Imagine if the way you get up from your bed leads to someone not getting ice-cream. Maybe the fact that you secretly read someone’s diary leads to another person leaving their school. Sounds too fantastic to be true? But in chaos theory, this is what is called the butterfly effect. In the words of G. Boeing, it is defined as “the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.”
In other words, the butterfly effect takes place when seemingly tiny actions lead to massive consequences, in a thoroughly unexpected but logically progressive manner. This is the premise of Supermassive Games’ ‘Until Dawn’, a survival adventure horror game where every decision you take radically affects the final outcome. Given that it’s a horror game set in a desolate mountain resort in Western Canada, there’s every chance that outcome will not be pleasant.
Combining stellar performances from the likes of Hayden Panettiere, Rami Malek, Meaghan Martin and others with a superb sense of environment and sound, ‘Until Dawn’ is a delightfully convoluted nightmare. Here is the list of video games similar to Until Dawn that are our recommendations. You can play these games like Until Dawn for PS4, mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android or even online.
16. Life is Strange: Before the Storm (2017)
While we got to experience Max’s side of the story in Life is Strange: Before the Storm serves as a prequel to the Life is Strange franchise with all of the focus shifting towards Chloe. While we do not get to play around with Max’s powers anymore, we rely on Chloe’s conversational skills to make our way out of trouble. We also get a closer look at Chloe’s relationship with Rachel; something was left out in the first Life is Strange game. While the game does not delve into sci-fi like the original, you do get to experience high school life all over again in this beautiful game. And did we mention the game has one of the best soundtracks ever? It feels like DONTNOD put in a tremendous amount of effort just to ensure we got the right soundtracks for the right moments. Before the Storm is not only a great experience for Life is Strange fans, but also for anyone looking for an experience similar to Until Dawn but in a more light-hearted setting.
15. The Walking Dead: The Final Season (2018)
The Walking Dead comics became a cultural phenomenon overnight, and it led to the birth of the wildly popular TV show by AMC as well as Telltale Games coming up with some really great games. If you want to experience Telltale Games’ creations, we recommend heading right to the heart of the franchise. You will not find much in common with the TV show or the books as these are standalone stories. There are three seasons with episodic gameplay along with two spinoff games – The New Frontier and Michonne. The titles involve making choices just like Until Dawn and depending on how you proceed with the story, you get to save or get other NPCs killed. The graphics of the title are not as fancy as Until Dawn, but it’s a great experience nonetheless, and the best part is you can play the games on iOS or Android devices as well. Telltale Games shut down and The Final Season will offer closure to the franchise unless it is revived by another studio.
14. Resident Evil 2 Remake (2019)
If you are looking for a pure horror experience that is far more engaging than Until Dawn when it comes to gameplay and action you should check out the latest Resident Evil 2 reboot that came out earlier this year. Capcom is on a brilliant streak of games starting with Monster Hunter World last year all the way to Devil May Cry 5 this year and more to come. The game takes us back to the roots of the horror genre in gaming as you relive the experiences from the original title. The game lets you play as Leon or Claire, and there is a lot of replayability value on offer as well. Capcom has offered optional DLCs to players where you get to play as some of the side characters that you meet during the story. The gameplay is superb and manages to keep things tense from start to end.
13. Life is Strange 2 (2018)
Life is Strange 2 is the sequel to the original Life is Strange, and from what we have seen so far, Max and Chloe are missing in action. Instead, the episodes that are available focus on Sean and Daniel, two brothers who get caught up in an unfortunate circumstance. The gameplay is similar to Until Dawn and your choices does affect a lot that happens in the game. One of the biggest problems of the genre is that a number of choices in-game do not have any severe consequences no matter what options you choose when presented in tricky situations. However, Life is Strange is different on that front and it allows players to replay the title as much as they want. DONTNOD is known to include brilliant soundtracks in the Life is Strange games, and Life is Strange 2 is no exception. Visually, it might not be as impressive as Until Dawn as there is no motion capture, but the game looks stunning regardless. Overall, Life is Strange 2 is a title for those lazy Sunday afternoons you want just to lay back and enjoy a good interactive story. With more episodes yet to be released, you can still hop on to the franchise and see how the story progresses.
