Released on July 19th, 2022, As Dusk Falls was a day 1 Gamepass title that was published by Xbox Game Studios and developed by INTERIOR/NIGHT. Dubbed an original interactive drama, this title sparked a lot of curiosity due to it's art style. However, while the art style certainly gave it a fair bit of curb appeal, this type of title solely lives or dies based on it's story. Is it any good? Let's dive in!

Let's start of with presentation, since that's the first thing you'll notice about As Dusk Falls. It sports a unique style that combines stylistic 3d environments with 2D characters. When a character moves, it's kind of like a slow stop motion animation, where only very defined frames will animate, giving you an idea of what the character is doing but not showing the full sequence leading to it. Think of an animation playing at 2 FPS, that's basically what it looks like, but since the game is built around it, the style fits into the package very well. The voice acting and sound throughout the entire game is well done too. The presentation as a whole gives the game a very polished vibe, which if combined with a well done story could create a compelling package.

However, is the story well done and do your choices actually matter? Yes, the story is well done and your choices matter far more than most point and click style games. It's actually quite shocking how flexible As Dusk Falls story really is, allowing you to get any character debilitated or killed through choice, planned incompetence, or actual incompetence. Each of the dialogue choices are fairly well described too, never making you feel like what you chose wasn't accurate to what you felt was intended. Combine that with the game's multi-pronged story and this package starts to get really compelling.

The story itself is starts in 1998 and primarily follows two families with some additional side characters. It starts with a robbery-gone-wrong and a family trip to a new city for work, but slowly evolves into an intertwined, well written story that keeps you hooked all of the way to the end. That said, the game has many characters and out of the ones I primarily controlled, I thought half were either boring or annoying. Thankfully, as stated previously, you're able to strategically kill off folks you don't like and the story adapts to it masterfully. This is the first time I've played a point and click game that actually felt like my choices mattered a ton. No cheap deaths or events, only impactful ones that leave a mark. Unfortunately, the game's story seems a bit incomplete as it currently contains 2 "books" worth of content and the ending achievement seemingly points to a future DLC or sequel. Thankfully, the ending I got out of the 7 total at least provided some closure, but it certainly left room for the story to develop more and more stories to be told. 

Speaking of how the story is told, all of the games choices can be made through selecting dialogue, an item on screen, or participating in a quick time event (QTE). These QTEs aren't rapid fire and are paired with logical events unfolding on screen. Due to the choices mattering, you need to be careful when selecting dialogue options, as chain events could lead to a character you like dying or being debilitated. Since the game contains online and local coop, if you're playing with a friend, you'll each get a vote on every action. My friend and I discussed our options in Discord, then made each choice in unison, sometimes selecting different options for something random to occur. 

On top of that, after each chapter, you're shown a screen that details what choices you made and how many other people made those same choices. I personally made a choice that 0% of the player-base made. Considering what choices the player-base made, I'd say most were forgiving and empathetic, while I was vengeance. 

Overall, As Dusk Falls is a compelling package that contains a well written, albeit somewhat open ended story, with a diverse set of characters and is masterfully flexible to each of your choices. If you're a fan of point and click adventure games or as it's described here, an interactive drama, I cannot recommend As Dusk Falls enough. For more game reviews, click here!

Rating: 8.3/10




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