Its variety of endings, experiences, and characters means this game is still fun to play 2 years on. Until Dawn is a unique interactive survival-horror game, where the course you take and the ending you receive is all determined by your own choices. With the recent announcement of The Inpatient, revealed to be Until Dawn’s prequel, I thought it’d be fun to revisit my experience with the game.
[Spoilers ahead, obviously.]
I don’t know about you, but this is one of the most frustrating game experiences I’ve ever had. The basic idea is to keep all of the main characters alive. You start with a classic horror-trope teen gang who are going on a fun-filled all-American holiday to a dark, far off cabin in the woods with no phone signal (seems really safe, yep). This seems pretty typical, but this classic, recognisable environment and character-dynamic is the solid foundation that a daring game-style needed. The interactive elements of telling your characters what to do, say, and think, is where the fun really starts.
But it’s also where the pressure starts.
This Don’t Move function was one of my main pressure points. If I wasn’t suddenly desperate to sneeze, I was being shoved by the person next to me who thought they were hilarious. Nevertheless, I survived the Don’t Moves. (Sidetone: did anyone else literally stop breathing during these bits?)
My game was going really well, my characters were alive, all getting along great, honestly I was feeling pretty smug: what’s so hard about this? I thought. It seemed like most of the choices were common sense: don’t shoot the squirrel and exhibit psychopathic tendencies, don’t take the dangerous routes, don’t fall asleep during quicktime events. So I thought, screw it, and handed the controller over to my mate.
She tootles along like me, making all the good choices, when she, as Mike, decides to cut through a small stream instead of walking over a log. Little did we know that these 3 seconds would allow us to stop Jessica from being brutally murdered by f*ck knows what. At this point, I’ve snatched the controller back: I can pull this back. One death isn’t too bad.
Again, it’s all going so well. I can’t believe I’ve survived so many jumpscares, chases with Wendigo, scaling ridiculously tall cliff faces as Sam (we get it, you like bouldering), herds of deer, even my own psycho mate Josh. I’ve made it back into the house with all my pals – we’ve come so far! With only a small gaggle of insane, hungry Wendigo to evade now, I can’t be far from the end. This is going to be easy.
So, when you’re presented with the opportunity for your main character to run for the light-switch instead of saving Mike, you run, right? Mike’s a big boy. He can save himself.
Loveable gang of teens, meet blazing inferno.
So, I’ve gone from saving everyone except Jessica (sorry, girl!) to being left with Sam, Chris, and Matt. Matt was stuck up a mountain for some reason, Chris is a selfish prick and ran out first, and Sam was close enough to the door to be flung out to safety rather than burnt to a crisp.
Frustrating, but I’m still really excited to see how I can screw up The Inpatient.
Did you have a similar experience? Tell me about your f*ck ups!