Until Dawn Review

Written By: Tyler Oldfield


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“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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Resident Evil 2 Remake Officially Approved.

Written By: Tyler Oldfield


 

 

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Capcom’s H&D Division have officially announced that  the Resident Evil 2 Remake has been approved. They announced through their Facebook page along with a YouTube announced video.

Capcom’s producer Yoshiaki Hirabyashi commented

“It’s been great to see so many positive comments from fans that have pushed the project to get approved. The team here at Capcom Japan really appreciates fans’ passion and support and will do our best to bring fans what they really want.”

due to the outcry from fans demanding a remake of the most popular entry in the franchise Capcom has heard their voices and seem to be going forward with the project.

This is exciting news. I am a huge horror fan and absolutely LOVE the Resident Evil series. The thing is, I never beat Resident Evil 2…..I know, I know crazy right?! You can read my story behind why I have not beat the iconic game by clicking here. I very much look forward to this. 

Capcom Ask’s For Your Opinion On A Resident Evil 2 Remake.

Written By: Tyler Oldfield


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Everyone has been forever asking for a Resident Evil 2 remake. Now it seems something just might be clicking over there at Capcom. Yesterday the official Resident Evil Facebook page posted a comment asking why a Resident Evil 2 remake should happen.

Hello Resident Evil fans! 

This is Capcom R&D Division 1!

First off, we would like to express our deepest appreciation to all Resident Evil fans, for your passion, enthusiasm and continued support for the Resident Evil brand.

Enthusiasm for a Resident Evil 2 Remake is something we’ve been hearing from you over the years, and has drawn some recent attention in the media.

However, as the team owns the RE brand, we’re not certain how we feel about this approach, and would like to ask your honest and frank opinion about the “Resident Evil 2 Remake” and what the brand identity is supposed to be about?”

I am surprised a Resident Evil 2 remake hasn’t happened already. Fans constantly keep beating the drum for one asking for the series to please return to its horror roots and leave behind the over-the-top action. After the very positive reception from the (actual) Final Fantasy 7  Remake announcement, maybe Capcom is taking note? Time will tell.

My Most Disturbing Creatures In Popular Horror Franchises.

Written By: Tyler Oldfield



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I love playing horror games. I love the tension. I love not knowing what gross creature is going to be around the corner. I love learning the twisted story of my character to find out he isn’t a hero at all. The one main reason I like horror games is the variety of enemies they throw at you. With a horror game, designers can use their imaginations and make their twisted abominations come to life. Horror doesn’t have to be grounded, it doesn’t have to give a reason why this deformed cockamamie evil is stalking you. For this very reason is why I put Horror as my top genre in video games. Here is a list of some disturbing creatures I’ve encountered in some popular franchises.

 

Dead Space Series: The Leaper



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These things are ridiculously creepy. Your first encounter with this thing is in the original Dead Space,  as Isaac Clarke just finished up fixing the tram, and as he heads back, he sees this anathema scurry across the top of the ceiling. The only thing stopping it from butchering you is the steel crate. You later on meet face to face with the creature and they don’t call the thing a leaper for nothing. This picture should simplify why it is my top choice for being disturbing. Its jaw-less face, solid white eyes, and a scorpion like tail, plus seeing the features of what was once a human is quite perturb.

 

Runner-Up: The Divider


AHH This tall lanky monster walks pretty damn fast that it throws you off guard. Not only is this thing strong and speedy, but once it is “dead” it splits into 3 parts causing more frustration. Oh, and it’s loud groan….ugh. The worst!

 

Silent Hill Series: Twin Victims


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This thing takes the cake for being the most disturbing creature in the Silent Hill franchise. When you first meet this freak you faintly hear baby wines, I mean the cries are so quiet you most likely wont hear them the first time. Then just as you’re making your way around a circular hallway, there it is, still as a statue. When you move a little closer the large monster charges you, with both monotone baby faces plastered on a hideous body with only large arms supporting whatever is underneath its black robe. Truly frightening.

 

Runner-Up: Scarlet 


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Another tall and skinny monster, maybe I am just disturbed by them. This thing is incredibly scary though, With its porcelain  like “skin” and black hollowed out eyes with agonizing teeth, this thing was intimidating to fight. Not only does the brute stand tall on two legs, once beaten enough it’ll bend down in a spider-like form and start climbing the walls and ceiling. Silent Hill: Homecoming may not be the best Silent Hill game but it delivered one of the most iconic boss fight in the series.

 

 Resident Evil series: Duvalia


AHHResident Evil has been around for so long that it was real tough to find my top “disturbing” creature. It’s also funny how i chose an enemy from number 5, which a lot of people accuse of making the franchise what it is today, not scary. Well, this is a list of disturbing creatures not necessarily scary. This beast came out of nowhere when encountered, at first it is just a “normal” human (infected by a parasite) trying to machete you. Until you put a couple of bullets in the guy does its true colors show. The person starts convulsing and twitching until they literally burst, into what you see in the picture. It still has its human legs for movement, but its upper half is far gone and its hungry.

