Impressions: Until Dawn (PS4) from PlayStation Experience

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I’ve known very little of Until Dawn except that it was originally planned as a PS3 game that used Move controllers. Instead, it’s coming to PS4, and uses the motion features of the DualShock 4 in some pretty innovative ways.

Supermassive Games are working hard on a pretty imaginative take on what you would consider one of those “a bunch of teens up on a mountain at a creepy cabin” movies/games. What’s different though is the way that you play the game, and the large amount of variations available. 8 playable characters are stuck on a mountain in a huge, creepy house, and there’s a stalker on the loose, a really creepy, crazy clown looking stalker.

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A lot of the “standards” are present, the music that builds to a crescendo as the stress levels increase, the things that jump at you out of nowhere, and the creepy sounds that surround you. I won’t go through much of what actually transpired, because what I played was actually a bit later in the game. What I did learn though is quite extensive. All 8 characters in the game can live or die, and that directly affects how the game progresses, and yes, all 8 can die. Also, there are multiple endings, depending on which characters survive or not.

Visually, it’s a stunner. Lighting plays a huge part in the game, and you’ll even see things like dust falling through shafts of light, and kicked-up from furniture and items as you interact. For characters, they’ve got an all new system for capturing nuances of an actor’s performance, and some of the best tech that I’ve seen yet. The character I played in this demo is portrayed by Hayden Panettiere, and the digital representation is pretty uncanny. You can actually see her emotional responses like you would a real person, and it somehow makes you empathize with her plight just a bit more.

What grabbed me the most though, is the unique system they’ve implemented to investigate your surroundings, and how you find things to interact with. An icon will appear if you see an object that you can interact with, but everything is based on line-of-sight, so unlike many other games that these icons just simply appear when you get close to them, your character actually has to see it. Luckily, with the use of the Sixaxis capabilities of the DualShock 4, you can actually turn your character’s head while walking around the room. You’ll also have plenty of instances where you’ll need to make decisions pretty quickly, and again you’ll use motion to do so, and it works really well.

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Honestly, this usually wouldn’t be a game that I would get excited about, but after playing it, I really like what they’re doing, and I’m definitely looking forward to it now. Keep your ears on the podcast as we’ll attempt to get these folks to join us for a chat. This isn’t your typical horror-based game folks, they’re doing some really cool things.

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  • John Davidson

    I wasn’t paying much attention to this but seeing the demo on the stream today it looks cool. Face tech is moving forward a lot this generation.

  • ChazzH69

    This genre has never been high on my list but for some reason I’ve wanted this game desperately when it was announced for the PS3. So happy that it got moved to the better equipped PlayStation 4 and had a lot more time spent on it.

    Would love to hear them on the podcast, I hope that works out.

  • The demo on stage at PSX really surprised me. The audience screaming which way to go would be great if the player was streaming this over PS Share. Sadly it be via text. But it looked very impressive for a game I didn’t have any hopes for.

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