Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

Reviewed December 7, 2016 on PS4

Platform:

PS4

Released:

October 13, 2016

Publisher:

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Developer:

Supermassive Games

Until Dawn will always be remembered fondly by me as one of the best horror games of this generation. Campy, packed with jump scares and silly, simple fun, it was everything I love about horror movies in video game form. It’s also one of the only horror franchises exclusive to PlayStation, so I guess slapping the branding on some VR title was inevitable. While the ‘story’ (or lack thereof) is entirely irrelevant to the original, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood keeps the trademark jump scares and silliness alive and creates an effectively scary VR experience.

Rush of Blood is an on-rails experience; in quite a literal sense, you’ll be riding through the most messed up theme park of your life, killing psycho mannequins and crazy clowns while being squealed at by butchered pigs and harassed by evil spirits. Each level represents a different ride that is themed differently and I appreciated the varying levels of disgusting and spooky imagery that was used throughout.

The move controllers are really required for this one, as each one represents a gun that you’re holding. You start off with a hand-gun, but levels are filled with other weapons you can use just by shooting the relevant crate. While enemies are the threat, there are also lots of different targets to hit throughout each ride, which constantly gives you something to shoot at and at the same time distracting you from the inevitable jump scares just around the corner.

The more literal scares of baddies running at you aren’t as interesting or well thought-out as some of my favourite examples. Looking at a still body in a large empty room, nothing happening for a bit until you move your head to look around you, only to turn back and find the body missing makes for a cute and effective trick; even the slow incline followed by the inevitable drop that you would expect from a roller coaster works great here. As somebody who generally¬†loathes¬†roller coasters, these moments created tension that I wasn’t expecting.

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is over quickly though; I would have loved for a longer game but I appreciate the amount of scares and in the early days of VR where nausea is a real thing, the shorter bursts work fantastically when you want to show it off to your friends and give them a fright.

Positive:

  • Solid jump scares
  • Clever ideas
  • Well-produced

Negative:

  • Not long enough
  • A little simple

Much like the original game it’s referencing, it’s all over a bit too quickly; but the benefit here is that the game is more than half the price of a “full retail release”. This means that, despite its length and simplicity, it still feels valuable and is well produced throughout. If you’re not fond of things jumping out at you and giving you a fright then stay away, but fans of campy spooky horror will really enjoy this one.