Sorry, Hayden Panettiere. Your character died in Until Dawn and it’s all my fault. I thought I was making the right choices, taking into account the things I’ve learned from watching horror movies and playing games like Silent Hill 3 and Fatal Frame. I was wrong.
The demo began with a few questions. Until Dawn wanted to know what scared me, and would take that into consideration with the game. It knew I was more afraid of crowds than the dark and that needles terrified me. The former wasn’t taken into account, but I quickly saw the second was.
As Samantha and her magic towel’s story began in a bathtub. Though, I must say, Until Dawn lampshaded the idea. I was able to have her search the bathroom, and come across a single sock that had been left behind. So it wasn’t that she chose not to dress, she couldn’t. The boogieman is a pervert, I guess.
She roamed the lodge, searching for her friends and calling them out on what she believed was their "prank." As she did, I couldn’t help but notice the little details. A grandfather clock sounded the hour, scaring Sam and making me jump. Red balloons with arrows guided her way. When one loosed itself from the banister and floated skyward, I stopped to see what would happen. Nothing did, but it was a nice touch.
Then, the hunt began. I followed the guideline set up in the keynote’s demo. I threw the vase. I jumped over the bed. A door was pushed down. I didn’t bother trying to hide in the cellar, I ran again. When I reached the door without a handle, I pulled down the wine rack. However, my undoing was nigh. I reached a point where I had gained the advantage and had a lead. I could run, or hide. I chose to run, since it had been working so well for me.
That was it. The masked man was waiting, grabbed Sam, and injected a syringe of something straight into her heart. A butterfly icon appeared in the upper left corner, indicating I had made a choice that mattered and would make a greater implication on the story.
Sam died, but I feel it was worth it. The fact that there are so many possibilities available in Until Dawn when it comes makes me feel as though deaths won’t matter if they happen. It felt akin to visual novels, except one where even if the "wrong" choices are made, you would still want to see the result.