Last we saw Until Dawn was in a nice little teaser trailer and showcase at Gamescom in August. While it was all filmed using the game's engine it never really showed how Until Dawn would play out or handle once we had it in our hands. That is outside of playing out like a campy horror film of your and until the PlayStation Experience where the game was on hand for the lucky few of us to actually play. Here's how Until Dawn handled and pretty much where the game is at so far from Supermassive Games.
If you watched the Until Dawn section of the PlayStation Keynotes on Saturday morning (12/6/14) then you saw the section of the game that was available for demo on the floor. This sported a towel-ly clad Hayden Panettiere running around in a very spooky cabin setting. That would be pretty much the setting for the whole game but this section focused on that character of the eight playable ones in Until Dawn. Where the stage demo began is not where the floor demo of Until Dawn did though.
When the demo was first loaded up we were asked a series of questions. This was also kind of a tutorial to make sure we had the general controls for Until Dawn down as well as to customize the experience for us. If you see in the trailers you can see the killer carrying around a gas tank. This was one of two options for this demo as these questions would alter the killer and a bit of the environment based on your selections. The gas tank was based on the selection of having a fear of suffocation over needles. Had we selected needles that would have been the maniac's weapon of choice throughout the demo. This was just one of the many questions meant to tailor Until Dawn to fit your fears.
After this we were shown a bit more of the story which leads us to be only wearing a towel in the demo. It all made more sense when you realize that the killer here had been watching your character for a while and removed everything of hers sans one sock. If this was a male character in Until Dawn I could have seen a more humorous outcome for clothing but that was not the case. From here we were let loose to inspect the creepy environment and give the controls and gameplay a real one for. Spoiler alert! Most everything handles just as Heavy Rain did.
This of course was not a bad thing and I think made more sense given the interaction that Until Dawn forces upon the player. Seeing as Until Dawn is supposed to have the player play out a horror film it made sense that there were only two or three options available when in the other title there were options that should have been available when they were not. These options of course being select-able by physically aiming the DualShock 4 controller and then pressing the Cross button in a short amount of time. Of course in some cases in-action is a viable option but none were present in this demo of Until Dawn.
One of the faults that I hope gets fixed for Until Dawn would have to be some of the motion controls though. When a character is hiding and need to stay still so do you on the controller. Not just in the way of movement sticks but physically the controller. Meaning if you have a shaky hand in real life then you are in for a hard time hiding in Until Dawn. That is also not to mention that some of the PS camera integration I heard rumored also requires you the player to stay quiet as well. That was not on the scene for this demo of Until Dawn but there was talk about it.
Until Dawn — Gameplay
The other thing I felt needs work of Until Dawn before release is the actual physical moves required for QTEs to be successful. I have always hated the need to force the controller left or right while not twisting at all. This was one of the motions that usually led players to dying in the Until Dawn demo as I watched on. It just feels unnatural and would have worked better as a touch pad action instead in my opinion. Maybe that should be an option Supermassive. It just doesn't always seem to work well in any game even though I get the concept behind it.
None the less, this demo for Until Dawn has definitely made the game one of my anticipated titles coming to the PS4. I can look past the motion issues for the most part and look forward to being able to play the other seven characters in the game. I hear that they apparently got other big names to voice and motion capture the roles but everyone was tight lipped on everything on the floor. Until Dawn is looking like the fun horror experience we were promised long ago just with some great next gen addition in the mix now. Good show Supermassive.