UNTIL DAWN: Kris’ Game of the Month for October

Hayden Panettiere reprises her meme;
Hayden Panettiere reprises her meme; “Save the Cheerleader.”

Hey guys, its your girl, KrisSimsters and today I’m bringing you a new topic called: Kris’ Game of the Month and it basically means what it says, once a month I’ll be giving you my review of a game (new or old) that I’ve come to love and would play over and over again. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and honestly, at first I was going to do Life is Strange, but it’s not complete and it won’t be complete until the 20TH, and since Halloween is right around the corner–like 20 days away–I thought I’d review Until Dawn, a game I thought wasn’t going to be popular, but blew my skeptic mind away. So let’s get started!!


BACKGROUND:

Until Dawn was released on August 25TH, 2015 and follows eight friends as they try to survive the night in a haunted cabin. This comes after the one-year disappearance of Hannah and Beth Washington, twin sisters who got lost in the mines of their family’s winter cabin after a prank gone wrong. The game was developed under Supermassive Games and published under Sony Computer Entertainment, making it a PS4 Exclusive. The game was originally going to be published on the PS3 with Playstation Move capability until its announcement in August 2014 saying that it would just a PS4 Exclusive. With a 4/5 Metacritic score and a 7.5/10 IGN score, Until Dawn becomes one of PS4’s best games (especially since nothing major has been released yet). Another reason for Until Dawn‘s success comes from its voice-acting, Hayden Panettiere and Peter Stormare take top billing in horror-cliche game playing Sam and Dr. Hill respectively.

PLOT & GAMEPLAY:

After a prank gone wrong with Hannah Washington disappearing into the woods and her twin sister, Beth Washington (both played by Ella Lentini) going after her; the two girls end up falling down their family mines with Beth dying instantly and Hannah’s fate becoming unclear. One year later, their older brother, Josh (Rami Malek) calls up all their friends for a weekend of partying and having fun, in remembrance of his sisters. The friends are; Sam, Chris (Noah Fleiss), Ashley (Galadriel Stineman), Emily (Nichole Bloom), Jessica (Megahan Martin), Matt (Jordan Fisher) and Mike (Brett Dalton).

What starts out as a fun night, quickly turns into a night of terror as you-the player-have to decide who lives and who dies, encountering not only “The Psycho” but also the creatures haunting the land. Your choices could either save or killing all eight of the players (Sam and Mike, cannot be possibly killed until the end of the game while Matt and Jessica can be the first ones killed. Josh has a 50/50 survival rate, but only if you collect all the totems and clues within the game). If everybody survives and you collect all the totems and clues throughout the game, then you’ll get the backstory of the creatures haunting the land (known as Wendigos) and the stranger’s (Larry Fessenden) backstory, along with Hannah’s fate.

Also, in between chapters, you get to visit with Dr. Hill, the in-game therapist, who starts off by determining the players fears, such as being isolated and asking if the friends are getting what they deserve. You can also notice how the office changes throughout the sessions, it starts out as a normal office and slowly turns into the bottom of the mines with the revealed Psycho.

Some things within the game cannot be avoided, such as Chris and Ashley being kidnapped (Ashley twice), but it’s how you handle the choices with Chris that determines if he gets to live or dies. Jessica and Mike will not have sex in this game, because Jessica gets kidnapped (and possibly killed if Mikes messes up during his quick-time events). It also doesn’t matter if Matt tries to save Emily or not, she cannot possibly die, but Matt can be the first one killed if Emily doesn’t hand him the flare gun and he uses it against the Wendigos.

Mike and Sam can make it out the game alive as long as Sam holds still at the end of the game when the cabin is full of Wendigos. Emily will get bitten by a Wendigo no matter what, but if Ashley hides the truth about Wendigos, then Mike can shoot Emily. Ashley will hear the noise in the sewer, but if she follows it then she will be killed by a Wendigo. If Chris shoots Ashley (even though it’ll be a blank), then Ashley will not save him when he’s being chased by the Wendigos later when he’s with the stranger. The Wendigo will kill the stranger before either killing Chris on site or running behind him while he’s going back to the cabin.

The main point of the game is keeping Sam alive, if Sam is kept alive throughout the whole game, she can give information to cops, telling them about the mines. If Sam is killed, then the mines remain a secret.

