Zero Punctuation: Until Dawn

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Until Dawn

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Until Dawn.

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I'm such a huge fan of these genres of games, and it's nice to see a game that does the "your choices matter" done well once again, instead of the disappointing games that pretends to have choices that matter *coughTheWalkingDeadcough*. The fact that it's horror themed too is the cherry on top.

The new bar underneath the player is pretty cool. Also, Rami Malek? Sold.

OuendanCyrus:
I'm such a huge fan of these genres of games, and it's nice to see a game that does the "your choices matter" done well once again, instead of the disappointing games that pretends to have choices that matter *coughTheWalkingDeadcough*. The fact that it's horror themed too is the cherry on top.

Wasn't Yahtzee's final point that it handles "your choices matter" poorly?

As the kind of freak that really enjoyed Heavy Rain *and* QTEs in general, I'm looking forward to the day I have enough money to grab this and save the cheerleader to save the world mountain holiday resort.

Nice underbar, Escapist. Now all you gotta do is add an option for me to keep Random enabled by default at the end of the video and I can switch from YouTube to you. =)

On a main note, wasn't this week Yahtzee's break? This review is welcome, but I was not expecting any, really.

I've always preferred Jason X because I was 11 when I saw it and even then the sleeping bag scene made it worth watching the whole movie for. Also I haven't watched the movie in whole, so take that opinion for what it's worth.

Might actually buy this game when the price has dropped down.
Atleast it is better than what David Cage comes up with.

So Mario maker definitely isn't happening then?

I like how he says David cage. It gets old less fast then ''emotions'' in a French accent.

Of course it's "character choice" without much choice, what else would you expect from recent AAA "branching paths" attempt.

On to a more positive note:
"Knowing that one day, Yahtzee may review Undertale...
It fills you with determination."

Sounds like this is a great unintentional comedy. You're actually selling me on this Yahtzee.

I can't believe he didn't rag on the "staying still" part of the QTE's.

The game's a pretty clever take on slasher films, probably why it was so engaging despite being cliched. Also, no comment on hammy Peter Stormare, Yahtzee?

He's right about the butterfly effect stuff being all talk though. Basically nobody can die up until the last third with the exception of

Jim Sterling's review sold me on this game, oh and my favorite Friday film is Jason X.

Given Yahtzee's contempt for Nintendo over the past few years, I would be very surprised if he actually did review Mario Maker, to me the whole idea seems like a waste of money when you can basically do the same thing with ROM hacking(no doubt that's why Nintendo is aggressively copyright claiming ROM hack videos on Youtube).

I too was surprised that the QTEs that rely on you keeping the PS4's gyroscope completely still weren't ragged on, as numerous other critics have banged on about that, then again maybe they worked fine for him(and given that not keeping the controller causes a character to die, maybe he wasn't trying to).

There have been games with motion control like Heavy Armor which a lot of critics claimed were "broken" but when I actually played them myself, that was not the case at all, I had very few problems with the motion controls in that game, they were mostly very responsive. There have also been games which were said to have a ton of glitches in reviews, yet when I played them I encountered no glitches whatsoever(Alpha Protocol, Sonic06).

Always nice to see a positive review, especially a surprise one.

Michael Prymula:
Given Yahtzee's contempt for Nintendo over the past few years, I would be very surprised if he actually did review Mario Maker, to me the whole idea seems like a waste of money when you can basically do the same thing with ROM hacking(no doubt that's why Nintendo is aggressively copyright claiming ROM hack videos on Youtube).

Yahtzee's had nothing but praise for quite a few of their games, I think his ennui with Nintendo has been grossly overplayed. He's been equally dismissive of the PS4 and the Xbone whenever he had to be.

Kingjackl:
He's right about the butterfly effect stuff being all talk though. Basically nobody can die up until the last third with the exception of

It stacks though. Not every butterfly effect will have a different outcome, but as they pile up you can get disastrous results. Particularly in regards to Matt and Emily. And with Chris and Ashley...

You also forgot...

I will never understand where this 'Yahtzee hates Nintendo especially" idea comes from given he in the A Link Between Worlds review word for word said:
"I find myself in a strange position of being unreservedly on your side, Nintendo. And why? Because you released a game console, not an inferior gaming PC."

