The game “Until Dawn” is a recent horror game, very popular due to the effects players’ choices have. The choices you make in “Until Dawn” have bigger consequences than most other survival horror games. This makes the game more compelling than most video games
The game’s plot is the classic slasher theme. Eight teenagers go up onto a snowy mountain far away from their parents and civilization. The actual story starts on the one-year anniversary of an accident that happened to the teenagers. Two girls go missing as a result of a harmless prank.
A year after this unfortunate event, everyone gathers again to have fun and try to forget the terrible accident, but the rising tensions causes people to break off into couples doing their own thing.
As might be expected in a horror game, this doesn’t last long. Within an hour everything goes wrong as a feral creature and masked madman begin to terrorize the teens.
As players progress throughout the game. small choices have big consequences in the future events. Chapter one’s choices will come up in chapter two, and how you solve the problems will affect upcoming chapters and provide tools to change interpersonal relationships.
By attaching the branching narrative to not one but eight separate characters, you have a massive playground on which to control your own horror story. The game is very good at keeping track and broadcasting decisions.
The way you talk to someone in chapter one will change their attitude toward the person you’re playing at the moment. If you talk to someone rather than helping someone, that person can be snide and mean to that character later on.
Once you make your decision you can not rewind without restarting the entire game. Only once you finish your game can you go back and replay individual chapters.
The software’s aggressive save feature prevents you from undoing anything, forcing you to live with the choices you make. It’s a brave move locking players into their decisions, but it’s a move making the gameplay and your experience controlling it more powerful.
As you explore the mountain side there are little puzzles you must solve, such as find a different route or a tool to get into a building.
It feels like you’re in rails for most of the game, which is somewhat disappointing given how tantalizing the game’s snowy woods and creepy cellars are for exploration.
The items you pick up are very interesting. They can unlock narratives giving you hints or warnings for future events. They reveal information about your missing friends, the murderer stalking you, and other mysteries of the area.
At first each clue seems pointless and just there to prolong gameplay, but as you play further you find that is not the case.
You don’t expect to have so much fun with “Until Dawn,” but the depth with which your choices matter and affect the final outcome encourages to repeat the game over and over.
The visuals can be wonky at times, but in the end “Until Dawn” succeeds in being a thoughtful use of familiar mechanics, a great achievement in player-driven narrative, and a horror game you shouldn’t miss. It is a good horror game and if you have the chance to play it, then take that chance.