2015s PS4 exclusive Until Dawn seeks to marry the aesthetics and thrills of teen slasherdom with decision-based gaming. Each split-second decision you make as you play could put you on a new path, the title promises, and as this newly released demo plays out, the conceit ends up engaging just how we watch stalk-and-slash entertainment.
Developed by Supermassive and written by indie horror gems Larry Fessenden and Graham Reznick, Until Dawn lives in familiar territory: Eight friends trapped together on a remote mountain retreat, and they arent alone. Gripped by dread, with tensions running high, they must fight through their fear if they all hope to make through the night in one piece.
Debuting at this months Game Awards, and newly online, this playthrough demo features one of the games eight main characters, played by Hayden Panettiere, silently followed by a masked killer throughout this snowy lodge. Its a simple, nicely composed set piece that should be well known to most horror fans, and that familiarity is what ends up being so fun. Once the gameplay comes in, it seems audiences so sure at what a character would and should do will finally be given their chance reach through the screen.
Particularly amusing is a small moment in which you, as Hayden, must decide between making a run for it, or the classic throw a household object. Moments later, diving through a window, or dropping under the bed present themselves as options.
No firm release for Until Dawn just yet, but hopefully it brings some much needed energy to the slasher when it drops.