Until Dawn is a multiple ending game developed by Supermassive Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It follows a group of friends vacationing at a mountain lodge in the midst of winter, who’ve come together on the one year anniversary of a tragedy, in hopes of gaining closure and remembering the lost.
From the very first decision made by the player, ripples are sent forth that change the story ahead of you. Do you snoop or respect the privacy of others? Do you approach a situation with aggression or do you try to diffuse it? Do you lie to protect someone or let them face the cold truth? All of these decisions present themselves within the first episode and only get tougher with progression. Each character is presented in a different light ranging from the do-gooder clowns to the dark hearted snobs and these impressions, if the player is easily manipulated, can lead to biased decisions.
Throughout the game, you are momentarily removed from story for brief “sessions” with a therapist. Here, you are asked questions specific to yourself concerning fears, empathy or lack thereof for others and the ability to distinguish between reality and hallucinations. Depending on your answers, the environment in which these sessions take place are modified to your displeasure or for those with more morbid tendencies, your great enjoyment.
Until Dawn has a movie like quality to it, thanks to its amazing graphics featuring spot on renditions of the actors voicing each role. If left idle for a short time the screen closes in on the current character and you can read the stress and uneasiness they’re experiencing in every facial tick and wince. The snowy landscape is quite beautiful in the dark and mysterious way, once described as a “winter wonderland”. Moving along the mountain paths creates soon to be filled in footprints accompanied by the audible crunch of snow, howling wind and various animal sounds. Whether it’s walking across the property on a snow covered tree lined path or exploring the bowels of the lodge, there is always a feeling of eerie discomfort. That maybe you aren’t alone. Did that door just close on its own? Is some raging beast going to leap from the tree line and shred this poor soul? What was that hellish screeching sound? WHERE IS EVERYONE?!
Scattered across each environment are a series of clues pertaining to Hannah and Beth (the missing sisters), the truth about events that occurred at the asylum also located on the mountain in 1952, the mystery man identified in wanted posters whose last known whereabouts were on the mountain and five totem poles. Each of these poles are a different color and are broken into six pieces. The colors are black, yellow, brown, red and white, which represents death, guidance, loss, danger and fortune respectively. When examined each totem gives a vision of a possible future outcome and once all of them are put together, they reveal the true history of the mountain and the tragic situation the sisters found themselves in. There is also a butterfly effect feature that shows what decision lead to a certain action and a character meter showing how your current vessel feels about the others.
This game was very entertaining in its story telling and had amazing character development. Not once was I ever bored, though I did lose patience with some characters and found myself vowing to punish them. There were times I was left speechless when characters I wasn’t currently playing with decided to sacrifice another character due to a decision made several episodes ago. What felt like the right decision at the time could result in dire consequences later on. I highly recommend this game. I have and plan to continue playing to experience all the twists it has to offer.
Developer: Supermassive Games
Played on: Sony PlayStation 4
Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.