PROS & CONS:

PROS:

  1. The Scenery: Even thought the game is in a dark setting, the scenery is beautiful. From Sam’s bus ride up to the cabin to the outside wildness to the mountains surrounding the ranger station, the scenery is nice. Even Dr. Hill’s office is nice for the beginning of the game.
  2. Quick-time Events: I don’t say this often when it comes to gaming, but I actually like the quick-time events in this game. They actually work, unlike anything made by David Cage. There is one con to this, but I’ll get to that in a second.
  3. Utilizing the PS4 Controller: If you are a PS4 user, then you would hate the fact that this game is specifically made for the PS4, but once you get a PS4 and buy this game, you would be glad that this game isn’t for the PS3. This game utilizes every part of the PS4 controller, something that all games haven’t been about to accomplish yet. Yes, I know that this fact will not factor in the future when more games come out, but for now, I’ll happily say that this game does the PS4 controller proud.
  4. Actual Jump Scares: While most of the jump scares in this game are not that great and doesn’t make sense, there are some really good jump scares, especially for those playing for the first time. But all jump scares will make you jump if you play this game in the dark with headphones. I have and the nightmares made me regret it.
  5. Emily’s Bitch Slap: If Mike keeps Emily alive and Ashley tells the truth about what was in the stranger’s journal, Emily bitch slaps Ashley because she didn’t read before accusing Emily of turning into a Wendigo. This is even after the stranger says, “You can transform into a Wendigo by resorting to cannibalism.” And you get a trophy for it.
  6. The Butterfly Effect: I thought I would end up hating the butterfly effect in this game, but I actually loved it, especially when it came to Chris and Ashley. They are the only two I killed in my first playthrough and this is how I did it; I had Chris shoot the birds because I figured he would be a dick (all comedians are a little dick-ish) and yes, this did hurt Sam and Chris’ relationship, but it was a risk I’m willing to take. Later in the game when Ashley and____are tied up, I told Chris to kill Ashley instead of____. This did not work out the way I planned, so after I made sure Chris didn’t believe a word of what Ashley said and the two trapped inside the room with the gun, I had Chris shoot Ashley before____is revealed as the Psycho. Later after the stranger is killed, Chris passed all of his QTEs only to have Ashley lock him out of the cabin (for shooting her instead of himself) and have his head sliced off by the Wendigo. After Emily bitch-slaps Ashley, she will probably feel distraught and would need to separate from the group when they go find Mike, which is exactly what I made her do when she said she “heard” Jessica’s voice. When she follows the sound, the Wendigo kills her. Butterfly effect.

CONS:

  1. There is no damn run action: This is a horror game, why is there no run button? Details, they are important.
  2. Dialogue: The dialogue in this game is just awful. Especially Emily and Jessica’s argument scene. If Emily was so smart, then she wouldn’t have interacted with Jess, even after Matt said that he didn’t want any drama during the trip.
  3. Plot holes: There are a lot of plot holes within this story. Yes, they are covered by the fact that they are cliches, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to call you out on it. This includes anything that comes out of Jessica’s mouth.
  4. Jessica and Mike do not have sex: I’m calling this a con because no matter how far you get with Jessica and Mike in their private cabin, they will not have sex. This is mainly because when a window breaks within the cabin (possibly by a Wendigo), Jessica goes outside and calls out the fact that she’s going to have sex. This ends up to Jessica being kidnapped, proving that the girl is a dumb blonde. If Mike wasn’t so hot, I would have made him go the long route instead of the quick route. And I had two chances at this, the second chance being when Matt finds Jessica in the mines. If I hadn’t told him to hide with her, they both would have been killed.
  5. The Prank Before & After: The reason behind this whole game revolves around a prank that shouldn’t have happened. And if Hannah hadn’t gotten so upset and ran out the cabin, Beth wouldn’t have had the need to go after her, leading to Beth’s death and Hannah’s fate. If the stupid prank hadn’t happened, then none of them would have been in danger. This is stupidity at its finest. But since it did happen, why didn’t anybody look in the mines? They knew the Washingtons owned property that included an underground mine, why didn’t they look there? Too bad Josh and Chris were drunk during the prank, one of them could have probably stopped it.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

My final thoughts is that this is a good game, I enjoyed playing it and I’ll probably play it again on Halloween. If you hadn’t gotten this game and you want to be scared out of your mind, then I suggest you go out and buy this game (and a PS4 if you hadn’t already gotten it). I’ll be back next month with a new game, who knows, I might do Life is Strange because it’ll be done by then.

FINAL RATING: 8.5 Wendigos out of 10

Until Dawn Gif

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