Monday, August 31, 2015

Move forward or die

Of the original eight annoying, horny teenagers only three made it to the end of my Until Dawn play through. I only feel truly responsible for one of those as it was caused by an obvious mistake. The rest the result of something being missed hours earlier or a fifty/fifty choice that I guessed wrong on. There is no time to play it again (not that I would anyway) so Sam (hooray), Emily (blech) and Ashley (meh) surviving is canon as far as I am concerned.

But was it any good? Yes, but only if you are a fan of adventure games like Tell Tale's recent offerings or older PS3 games like Heavy Rain. You do not so much play Until Dawn as you guide it, choosing the path that it takes, sometimes intentionally and others because you did not press triangle soon enough to not die. There is no attempt to disguise its nature as interactive fiction. In fact it revels in it, telling the player over and over that he or she is responsible, in a loose way anyway, for the well being of everyone involved in the story.

Making them all tolerable would have helped but that would have been out of step with the game's homage to/parody of nature. It a choose your own adventure horror movie game. Some people will love it and others will be just amused enough to see it through to the end, once.

Until Dawn never manages to muster up anything beyond cheap jump scares and I can credit that to the the second of two twists. The first twist everyone sees coming a mile away, give up on for a bit, then go back to knowing what was going to happen. The second, well...


It is obvious very early that there are two 'bad' guys. The psycho in the mansion being Josh out for revenge was obvious. It being an elaborate joke and him not actually killing anyone was a nice touch but from the moment he ran from the Ouija board to no one checking on his body after he was sawed in half it was clear he was the psycho. But what about the flamethrower guy?

Oh, he was actually a good guy and there are monsters running around the mountain that no one has seen or heard since the 1950's. As soon as the wendigo showed up all possible fear was replaced with tension, I was not afraid of the wendigo. Yes, they moved in a very unnatural manner but they are shown so often and is such detail that they are about as intimidating as the xenomorph in the later Alien movies. That is to say, there is no mystery left. Angry, strong, yes, but not frightening.

If the game could have avoiding showing them until the final scene in the mansion where the main wendigo was hanging from the chandelier it would have been terrifying. Instead I just waiting for action star Michael to come up with something. He did, but Sam jumped the gun and killed him along with all the monsters. My bad.

...

Both Metal Gear Solid V and Mad Max have shipped on the same day. I will play whichever one is one top when I open my mail. While waiting I am going to give Whispering Willows a try because it was on sale. I have not streamed anything in months and I want to give my new internet connection a try so tune in tonight to see the game and not hear me talk.

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