More on topic with the video, I always thought a game where you get to play as the slasher-character and mow your way through twats who desperately deserve a machete to the skull would be great fun. Double the points if its done in the style of Evil Genius and made a parody of the genre at the same time.

Marik Bentusi:
Wasn't Yahtzee's final point that it handles "your choices matter" poorly?

Yes, but he was pretty much wrong about that on two levels. Firstly, the main point of the example he chose was that it was one of the few times your choice actually didn't seem to matter, and that was supposed to be a surprise precisely because it ususally did. And secondly, the twist is that the choice actually does matter, it's just that many of your choices don't have an immediate effect but rather do something else down the line - support one person over another early on, and the person you snubbed might not help you later on.


That's the whole point of the game constantly going on about butterfly effects and how your choices matter. For all his complaints about how annoying that was, it seems Yahtzee could have down with a few more reminders.
The same thing goes for his claim that the character's attributes are pointless:

I don't get why this game was such a big deal. I mean it was basically PewDiePie and Markiplier bait, but even they seemed woefully uninterested in it. I mean they went through the motions, sure. But it just felt weak...

Hades:
So Mario maker definitely isn't happening then?

I like how he says David cage. It gets old less fast then ''emotions'' in a French accent.

I never heard Yahtzee try to say "EH-MOH-SHUNS!" the way Jim Sterling did, but I'd like to hear that.
But I watched the Honest Trailer for this game last week, and it looked like it's barely even a game; more of an interactive movie, so it's not really my bag. And I don't know why, but I like my games violent, but the death animations in Until Dawn looked too grisly and cringe-inducing to be entertaining at all.

Silentpony:
I don't get why this game was such a big deal. I mean it was basically PewDiePie and Markiplier bait, but even they seemed woefully uninterested in it. I mean they went through the motions, sure. But it just felt weak...

So wait, you're attributing the game's quality to how into it a couple of let's players were? Are we getting to some weird point where Let's Play enthusiasm decides game quality now?

Awwww, classic Yahtzee, once again making my sides burst with guffaws!

Seriously, in the zone! Perhaps because it's a genre you like (slasher), that get's you into things a bit more? :)

People can complain about "Tropes vs Women" and such but I think that honestly the problem with the portrayal of women is just a problem with story in games in general. Even the "Really good" AAA story games are fucking pathetic compared to even a moderately good book

Something like gone home, which had reviewers flipping their shit and declaring it the example of videogames being art and stuff, is like teen fiction level writing at best. And not even classic teen fiction you'd read in school. Just a random paperback you'd find on the barnes and noble shelf.

It just feels really weird to see these narrative based games which have basically no gameplay and yet are still complete shit in terms of writing. I mean, come on guys, it's the one thing you have to do!

I wonder how much of it relates to middle management and marketing forcing everything to be blandified for the mass consumer. Like what they did with the most resent fantastic four, or how they forced the newest "Thing" movie to use CGI rather then the fully practical effects they had because it "Looked too 80's"

Kingjackl:
The game's a pretty clever take on slasher films, probably why it was so engaging despite being cliched. Also, no comment on hammy Peter Stormare, Yahtzee?

He's right about the butterfly effect stuff being all talk though. Basically nobody can die up until the last third with the exception of

With these sorts of games, you have to consider the trade off between an appropriately crafted story and branching story lines. If every character could die in the first few chapters, it would make for a pretty boring game. Also, decisions you make early can effect a character's chance to survive later

. I'd rather a fairly linear game that has a good story than a completely dynamic one that's forced to be bland to accommodate any possible choice by the player.

And yes, that fact that you can only kill the one person there turns out to be a MASSIVE plot point later. I think we can forgive that one.

Piecewise:
People can complain about "Tropes vs Women" and such but I think that honestly the problem with the portrayal of women is just a problem with story in games in general. Even the "Really good" AAA story games are fucking pathetic compared to even a moderately good book

Something like gone home, which had reviewers flipping their shit and declaring it the example of videogames being art and stuff, is like teen fiction level writing at best. And not even classic teen fiction you'd read in school. Just a random paperback you'd find on the barnes and noble shelf.

Different audiences/wants. Book people already have books. If you're playing a video game, you probably either want to run/drive really fast, kill stuff, or see tits(or possibly all three)! That doesn't really demand a lot of character development and plot.