12. The Evil Within 2 (2017)
The Evil Within 2 was one of 2017’s defining games, and it definitely lived up to the expectations set by its predecessor. If you are looking for a great horror experience The Evil Within 2 is one of the best there is right now aside from the Resident Evil franchise. The game goes back to its survival horror roots, and you have to be careful about every move you make. There are bizarre monsters who chase you through the game and a head-on collision with them will definitely not turn out too well for you. You are constantly under pressure and managing your resources is very important. While the protagonist of the game might not be the most compelling and the narrative does get weak in places, the game is redeemed by its strong cast of NPCs and of course, the gameplay which is top-notch.
11. Vampyr (2018)
Vampyr is one of the best horror-adventure games to come out last year. The game is by no means spooky, but it does explore the world of vampires. It is great to see games that go back in time and explore an era when horror was more about the atmosphere and not just jump scares and shock value. Just like Until Dawn, your choices in-game affect the fate of other characters. You have the option of sacrificing your humanity completely as Dr. Jonathan Reed, and kill everything on sight. Alternatively, you can be a pacifist and try to find the best solution possible. The game has a bunch of boss fights and is much more active when it comes to gameplay compared to Until Dawn. If you love interactive stories but do not like having the action taken out of them completely, you should definitely check Vampyr out.
10. The Evil Within (2014)
‘The Evil Within’ is a third-person survival horror game based in an utterly grotesque world filled with gruesome locations and terrifying monsters. The story follows police detective Sebastian (Marqus Bobesich) as he is pulled into this world along with two of his colleagues from the scene of a particularly horrifying mass murder. While the slightly outdated design received some flak, the macabre environment design and the combat mechanics received widespread praise. To fans of ‘Until Dawn’, the horror this game provides will be right up their alley.
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9. Oxenfree (2016)
‘Oxenfree’ is a supernatural mystery game that follows Alex (Erin Yvette), a teenager who arrives at Edwards Island for a weekend party, but what follows afterwards is a gorgeous and painstaking narrative of friendship, loyalty, and the world beyond the living, as Alex accidentally releases a paranormal force on the island. Developer Night School Studio delivers on its debut, with a compelling narrative combined with fluid story progression, dialogue choices, and a mix of dark and light, natural and structured elements. The game will prove to be a great fix after one is done with ‘Until Dawn’ seeing as how similar their approaches are to supernatural themes.
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8. Silent Hill: Downpour (2012)
The ‘Silent Hill’ franchise has been synonymous with some of gaming’s scariest and most poignant moments over the years. It is no surprise, therefore, that ‘Downpour’ makes an entry in a list of games similar to ‘Until Dawn’, which is also a game that superbly balances morbid fear with an emotional sensibility. ‘Downpour’ is a survival action horror game that banked on increased world exploration, and player choices that dictated the ending. It has six separate endings to this purpose, confirming the depth of the game’s fear-inducing narrative.
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7. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (2014)
Just as its name suggests, ‘The Vanishing of Ethan Carter’ centres around the mysterious disappearance of Ethan (Jake Amigo), a 12-year old child, and delivers a breathtakingly gorgeous and evocative story in the process. The main playable character is paranormal detective, Paul Prospero (Marty Allen) who goes to Ethan’s hometown of Red Creek, and finds a horrible mystery to solve. Much like the events of ‘Until Dawn’, ‘The Vanishing of Ethan Carter’ will remain long in the memory, owing to a beautiful recreation of the outdoors of Wisconsin, and a brutally mesmerising story.
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6. Beyond Two Souls (2013)
‘Beyond Two Souls’ was very much in the glorious tradition of developer Quantic Dream’s poignant projects, and employed a highly impressive cast led by Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. It followed Jodie, who possessed various supernatural powers because of a mysterious link she had with Aiden, an invisible, bizarre entity. The game prioritised player choices, and came across as more cinematic rather than video game-like, due to the developer’s emphasis on more interactive elements that made the game more accessible to even those who didn’t play games regularly.
