It’s no secret that Until Dawn is one of my favorite PS4 games. It took the idea of an interactive horror story to the next level with incredible graphics, acting, and branching paths. It was a AAA Telltale Game and an awesome horror story in its own right. You could imagine my excitement when they announced a new game in the series for VR.
While I didn’t expect Until Dawn: Rush of Blood to be a rail shooter, I love rail shooters so I gave it a whirl on PlayStation VR. Does this game hit the same notes of quality as the original game, or does this ride belong at a budget theme park? Time to find out!
Inside The Mind of a Madman
I will do my absolute best to avoid spoilers from Until Dawn, but since this game takes place in the same universe, I’ll need to draw some parallels. So, if you haven’t played the original Until Dawn, beware spoilers!
The story in this VR thrill ride is set within the same universe as Until Dawn, but it places you within a twisted theme park roller coaster.
The story itself is very light and non-intrusive. Honestly, if you haven’t played the original game, you may not get much of it as it’s heavily rooted in the imagery and themes from the original Until Dawn.
That being said, the themes here are universally scary, so if you haven’t played the other game in this universe, you’ll still get the same level of fear from the enemies and environments, even if you don’t quite get the references.
Since we’re talking about a virtual reality game, I think it’s important to mention immersion as well as story as they go hand-in-hand.
While Until Dawn: Rush of Blood doesn’t deliver the same level of storytelling and character development as the original game, it does offer a deeper glimpse into one of the characters from the original adventure.
In terms of immersion, the feeling of being trapped in a horrific thrill ride is realized from the moment the game starts. You begin sitting in a mine cart on a track that pushes you down a dilapidated hall.
The developer’s logo and the game logo appear in flashes of lightning and thunder that made me jump before I even hit the menu.
The game starts out slow and eerie in the first level, but quickly ramps up the intensity. The environments you pass through are highly varied and offer plenty of scenery as you turn your head and look around.
The enemies vary in terms of their look and range from demonic clowns, to animated mannequins, to deranged birds, and even ghosts.
There’s a good amount of tension, but Until Dawn’s biggest scares are of the jump variety. Things will run at you, jump in your face, and try to keep your heart rate in the red as much as possible.
The tension builds between these moments, but I almost wish they had done a little more with the horror aspect and varied the scares up.
There’s no denying that it’s scary, though, and don’t let any review tell you otherwise. There’s not a single person that can play this game with headphones on in darkness and keep a straight face the whole time.
Bring Your Move Controllers to This Shooting Gallery
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood can be played with a DualShock 4, or two Move controllers. I vastly prefer the latter. Now, people have had reports of issues with the motion controllers, and stuttering, but I have had zero issues of the sort.
I find the shooting with Move controllers to be smooth and precise when I played Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. It could help that I had a dark room with very little ambient light, but I can confirm that under the proper conditions, things work like a charm.
The vibration in the Move controllers is tailored to your guns as well. Pistols provide a nice popping sensation, while the double barrel shotguns offer a nice hard kick in the motion controllers when you fire.
The occasional visual glitch or oddity when you over-extend your arms can break the immersion slightly, but I didn’t have any issues that broke the game in the slightest.
Collectibles can be hit with your bullets, along with targets to increase your score multiplier. Leaderboards keep track of top scores and when you replay levels you’ll find that you can take different paths by hitting track switchers hidden in the environment.
To keep things interesting, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood will occasionally ask you to move your head or duck to dodge obstacles. Doing this while shooting can be complicated, and while it works fine, I don’t think it was an absolutely necessary feature.
Overall, though, the gameplay is solid with Move controllers and makes for a fantastic rail shooter experience.
Welcome to The Ride!
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood has some of the better graphics I’ve seen in a PSVR launch title. While some of the textures can be blurry or unclear, the overall look and feel is very cohesive. There’s ample amounts of blood and gore, and the visual effects used to modify or twist the environment are excellent.
I didn’t experience any performance issues and very little in the way of glitches. This is easily one of my favorite PSVR launch titles, and also one of my personal favorite rail shooters.
A more detailed story, some enemy variety, and more levels would have made this a perfect experience. Even so, what we have here is an excellent reason to be proud of that PlayStation VR you just bought.
Final Score: 8.5/10
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date - 10/18/16