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31 Days of Horror: UNTIL DAWN

One year after the tragic loss of two friends during a weekend getaway, eight friends reunite in an attempt to heal old wounds. However, as soon as the group gathers, things start to feel a bit off — and not just the usual ‘reuniting at the haunting mountain lodge where your friends’ died, on the anniversary of their death’ kind of off. As the night progresses, the group fights for survival as a masked lunatic hunts them down.

Pros

  • Engaging, evolving story
  • In-depth and innovative character development
  • Beautiful environments
  • Replayability of monumental proportions
  • Top-notch acting

Cons

  • Twists can be disappointing
  • Butterfly effect. Butterfly effect. Did you know this is game’s about the ‘butterfly effect’? It’s about the ‘butterfly effect’. You didn’t? Well, don’t worry. We’ll constantly remind you, even on the loading and saving screens. Butterfly effect.
  • Punchable faces that you won’t mind killing
  • Butterfly effect

Overall

Until Dawn‘s choose-your-own-adventure style gameplay met with glowing reviews across the board, and though the game is interesting, involving, and evolving, it’s not exactly a brand-new concept.

The acting, environments, and script work are absolutely stunning, however, the game’s biggest draw, the ‘butterfly effect’ — which they force feed reminders of to you at every available opportunity — has been done in several games already, such as Heavy Rain, and isn’t exactly as innovative as they think. Although it’s a concept that’s been done before, it certainly hasn’t been done on this massive of a scale, allowing the player copious alternative cut-scenes, endings, and dialogue based on each decision you make in the game.

Replayability is one of the game’s largest selling points, allowing for the player to replay specific acts in the game’s timeline and completely alter the dialogue and development over-and-over again. Opportunities arise throughout that allow you to kill characters off in nearly every episode, and like other ‘butterfly effect’-centered titles, it can be pretty easy and pretty damning to screw up at any point.

While Until Dawn might not be as original as they’d like you to believe, it surely broke some ground by showing Hollywood that video games are the next step in cinema, drawing big names like Hayden Panettiere (Heroes, Nashville), Rami Malek (Night at the Museum, Mr. Robot), and Peter Stormare (Fargo, The Big Lebowski). Hopefully, due to its success, we’ll see more star-studded titles that provide this sort of evolving story and in-depth character development that force us to face our fears and learn to let go of our obsession with video game playthrough perfection — Lord knows I accidentally killed a few people and was forced to live with my poor timing mistakes, at least until the next playthrough.

 

Cover image via

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About 31 Days of Horror and our mini-reviews

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Categories: Video Game Reviews

Author:Jen

Founder, Editor-in-Chief at Another Castle | Twitter: @ComradeJen

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  1. MrLuvva’s Luv-In #21 | mrluvvaluvva - 10/05/2015

    […] 31 Days of Horror: UNTIL DAWN – Aside from the gratuitous use of capitals this is a really good, concise review of the PS4 game! I love Hallowe’en posts and this is a good start from Another Castle; I look forward to the rest of their series! […]

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