Back to school sales officially kicked off weeks ago, fall decorations are available in supermarkets and Sony will publish a scary video game on August 25, well ahead of Halloween. Until Dawn for PS4 is a cinematic adventure reminiscent of Heavy Rain for PS3, but with Supermassive Games developing instead of Quantic Dream. In it, eight friends attempt to outwit a mask-wearing killer while at a secluded mountain retreat. Considering it’s a brand-new title, we don’t want you to overlook this promising survival horror game, so this is why we plan to pick up Until Dawn later this month. 

Classic Horror Movie Premise

Movies like The Evil Dead, Friday the 13th and The Cabin in the Woods put unique spins on the proven formula, where one or more protagonists are on the run from someone or something in the middle of nowhere. Sadly, few video games capture the sense of dread we experience watching these films. Although we played The Evil Dead video games, they ditched horror in favor of hero Ash as the shotgun carrying, chainsaw wielding badass many people associate with the franchise. Until Dawn, on the other hand, lets you control eight seemingly hapless young people with no combat training, thrust into a terrifying scenario with little means of defense.  For the most part you either hide or die, with little in the way of help; no space marines this time. Instead of watching, you’re able to live out this virtual Friday the 13th experience, and there’s more to it than simply moving from point A to point B. 

Choose Your Own Adventure 

Throughout the course of Until Dawn you will control all eight characters, with each scenario forcing you to make decisions impacting the plot.  One choice not only affects the current protagonist but also the rest, and you won’t know the consequence of your actions until much later in the game. Burning the killer with a lit candle may seem like a good idea at the time, but perhaps this somehow negatively impacts one of the eight an hour from now.  It’s impossible to say. We find this non-linearity intriguing. 

Multiple Endings 

Continuing with choice, Until Dawn comes with multiple endings. You’ll see everything this game has to offer in time, but with the possibility of one person surviving or all of them dying (with different outcomes in between), it will take a while until all of the scenarios play out. Additionally, you’ll receive a bonus mission free of charge for pre-ordering, which features two new characters, Matt and Emily. 

Hollywood Star Power

Nashville actress Hayden Panettiere plays Sam, one of the most prominent characters featured in Until Dawn trailers and promotional materials. Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe brought depth to Beyond: Two Souls with their performances, and we look forward to seeing Hayden’s virtual self make it through this interactive nightmare in one piece.

While you wait for Until Dawn, play these scary PS4 games.