Although it is classified as an interactive adventure, and it is, As Dusk Falls is very much like a graphic novel and its online mode is really fun. We played it thanks to Game Pass on PC and Xbox and we will tell you how our experience was.
The genre of interactive adventures is gaining more and more importance in the video game market. Many consider this genre, a necessary evolution of the classic graphic adventureswhich, as a necessary step after the traditional titles, knew how to transform its audience towards the mechanics that Telltale Games put into play, and, consecutively, this type of productions such as The Quarry or the saga The Dark Pictures Anthology They knew how to put on top. Ace Dusk Falls He knows how to take advantage of this move and bring it to life with a subtly different proposal.
As Dusk Falls can be obtained for PC and Xbox, included in the Xbox Game Pass service
The visual aspect of a game is one of those sections that still continues to generate a division between the different players. There are those who if the game they bought doesn’t have the latest motion capture 3D graphics made in Unreal Engine 5 and OctaneRender, they feel like they were ripped off, arguing that the visual aspect is as, or more, important than the story. On the other hand, there are those users who, on the contrary, feel that a good story and a good narrative are everything, and can enjoy great experiences like The Last Door (just to give an example and understand the point).
what about As Dusk Falls is that his aesthetic decision was an annoyance for many. The game does not have the classic 3D animation that we can expect, but instead tells the story through still images (photographs or frames drawn on top) that change their pose to achieve continuity. This technique is complemented with various scenes and 3D elements and a lot of motion comic-style animation. What should be noted at the outset, by the way, is that the sound work is impeccable, along with really excellent dubbing.
Initially, nobility obliges, that artistic decision takes away a bit of the necessary immersion to enjoy the best possible proposal. It’s like you never get to connect with the characters because that static issue that is shown breaks with the dynamics of the story. It is as if the narrative went one way, and the visual section, on the other, trying to merge thanks to sound and dubbing. But once we get into the story, we begin to leave all this behind and we end up immersed in a very well run story.
The story proposes us to be part of a certain special moment in the lives of two very different families. On the one hand, we have the Holts, a group of brothers who are carrying out a rather ill-planned robbery, and on the other hand we have the Walkers, father, mother, daughter and grandfather, who are taking a trip with a view to fixing various personal and family problems. The fate of both families will intersect and, based on our decisionsthe story will unfold with different consequences for the different members.
Ace Dusk Falls has as a particularity, that you will be able to control it by means of mouse and keyboard (in reality, when playing, you will only use the mouse), joystick, or mobile devices, be it smartphone or tablet. And yes, perhaps this may seem novel, or comfortable, but in our opinion, the truth is that the only thing it does is either limit actions, or be the consequence of limited actions. Like any interactive adventure, we are going to spend the vast majority of the time seeing how things unfold (as if it were a movie) but being able to intervene at certain points. The interactions are: choose dialogues, choose paths (do this or that, go here or there) and the classic QTE (Quick Time Events). Unfortunately, the way these mechanics are implemented over the story is so undistinguished that it ends up becoming too repetitive and monotonous.
We have all seen a police story with hostages, betrayals, robberies, secrets and characters that are not what they seem. But the fort of Ace Dusk Falls it does not go through the originality of the story, but by the search for an impeccable and totally captivating narrative. The game is divided into two parts of three chapters each, and they really help you to empathize, or not, with the different characters, since as we said before, we can control different members of both families. Being able to see the development of each one, their motivations, their sorrows and their own dark areas are more than fundamental details not only to build a good story, but also so that the player, or spectator, can fully immerse himself in the experiences of the game and that, in this way, the experience is also gratifying from an emotional or personal point of view.
Another small detail that was quite striking in the approximate seven hours of play that we had to finish it, is that the narrative makes you know, reliably, that there are certain moments that are really important, where the decisions you make are going to define crucially the rest of the story. As with most of these titles, all the decisions we make are going to affect us in the future, in some way. At the end of each episode we are shown the possible branches of the decision tree, and in color, what was the path that we made on that initial line. It is a good way to know, or at least to imagine, what would have happened if at this or that moment we had chosen to do something else.
