Until Dawn is a PlayStation 4 horror game from Supermassive Games. Until Dawn is a game about a group of 8 friends who travel to a remote cabin for a weekend out together for fun. However, strange things start happening in that cabin and the group of friends quickly realise they are in danger and some maniac is watching them. What will they do? What could happen? Will they all survive?
Until Dawn Trailer
Until Dawn Review
Until Dawn is a videogame focused on telling a unique story to its audience and its gameplay is similar to that of videogame titles such as Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls or even the recently released video game series Life Is Strange. As a player you will spend a lot of time watching cutscenes and choosing your responses to various questions or situations your playable character is in at a particular time.
The game utilises what is known as “the butterfly effect” which is a way of telling the player that a decision that you make at one point will effect what happens later in the game. Some of the butterfly effect moments can happen out of the smallest decisions such as making comments about a relationship during a conversation which might cause someone to be jealous later on in the game. Another moment may be when a players character is attacked and you will have the option to retaliate with a pair of scissors that you were carrying, or not to to retaliate at all, depending on what you choose to do or not do in such a situation will have an impact on your characters future. In Until Dawn you do not play as a single character for the games whole run time, you will play as all 8 characters and will continuously switch between them at different points of the story.
By the end of the game you’ll have had a variety of decisions that you made and they will have an impact on how your game ends. Playing through the game a second time will allow you to change your ending and the outcomes of various situations, which can lead to either a better ending or a worse one depending on what you have done.
Until Dawn relies heavily on telling a story to the player and in doing so spends quite a long time building its characters. Having 8 characters in the game can make it a bit hard to remember who everyone is in the beginning, but by the end you’ll have a good grasp of everyone and their motivations. With most characters being quite young, almost all of them have relationships on their mind, with most travelling to the cabin as a couple with the aim to further their relationships. It’s just a shame however that everyone’s weekend is ruined by some maniac trying to kill them, it really makes it hard for all of them to pursue their love interests.
Various decisions you will make in the game with a certain character will have an impact on how other characters in the game perceive that character. This is represented by a menu which can be displayed by pressing R1 at any point in the game. If you take a look at it you’ll see the bars going up or down based on how much someone likes you or not. It also has traits in there like charitable, honest, brave, romantic or curious. These all change over time which reflects a change in your character as you progress and their standing with various characters in the game.
For the most part the story is quite solid and characters are well represented. The games production design borrows quite a lot from horror films such as The Shining (1980) and Psycho (1960), both of which influenced the look and feel of Until Dawn’s teen horror story. Until Dawn is filled with many jump scares, many of which are actually quite scary. There are a few moments in the game where the gore level is quite high and some scenes might make some people uncomfortable, but I suppose it’s to be expected out of the horror genre. But it’s certainly not a game for kids at all, teens and adults only. Playing the game in the dark may make things a bit more scary for the player as it will match the mood of the game, which happens entirely at night. Until Dawn does get quite tense at times and while I didn’t go to bed with nightmares after playing it, I have to admit quite a few jump scares made me jump during my first playthrough.
In Until Dawn the player will have the choice of playing with either the motion controls or the standard controls. I found the game to be much more immersive when using the motion controls and they are very well done in Until Dawn. You hold R2 and move the controller up or down to open or pull doors, left or right to move things left or right and also for looking at items, you move the control around. Motion controls were at their best when you had to stay still for a few moments so that you aren’t detected by the maniac hunting you and it’s hard to do that if you are easily scared by something jumping out at you. The only issue I had with the motion controls was that when I was playing in the dark and was looking at items in the game, I would turn the control around and the light from the control would shine directly in my eyes, it’s way too bright!
Until Dawn has quite a few well known voice actors with the most recognisable one being Hayden Panettiere who stars in Heroes (2006) and Nashville (2012) as well as Brett Dalton Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013). All of the actors do well with their roles and they all had some great scenes to showcase their video game acting talents. The standout actors of the game were Hayden Panettiere (Sam), Brett Dalton (Mike), Galadriel Stineman (Ashley) and Meaghan Martin (Jessica).
Until Dawn’s presentation is excellent and it has some very impressive graphics. Characters eyes in particular are quite well made and every character in the game looks very realistic, it’s impressive what Supermassive Games were able to do in terms of the art style. The level design fits well with the horror genre, with many narrow corridors to give players a tense feeling when going through them, or large isolated open spaces which leave you feeling vulnerable. Everything is designed to add to the horror theme this game has. Music is well done and the sound effects all add to the tense feeling the developers were trying to give players, in terms of presentation it’s hard to complain about it.
