As Dusk Falls

Moby ID: 188217

Description official descriptions

As Dusk Falls is a narrative-driven thriller initially set in 1998 in Arizona, USA, but later evolving into a multi-generational story incorporating flashbacks and jumping between time periods and perspectives. It covers themes such as crime, intensive violence, family conflict, mental health and suicide. It starts when the trajectories of two families collide in the Arizona desert. One is the Walker family: the couple Vince and Michelle, their daughter Zoe and Vince's father Jim are moving from California to Missouri in the Midwest. Through a chance encounter, a car accident, they cross the path of the Holt family: the three brothers Tyler, Dale and Jay who are on their way to rob the local sheriff Dante Romero. From that setup a branching storyline is developed through the player's decisions, with no fail states. The game consists of six chapters, divided over two 'books': Collision and Expansion.

The game largely plays out as a visual novel. The story is told through cinematic scenes and every now and then player interaction is possible. Filmed with real actors, the game uses a photoreal comic strip art style. Rather than full animations, a key frame technique is used where still images or small animations are quickly chained together fading into each other, adding to the effect of a comic book. At key moments a decision needs to be made. There are usually multiple actions to choose from and a timer counts down. Sometimes additional options to choose from appear after a few seconds. At most times a neutral option or not making a decision is not possible, and an option is chosen automatically if time runs out. There are different choices: small ones that influence relationships between the characters, choices that change the story entirely, choices that lead to a death and the most important ones are called crossroads where the story permanently branches into a specific timeline. Crosscroad decision are clearly announced with a warning during gameplay. The player can compare choices to those of the worldwide community and an overview of all possible options is shown in a Story Tree. There, all possible paths are shown, including unseen timelines and it possible to jump into specific scenes to see how a new choice plays out. That way the player is encouraged to explore the different branches and outcomes.

Although there is no free exploration, there are static scenes where examination is possible. By moving the cursor over parts of the environment different elements can be looked at and interacted with. Another type of interaction is through quick time elements that require fast reflexes. There are swipes, button mashing and holding a button. Because there are no fail states the story continues even if the QTE elements are not performed in time. There is an additional option to extend the time limit, making it easier to complete them.

The game can be played solo, but also in multiplayer, both locally and online. Up to eight players can experience the game simultaneously where the sum of the choices decides what happens next. There are however also a small number of overrides where a single player can choose to override the majority's choice and force a decision. Local players can use a companion app on a cell phone to play the game. At the end of a chapter the choices are summarized as personal insights covering values, traits and playing styles.

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Credits (Xbox Series version)

646 People (530 developers, 116 thanks) · View all

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  • MobyGames ID: 188217
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Contributors to this Entry


PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 added by Alaka.

Additional contributors: Sciere.

Game added July 19, 2022. Last modified April 8, 2024.