As Dusk Falls received an official release date trailer during the Xbox Bethesda showcase on June 12th. Having been selected as one of nine games in the Tribeca Festival 2022’s Games Spotlight, this compelling interactive crime drama marks the first game by London-based developer INTERIOR/NIGHT.
After completing both the first and second chapters of As Dusk Falls, I’m digging the storyline so far and am very curious to see how it all ends. If you are a fan of Telltale-type choice-based narrative games, then you’ll definitely feel right at home with this title. Here are more of my thoughts on the upcoming game and why it might be worth checking out.
The Calm Before The Storm
As Dusk Falls takes place in Two Rock Arizona on May 28th, 1998. The interactive drama-filled storyline revolves around two families who cross paths and uncover secrets about each other after a robbery attempt goes sideways. You start out playing as Vince Walker, a former flight mechanic on a mission to start a new life with his family in St. Louis after leaving behind their home in Sacramento, California. Vince is accompanied by his 6-year-old daughter Zoey, his wife, and his father.
The second family at the centerpiece of this story consists of three brothers named Jay, Tyler, and Dale as they look for a quick solution to repay a debt on their home. You play as Jay, the youngest brother who seeks his siblings’ approval even if it means doing questionable acts. Due to their ongoing feud with local sheriff Dante Romero, the trio decides to steal money out of a hidden safe in Dante’s home. Shortly thereafter, things go awry and both families end up at the Desert Dream Motel where the brothers desperately hold the Walker family and others hostage.
One thing that I absolutely love about As Dusk Falls so far lies within how complex each character actually is. Everyone has deep-rooted secrets and their own type of family drama going on outside of the intense chaos caused by the standoff. Some of these personal conflicts are revealed depending on how you ask and answer certain questions throughout your playthrough.
As Vince and Jay, your primary job is to navigate various conversations and make important decisions that impact lives and how certain characters view you afterward. This dynamic coupled with a mature storyline that isn’t afraid to tackle tough issues is more than enough to pull you deeper into the world and make you question your own instincts.
Since choice is an integral part of the overall experience, the gameplay mechanics had to be fairly straightforward for anyone to follow. Luckily, INTERIOR/NIGHT has succeeded in creating something intuitive that deserves to be explored. As the storyline progresses, there are key moments where you’ll have to choose one of three responses for your character to say. There are also instances where you’ll have to perform quick actions by mashing the A button and/or rotating the right or left joystick in a particular circular direction.
You’ll have anywhere from 13 to 10 seconds to complete these actions successfully. If for any reason you fail these actions, you can replay these moments after completing the chapter. There are dedicated story trees displayed at the end of each chapter, suggesting alternative outcomes that are only fully revealed after you’ve replayed these moments with different choices. There’s also a multiplayer option to play with others but I haven’t had an opportunity to try that out yet.
Graphically, As Dusk Falls looks and feels like a motion graphic novel. I must admit that I was a bit skeptical about this choice of art style when I first saw the reveal trailer, but it perfectly suits the vibe of this project. The performances are top-notch and voice acting adds another layer to every character to fully flesh out their personalities and behaviors.
As I mentioned above, the preview build only allowed me to experience the first two chapters of the game. Some of the choices that I made led to some rather unexpected outcomes. While I don’t want to spoil any aspects of the storyline, I will say that As Dusk Falls left me on the edge of my seat and I can’t wait to experience the full game next month.
If you love storytelling intertwined with choice, then you’ll appreciate what this title has to offer. Stay tuned for more of our thoughts on As Dusk Falls including a detailed review in the weeks ahead.
As Dusk Falls launches on July 19th for Xbox consoles, PC, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Game Pass. Are any of you planning on picking up this title? Please feel free to let us know your thoughts and more in the comments section below.