Published on September 2nd, 2014 | by gareth0
Until Dawn: Hands On PAX Prime 2014
During our coverage of PAX Prime 2014, we got a hands on look at the upcoming PS 4 horror game, Until Dawn. The demo was presented in a wood cabin that was covered with fake snow and had a smell of fresh cut wood that one normally associates with the lumber department of a hardware store.
The developers had some players filmed and hooked up to monitor biometrics as part of their gameplay experience.
The game had us taking control of a female character who was accompanied by a male friend as they explored a creepy basement area.
Using the Dualshock 4 controller, players could identify hotspots and by turning the control, could manipulate objects such as a key or doll head to better examine it.
The creepy atmosphere of the game is spot on and players are given the choice of actions and responses at various points in the game. For example, I could select from a sympathetic or sarcastic response or if I wanted to go down into a dark cellar or stay with the male character and go into another area.
The game has an interesting story as you see ghosts during the area that the male character is first skeptical of and then comes to accept. The characters make reference to a prank played on a character a year earlier that has gone horribly wrong as well as a psychopath on the loose.
As I explored, clues ranging from fake newspapers, a dollhouse, and other items lead one to believe there is more going on than at first glance.
I do not scare easily as movies and games as well as theme park horror events do not scare me. My wife always finds it funny how I can go to Knott’s Scary Farm and other events and laugh and smile during the events while she and others scream.
That being said, Dead Space and Dead Space 2 did make me uneasy as did this demo when walking in a calm area, a ghost popped up point blank on the screen where I heard screams come from those around me when they got to that part of the demo.
The game also showed a very creepy looking psycho in a clown getup who likely has a very big part of the events of the game.
While my demo was almost 20 minutes in length, I was captivated by what I saw and honestly could not wait to play more. This was a nice surprise at the show as I did not know much about the game going in, and despite an impressive collection of games at the show, this is one that has stayed with me as one I want to see and play more of.