While the game is quite good with regards to its story and its presentation, it isn’t the longest game out there. Having gone through the first playthrough quite slowly and playing about two to three hours a day and taking time to ensure I had not missed many clues, I reached the end of the game on my third day of playing Until Dawn. Depending on how long you like your games to be, this may be either just right or too short. Looking at the story and how it came to a conclusion and considering it’s a game focusing on a story, I would say it’s a about right as they didn’t seem to try to stretch things out for the player too much.
You can go through the chapters once you are done and look for clues you may have missed along the way, as well as take a look at how the different decisions go if you change what you did, allowing you to witness the full butterfly effect. There is also quite a lot of bonus content and videos which you unlock and can watch when you are done. It’s just a shame that it’s a bit short because I would have loved to have more time with this game. Hopefully if this game is a success Supermassive Games will make more games like this, because they certainly have done well with Until Dawn and it left me wanting more.
Overall Until Dawn is a fairly solid horror game that is sure to make quite a few gamers jump a few times during their playthrough. Characters are well developed which makes them interesting to watch as you progress through the game and the actors all do well to entertain the players. The games presentation is excellent with some impressive graphics and character models. Levels are designed well and the music fits perfectly with the horror theme that Until Dawn is going for. The only downside is that the game may be a bit short for some players. But Until Dawn certainly delivers a great horror story and one that should scare a few players quite a few times, it’s a great game for a few friends to play over Halloween or any horror themed night or, home alone by yourself of course.
Sea Of Solitude Review
Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.
This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.
The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.
On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.
Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.
In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.
The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.
The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.
Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.
Stuber is a film which comes directed by Michael Dowse and stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani and Betty Gilpin. The film is an action comedy adventure about an Uber driver and a policeman who go on a wild ride together.
Going in to see Stuber I didn’t really know where to set my expectations. Knowing only that the film was a comedy, meant I went in for the lols and didn’t expect all that much from the story. But coming out of the film, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really that great.
The film starts off okay and the opening scene features both Vic (Dave Bautista) and Sara (Karen Gillan) engaged in a dangerous shootout with some bad guys. Both are seriously injured and Vic loses his eyesight, which means he gets some urgent surgery. His eyes need time go recover, but as soon he’s able to walk he calls for an Uber and continues on with his police business, which is catching the bad guys who got away in the opening scene. This is where Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) comes in and the journey between this awkward duo begins.
I wish I could say that it was all good once the Uber ride began but it wasn’t. The film is only really mildly funny. Dave Bautista who I do really like in action films really isn’t great at comedy. Kumail Nanjiani basically was just screaming and yelling the whole time and talking about his Uber rating and reviews. I admit I did find some of the bad reviews he got from his previous customers in the film funny when they were shown, but that’s about it. Some of the jokes were also drawn out way too long. Dave Bautista’s character being blind was kind of funny in the first minute when you saw him trying to walk around without being able to see. But it’s only funny once and they did this joke over and over again almost all the way until the end!
In addition to this, for quite a bit of the film, I wondered if this was some sort of product placement or advertisement for Uber. There were so many mentions of Uber, Uber reviews and the difference between Uber products and services. What are we paying to watch here? Who cares about Uber!?
In the end I would suggest avoiding Stuber at the cinema this week and choosing literally any other film currently showing. After leaving this I instantly thought that Stuber needs to be on my list of worst movies of 2019 which I created just after seeing this and that says a lot because I was not compelled to make one after seeing X:Men Dark Phoenix.
The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019: Updated Chart
The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019 – Billboard has been publishing a list of the most popular albums in America every week since March 1956. They include the “equivalent album units” for the albums in the top ten. What’s not included is a way to view the biggest debuts for each year.
For anyone else who is curious, here is a chart that ranks the biggest album debuts of 2019.
- This only covers first-week album sales in America that debuted in the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart
- EPs are included in this list
- “Equivalent album units” factor in traditional album sales, concert ticket/merch bundles and streaming numbers
|Artist||Album||First Week “Units”|
|Jonas Brothers||Happiness Begins||414,000|
|Ariana Grande||Thank U, Next||360,000|
|Billie Eilish||When We All Fall Asleep||313,000|
|BTS||Map of the Soul: Persona||230,000|
Tyler, the Creator
|Death Race for Love|
|165,000 (1) (2)|
|Vampire Weekend||Father of the Bride||138,000|
|DJ Khaled||Father of Asahd||137,000|
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