Until Dawn Review

Written By: Tyler Oldfield


Seems Safe...

“An uninterrupted story that is all based on the players decisions and quick thinking will have you wiping your forehead in a ‘close call’ way or having your head hang in disappointment”

Developers Supermassive Games first debuted Until Dawn as a PlayStation Move experience. It was set to release at the tail end of the PS3’s lifecycle and to be a game that made motion control gaming fun for the hardcore gamers. However, somewhere during development something happened, causing the team to take a step back in the shadows and reevaluate their product. With the PlayStation 4 set to launch on the horizon, Supermassive—or maybe even Sony—saw an opportunity to take advantage of the systems powerful tech and deliver an homage to the classic teen-slasher horror.  This isn’t your typical horror game that we have all come accustomed to. Your camera isn’t panned behind the characters and you aren’t stocking up on firearms to give the horrors that stalk you a fight. This is more in style of an adventure game–think of the classic Resident Evil games merged with Telltale’s approach to storytelling—that is Until Dawn.

The game starts off with a group of friends tucked away inside a cabin on top of a mountain during a winter storm. This opening prologue plays out as the games tutorial where you learn the basics of the game and how its mechanics work. It also establishes the story going forward and why exactly these compelling teens decide to visit the cabin. The game does an overall good job of keeping its story a mystery. With subtle hints and clues regarding some of the strange happenings around the area only to let your imagination and theories to start processing. I will say that a certain part in the story completely threw me off guard and veered more towards something I wasn’t quite expecting. This mysterious story is just enough to keep you motivated and continue  plowing through the terrors to figure out everything. Throughout the course of the game you will come to like some of these characters or simply despise them. These can entirely play out depending on the choices you make as certain characters that will define who they are as a person. I played the game the way I would as if it was happening to me. I am a nice guy (at least I think so) so when given the option to be more understanding I’d go with that. These choices made me care for characters but it also made some individuals run all over me and belittle me because ya know, nice guys finish last, right? This began to take a toll on the way I viewed the characters who were mistreating me. If they were in need of assistance I was hesitant on whether or not I should or not. Every action you take can determine the outcome of the situation for the best or for the worst. Because there is no “Game Over” I found myself trying my hardest to take care of characters that I cared for the most. Everyone can die and everyone can live, it is the classic case of the butterfly effect. This leaves room for replay value, giving you the chance to go back and make different decisions to get different outcomes.

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The game visuals are absolutely stunning, almost to the point of being realistic at times. This heightens the believability of the characters as they can express fear, sadness and care through the amazing animation. The moon illuminating through the thickness of the forest providing patches of light to help navigate through the blistering winter storm. The sinister cabin echoing uncertain whispers and creaks as you investigate the beautifully, yet haunting house. All the essentials to create an amazing horror atmosphere is there. The setting may be cliché but the creators really nailed the tone and inspiration from the classic slasher horror movies.

I can’t really find a flaw in the game because its mechanics work for the style it uses. If you strongly dislike QTE’s (quick time events) then you will most likely be miserable during the experience. Quick thinking and good reflexes are key to success. Once or twice during my anxiety spas I accidentally pushed a wrong button causing a decision I didn’t really want to do. Keep your composure and stay calm, scenes will get very intense and will demand you make quick decisions. I loved every second of this because if I failed, that was it, bye-bye. The organic flow of the game was refreshing and very satisfying or heartbreaking, depending on what happens.

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Final Word: Until Dawn does a remarkable job at delivering the tone, atmosphere and characters of a classic teen slasher horror. An uninterrupted story that is all based on the players decisions and quick thinking will have you wiping your forehead in a ‘close call’ way or having your head hang in disappointment, knowing your favorite character will not continue on. If you can handle the tense pressure then maybe you will survive Until Dawn.

Verdict: 9/10

Gameplay: 7.5
Story: 7.5
Graphics: 10
Sound: 10
Replay Value: 9.5

 

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Slow Times, Exciting Times. 

Hello All,

Just giving a quick update regarding what is going on with The Young Beards. Big and exciting events are taking place in our lives and because of said events material has been slow. We are still here and still working on getting things rolling but for the time being things will be quiet. 

We appreciate everyone who is following us and we look forward to bringing more content in the very near future!

Sincerely,

-The Young Beards 

Dying Light’s Expansion ‘The Following’ Is Huge.

 

 

 

 

Written By: Tyler Oldfield



Dying Light

Techland’s parkour-hacking-zombie-apocalypse game Dying Light, is receiving an expansion pack that is just as big as the original game. The new trailer for the DLC shows off what made the game great, with fast paced running and climbing, slaughtering zombies with unique weapons and the new addition of dune buggies. Check out the trailer below.

No release date has been given for the expansion but it will set you back $14.99. If you have the season pass than the content will be bundled in. 

 

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture Review

Written By: Tyler Oldfield
Reviewed On: PlayStation 4


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With subtle details, a very ambiguous narrative and emotional music  I was left crestfallen and hoping the games slow pace might pick up only to be disappointed with bland restricted gameplay. “

I agree games should be labeled as art because in theory art is something one or many have created. The Chinese Room—best known for games like Dear Esther and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs—has taken a heavily narrative focus set in a bucolic town of England during the 1980’s. The thing is the focus seemed too much on the story and writing than providing us with solid gameplay which in the end had me yawning and begging for the experience to be over already.

The game starts off completely swallowed in mystery. Everybody seems to have randomly disappeared leaving you to be the lone survivor. Survivor of what exactly is the question and is up to you to explore a gorgeous countryside and unravel the mysteries. The way of uncovering the secrets lies in a peculiar glowing ball of light which is your navigational friend. This ball of light will float around leading you to important occurrences that happened before “the event”. These occasions show off past meetings (or alterations) between the town folks. They are displayed through a show of lights and are delivered excellently with superb voice acting. These characters discuss strange things happening around the town while also battling personal burdens. The music helps stimulate some of the more intense encounters you come across. Haunting hymns and a beautiful orchestra pulls on your heart-strings a bit as you feel sympathy for these poor souls.

What Happened? Keep walking to find out.

What Happened? Keep walking to find out.

The strange happenings are very subtle and it is up to you to explore and piece together the phenomena. You are free to wander around freely and go at your own pace but that is one of the biggest problems this game has, the pacing. Your character moves incredibly slow and can totally ruin the pacing of the game because of this. They do have a sprint (more like a jog) button that requires holding down the right trigger but this is a gradual run. Most people have completely overlooked this simple mechanic (me included) because I wasn’t getting an instant run effect. The walking speed decreases even more when you enter a building and even more when walking up or down a set of stairs. Maybe the meaning behind this decision was to let you focus on your surroundings and interact more carefully. The thing is, you barely interact with anything, other than opening up doors and eavesdropping on ghostly glowing humans. There are no puzzles, no platforming in any shape, you are simply tasked of walking and listening repeatedly. After about a 5 hour journey I was left scratching my head but more importantly, relieved. It almost seemed such a waste to have this extraordinary countryside with no ability to interact with and an incredible sedate pacing. Because of this the characters I started to care about became just an obstacle in order to advance the game.

Final Word:The Chinese Room introduces us to an abandoned countryside where a mysterious event has wiped out the residents of this small English town. With subtle details, a very ambiguous narrative and emotional music  I was left crestfallen and hoping the games slow pace might pick up only to be disappointed with bland restricted gameplay. 

Verdict:5/10

Gameplay: 2
Story: 5
Graphics: 8
Sound: 8
Replay: 4