On paper, until dawn reads like a cliche. Eight attractive young adults head to an isolated house for a weekend and are terrified by a masked killer? So far, so Friday the 13th. But what sets Supermassive’s branching horror narrative apart is its clever dismantling of these horror tropes, even as it cheerfully celebrates them. Each character lives or dies based on their choices in a story that can be played over and over again, even when they know the twists. But if you’ve completely exhausted all endings, here are 10 games like Until Dawn that will scratch your itch with terror… hopefully not literally.
1. The man from Medan
After Dawn threw enthusiastic applause, Supermassive Games knew it had something good on its hands. The Dark Pictures Anthology is your answer to the demand for more interactive horror games with robust stories, and Man of Medan is the first installment. While there will be eight standalone games in total, each in different universes, Man of Medan tells the story of four young adults trapped on a ghost ship. It builds on the Before Dawn formula and adds a “movie night” multiplayer mode where up to five friends can pass control to each other and each takes control of a single character. It’s a neat trick: after all until Dawn was as much fun to watch as it was to play.
2. The hospitalized patient
If you still had questions about the Blackwood Sanitorium at the end of Until Dawn, The Inpatient is a must-play. You jump head-to-head into the 1950s institution via PlayStation VR and put yourself in the shoes (literally) of a patient suffering from amnesia. Fortunately, the experience is anything but forgettable, with jump scares and a clever twist where NPCs will react to whatever you say (or yell) thanks to voice recognition technology. This prequel to Until Dawn is a chilling journey back to the mountain, and once again, the outcome of the story depends entirely on the choices you make.
3. Detroit: become human
Quantic Dream has been perfecting its brand of branching narratives for years, and Detroit: Become Human is their most recent work. The game is set in a future where androids are a vital element in human everyday life like smartphones, but the plot addresses a classic science fiction question: Can robots feel the same emotions as humans? ? Like Until Dawn, each character is vulnerable to permadeath, and player choice dramatically affects where the story ends. This is science fiction and not a ghost story, but if you play your cards right, you could stumble upon a spooky chapter in a house that borrows a lot from horror movie tropes. Even if you don’t, Detroit: Become Human is a satisfying interactive drama.
Shinji Mikami is the father of survival horror, which is the brand of games where players are vulnerable to monstrous monstrosities and are often unable to defend themselves, or are forced to do so with limited resources. Mikami invented the genre with Resident Evil in the 90s, and Evil Within was her return. In The Evil Within 2, you play detective Sebastian Castellanos who plunges into a psychological world called STEM (think The Matrix multiplied by the power of Insidious) in search of his missing daughter. One of the things that made Until Dawn so brilliant was his sense of constant mortal danger, and when Sebastian is fighting in the dark for an exit with two bullets in his gun, all it takes is a jump of fear for him to load his pants.
5. Free of oxen
Where Until Dawn saw teenagers trapped on a remote snowy mountain, Oxenfree sees them stranded on a remote island. You play as blue-haired Alex who is on vacation with some friends and his new stepbrother to explore and test a local myth that if you tune a radio to certain frequencies, you will hear ghostly voices. Without further spoiling the story, the heart of Oxenfree is learning more about the island’s history and the complex relationships between its cast. It’s as much a story about growing up as it is about scares, and the art direction is sublime. With its pastel hues and frosted lighting, this is a world you’ll want to lose yourself in.
6. Telltale’s The Walking Dead
One of the unfortunate studios’ pivotal hits was The Walking Dead, a choose-your-own-adventure-style narrative set in the comic book universe. The first season launched in 2012 and introduced an entirely new cast that included Clementine, a young woman whom the player must protect as the apocalypse ravages American cities around them. The writers dance from brutally heartbreaking decisions to quietly emotional moments of reflection with Clementine, and the resulting interplay of light and shadow formed one of the strongest adventure narratives of the last decade. The game’s fourth and final season ended this year, so it’s the perfect time to come back and experience The Walking Dead story again.
7. State of decomposition 2
State of Decay 2 is at its best when it surprises you. His engaging game of “let’s ransack one more house” shines when a seemingly safe building contains a savage zombie. Here, your task is to take control of a group of survivors during a zombie virus outbreak, and as your group grows, you can change characters at will. Each person has a complete voice with a backstory and personality traits, and if they die there is no comeback. Until Dawn’s tragic death is found here, which means unexpected encounters with those wild zombies are tense. There is no strict narrative, but if you enjoyed Before Dawn came from its unpredictability, you won’t go wrong here.
8. Life is strange 2
Teens and bizarre events are the hooks that bind Before Dawn to the Life Is Strange series, but they follow two very different paths. Life is Strange 2 follows two brothers who are forced to flee after the youngest gains supernatural power. However, until Dawn celebrates the horror, Life is Strange is about the heart, and no, not the ones being ripped from the chests. This is the story of modern America as told through the eyes of two young men on the cusp of manhood, exploring masculinity, racism, drugs, and politics. There are branching narrative paths and big decisions that will affect the outcome of the story, so be sure to weigh everything carefully.
It’s refreshing to play a horror adventure game that is as much about the atmosphere as it is about scares and shocks. Vampyr is an invigorating version of a monster as old as horror itself, set in WWI London, where you play Dr. Jonathan Reid, a scientist turned modern vampire. Once again, expect big options in the game that affect the plot (will it sacrifice Reed’s humanity or try to shed as little blood as possible?) But there are far more explosions and shocking kicks to throw here than in Until Dawn. Those who like his horror with a gun will be at home on the cobbled streets of Vampyr.
Batman Arkham VR is a very smart game. Since large jerky movements cause dizziness in VR, the developers created a game above everything else that Batman is known for. He may be a caped crusader, but he’s also a detective, and Arkham VR is a distilled mystery where you have to use the devices at Bruce Wayne’s disposal (and his old name) to find out what happened after Nightwing disappeared. It is also really creepy; A trip to a morgue makes you crawl to corpses and there are more than a few scares. Arkham VR has all the atmosphere of Until Dawn and an equally compelling secret at its core – you’ll have a lot of fun figuring it out.