Admittedly I didn’t know much about Until Dawn before jumping into it. I knew it sounded interesting and I enjoy horror games so I had to have it day one. Here is my Day One Review which goes over my first impressions of this new game.
I fired up the game not knowing what to expect. I stayed away from previews on purpose. I knew a little about the game but not much. What I found was an interactive horror movie. Yes there is some gameplay but it’s more of a choose your own adventure, or choose your own death simulator.
The game takes place in a cabin deep into some woods which is as good a setting as any for horror story. You play the game by jumping around from character to character, interacting and making choices that affect their relationships as well as add to a “butterfly effect”. This game is very, very proud that it’s core gameplay is based on the butterfly effect.
You play as a group of teenagers staying at a cabin one year after some girls from their group went missing during a similar trip. You also bounce back into a room where you play yourself talking with someone named “The Analyst”. Here you are recognized as the narrator, or player, of the game and go through answering psychiatric questions that I am assuming play a role in how the story unfolds.
The game does a good job of building tension and setting the scene up. It feels like the introduction of a TV series. That’s also probably because it plays out episodically. After a while of playing and a trip back to the Analyst I was met with a “Previously on Until Dawn” cinematic that detailed my choices and what happened.
The game looks good and the atmosphere is set very well. The character models have an almost uncanny valley look to them, probably because of the weird, but not quite off-putting facial animations. The game looks great, but there is something about the faces that I just can’t put my finger on. They creep me out, and not in the way the game intends. The characters also have moments of weird animations as if some of it was motion captured and some of it not. If that was the case it does not seem to blend well.
The voice acting is hit or miss. Sometimes it’s very good and draws me in, other times it feels like they are forcing a joke. Like the stupid accents they do sometimes to try and play up a pop culture reference. It’s fine and I get what they are doing, but it feels out of place.
Overall I’m very excited to continue my stay at the cabin and see how it all unfolds. I thought the game would have had more actual game than it does as opposed to being an interactive story but what’s here has me pretty well hooked and I’m excited to see how it ends…or at least how my first playthrough ends.