As Dusk Falls PC Review: Upstate Drama

User Rating: 9
As Dusk Falls PC Review

A narrative adventure with minimal gameplay but a very addictive and branching storyline. As Dusk Falls is out July 19 on PC, Xbox One, and Series. Despite some small problems, fans of well-written gaming stories should not miss this game.

Arizona, 1998 Family man Vince travels with his wife, daughter, and father on Route 66, which runs through a desert landscape. A car accident forces her to take a break at a remote motel, all seems calm. Suddenly, three masked armed men burst in, taking the family and motel staff hostage.

And it depends only on us what will happen in this motel, whether there will be victims, we will find out what drives, we will find out the stories and relationships of those locked in a motel on highway 66.

Participate in actions and decisions

This is the premise of As Dusk Falls, the first game by interior night developer Caroline Marshall founded in 2017. Marshall previously worked as a designer at Quantic Dream, working there on Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, and that past is visible in her new game: As Dusk Falls is also a narrative adventure, a “visual novel” with minimal game mechanics, but with an emphasis on a densely told story that is driven by the player’s actions and decisions.

The hostage-taking makes up the first three of six chapters, each about an hour long, the second half recounting its aftermath immediately afterward and 14 years later, and is even more gripping and emotionally gripping than the beginning.

Throughout the story, the player takes on five characters, focusing on Vince and Jay, the youngest of three brothers who raided a motel. His family pushes him, he’s insecure and withdrawn – which is why As Dusk Falls almost always allows players to operate from a position where others have a voice and power, both from the protagonists and the antagonists.

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Emotions through static images

This creates constant pressure and a lot of empathy for the superbly written, complex characters who, thanks to a successful (English and German) soundtrack and a few in-game flashbacks, are constantly taking on new facets.

However, in the case of As Dusk Falls, “playable” simply means choosing dialogue options and doing simple reaction tests from time to time. It’s rather inconvenient to control with a controller; alternatively, the game can be controlled via a smartphone app. There is also an eight-player online and offline multiplayer mode where decisions are made by majority vote.

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The most outstanding feature of As Dusk Falls is the visuals: while the backgrounds are made up of 3D objects, the characters are still images that move every few seconds. This style, which takes some getting used to at first, is more believable, human, and timeless than classic 3D models. Together with the soundtrack and setting of the interior of the United States, an incredibly dense atmosphere is created, reminiscent of True Detective or Fargo.

Mobile app

With the As Dusk Falls mobile companion app for iOS and Android, you can play the game with the tap of a finger. Use your phone/tablet to make choices and interact with up to seven other local players. Anyone can take part.

One Game, Countless Possibilities

At the end of each chapter and game, “As Dusk Falls” shows which decisions led to which storyline and which alternatives there are. This is very motivating to go through it again and, perhaps, save one or another character that has become dear to your heart. Fans of well-written and staged interactive stories cannot miss this title.

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Is it worth buying?

Yes. If you like story-driven adventure games, from INTERIOR/NIGHT promises to be one of the year’s most entertaining games. For me, this is a bold new future for interactive movie games.

Thanks to its ability to constantly cut the ground from under its feet, As Dusk Falls does not turn into a run-of-the-mill narrative that we will forget in an hour. Instead, the game leaves its mark on us, the sad but understandable problems of its characters casting a long shadow. And it certainly won’t get out of my head for a long time, making me think what if I did one way or another.
  • Very strong and interesting script
  • Memorable characters
  • Excellent voice acting
  • Choices that truly affect the future
  • Outstanding style
  • Clumsy controls
  • Boring and easy "quick events"

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