Until Dawn is rife with slasher film cliches the on stage demo at PlayStation Experience showed a blonde girl in a towel being pursued by the relentless masked killer, running, hiding and ultimately being captured. It was a quick presentation, lacking some of the context of the hands on demo at PSX. But it highlighted one of the game’s strongest components: Until Dawn lets you make the choices of horror movie victims, the characters we often yell at onscreen for their idiotic behavior.
Until Dawn features all the elements you’d expect from your favorite teen horror movies: a script that’s funny, sexy and scary; a beautiful young cast; an isolated location; a devious killer; a dark secret and of course that all-important twist. Developed exclusively for PlayStation 3 by Super-massive Games, Until Dawn will make you look at your Move Motion Controller in a totally different way, as it becomes your torch guiding you through the dark as you attempt to survive Until Dawn. Sam, Josh, Jessica, Mike, Emily, Matt, Ashley, and Chris spend the night in a log cabin on the anniversary of the disappearance of their friends, twin sisters Hannah and Beth, unaware that they are being hunted by a crazed serial killer.
The gameplay mechanic clearly resonated with the PlayStation Experience crowd. During the keynote, they shouted out en masse their choices when prompts popped up on screen. Run? Hide? Jump? These are some of the frequent decisions players are asked to make while playing. But there’s more to it than that. Until Dawn is playable demo kicked off with a survey. The game asks whether you have a fear of the dark, or a fear of crowds. Do you hate needles or have a fear of suffocating? Does blood and gore bother you, or are “creepy crawlies” more upsetting? At least one of those questions has an obvious impact on the demo. If you confess your fear of needles, the killer is armed with a large syringe. If you choose suffocation, he’ll carry a gas tank filled with anesthetic .Once your “preferences” are set, Until Dawn’s take on teen horror kicks off. You are presented with Sam, played by Heroes star Hayden Panettiere, taking a nighttime bath while listening to Yo Yo Ma. She’s relaxed and oblivious to the creepy clown mask killer watching her bathe. He slips out of the room, silent as the night.
Until Dawn, which hits PlayStation 4 sometime in 2015, looks like it has a chance to be a sleeper hit on Sony’s console. The game looks fantastic — it certainly doesn’t look like a PlayStation 3 holdover thanks to some impressive animation and realistic motion captured performances, and may offer some genuine scares.