As Dusk Falls Review: An Exciting Storytelling Masterpiece
As Dusk Falls – a choice-based narrative experience, out Tuesday on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X – comes from newly formed developer Interior Night. Although freshly arrived, the team behind Interior Night has been responsible for gems like Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls in the past. Expectations were high for this game, and I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t disappoint. The excellent narrative of As Dusk Falls quickly draws you into a crime drama similar to Breaking Bad and Fargo. Plus, its branching storyline will keep you coming back to find the best possible outcome for characters that will grow on you, even if they don’t make great first impressions.
Before I go any deeper, I’d like to confess that I’m not a big fan of choice-based narrative games. I also had reservations about the developer’s art choice, which went with a graphic novel art style instead of fully animated scenes. It took me a while to get used to this style, but I’m glad I stuck with As Dusk Falls.
The champion of As Dusk Falls is, unsurprisingly, his story that sees the Walker family and the Holt family cross paths and become entangled in an ordeal that spans a decade. The voice acting is also top-notch, with the background score and sound design elevating the nerve-wracking situations these characters find themselves in – sometimes due to your poor choices.
As a review of Dusk Falls: The Story
The story of As Dusk Falls is primarily explored from the perspective of Vince Walker and Jay Holt. Vince is a former airplane mechanic who was fired from his last job under questionable circumstances. He is forced to embark on a cross-country road trip with his wife Michelle, daughter Zoe, and father Jim to move to St. Louis, Missouri, in search of a fresh start. A minor accident on the way forces them to stop at a roadside motel in Arizona. It is at this unsuspecting motel that the Holt brothers, including Jay, take the Walker family and a few other civilians hostage following a failed robbery attempt.
From now on, every decision you make will impact the fate of these characters – relationships may end, new alliances may be formed, or a character may lose their life. I would advise not to rush into your choices, as the characters may not reveal themselves initially. The As Dusk Falls narrative is non-linear and will provide depth to the characters – revealing their motivations and dire circumstances – through flashbacks.
For example, in my first playthrough, I let a character die very early in As Dusk Falls, only to regret it later when more reveals came later. It’s these morally ambiguous choices that will keep you coming back for a new playthrough to make amends and experience a completely different story.
As Dusk Falls review: gameplay
As Dusk Falls prompts you to make most choices quickly before time runs out. You can increase the timer limit if you want to think a little longer while you make those fateful decisions. The game also warns you when a choice puts you at a “crossroads” – a point of bifurcation in the narrative with unalterable consequences. There are also quick events dotted around to keep you engaged throughout the game. However, most of the time these events are wasted on tedious tasks like fixing an air conditioner or sawing off a piece of wood.
The game is divided into six chapters, each taking over an hour to complete. At the end of each As Dusk Falls chapter, you’ll get a story map revealing your path as well as empty spaces for other possible outcomes. It’s a great way to plan your next game, whether you’re picking it up from the beginning or just replaying a chapter.
The inclusion of a co-op mode further adds to the replayability of As Dusk Falls. It allows up to eight players to join your game locally, online, or a mix of both. People can also install the companion app on their smartphone to join the game. This could be a great way to bring your gaming and non-gaming friends together for a fun session, while you chat and vote on the picks.
As Dusk Falls review: graphics, sound design
Interior Night went with a waterbrushed style for the As Dusk Falls world and characters that complement the style of the graphic novel. It took me a while to get used to it, and maybe you too. Stick with it, though, and you’ll be rewarded with a memorable experience, enhanced by the excellent sound design and captivating background music.
The voice acting on As Dusk Falls is also top notch and conversations flow smoothly despite the pauses in between as you make your decision. The only flaw, in my opinion, was that little Zoe’s voice actor just didn’t fit the character, which sometimes ruined the immersion.
As Dusk Falls Review: Final Verdict
That said, this is a great first outing for developer Interior Night, which delivered a gripping narrative with a branching storyline and some break-worthy choices. The moral tussle keeps your mind racing, as the fate of these characters is governed by your choices. Waterbrush artwork paired with fantastic voice acting and sound design bring the world of As Dusk Falls and its inhabitants to life.
The addition of a co-op mode and the “Explore the Story” feature also greatly increases its replayability. Despite the original six to seven hour playtime, As Dusk Falls would be a great addition to your game library, as you can always come back to discover a new story path you haven’t taken before.
- Excellent voice acting, sound design
- Intriguing storyline, characters
- Break-worthy choices
- Local and online cooperation
- Captivating storytelling
- Great replayability
- Tedious quick events
- Art style is not for everyone
Score (out of 10): 8
We played As Dusk Falls on a PC with a 3.7GHz AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, 8GB AMD RX570, and 8GB of RAM.
On PC, As Dusk Falls can be purchased on Steam for Rs. 1,999. It is also available through Microsoft Store for Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X at Rs. 1,999.
As Dusk Falls is also part of Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass. The regular subscription starts at Rs. 349 per month on consoles and PC, while the Ultimate subscription – which includes online multiplayer and more – costs Rs. 499 per month.
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