Until Dawn PS4 Review


So Until Dawn….survival horror….interactive movie……whatever you call it the game is great! I am not a fan of single player games however, this game had me hooked…finished my first play through on my second stint playing the game.

Before we get into the game lets get the formalities out the way..Until Dawn is a PlayStation 4 exclusive from Supermassive Games based in Guildford, Surrey, among their previous games are Start the Party and Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock. Until Dawn was originally a PS3 game with Move compatibility however in August 2014 it was decided that it was going to be a PS4 exclusive

The basic summary of the game is: a bunch of friends play a trick on a love sick teenager, teenager doesn’t appreciate the trick, runs into a snowy forest on the side of a mountain….sister gives chase…..then (in my play) tragedy hits and both sisters fall to their death. You come back a year later, to the exact spot…yep bad idea….to have a reunion and then things go from bad to worse.

It’s a genius idea really…not like it hasn’t been done a million times in the movies. It is though what makes the game so appealing.

You control each character at different stages through the game, be it Hayden Panettiere as ‘Sam’, Rami Malek as ‘Josh’ or Brett Dalton as ‘Mike’, it is your sole task to try and get as many as possible through the night as possible.

Right, lets get the main gaming mechanic out in the open…the Butterfly Effect…I’m sure you have heard of this…the theory that each action you make has a consequence later in life. The same is true for the game….early in the game you are playing as Ashley, and you look through a telescope and see Mike and his ex Emily getting a big close, you are then posed with the question of whether to let Matt (Emily’s new squeeze) look through the telescope or to stop him, this decision will bring up different options later on in the game that will continually effect the way the game plays out. It’s a great concept and it makes you really think about the decisions you make.

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The game is controlled from static cameras, allowing you to move around, pick up items, investigate a number of different mysteries, all the while waiting for something to happen and for the whole game to end! Its this feeling that kept me going back and wanting to find out what happened and what is going on. You never feel safe, knowing that a decision you made previously might be the one that kills your character later in the game. Some decisions are easy…Whether to respond to someone in a particular way….some are a bit more difficult…which character should you kill? All in all add up to a large number of different endings.

My first play through saw me save only 3 of the characters, however I was due to save around 6 until I made the wrong decision towards the end of the game. I was gutted…I felt that I let them down and it’s this feeling that will make me go back for another go….trying to save everyone is my mission!

The scares in the game are pretty good, I’m not usually someone who jumps easily, but there are a few moments that made me jump, however in general the feeling was that of unease, always waiting for something to pop up, jump out, or drag you away.

Its hard to write a review of a game that depends so much on the content without giving away any spoilers.

So if you haven’t played through at least once, then I wouldn’t recommend reading further on.

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As you play through the game, in between chapters you are greeted with a short scene where you are sitting in the chair in a psychiatrists office, while you are there you get asked a number of different questions that affect the game as you go on, tell them you have a dislike of needles and the psycho chasing you will be wielding a needle…each question becoming harder to answer, especially when you are asked to choose who you like between the characters, choosing your favourite is never easy, but this game forces you to make that decision.

Playing through the game you are following a mysterious psycho and you eventually stumble upon a sanatorium at the top of the mountain, it is here and the surrounding mines that you come across quite possibly the freakiest part of the game…the Wendigo. These creatures are thought to be humans that have resorted to cannibalism, with their long arms and legs, stuttering movement, and extreme resistance to bullets they pose the biggest threat to the survival of your characters, armed with a shotgun you are tasked with aiming in quick succession to prevent Chris from being pounced on in one section.

Obviously I am not going to give you all the spoilers of the game, as there are some things that should be kept a secret until you have played through yourself.

The game is a great example of the survival horror genre and with the butterfly effect mechanic it gives the game countless opportunities for re-playability. Save everyone…save no-one, it depends on your mindset.

Until Dawn is the start of a new breed of games, giving the gamer more options while bringing a cause and effect to those decisions.

Until Dawn was released on 28th August 2015 solely on PlayStation 4



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