Renée (rogueslayer452) wrote,

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Until Dawn

Until Dawn is a PS4 horror game released a little while ago. It features the voices and motion-captures of familiar actors such as Hayden Panetierre (Heroes, Nashville), Brett Dalton (Agents of Shield) and Rami Malek (Mr. Robot). The plot centers around a group of teenagers who are on a getaway trip to a secluded area up in the snowy mountains alone, when they suddenly start getting stalked and attacked by something and they must find means of surviving, you guessed it, until dawn. The game features a lot of common tropes featured in most horror movies, some which may seem quite hokey and predictable if you're familiar with the genre. Of course, this being an interactive game there is an advantage since you, the player, get a chance to decide what each character does to determine their fates. The concept of the game features the butterfly effect, every individual decision you make affects how the game will play out for each character and their relationships with each other, and there are multiple outcomes. It's not dissimilar to Life Is Strange in that way, except there is no rewind option so whatever choices you end up making are the ones you're permanently stuck with. And the story itself features some interesting twists and a unique setup that becomes quite clear by the end.

While I haven't played it myself since I don't have PS4, I have watched a couple of playthroughs from others and from what I have observed the graphics are gorgeous, especially the landscaping, and the cover rendition of "O Death" as its main theme song is pretty damn awesome. Since this is the month of Halloween, this is the perfect game to play or watch being played since its tone is quite atmospheric and immersive.

And with that, I'm now going to be talking about what happens in the game, specifically about certain characters, so major plot spoilers from here onwards.

Until Dawn: The Characters

One of the things this game does well is lay the groundwork for character development as it progresses, since at the beginning of the game your first impression is, aside from a few characters, some of them are pretty horrible to each other. But by the end of the game, you end up really caring for a lot if not everyone, including the ones that you didn't initially like simply because of the shit they go throughout the game. Again, this does depend on the choices every individual player makes, but whether you end up saving everyone or just a few, you do end up having feelings for these characters, because at the end of the day they were just teenagers who went through some shit and regardless of the stupid childish drama that happened before it doesn't mean they deserved what happened to them.

The only character whose fate doesn't change regardless is Josh, which the fandom is rightfully angry about. He ends up dying no matter what, from either getting killed or by becoming a Wendigo at the very end. Josh is quite a complex character, as most of them are, but throughout the game there are a lot of emotions the player ends up feeling towards him in general. By the end you feel a lot of sympathy for him, especially once you learn how he suffers from a mental illness which only got worse after the disappearance of his sisters. He now has severe depression and has been off his medication for a long time now, leading him to construct this elaborate hallucination of the doctor he probably saw previously, even hallucinations of his sisters. In the end, all Josh wanted was to play a harmless prank on his friends in revenge for the cruel prank they played on his sisters, leading them to their disappearance and death, and it only led to the harsh reality of the real danger on those mountains stalking them, and the even the harsher reality that one of the Wendigos was actually Hannah, one of his sisters.

Josh may have made a grave mistake with his prank, especially if he did this when off his medications thinking it was a good idea to begin with, but he didn't deserve what happened to him. He deserved someone to talk to, someone who could help him. You would've thought that Sam would've been this person, since even she said that he came to her during the last year whenever he needed someone to talk to, even during his prank he apologized as he knocked her out, but I guess in the end even she wasn't enough to help him. In the end, Josh was just a kid who needed help. He didn't deserve to die.

As I mentioned, all the character go through experiences that change them by the end. I think the two characters who end up drastically changed from how they were from the beginning were Chris and Jessica, both who started off with much personality but with the horrors they face, by the end credits they are just strangely quiet, clearly traumatized by what they had gone through. Christ witnessed so much death that he doesn't even crack a joke anymore, and Jessica (my sweet, baby girl) was the first one attacked and ended up being MIA through most of the game until towards the end, who is just in plain shock and dazed and not her usual bubbly self. And it's interesting seeing how each character reacts to being questioned by the authorities on what happened, on how the events changed them, how they're trying to cope with everything.

So overall, the game does an excellent job at showing the shifts and changes these characters go through from their experiences throughout the game. If there is to be a sequel, as the developers are thinking there might be due to the surprise popularity of the game, I would want some of them to appear again, with flashbacks to how the Wendigos first appeared on that mountain through the mining incident. I think out of all the characters, Sam would be the one who would want to investigate further, not necessarily to engage in but definitely to learn more on what happened and if there are other incidents. She would want more people to know the truth, but with proof, because she knows nobody would ever believe them, hence why when the authorities questioned her she just gave them this hard, sarcastic expression and just told them to go to the mines for themselves. I also would feel she would harbor a certain level of guilt of what happened with Josh, that she would kind of have an obsession with figuring things out. But not to the level of where he was at, which is possibly why she'll need help from some of the others. I don't know, I'm just putting thoughts and ideas out there.

Basically, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about these characters. They're all my babies and I just want to know more about them further after the events of the game, like how they managed to cope afterwards, what relationships remained and which didn't, which friendships were development that weren't there before, etc. I want to place blankets over all of them and give them hot chocolate after everything.

I just have a lot of emotions over fictional characters, okay?
Tags: video games
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