I’ve been watching theRadBrad play Until Dawn. All my opinions are based on the actions he took and how his story played out. Obviously there are some variations because there are multiple endings and things that can happen. Also, of course there are spoilers ahead because I did watch the entire play through, so I will be discussing the ending Brad got.
Basically the story is about a group of college age friends that go to a cabin the woods and proceed to have every horror movie trope ever created bestowed upon them. Now graphics wise, I think the game is completely beautiful. The game play is good too. There’s constant reminders of the controls (Which i think is great) and quick time events that help build the suspense. There are a few jump scares but for the most part watching it all wasn’t that scary. It read mostly like a suspenseful thriller. Story wise, I’m not pleased at all. There were good bits and pieces here and there but when we get around Chapter 8 (total of 10 chapters) we see things come together that do make sense but it throws off other parts.
What I mean is that up until Chapter 8, Josh’s actions make no fucking sense. Okay, his motive’s make sense, yes. But how it ties into everything else…well it doesn’t. Josh’s actions basically read off as shit pulled from the Saw franchise. He captures his friends (under the disguise of a mask) and ties them up and makes them pretend to choose who will die and survive. Chris gets the first task. Ashley and Josh are strapped to these upright tables and a saw blade is coming towards them, aimed for the stomach. Chris is made to choose who will die by changing the saw blade’s direction. Brad chooses to kill Josh which we later find out he didn’t die and used a body dummy to have the blade go through. There is another situation where Chris is made to choose between him and Ashley, who should live or die. Around this part is where we find out that the “killer” (he never actually killed anyone up until this point) is Josh, “playing a trick” on his friends, scaring them to make them feel how his sister Hannah felt when they played the trick on her. Now I won’t go through every story piece as I want to give an overall summary and I hope my readers will watch and/or play the game.
The whole thing with Josh pretending to be a killer and pranking his friends to prove his point and reach his psychotic breakthrough was good, predictable but good. What makes me upset if that his stuff doesn’t fit into the overall picture. It just doesn’t!
Later one we learn about the curse of the Wendigo, how the miners were killed and how Hannah became one, Josh’s stupid little Saw traps make no sense. I honestly think Mike could’ve been the catalyst once he and Jessica were at the separate lodge and the Wendigo took her. I think he could’ve still gone to the sanitarium and did all his exploring and effected the characters so they would still find out about the Wendigo’s. This is the part that pisses me off. It really has no impact on the overall story especially since from the beginning we have the notions of the Indian tribes, the totem, and butterfly effect, as well as the story of the Wendigo. All the folklore and Native Indian aspects could’ve taken the story from point blank, especially since the prank still takes place and Hannah dies (and therefore becomes a Wendigo because she ate her sisters corpse).
I think the game would have still be amazing without Josh’s craziness and wanna be Jigsaw traps. He doesn’t really kill anyone (or for that matter, I don’t think he wanted anyone to die) and he’s just…unstable. I think the creators should have picked one story or the other, either Josh makes everyone do Jigsaw traps and keeps his insanity (extremely cliche and overdone) or they keep the Wendigo story, which I think would be the better choice. Josh’s actions driving the first half of the game could have been easily been replaced by the Wendigo terrorizing and going after the characters.
So we basically get a combination of Saw, The Cabin in the Woods, and The Descent. It would’ve been better if we have like one clear set path as to what is happening instead of a combination of things. I think Josh could’ve been a more prominant figure to the plot as Josh instead of as the “killer” and towards the end his insanity could’ve been pushed over the edge and he could try and get his friends to die by the Wendigo”s by saying basically, “it was all your fault my sisters died.”
Basically the story would’ve been perfectly fine without the dumb Saw traps and setting up Josh that way. Like what if Josh found Hannah had turned into a Wendigo and invited all the friends back to the lodge in order to feed them to Hannah and keep her alive. That would still keep his insanity failing and make the characters run away from a crazy figure. And then of course it would make since for like the friends to distrust him afterwards and you could still get the whole is Josh dead or the new head Wendigo thing. I swear that makes much more sense!
But other than that I think overall the bigger picture and the game play is great. Like I said the graphics, atmosphere, and locations are very nicely done. I especially like how the girls look. The lips are what always got me. I have no idea why but I think each pair of female lips had enough color, fullness, and shine that it made them look extremely realistic. Ashley’s facial design was my favorite honestly. Overall I would like to play the game for myself to make my own decisions but seeing the gameplay that Brad has done and the overall story and such, I’d give it an 8/10. I take points off for the random Josh story that I think could be edited out and I heard Brad say that some of the controls are inverted, as in Up on the D pad would go down, etc (which is the dumbest game mechanic in history I think). I think it’s cool to play things out like a horror movie too!
I’m off to watch Heavy Rain soon since people have said it is similar to this game. Hopefully there’s not a character’s actions that pisses me off as much as Josh 😛
*fun fact: My fave line in the game is “Jesus Hot Sauce Christmas Cake.”