Until Dawn – I know what you did not play last summer on PS3

PREVIEW – Until Dawn was first developed as a first person horror action adventure game which was originally scheduled to be released on the PlayStation 3 and was supposed to feature Playstation Move Support “until”… well until it disappeared, like a whiny girl in a teen horror movie, only to resurface on the PS4 – completely changed. What have seen on Gamescom looks pretty cool so far. The mysterious trailer with white snow and red blood was actually about Until Dawn.

A game originally made for a former generation usually suffers from the restrains of the older hardware: graphics are a bit blockier, textures are a bit lower resolution, and the animation is less believable. Fortunately none of those restraints are present in what we could see so far from this game. The power of the PlayStation 4 seems to be used well, the light and shadows effects or the facial animations are pretty much “next-gen”. The game is dark, gritty, and seems to be a proper AAA horror game.


Move away, Move!

The PS3 version was supposed to be played in first person view with the PlayStation Move used as a torch in game. While it may sound a neat idea, in the PlayStation 4 version the DS4 controller will be used as a much more interactive and inherent part of the game. You can pick up objects and clues with the controller and use the motion control of the pad. While you don’t have to use good old PlayStation Move anymore, you can still turn those objects with the pad which will have other – yet unknown – uses as well.

The game is also became third person and concentrates much more on the characters which will be all motion captured from real actors. Like who, you ask?


A real “scream queen”

Well, like the actress, singer and model Hayden Panettiere, who was Kirby Reed in the slasher film Scream 4 and also appeared as voice actor of Kairi in the Kingdom Hearts games. Other actors includes Rami Malek, perhaps best known from the TV show The Pacific, Brett Dalton who was Agent Grant Ward from Agents of the S.H.I.E.L.D. and also Meaghan Martin and Galadriel Stineman.

Not really big stars to be honest, rather actors like those from your typical teen horror movie. Still the facial animation looks amazing, and it’s clear that they have done a lot of work with the actors.


Just another survivor horror?

Not quite. The way you can turn and look at objects for clues reminds you a bit of L.A. Noire and the way you interact with things a bit Heavy Rain. Oh yes, Heavy Rain… Do you remember how any of your characters could die in this game? Well, it’s a bit the same with Until Dawn: from the eight controllable characters anyone can die if you screw up, so it also means that there are different endings really changing how you own story plays out.

Those endings may also differ on what clues you pick up or what others you do miss, so little decisions may also affect the different story branches and the ending the game. When a potential choice appears in the game you can see a butterfly on the screen to illustrate the butterfly effect. The game will be deeply story driven and cinematic as well. And if you really, really screw up, well… all eight characters dies and the game is over.



Well, your head can be cut easily for sure. The game is pretty gory and dark. The cold blue-dark and gray colors, makes you think less like an “I know what you did last summer” style campy teen horrors and more like a classic, serious horror film. The main baddie with a horrendously disfigured jaw and distorted voice really creeps you out. There’s also other cinematic elements like the recap “Previously in Until Dawn” which tells you everything that you have done so far.

So far Until Dawn looks pretty interesting may conquer the hearts of Heavy Rain and survivor horror fans alike.

Looks good:

+ Classic horror ambiance
+ Cool looking graphics
+ Interesting horror story with eight characters

Not sure about:

– Let’s hope that it indeed won’t be a teen horror…
– It’s not clear yet how the handling will be done

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines - including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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