I didn't expect to have so much fun with Until Dawn, and the depth with which my choices mattered and affected the final outcome encouraged repeat playthroughs. The visuals can be wonky at times, but in the end Until Dawn succeeds in being a thoughtful use of familiar mechanics, a great achievement in player-driven narrative, and a horror game you shouldn't miss.
The beginning of Until Dawn boasts that the decisions you make during the game will craft a unique and personal story. By the time the credits rolled, I was a believer. Sure, every player follows the same narrative skeleton, and a few of the more "expendable" characters aren't instrumental to the ending (I'd also kill for a way to fast-forward scenes on subsequent playthroughs).
At this price though, and due it not quite delivering on its promises, I fear Until Dawn won’t be getting the exposure it should deserve.
Until Dawn will likely be forever mistaken as part of Quantic Dream’s oeuvre. That’s high praise, however, as the French studio has come the closest to making a game that truly feels like an interactive movie. The area that Until Dawn fails to measure up to Quantic Dream’s efforts, however, is in its plotting.
Until Dawn exists within a strange duality. It's a game that's generic while being unlike anything else I've ever played. It's bad in some very evident ways, and yet I want everyone I know to try it. It's not a great game, probably not even a good one, but it does things I want every narrative-based game going forward to learn from.
Until Dawn is a flawed, but fun experience. Though an unfocused story means it falls short of greatness, it’s an otherwise entertaining homage to the curious traditions of horror movies which pays off your in-game decisions with occasionally shocking consequences.