Analysis of As Dusk Falls, an interactive drama for Xbox

If you are video game consumers (something likely if you are here reading these lines), surely you are also regular consumers of series. In recent years and thanks to the rise of VOD services (such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, HBO Max…), TV series have been in better shape than ever.

And thanks to the new formats and a vast and varied catalog, in constant evolution, it’s nearly impossible not to be addicted to a series (or more) at all times. That’s if we don’t devour the new season in a matter of hours, of course.


As Dusk Falls – Trailer

But what would happen if the world of series and that of video games collided? That was the question that was asked Interior Night, an independent study conducted by Caroline Marchalthe former director of game design for Heavy rain there Beyond two soulsboth from Quantic Dream.

The answer to this question is As Dusk Falls, an interactive drama for people who love shows like Breaking Bad or Fargo, but aren’t necessarily gamers. It debuts on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC tomorrow, July 19 (available at launch on Game Pass).

If you want to know if it’s worth “hanging on” to this story, make yourself comfortable and grab a snack, because we’ll tell you about it in our review… sorry, in our Like the Dusk Falls review.

Excessive Gambling

As Dusk Falls tells the story of two very different families: on the one hand we have the vincea father with work problems, and on the other hand that of Jay, the youngest of three very conflicted brothers. The coincidence causes the lives of the two families to intersect and remain intertwined forever.

We’re not going to say much more about the argument, because While Dusk Falls relies heavily on narrative and to do so would be a waste. But you have surely noticed that It doesn’t sound like your typical video game plot.. In fact, the characters are also not the heroes and heroines that we are used to seeing in the medium.

Building on the TV series format, As Dusk Falls introduces us to a cast that goes completely beyond virtual subjects. This serves to provide a lot of freshness; These are not characters with magical powers, chosen by fate or skilled in handling all kinds of firearms, but before the “real people” with the family, the economic problems…

As dusk falls

It also humanizes the characters. It may be that what is shown to us on the screen is not actors and actresses, but thanks to the combination of all its elements, While Dusk Falls made us feel like we were looking at flesh and blood people.

But before you run off thinking that means we’re dealing with a weekend after-dinner-worthy clunker, we can tell you two things: The first is that despite its premise being far from be usual in video games, the story hooked us from the first minute and kept us that way until the end.

So even if you don’t find it attractive or “not your thing”, we strongly advise you to try it, because it will surprise you. And since it’s on Game Pass, you have no excuse not to..

As dusk falls

The second is that being a story of family issues and very human characters does not mean that it does not contain high doses of action. As Dusk Falls features plenty of fast-paced sequences, high-tension moments, and unexpected twists that will keep you on the edge of your chair.

Alright, but… how do you play that?“, you may be wondering. The gameplay of As Dusk Falls could be divided into three sections: on the one hand, decision-making. As in other similar titles, several times We are presented with situations that we can resolve by choosing between different responses or possibilities..

As usual, we often have to make a decision within a time limit, which makes a scene even more tense.

As dusk falls

As Dusk Falls also introduces an interesting novelty, namely that sometimes additional answers appear after a certain time. Suffice to say that it is sometimes worth thinking about instead of responding quickly, even if it means seeing how dangerously close the timer is to zero…

This is undoubtedly the greatest playable strength of As Dusk Falls, since the decisions we make have immediate tangible repercussions and they still leave us the bug of “What would have happened if you had chosen the other option?

And now you might be thinking that “you already know this story” and in these games in the end, the decisions don’t change almost anything. In this case, look at the “tree” event of one of the chapters:

As dusk falls

how can you enjoy the number of ramifications is huge, as well as the different plot possibilitieswhich means that the decisions we make have a huge weight on the story and that, despite the fact that As Dusk Falls can be completed in around six hours, it is extremely replayable.

From the tree we can also directly access the points where the story presents different paths, which allows us to revisit these moments and easily choose other options. This way we can keep a good record of all the scenes we’ve seen so far and avoid having to replay the whole adventure to witness the changes. A kick.

Continuing with the playable section, sometimes we have to investigate a scene. We have no control over the character; we just move the crosshairs and look at different points in the scene. They are generally not too complex sequences and they are one of the aspects in which something more “crumb” is missing.

As dusk falls

Finally, As Dusk Falls often surprises us with QTEs. And we say surprise because, Given its TV series style, it’s inevitable to relax and let go of control… But the game Interior Night throws us in the face sequences in which we must press in a specific direction, press a button, etc. come out graceful.

As you can see, the playability of As Dusk Falls is quite limited, at least in the classic sense of what is meant by gameplay. We think a little more character interaction, allowing us to explore storylines or other elements seen in games of a similar nature, like the Life is Strange saga or the aforementioned Quantic Dream titles, would have not been bad for him.

The most curious thing is that, according to officials, As Dusk Falls was designed as a multiplayer experiencewe can therefore enjoy the story and participate in decisions with seven other people, either locally or via the Internet.

As dusk falls

Best of all is that Since Dusk Falls doesn’t require eight Xbox controllers: We can connect a mobile device with the official application of the game and use it to participate in the game, so it is a great option to meet friends, whether they are players or not.

When making decisions, the most voted option wins, but each player has a limited number of “undoes”, an option that allows them to have the last word… and that can give a lot of play (and generate interesting discussions from time to time).

We end, of course, with the audiovisual section. And be careful, because this is another of the great strengths of As Dusk Falls. Visually, we are faced with a title built through illustrations and an occasional 3D storyline, making us feel like we are watch an animated graphic novel. He has a lot of personality.

As dusk falls

It’s curious, because as we said at the beginning, despite not having thousands of polygons or the most advanced facial animations, the static illustrations of As Dusk Falls manage to perfectly convey all the emotions on offer.

The sound part also contributes to this, since As Dusk Falls has one of the best Spanish voiceovers we’ve heard in a video game in years..

For a long time the Xbox community harshly criticized the fact that the main games of the saga arrived without voice in our language, so seeing that from Xbox Spain they bet on an independent game with the highest quality dubbing fills us with satisfaction.

If As Dusk Falls already reminds us of a television series, the dubbing is the icing on the cake. We played without even activating the subtitles and it was a real joy, because it helped us fully enter the story and empathize with its characters.

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