 

Runner-Up: Regenerators


AHHYou see a creature on an operating table, behind thick glass and a locked secured door, you just know that you will eventually be fighting this savage. You know they’re close when you hear their snarl, it is almost like they are trying to breathe but something is clogging their throat. When they notice you, they shamble slowly towards you, with their intimidating posture of standing tall, and of course their gruesome looking face. Just don’t let this giant get to close because he’ll leap on you and make your face his lunch

 

Left 4 Dead series: The Spitter


AHHLeft 4 Dead isn’t known for being really a scary game, sure it has zombies and other monstrosities, but it isn’t something you’ll lose sleep over. However, there are some rather disturbing creatures in the game regardless of its lack of scariness. The Spitter is one of those enemies, everything about it is disgusting. It’s stretched out neck,pale skin with exposed blood veins, and of course it’s comically large jaw and beady white eyes. On top of all its freaky features, it spits acid out of its mouth. Gross.

 

 

Runner-Up: The Hunter


AHHHe may just look like a zombie in a hoodie (one reason he is a runner-up) but his tactics of stalking you is pretty scary. This guy can run on both legs if it wants, it’s when he gets low, in hunting mode, when he really becomes terrifying. Just before he pounces towards its victim he’ll let out a shrieking scream, next thing you know you are on your back being clawed to death.

 

Condemned series: Tar-Men


AHHThe Condemned series deals for the most part with tweaked out meth heads and smelly hobos. It’s when you start fighting the “monsters” that things get weird and horrifying. These guys, who i call “Tar-Men”, were an unexpected surprise. You encounter these creeps when you make your way through an empty building, they’re hanging on the ceiling in some sort of cocoon. When you walk underneath them they break open and grab your arms, and force you to look at its repulsive face up close. When they’re not in their cocoons they are bum rushing you with its friends, easy to kill but they definitely cause anxiety when overwhelmed.

 

Runner-Up: Dolls



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Again with the weirdness of Condemned. There isn’t really much to say here. They’re dolls, they want to kill you. Creepy.

 

Well that is all I have at the moment, there is a ton of horror games I could go through with some whacked out creatures, but these were my favorite. Hopefully later I can make a new list with new games. Thank for reading!

 

What Makes A Game “Survival Horror”?

Written By: Tyler Oldfield


Survival
Survival:
The act or fact of surviving, especially under adverse or unusual circumstances.

Horror: An overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting. 

If someone asks about the Resident Evil series, what would be the general answer from people? Majority would say they’re fun but lack what made the franchise so great, which is the horror aspect. With its last two outings (5 & 6) the series took a different approach in trying to “scare” players. Number 5 was set in a bright African setting, rather than the typical gloomy environments that it’s predecessors mastered. In fact, Resident Evil 5 was so antithetical that everyone refused to call it “survival horror”. Number 6 strove to get back to its roots, but at the same time try to accommodate to a wider audience. This approach engendered a big disarray of events, you could not figure out what Resident Evil 6 was trying to be, it suffered a major identity crisis.

With all the negative feedback about how these games strayed to far off from what made them great, it got me thinking about what exactly makes a game survival horror, and if it was fair to write off the Resident Evil franchise as just another third-person-shooter. Survival is something that is required in most games, because if you die, then well, its game over. Then you have the horror facet, which can be used in any type of way in any game. Horror isn’t always blood and guts or something bursting through a window. Horror is dealing with something that is appalling, it doesn’t have to be a six-armed mutant stalking you but it can be the desperation to save your child or willingly to do anything to save your loved ones. You can even take Modern Warfare 1 for an example, when the nuclear bomb goes off and you witness in first-person all the destruction it is causing, it’s a horrendous sighting from a terrible event. The story itself is a fight for something terrible to occur, so wouldn’t this be classified as survival horror? I know it sounds ludicrous to compare a military FPS to a genre where classics like Resident Evil and Amnesia are famous for. I just personally feel that survival horror should not just be confined to a single type of game. I believe there are certain branches of horror that each game can carry, I’ll give some examples.

Psychological Horror: The games in this category have the characters (and players) deal with situations that are affecting the mind, especially with motivation. These adventures make the player/character think hard about what is happening and if it’s truly real or not. The complications of scenarios will try to break the protagonist, pushing him or her to the limits of reality.

Series In This Category: Dead Space, Silent Hill, Amnesia, Eternal Darkness

 Action Horror: This form of horror is probably the most common approach developers are choosing to do. This format isn’t to try to scare your pants off, but to put you in an abnormal state. The protagonist is not your “everyday Joe”, but a character that has experience in combat; like a soldier. These servicemen/women are thrown a barbarity of situations that would be common in a traditional horror game. Instead of recoiling in fear they simply suck it up and continue with their mission, with machine guns and explosions.

Series In This Category: Resident Evil 5-6, Dante’s Inferno, Gears of War, Resistance.

Reality Horror: To me, a lot of games can fit in this bracket. with the way technology is advancing, it’s making games more and more realistic. Developers are telling stories of what earth will be like if a calamity event happened. then leaving players to go out and face the unknown horrors that await. Some games in this category have an obvious fictional side, while at the same time keeping it grounded and having you ask the question, what if?

Series In This Category: Fallout, The Last of Us, Call of Duty.

When all is said and done and you compare all these games together, they all have the same goals, survive. It doesn’t matter about ammo supply or first aid kits but to simply try to survive  the events taking place. If it’s slaying the walking corpse or preventing world war 3, there is always some horror to survive.