From Dusk Till Dawn
|a game by||Gamesquad|
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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In simpler times, all you had to worry about when confronted with a minor film-licensed game was the likelihood that it was a soulless, formula-driven cash-in, probably a generic shooter, probably complete nob. While those golden days are behind us, the bigger worry these days is that the developers will get the whole 'film' thing into their heads and take a crack at that nemesis of decent gameplay, the interactive movie. In a heartstopping twist, From Dusk Till Dawn has managed to tread a tightrope between the two. Crushing linearity and an insane preponderance of intrusive cut-scenes betray an overzealous cinematisation, while poor production values and uninspired gameplay hark back to a more traditional paradigm.
Let's face it though, the odds were against this one from the start. It's French, it's a low-budget first/third-person shooter, and its biggest claim to fame is that Hubert (Alone In The Dark) Chardot penned the script - which is passably generic at best. It also has possibly the weakest licence of all time - a five-year-old film, with a bizarre plot that lends itself to a computer game about as well as a teary cabaret musical, and no access to likenesses of the key actors.
Developer Gamesquad has thus opted to make its game a loose sequel that bears very little resemblance to the source material. You play as Seth Gecko, looking enough like George Clooney to maintain the connection without attracting any unwanted legal attention. It's five years after the film and you've been locked up on a prison tanker, but you get a chance at freedom when a group of vampires touch down and start to infect everyone on the ship. With a wooden stake strapped to your wrist and an increasingly lethal selection of projectile weapons at your side, your imperative is to save your sorry ass and get to the chopper. Not everyone on board is infected though, and this is where the game displays some determination to drag itself out of crippling mediocrity. As you make your way through the ship, cutting a bloody swathe through hordes of the undead, you are joined by a number of friendly NPCs. They either join you in firing holy vengeance from the barrel of a shotgun, or shuffle along uselessly in the hope that you'll protect them. Either way, their presence adds some welcome variety to the proceedings. As an added factor, you are often joined by characters who look identical to their newly undead workmates, leading to confusion and frequent friendly-fire fatalities. Annoying, but somehow quite realistic.
Beyond this, the game is a straight shooter with a vampire theme. Some of the weapons, such as the holy water crossbow, are interesting, if largely useless, but the survival horror elements we expected did not eventuate. The AI is generally OK, though friendlies do tend to get stuck on each other where their pathfinding intersects, occasionally forcing a restart. There are also some supremely maddening moments when you open a door and get a grenade in the face, with no chance of survival unless you knew it was coming.
What you're left with is a fairly standard B-grade action game with inadequate graphics and an over-emphasis on plot-building, and little hope of reanimating an already feeble licence.