When I first put this disc in my PS4, I really wasn't sure what I was about to get myself into. I'd heard that it was an amazing horror game, but I hadn't seen anything about hoards of horrifying creatures or alternate, hellish dimensions. I'd heard that it was an incredible narrative, but I had a hard time imagining a game about - from what I could gather by the cursory information I'd seen about it - dude bros and their girls in a ski lodge. Is this game going to be good? Is it actually going to scare me? Not many games do.
Now that I've played it, I can say without a doubt that it's both an excellent horror game and a truly incredible narrative experience. One of the things that makes this game so amazing is the way it implements choices. Decision making is nothing new in games - it's part of what makes BioWare's RPGs so enticing. Who doesn't want to have their decisions have legitimate effects on the game world around them? Until Dawn takes that to another level, though. Not only do your decisions affect the game world, they completely alter the way the story unfolds. Obviously the core story is going to be same, but the details that you choices alter are NOT minor choices. Think about Harry Potter as an example. The core story would have stayed the same - Harry fights Voldemort - but think how different the story would have been if Ron died in Goblet of Fire or if Hermione had stayed petrified in Chamber of Secrets. That might be a bit of hyperbole, but it's that kindof major story-altering change that your decisions can make. The other great part is that you very rarely know if your decision will change the course of the entire story if it's literally completely inconsequential (there are several choices I found that literally made zero difference what I picked, but those were pretty few). Also the graphics are god damn amazing.
Now as for the "horror" aspect, I won't say much about the why so that I don't risk spoiling this truly incredible experience for anyone who hasn't played the game yet, but for some reason that I really can't explain, this game got to me the way no other game ever has. It didn't scare me worse than any other game (that title is a three-way tie between Silent Hill, Dead Space, and Outlast), but the jump scares definitely got me worse than any other game's jump scares have. I truly have no idea why. I think it was the way they built the suspense. Right when you think you're able to predict when they'll throw a jump scare at you, they go like half an hour with nothing. Then you start to let your guard down, and BAM, they throw one. That's just my guess anyway. I really can't figure out why this one worked so well on me when so many other game's jump scares have just been "meh" for me, but I was screaming like a little girl on a regular basis the entire time I was playing Until Dawn.
I REALLY want to go into details on the story, but it's such a damn good experience, I won't risk spoiling anything. All I'll say is that it's a group of eight friends (I'm guessing early college; I can't remember if it specified) staying overnight during a blizzard in a ski lodge owned by one of the kid's parents that just happened to be built on land sacred to the Cree tribe and was the site of an infamous mine and sanatorium until the early 1950s. Bottom line, the game is REALLY good. If yall don't play any other game I've recommended so far this year, play this one. Seriously.
My Rating - 5 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.