As Dusk Falls Review (PS5)


Interior Night has taken pages from the books of Don’t Nod, Supermassive, Telltale, and Quantic Dream to craft a choice-driven character drama with As Dusk Falls. The game’s stylistic flourishes take time to acclimatise to, but it provides a unique tone and perspective that still stand out in a genre that’s becoming increasingly crowded.

The story follows a family road trip turned hostage situation in the Arizona desert that dovetails into a portrait of people grappling with the unnavigable complexities of parenthood, trauma, and forgiveness. The down-to-earth setting and unabashedly naturalistic subject matter are surprisingly refreshing when compared to its ilk.

Events play out non-linearly through frequent flashbacks across half a dozen chapters that laboriously build an interwoven narrative out of initially unrelated pieces. The story moves at a methodical pace which aids in getting used to the occasionally cheesy dialogue, melodramatic performances, and goofy character expressions. The unique visual style that places character cutouts into three-dimensional environments also requires a mental adjustment, but it never looks quite right when the artfully handcrafted characters periodically interact with plain polygonal objects.

Once you’ve cleared said initial hurdles, rewards come in the form of a surprisingly solid and intimate story that incentivises investment into its slate of core characters. The chapter select story tree system makes it a cinch to replay specific moments, and online multiplayer lets up to eight people make the decisions, even if the self-serious tone and slower pace are unlikely to fit most casual group settings.

Despite a sputtering start, As Dusk Falls eventually finds its footing with a character-driven story that rewards replays with insight into the backstories, motivations, and psyches of its troubled cast that’s been battered down by their everyday existences. It’s a tale that grows increasingly engrossing, provided a tolerance for some sensationalised theatrics and protracted payoffs.

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