I don't like to be lied to.

I didn't like it when TellTale games started to do it (and that's a shame, since I liked the games they made before EVERY CHOICE MATTERS!!!).

I likely wouldn't like it in this game either.

I'll pass on it.

You know, I'd like to play a game where you get to play as the killer in a teen slasher.

canadamus_prime:
You know, I'd like to play a game where you get to play as the killer in a teen slasher.

You want an HD digital version of "Whack-a-mole"?

Dalrien:

canadamus_prime:
You know, I'd like to play a game where you get to play as the killer in a teen slasher.

You want an HD digital version of "Whack-a-mole"?

Of coarse not! I want to be Jason Vorhees (or an expy there of) murdering unlikable dipshit teenagers.

Man, I love Zero P. but the bloody escapist player is ridiculous. I literally can't load past the first three seconds, even after sitting through an ad for the fifth time. To Youtube, I guess.

Fix that shit, yo.

Davroth:
I don't like to be lied to.

I didn't like it when TellTale games started to do it (and that's a shame, since I liked the games they made before EVERY CHOICE MATTERS!!!).

I likely wouldn't like it in this game either.

I'll pass on it.

Until Dawn isn't lying though. Your choices really do make difference in how characters interact with each other, what your options are in dire situations, what information the characters have at their disposal, who's gonna help out who when shit hits the fan, etc, etc. Just don't expect the differences to be immediately apparent after you make the choices because the whole point of a butterfly effect is that things change in big ways down the line.

And as for Yahtzee's whole point about the characters being horrible stereotypes ripped from any of N slasher movies: That's kinda the point. That's what sets the tone for the whole first half; that you're playing a game version of some cliched 80's slasher flick. It does evove beyond that though. Not into any sophisticated level of horror writing, but it's still really good.

Yahtzee Croshaw:

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Until Dawn.

You forgot the first rule of Branching Story Games; You play the game how the developers want you to, not how you want to.

Piecewise:
People can complain about "Tropes vs Women" and such but I think that honestly the problem with the portrayal of women is just a problem with story in games in general. Even the "Really good" AAA story games are fucking pathetic compared to even a moderately good book

Something like gone home, which had reviewers flipping their shit and declaring it the example of videogames being art and stuff, is like teen fiction level writing at best. And not even classic teen fiction you'd read in school. Just a random paperback you'd find on the barnes and noble shelf.

It just feels really weird to see these narrative based games which have basically no gameplay and yet are still complete shit in terms of writing. I mean, come on guys, it's the one thing you have to do!

I wonder how much of it relates to middle management and marketing forcing everything to be blandified for the mass consumer. Like what they did with the most resent fantastic four, or how they forced the newest "Thing" movie to use CGI rather then the fully practical effects they had because it "Looked too 80's"

That is the funny thing about the current obsession with "narrative" in gaming: 90% of the people talking about it and are trying to push it SUCK at writing. Guys like David Cage keep going on about story in gaming, but are so hilariously inept at it that they set a bad precedent. And there are two really obvious thing that nobody who's pushing this story-driven gaming likes to acknowledge.

1) This is not the first time this has happened. This idea of pushing narrative over gameplay, but ultimately driven by a bunch of hacks has happened before. We just called it the FMV Adventure Game phase last time. Though this time people have decided the best way to solve the FMV-era's highly-flawed, clumsy gameplay was to excise any gameplay at all.

2) Good narrative isn't new to gaming; we've had games that have delivered on great plots for decades, whether they be adventure games, RPGs, shooters, strategy titles, good stories are nothing new. And they've also done narrative without sacrificing gameplay. It's the revisionism of the whole movement that irritates me. They're allowed their own opinion, but not their own set of facts.

So, this isn't as actually choice-driven as ... that game with that girl in high school with the time-reversing powers.
But is it quite as NOT choice-driven as Telltale's older heavy-hitter interactive stories?

EDIT: Oh yeah! That game is Life Is Strange! Oh, interactive stories and their boring titles.

One thing I wish you had mentioned was that if you picked up the clues the characters ACTUALLY PUT SHIT TOGETHER and NOTICED THINGS and made THEORIES, whereas if you didn't they remained their normal selves. You don't see a lot of that in games, it was a nice touch.

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