As Dusk Falls review: The line between drama and soap opera


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As Dusk Falls is a new motion graphics game from Interior/Night that oscillates between high-quality storytelling and soap opera. I haven’t quite figured this out myself yet, but I think it’s a high quality production.

Built by an independent game studio, the art style of As Dusk Falls is economical. It focuses on storytelling through still images and motion graphics. It seems like a serious budget-saving strategy, allowing a small indie team to use 2D stills instead of realistic 3D graphics of characters in a crime drama.

That’s what I thought at first, but came to think it was very well done. This is because the voice acting behind the 2D characters is outstanding. This is why anime comics, which have become a very interesting genre of applications on mobile application platforms.

I’ve played both book one of the game and book two which looks like an expansion of the first game. from the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase. This is the first original game from the new studio. (This review contains some minor spoilers).

Jay Holt is a conflicted teenager in As Dusk Falls.

Marchal said the intention is to tell stories that help us understand the heartbreaking beauty of life. While Dusk Falls depicts the story of a family on a road trip, taking a nostalgic drive along Route 66 through Arizona in 1998. They get into trouble and get stuck in a motel. Then three thieves show up trying to escape with dirty money they stole from a corrupt sheriff’s safe.

What happens that night leaves permanent scars, even for those who make it out alive. It reminds me of a Telltale game, but with a very different art style. Movement and interactivity are still somewhat limited.

But as a player, you’re not here to explore the world. You are there to make choices. You play as several characters whose lives are intertwined on that fateful day. And if you blow it up, the consequences are life or death.

The game also features a new multiplayer/co-op mode that your friends can play on a companion app on Google Play or iOS app stores. These friends can vote on the picks in a majority rule format, with priority voting possible. Up to eight players can join together on the same screen using Xbox controllers and the As Dusk Falls companion app.

It should be noted that player discretion is advised, as the game features playable situations related to intense violence, family conflict, mental health, suicide, and other mature themes. In these choices, you must decide if your fate is tied to the toxic influence of your family or if you can free yourself from it. What are you going to sacrifice for those you love? Can you overcome your past?

Key characters

Michelle and Vince Walker become hostages.

Two different families struggle to survive, protect and endure. The game begins with the Walker family, a mixed-race couple – Vince and Michelle – with a six-year-old daughter, Zoe, who crosses the country. Vince’s estranged and sick father, Jim, accompanies them.

The Holt family is desperate and has turned to crime to deal with a debt problem. Three brothers – Tyler, the eldest, Dale the second son and young Jay – decide to steal money from the safe of a house belonging to Dante, the town sheriff. Inside the house, you can make decisions that cause delays or mistakes, and the police start chasing the boys.

Jay is clearly a lonely teenager with his own moral compass, even though the rest of the family casts themselves as hardened criminals. As the heist goes awry and they lead the police on the chase, you play as Jay and have to decide how much of a criminal you want to be.

Hostages at the Desert Dream Motel.

Jay thinks to himself, “You already knew you took a wrong turn, but you went too far to turn back?”

On the other side, Vince Walker tries to lead his family as they get caught at the Desert Dream Motel, in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Holts take Walker’s family hostage at the motel and attempt to fend off the police. Vince Walker must appease not only the Holts as well as Sheriff Dante to ensure he emerges from the hostage crisis with his family and dignity intact.

The crisis at the motel is a tense stalemate and the decisions have a life or death consequence for them. But where the game’s storytelling really shines is with the flashbacks and flashforwards that show how the events in the motel are all connected. Zoe is haunted all her life by what is happening, and she tries to make sense of the consequences long after the tense events have ended. Thanks to Zoe, the storytellers tell a story about mental health and the consequences of traumatic events. I thought his thread was moving.


Would you help your family commit a crime?

I think it’s where you make the choices that the game shows its true colors. Is this a film worthy of an Oscar? No. It feels more like a TV drama, on the line between a solid crime drama and a soap opera. I felt like it was a soap opera when it only gave me bad choices. For example, a car is approaching a police checkpoint. You have to choose between fighting a cop or going on a high-speed chase. The most logical conclusion, to wait and see if the cop will let you go, isn’t even offered.

In another scene, you must choose between allowing someone to be harmed or warning them and making yourself or your family a target. This is another set of really bad choices, and it made me want to have a multiple choice test instead of yes or no answers. I liked how well the storytellers weaved together the consequences of the choices, but I don’t feel like they put together enough threads to make it seem like I had any really smart choices to TO DO. I was just presented with a set of bad options or choices with very unpredictable consequences. It finally made me care a little less about each choice.

Explore different endings

Zoe Walker is growing up.

Once you are done with the game, you can replay the chapters by selecting “load another save”. You can also make a different choice in an existing backup. At the end of each chapter, you can see the decision tree you followed with your choices, and you can also see where a decision could lead to much longer story branches.

The game has accessibility features such as text-to-speech and text-to-speech for voice chat, gameplay subtitles with adjustable sizes and colors, and gameplay adaptations such as expanding quick events or replacement timers.


A crooked sheriff.

As Dusk Falls is a valiant attempt to tell a good crime drama where actions have consequences. The story lasted much longer than expected, as the tense moments at the motel spawned many different threads – both forward flashes and flashbacks – that I didn’t expect. But in the end, the story failed to move me as I had hoped. The characters got caught up in circumstances where they had nothing but bad choices, and it just made me think that the dumbest thing they did was get caught up in those circumstances. In this way, I don’t think the storytellers were able to create the empathy they wanted for the characters on both sides of the events. I would love to see more from this talented studio. But so far, the story feels more like a TV show than a stellar movie, and more like a soap opera than a memorable drama.

Rating: Three out of five stars.

I played the game on the Xbox Series X game console. Microsoft gave me a copy of the title for the purpose of this review.

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