: Until Dawn Isn't As Stupid As "Teen Horror Flicks"

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Until Dawn Isn't As Stupid As "Teen Horror Flicks"

I think this needs to be cleared up, for the sake of the game's market performance.

I'm not sure Sony or developer Supermassive Games is aware, but the general point of view prior to Until Dawn's release was that it's basically an interactive version of a campy '80s teen horror movie.

And while it certainly boasts elements of that cheeseball niche genre, I think such a description does the game no justice. In fact, it's wildly insulting. When people think of "teen slasher flicks" and the like, they're immediately envisioning scripts that haven't got more than three brain cells, and characters that amazingly have even fewer brain cells. They're also probably picturing laughable acting and an over-abundance of predictability. In other words, none of these movies were in line for any awards and there's a darn good reason for it. As popular as some of them were, as massive as these cult classics became, for most film buffs, the "teen horror flick" is a joke.

But that's really not what Until Dawn is. It's a parody in addition to being a serious horror adventure with surprisingly good acting and halfway decent writing. I don't think this will win any awards, either, but the whole production is a damn sight better than any of those retro horror movies (and yeah, I've seen most of them). I understand that Sony wants to package the game a certain way, but a lot of gamers have since realized that this particular packaging is inaccurate. The game has more of a brain and more of a soul than anybody would've anticipated. And why didn't we anticipate it? Because as a direct result of the descriptions and some of the marketing, why should we have expected anything with more substance?

It's here, though. Yes, there's plenty of obnoxious adolescent behavior and flirty antics. I attribute that behavior more to the ages of the characters, though; a group of 20-somethings will undoubtedly include a few irritating personalities, regardless of film genre. And there are some tongue-in-cheek moments. However, the latter moments are greatly outstripped by the more serious horror segments, and these are in turn magnified by the great emotion and clashing personalities that are continually on display. In short, "Friday the 13th" this is not and I think it would behoove the developer and publisher to present Until Dawn as something that's of a higher quality the whole way 'round, and definitely more ambitious.

8/28/2015 Ben Dutka

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Shauneepeak
Friday, August 28, 2015 @ 10:13:57 PM
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Thing is if they marketed it a different way it would probably ruin the plot twist. But I do feel it needs at least some more marketing.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 29, 2015 @ 12:02:55 AM

Wouldn't the gamers realize it's not what the marketing said it was before this hypothetical plot twist?

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Shauneepeak
Saturday, August 29, 2015 @ 1:11:27 AM

Not really it's a stereotypical teen horror film filed with cheesy lines, flirting, and stupid decisions for the first few hours.

The biggest twist happens in like the last 2hrs of the game.

Game is about 8-9hrs long.

So they would probably realize it's actually pretty damn good after the first few hours but not realize how truly different it is till towards the end.

Last edited by Shauneepeak on 8/29/2015 1:13:02 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 29, 2015 @ 12:01:21 AM
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I didn't see them market it at all so I think they lost control of the narrative about their narrative. Ya can't just say "yeah we have this game, here's a trailer, oh it reminds you of those movies? Sure it's sorta like that." and then expect people to get it.

Sony should really be ashamed of themselves for the marketing they do or don't do.

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Deadman
Saturday, August 29, 2015 @ 8:19:38 AM

Sony should had have showed this game at E3 rather than the vaporware they did display. Seeing how this game released a couple weeks after Gamescon, wow what another perfect place to show off this.

If this game fails on the level that Supermassive has to shut down, it will be 100% Sony's fault.

Last edited by Deadman on 8/29/2015 8:20:15 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 29, 2015 @ 12:13:26 PM

Agreed. An 8+ game should not fail, that honor usually falls to Ninja Theory.

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bigrailer19
Saturday, August 29, 2015 @ 12:46:11 AM
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In your review you said the game "at its core" is an "80's teen horror movie". So... that not the case anymore? I get that the game has favorable reviews and may have a stronger entertainment value, but you labeled it as such.

Im just confused because I thought your review described a game that's reminiscent of that film genre with stronger attributes. Now your saying being described as an "80's teen horror movie" is "insulting" to the game.

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Shauneepeak
Saturday, August 29, 2015 @ 1:16:18 AM

It's sort of a deconstruction of the genre. It fully embraces the teen horror-niche, sucks you into thinking it will be exactly that at first, throws DOZENS of movie references at you throughout the entire game, but then hits you in the face and you go "Well shit this is better than any horror flick I have seen in the past 10 years!"

Last edited by Shauneepeak on 8/29/2015 1:16:24 AM

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Deadman
Saturday, August 29, 2015 @ 8:15:15 AM

Yeah "at it's core" is exactly right. It's a cheesy slasher flick. The set up is straight up "I Know What You Did Last Summer". All the characters are the stereo-typical ones from that genre, the jock, the ex-girlfriend, the bitchy one, etc. The only one left out would be the stoner.

The truth is if this game just followed the slasher formula, you'd only be able to play as "final girl" and would have to watch your friends die off one by one. Where the game differs is you take control of each of these characters. Even if you like the personality of that person or not, you have this connection and want to see him/her make it out. It gets real upsetting when a bad choice earlier in the game is the catalyst for someones death.

The 2 guys they got to write this have some pretty legit titles to their credits. They worked on some of the best horror flicks of the last 15 years, as either producers, sound techs, directing, writing , etc. It adds some legitimacy to the whole production. There is a scene in the game that has some posters hanging, showing off some of their better known films.

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Snaaaake
Saturday, August 29, 2015 @ 12:57:53 AM
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The people from the marketing section should be fired, this game is not getting the attention it needs.

Though the "Road not taken" trailer was really really awesome.

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Vivi_Gamer
Saturday, August 29, 2015 @ 1:38:59 AM

Very true, Im into games and follow such news and I've barely even heard of it, but now that I have I'm invested going to pick it up next week and play through it after The Phantom Pain. Interactive narratives always make me excited for the future of storytelling writhing games, I really think this has so much potential as did games like Shadow of Memores/Destiny, Heavy Rain and even Catherine to a point. Not games that just change the ending depending on what you do but. Games that offer different pathways due to your actions, that is how storytelling in gaming can become such an immersive medium.

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Snaaaake
Saturday, August 29, 2015 @ 7:15:26 AM

Right?
It's like they expect their game to sell without advertising.
After all these years, they still haven't learn one bit.

Last edited by Snaaaake on 8/29/2015 7:16:29 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, August 29, 2015 @ 12:14:54 PM
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Cabin in the Woods was the worst piece of nonsense garbage that ever tried a new take on the genre. What a pathetic joke worthy of a Family Guy flashback at the end there.

Just had to get that out.

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Gordo
Sunday, August 30, 2015 @ 3:03:51 AM
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Played through this last night with the wife (she made the key decisions and I did the controls).

Absolutely love it. Highly recommended. Not your average horror flick story. I was very impressed with the story and the twists and turns. Was expecting campy cheese but got a lot more!

The Descent is one of my favourite horror movies. Just saying.

We need to embrace these sort of games. Good story, graphics, sound, atmosphere. High production values. Eager to get back in and have another play through. Looking back, I loved Heavy Rain but Until Dawn beats it hands down (IMHO).

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