexpected ways.

until-dawn-gameplay-story

Decisions are made even harder through the focus on Butterfly Effect game mechanic with seemingly basic choices having consequences throughout the game. To ensure players fully commit to their choices Until Dawn also employs a restrictive save system that does not allow you to take your choices back during a particular playthrough. Gameplay in Until Dawn still supports exploration of these different outcomes and has clearly been designed to be played multiple times in order to see all the games content).

Summary:

  • Make the tough decisions to guide the story forward as you determine who of the eight friends survives the horror adventure.
  • Approximately 10hrs of exploration, quick time events and decision making across a single playthrough.
  • Combines horror and survival elements into a dramatic story of loss and mystery set in a number of rural locations.
  • Butterfly effect and saving restrictions make every decision impactful throughout your playthrough.
  • PlayStation exclusive title.

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Review Platform: PS4

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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