Can video games engage with some people psychologically? Sure they can, and Until Dawn is definitely no exception. Developed by Supermassive Games, Until Dawn is a horror video game designed to deliver a cinematic storytelling experience.
Being a filmmaker, I very much welcome the recent trend in which many video games take upon a cinematic style and feel. In saying that, I have been quite interested in seeing how developers rise to the challenge, and Until Dawn certainly did not disappoint. Upon starting the demo, I was thrust immediately into a darkened basement. I took control of Sam, who, along with her friend, were searching what seemed to be a hotel basement for clues on the fate that had befallen their friends. I can only surmise that this occurs very late in the game, judging by conversation between the two friends.
As with Beyond: Two Souls, Until Dawn sought to offer a very cinematic experience. But I feel that both games share a major flaw, in that like films, they use fixed angles that focused primarily on the protagonist. While such a technique means players are essentially forced to move forward, and does force attention on the action, I would’ve liked the ability to freely look around and further explore the environment.