Until Dawn – The Real Horror May Be The Motion Controls
Ah, Sony. You are the king of psychological torture. You giveth and then you taketh away. As a massive fan of horror games, imagine my delight when the PS3 exclusive, Until Dawn, was announced back in August of 2012. Clips of the game made it out to be a teen slasher-esque, “survive and stay alive” adventure with a “secluded cabin in the woods” setting. Sounds great, right? Yeah, I thought so too…until I found out the game requires a Playstation Move controller to play it. Uhg.
I’ll try to say this as quickly and as nicely as possible - I dislike the Playstation Move controller very very very much. I’m not a huge fan of motion controls to begin with, but at least the Wii Motion Plus is accurate, stays calibrated, and doesn’t drift off to the sides by itself when you hold the controller still. I think it’s decent enough as a “motion” controller, but it fails miserably as a pointing device, which is how the wand is used when playing first-person or on-rails shooters. Just do a quick internet search using the obvious keywords, along with the added term “drift” or “problem,” and you’ll expose tons of forum posts and videos that demonstrate this thorn in gaming’s side that is the Playstation Move. And don’t even get me started on how this fad-stealing, bandwagon-humping, HD Wii wannabe contraption ruined additional DLC planned for one of my favorite PS3 games, Heavy Rain.
Yes, I gave up on the Playstation Move quite some time ago, but the horror gamer in me might have to face the beast one last time when Until Dawn drops later this year. So far, Supermassive Games, developer of Until Dawn, doesn’t have plans for DualShock support. Big mistake, in my opinion. Does anyone really like motion controls with their horror games? (I’m looking at you, Rise of Nightmares.) Granted, it seems like the Move gimmick with Until Dawn simply involves the player to use the wand as a flashlight as they traverse and explore the darkened forest. That seems tolerable, but trust me, the game would not suffer if flashlight duties were mapped to a DualShock controller. Alan Wake is proof of that. So what we’ll be left with once the flashlight gimmick thrill is over are the typical Move controller tropes that are always featured in Playstation 3 games – turn knob, push door, pull lever, etc. Until Dawn? More like Until Yawn. (Zing!)
For those who are interested in Until Dawn but hate being chained to the Playstation Move controller to play it, there may be hope. If the box art for the game posted on the internets is accurate, I am relieved to see “Playstation Move Compatible” stamped on the box and not “Playstation Move Required.” Cross those fingers, horror fans.
Currently, there is no official release date for Until Dawn.