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Until Dawn Preview

Scheduled release date:
August 25, 2015
Supermassive Games
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
August 25, 2015

When I heard that Until Dawn was described as a “teen horror adventure,” I had to cringe. I’m sorry but in my experience, any entertainment with the word “teen” in it is just beyond stupid (an insult to those in that age group, by the way). However, in learning more about this surprisingly promising survival/horror title for PlayStation 4, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m excited. Obviously, a character’s age and sex is irrelevant when it comes to quality storylines and great interactive experiences; what matters is that developer Supermassive isn’t treating this like a typical “teen” product. It’s a little campy, sure, but it has a distinctly horrific, legitimately frightening atmosphere.

The best part about the game is that we’ll make choices that have significant and even permanent consequences. It reminds me of Heavy Rain in that way and of course, it’s reminiscent of those scary Choose Your Own Adventure books from our childhood. Run into the closet? Go down the hall? It’s your choice but whatever that choice is, you’ll have to stick with it (no keeping your finger on the page and saying it doesn’t count!). Another interesting aspect is that the game begins by trying to assess your fears and the more honest you are, the more hair-raising your adventure will be. Does blood and gore freak you out, or do you have a problem with crowds? What about needles or bugs? If you choose needles, for example, the serial killer in the game is armed with a syringe.

The protagonist is named Sam (played by “Heroes” star Hayden Panettiere) and she has become the unfortunate target of the aforementioned villain. You can expect some standard horror tropes, such as Sam wandering around a dark house, telling her invisible friends that the prank “has gone far enough.” Then there are things that make you jump but remain benign; i.e., a chiming clock or something like that. Again, your choices determine the course of the adventure; if you want to be stupid, you can get Sam killed pretty quickly and the story ends. I’m hoping that we’ll get numerous and very different endings, depending on our decisions. Wasn’t there something like 22 possible endings in Heavy Rain …?