‘Beyond Two Souls’ premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, marking just the second time that a video game was recognised by a film festival. This confirms the cinematic brilliance of the game, and likens it to ‘Until Dawn’ that had a distinctive film-like presentation as all the characters explored the Washingtons’ haunting resort.
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5. Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010)
Very few indie video games have been as impactful as Frictional Games’ ‘Amnesia: The Dark Descent.’ The survival horror game utilises dark, foreboding surroundings and an utterly suspenseful music score to depict perhaps the most frightening atmosphere in all of gaming. We follow Daniel, the game’s protagonist, as he explores a castle while trying to maintain his sanity by avoiding monsters and other unpleasant impediments. ‘Amnesia’ has gone to be regarded as one of the absolute best horror games, and one of the very best games, regardless of genre. If fans of ‘Until Dawn’ found the horror to be alright, they will be rocked to their core once they get their hands on this gem.
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4. Detroit: Become Human (2018)
‘Detroit: Become Human’ is developer Quantic Dream’s most recent effort at delivering gripping storytelling with fluidity of choice and multiple branching points. The game’s impressive representation of how sentient artificial intelligence (A.I.) can affect decrepit human society borders on the poignant, and is a result of exemplary research and consultation with A.I. experts. The exceptional number of ways in which the story can change is evident through multiple playable characters, and its sheer replayability is an obvious to ‘Until Dawn’ as well.
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3. Life Is Strange (2015)
Rarely has a game been so innovative, fresh, and crucial to a genre as ‘Life Is Strange.’ Developed by Dontnod Entertainment, the game was released in an episodic format, ensuring that the cliffhangers were emotionally packed, and left gamers wanting for more. Upon observing its quasi-hipster aesthetic, it seems implausible that the game found success across all ages. Yet, it is the game’s astounding emotional connect, and the magnificently drawn characters that draw us in. ‘Life Is Strange’ also makes use of the butterfly effect, much like ‘Until Dawn’, albeit in a more realistically scary manner rather than horrifically so.
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2. Heavy Rain (2010)
‘Heavy Rain’ arguably represents the best of developer Quantic Dream’s patent elements of interactive storytelling, complex characters, and a foreboding setting that only accentuates the plot as a whole. Director David Cage delivered a remarkable narrative centred around the enigmatic and despicable figure of the Origami Killer, someone quite akin to the mysterious man (no spoilers!) who terrorised the group in ‘Until Dawn’ as well. With a highly realistic setting, and multiple choices that changed the shape of the story itself, it is safe to say that ‘Heavy Rain’ influenced interactive storytelling to a huge extent.
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1. The Walking Dead (2012)
With the ever-increasing number of films and television shows around us, it is only natural to feel a little saturated by it all. This is more pronounced in cases where something has been on-air for a long time, with audiences clamouring for something new. As successful as ‘The Walking Dead’ has been on TV, its criticisms were not unfounded, becoming clearer by each passing season. Under such circumstances, it would be foolish to think that something else from the same story could possibly excite audiences anymore.
How wrong we would be? Developer Telltale Games is now renowned for its episodic, story-driven compelling narratives based on player choices but it all started from ‘The Walking Dead’ in 2012. The game redefined interactive storytelling at its core, and gave us a brutal, believable story, and a heartrending relationship between two of the most engrossing characters in recent memory, Lee Everett (Dave Fennoy) and Clementine (Melissa Hutchison). Just as characters’ lives and story paths are determined by player choices in ‘Until Dawn’, it was very much the same here. Additionally, the zombies have quite a lot in common with the Wendigos, although not as fast but doubly determined to tear off humans. ‘The Walking Dead’ was a magnificent high point in the interactive genre, and for ‘Until Dawn’ fans, this game should be at the top of their list.
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