With Roles to Play
I’m in the midst of playing through Until Dawn and so far it’s a very interesting take on interactive storytelling, particularly as a counterpoint to puzzle based adventure games.
The game has a plot similar to a slasher movie, and an ensemble cast that is inspired by most of the tropes in that genre. This means that I don’t like most members of the cast. The more interesting bit is that the game rewards playing the role of a particular character well more than it rewards meta- gaming and trying to maximize odds of survival.
The second interesting thing is that the game isn’t particularly challenging. There are some quick time events, and the action sequences that require aiming hitting an action button within a time limit, but puzzles have been limited to moving objects and finding key items or switches. The thing that makes the gameplay interesting, and will encourage repeat plays, is that the game offers choices at inflection points that change the flow of the story.
Combined with the fact that the game is broken into a series of “hours” that take between 30 and 60 minutes to play so far, it makes for an experience that’s a much close analog to enjoying a TV series than most other games.