As you can imagine, in any police there are victims who, as we have already mentioned, end up depending on us. In Ace Dusk Falls there are deaths, there is violence, there are strong themes and perhaps some sensitive image. And we are in no way against trigger warnings, as long as they are not a spoiler. A trigger warning, for those who do not know, is a warning that is made in any audiovisual product or even in books and comics, where the reader or viewer is notified in advance, that what you are about to experience has some psychological stimulus that could be a trigger for trauma. These warnings are generally used when the story contains murder, suicide, or any type of sexual abuse or violence. Even with very strong scenes or gore. And as we said, it is not a problem that when you start the game this warning is included, the problem is that, if in an episodic game you do it only in the episode that something like this happens, it ends up being a kind of spoiler. Because if they didn’t do it before, it makes you understand that something like this is going to happen and if you follow the story, the development ends up becoming obvious, losing the surprise effect.
At a certain point in the game, we made an unfortunate decision playing the Walkers and it had a terrible consequence. We had to close the game for personal reasons, and when we opened it again, we had lost the progress (the game saves automatically) and we had to relive that whole sequence, this time conditioned, because we knew that, making that decision, the same thing would happen again. Do you remember that we said that at the end of each episode it showed us the decision tree to see how our progress had been? From that same screen, or entering from the options menu, we will be able to resume the game from different points and thus avoid the destination that is being assigned to us, being able to change some decisions and, therefore, the path to follow. We prefer to live the experience without going back (unless it is a game mechanic like in Life is Strange, of course) and accept the consequences of our decisions. But about tastes, colors.
Compare the game with, for example, any of the adventures of Super Massive Games We feel that it ends up being somewhat unfair, after having played a lot. It’s more like a visual novel than a graphic adventure. Here there is no possibility of exploration as it happens in The Quarryfor instance. Although segmenting it within a narrative adventure would be the best option, As Dusk Falls is quite particular and different in several aspects.. It is a game that, beyond the value of production and development, ends up being one of those that can be loved or hated in equal measure, since whoever gets their hands on it will not be indifferent.
The narrative is the best of the title, we already said that. And it has to do with its history, of course, but it also goes through how it is told, its narrative. It is the strong point, but that does not mean that it is perfect. At certain times, the game is going to become somewhat stiff, since it makes us experience sequences that are too simple and unimportant, where even different mechanics are going to be involved. Fix an air conditioner? Do the washing up? Although these actions are part of history and have a point to reach, what is not necessary is to make us part of them. There are also some characters like Dale, one of the Holt brothers, who falls into the most stereotypical constructions of a character that has to be bad. The role of the Holt’s mother also feels a bit forced, and many times, the way of being with which Vince Walker is built. Many times the options that we are given to advance the story are not things that fall within what we think is common sense, but end up being functional for the plot.
For those who like to play online or share this type of story with friends, there is the online option. Whether locally or with any human being within the network, we can share this experience in another way that turns out to be quite different. At the moment the game stops waiting for a decision, everyone involved has to vote for one of the options on the screen. The one with the most votes wins, and the game goes for that option.
If there is a tie, the game chooses a random option. An interesting detail is that each player has three cancellations. That is to say, at three different moments of the game, if we really want with all our hearts that the game goes to a certain place and we intuit that the rest of those who are playing can tip the balance to the other side, we put an annulment vote, we they cancel other people’s decisions, and the game goes where we want. Once again, playing with friends can be an immensely rewarding experience.
In summary, Ace Dusk Falls It is a quite particular narrative adventure, rare for some, that has a great narrative and a great job in terms of immersion once we accept its visual section. The detail of the online games with this type of mechanics makes it different from what we usually see and ends up being the icing on the cake. Many say that comparisons are hateful, and that’s where the game can feel like it doesn’t live up to expectations. Even if we see its trailer, the game is not very convincing. But it ends up being one of those that you have to play them, you have to live the experience that it proposes and, only then, draw our own conclusions. We, in particular, were convinced.
|RELEASE DATE||July 19, 2022|
|DISTRIBUTOR||Xbox Game Studios|
|PLATAFORMS||PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One|