The preview code we were shown consisted of roughly the first quarter of the game, with a introduction of all the major players in the game, a deep look at some of the gameplay mechanics and a hefty progress into the main story, which took us from the prologue that set up the plot until the first major ‘moral choice’. Until Dawn is set for release on the 25th of August exclusive to PS4.
Until Dawn had only really been a mere blip on my radar going into the final few months of the year; I’m still somewhat preoccupied with some of the titles released earlier this year (*coughs* The Witcher) and I have a Christmas list longer than Dudley Dursley would likely have. But having being able to experience the opening couple hours of the teenage survival horror game, I’m considering making a change to my already packed gaming schedule (and most probably, my expected uni grades).
We must begin with gameplay, which in games such as these is always a topic of debate. This is one of those interactive experiences, a reinvention of the point-and-click-adventure, filled with exploring, examining, quick-time events and decision making. The game boasts (literally boasts, even the character’s mention it) a ‘Butterfly effect’ decision making system where every action you do, regardless of how seemingly insignificant it may seem, can influence an event later in the game. Some effects are immediately obvious, and are evident in even the environment and contextual dialogue but obviously, we did not get an opportunity to see the full effects of our decisions within the demo. I suspect though that the real big decisions, the ‘moral dilemmas’, will be easy to spot. Nothing really new is introduced from this perspective but the controls are rather intuitive and don’t drastically hinder immersion. And that’s about all I have to say, if you’ve played any of Telltale’s games, you’ll know what the gameplay is all about. To Until Dawn’s credit, it does not pretend to be anything else, which in my opinion was the downfall of The Order 1886.Story-wise, I have some concerns that if it doesn’t stray at all from a well-trodden path, the story could eventually become a little bland. The initial couple of hours were rather engaging and I was left wanting more. This is partially due to the episodic-like storytelling approach with a very HBO-title opening credit sequence and ‘previously on Until Dawn’ intros at the beginning of each chapter. However, I speculate that there may be some deviation from generic horror narrative structure, with many mysteries surrounding the characters, the setting, some of the supernatural occurrences and of course, that creepy, psychologist guy who you psycho-analyses you at the end of each chapter, appearing to cheekily craft your perfect nightmare.