Mythical girlfriend and I just finished our first playthrough of Until Dawn, and aside from the obvious thoughts about analyzing the story, and the directions and paths we took, my first thought was how I want to play through again, immediately.
I haven’t felt this way about a video game since like, Mass Effect 2, and how eager I was to go through the game a second time, but as a complete renegade decision-making asshole.
That being said, I thought Until Dawn was pretty awesome. To no surprise, the obvious comp to what it felt like playing was Heavy Rain, also another fantastic game that broke the mold of what typical video games were up until that point. But due to the butterfly effect concept that the game adopts, it basically means that the game has the potential for replay value that hasn’t been seen since like, Chrono Trigger.
As much of a goody two-shoes I like to play any type of role-player and wish to have absolutely everyone survive, simply put, I failed to accomplish such in Until Dawn. The game doesn’t have a means to save when you want, so it’s not necessarily possible to simply go back to a save point and re-do the things that lead to a particular character’s demise. You really do have to live with the decisions and choices you make, and it’s really up to you the player to remember what you did, and see if going in other directions yields different results.
What I really liked about the game was that they basically had so many concepts and mechanics going concurrently, that I didn’t really stop to think about some of the plot devices that come into play as the story unfolds. And since I’m trying to do my best to be spoiler-free, I won’t name specifics, but when the name(s) of particular antagonists are revealed, it’s like a no-brainer moment where it’s so very obvious given the setting and geography of the story, but because I’m thinking about butterfly effects and individual characters, I never bothered to stop and hypothesize about what I actually might be up against.
The bottom line is that Until Dawn was a fantastic game. It wasn’t just the Hayden Panettiere show, given the fact that she was the initial star-power that pulled interest in from the mainstream, but all the characters have unique personalities and characteristics that make them capable of drawing emotional responses from players. I’ve played through it once, and I’m already chomping at the bit to get some more time so that I can start over, and go through the game again and again, to see what else I can unfold from the story.