It is not news that Supermassive Games decision based horror game Until Dawn has become a monstrous hit. More so than the creators and Sony executives had expected. The thing about the gaming industry is that when something is a huge success, more and more of it tends to get grinded out; this is the gift and the curse of the medium. Yes, on one hand we get more of the universe we love. But on the flip-side, there is a pattern of over-saturation that comes with this.
IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN SAMANTHA
To keep players interested and choosing away, Pete Samuels, executive producer, announced via PlayStation Bog that Until Dawn has hidden pumpkins for the Halloween season. It is not clear how long this pumpkins will be around, but a quick twitter search for #UntilDawnPumpkin shows that they are already up. There are 11 in total spanning throughout the game; some a little more obvious than others. It remains unclear if these are just a little filler to keep players roaming around Washington Rock or if they are actually the horror equivalent of Easter Eggs hinting to something else.
It has also been a big topic of conversation as to the future of Until Dawn as much as sequels, franchising, and DLC. It has been confirmed that the first piece of expansion content for the horror hit will be Rush of Blood. This arcade style shooter puts you in the first person perspective settled into one of the abandoned mining carts shooting creatures as they approach.
It is also no surprise the Rush of Blood will be coming to PlayStation VR seeing as it makes, what appears to be, wonderful use of first person jumps scares stapled to the quickly growing powerhouse of a name. It is also no real shocker given Samuels mildly cryptic sidestepping of the VR question weeks ago. During an interview with PlayStation Lifestyle only a few weeks back, Samuels was asked about Until Dawn and future relation to PlayStation VR. To this, he responded that there was no real planning for VR, “unless someone got a sudden rush of blood.” In hindsight, this should have been a dead giveaway.
Still, this does bring up the question of further Until Dawn and VR interwoven content. Given the technical scope that goes into VR games, this project had to have been in the works prior to any reading of Until Dawn’s success. Could this be the first piece in a long line of virtually engulfing horror bends? Further more, what can this mean for the future of the franchise?
Part of the beauty that is Until Dawn was the placement and partially stationary cameras that later played into a greater story, but that may not be necessary for all future titles. Still, making a game like this completely VR may hurt more than strengthen it. This may be a perfect point and case for the idea of interchangeable gameplay. This concept refers to the idea that the game can be played in the first person, VR format but then switched to traditional couch and controller at any time. It would also be interesting if the VR headset played in first person while the screen played the third person point of view as if you were watching a recording of it. This also gives a rise to a possibility of a versus style mode where one person is essentially controlling the environment (couch) as the other is trying to survive it (VR).
In all honesty, there are still far too many butterfly-branches that this franchise can take. The mixing of a new IP, and a successful one at that, with not yet publicly released technology is just stifling to hypothesize about. Nonetheless, what has been shown thus far gives hope for what is still to come. All that can really be done is to sit back and watch as the story unfolds and make your decisions as they present themselves.