Last years Until Dawn was a clever game that was built on teenage horror tropes, mixed with creepy tension, a creative story and jump scares that kept me on edge the whole game. These years Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is nothing like the original, except for taking how uneasy the game made me and using it in VR to scare me so much more.
Until Dawn is a literal on-rails shooter in that you ride in a mine cart going through a house of horrors. The House of Horrors design, inside and out, is built so well that I was uneasy minutes into the game, from the terrifying enemies you can see and the ones you can’t in the dark shadows. You use the PlayStation move controllers to shoot enemies, which is made even more uneasy by having flashlights attached to the guns. This adds to the tension and atmosphere as you need to light up the dark corners to reveal what is hiding in the shadows.
While the game does not appear to be related to the original it has its throwbacks in some of the enemies, of which come in many shapes and sizes and all are absolutely terrifying. It is at this point it should become apparent I am a total wuss and as such VR horror was something I wanted to try out of morbid curiosity, but I knew it would be difficult to get through. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood absolutely met that last expectation, with myself having to take off the headset many times, proclaim screw this and take a few moments in the world that is not terrifying before having another crack. So to someone with stronger nerves than me this may not be quite the issue I had, but to the other wussies out there, be prepared to be scared.
Now the above may sound like a criticism, but based on the name of the game, the game it takes its name from and the games cover art, it is clearly the reaction it is trying to illicit. There are also non terrifying things to shoot, marked with bullseyes which do make for tiny breaks from the terror. The most important thing in the game though is its controls. You can use the PS4 controller if you want, but I highly recommend using the move controllers if you have them. The PSVR has been criticised for its responsiveness but thanks to great game design I never had an issue with Until Dawn. It tracked my hand movement well and I never felt limited by the tech.
Speaking of the tech, the game uses VR so well. Noises all around you require you to turn and look for the sounds sources regularly, so between that and catching glimpses out of the corner of your eye this game really harnesses VR to surround you with its terrors. It is both a clever use of VR technology and surround sound to truly immerse you in a place I am quite happy to never be immersed in again.
8/10 – Even after the dust has settled I cannot help but feel this is a great game. Virtual Reality is going to have its many cheap thrills horror games, but Until Dawn: Rush of Blood uses its cheap thrills to both terrify and entertain in the way Until Dawn used cheesy films and jump scares. The use of being on rails moving you forward allows you to only have to worry about the environment and soak in the terror. Now if you will excuse me I am going to go not sleep for a week.