Xbox Game Pass continues to position itself as the best value in gaming thanks to its forever-growing library of video games ranging from AAA titles to Indie gems. INTERIOR/NIGHT’s first release as As Dusk Falls is poised to be one of those gems that many people should be playing.
In As Dusk Falls, Your Choices Do Matter
Immediately you can tell that As Dusk Falls is not your typical narrative-driven game based on the look. In fact, it sets itself apart from any of the Telltale Games titles or other games like Life Is Strange or Detroit: Become Human. In the original interactive drama, as INTERIOR/NIGHT describes it, players will be embroiled in a drama between two families that spans thirty years.
The story begins on a fateful day in 1998 with a robbery gone wrong in a small town in Arizona that leads to a bunch of strangers held up in a motel in a tense situation. Your decisions will affect how things turn out during that moment and in the future.
As Dusk Falls Feels Like An Interactive TV Show
Hip-Hop Wired’s resident gamer Bernard Beanz Smalls was able to preview As Dusk Falls at the Microsoft flagship location in Midtown Manhattan. Along with other selected journalists, we played just a tiny portion of the game’s first chapter with As Dusk Fall’s Creative Developer Caroline Marchal.
The game itself feels like you’re playing a TV series or crime drama, and that is on purpose. Speaking with Marchal, she revealed that she drew inspiration for As Dusk Falls from some of her favorite films and TV shows.
“Yes, absolutely. I’m a big fan of TV series, crime dramas, and love, especially because they’ve got high stakes, but also they’re refocused about on the humans who are part of the stories,” Marcal said.
“You get to see their struggles and their personal lives. So in terms of shows that I really love, I really love Fargo. It’s inspired from Ozark as well, Breaking Bad shows like this. But also films like Dog Day Afternoon, a film with Al Pacino about bank robberies. It’s amazing. I just love that film and No Country for Old Men.”
When asked what draws her to these games, she told Hip-Hop Wired she “loves [the] interactive story genre,” adding, “it’s just very broad, anyone understands stories, everyone’s really story savvy. So it’s great to share your passion with people who don’t necessarily think [sic] themselves as players or gamers.”
No Xbox Controller? No Problem
As Dusk Falls is a title that will grab gamers’ interest, even those who don’t play. That’s thanks in large part to how players can enjoy playing it. The game features an 8-player co-op multiplayer option via online or local play.
We saw that in action as Marchal played with the controller while the other journalists played using smartphones showing Xbox’s impressive cloud technology. Playing co-op is such a unique experience. The majority rules determine what choice will be final. If there is a tie, voting will restart.
Players can use an override to pick a choice they want to make things interesting and add some spice to co-op gameplay. But use your overrides wisely because you don’t have many. Also, players can override an override, adding some fun back and forth while playing As Dusk Falls.
Co-op or Solo?
When asked if the game is more enjoyable alone or better with friends, Marchal and Xbox Games Studios executive producer Erin Piepergerdes made a strong case for why you need to buddy up to play this game.
“It’s great solo. It’s slightly more thoughtful, maybe. And you are making your choices by yourself. There’s no game over. So whatever you choose that you live with the consequences, and you carry on,” Marchal said. “But it’s also a lovely experience when you play with just one extra player like your partner maybe, or your mom because you get a bit more intimate because the choice is more. More than that, multiplayer is really excellent because you get more banter and sometimes heated discussions, and it’s quite fulfilling as well. It’s quite fun. So I love from one to eight.”
“Yeah. I mean, I’ll tell you from my personal experience, the first time I played, I played by myself, and I got really drawn into the story, and the choices and the tension was palpable as I was playing through. I was finding myself more and more on the edge of my seat. So I was very surprised the first time I played with the group, how it changes the dynamic, and it becomes a little more competitive, and you learn a lot about your friends and family by the choices that they make,” Piepergerdes added.
This Game Will Tell You About Yourself As A Person Based On Your Choices
Piepergerdes mentioned that while playing As Dusk Falls, you will learn a lot about your friends based on their decisions, which is another feature that makes this game unique.
At the end of each chapter you complete, you will be shown a chart by the game showing your choices and the outcomes from them. The game will also define each player’s choices and determine their values. For example, based on your decisions, the game will tell you if you’re a quick thinker who’s compassionate.
It also can determine just how much of douche you are, which can earn you some side-eyes from your friends in the room.
“I think it’s really core to the experience for me because it’s not meta, but it’s the reason why I think interactive stories are so interesting is because you put a little bit of yourself in every decision, whether you think you’re role playing someone or you are identifying,” Marchal explains.
“I will make different decisions than you will make. And that’s what’s cool, actually. That’s what makes the experience insightful and deep. So we thought we’ll track everybody’s choice, individual choices. Even if you play with a group, each individual choice matters, and counts towards your personal insights. And the more you play, the more the game has more data. So we give you your top three values, your core values, your traits, and the way you play. And then you can get this more and more accurate picture of what really matters to you.”
As Dusk Falls Is The Perfect Reason For Xbox Game Pass
When it comes to a game like As Dusk Falls, it’s not one of those games that immediately screams “must play” or is on the top of everyone’s list. But, it makes a strong case for why Xbox Game Pass exists because it gives gamers an opportunity to discover it and give it a try and possibly discover a gem in the process that not only they can enjoy, but their friends and as well.
“One of the things that drew us to this title is it’s so approachable. You’ve seen, you can play with controllers, you could play with the mobile phones, you could do X Cloud, mouse and keyboard,” Piepergerdes said.
“INTERIOR/NIGHT really did a great job of making sure that pretty much anybody can pick up and play. So if you take that step further, we want to make sure that as many people as possible have a chance to play the title. So Game Pass just makes a lot of sense because there’s an opportunity right there to get it in front of millions and millions of people.”
Xbox did supply us with a preview code, and we got to play As Dusk Falls‘ first two chapters. We thoroughly enjoyed playing the game and seeing the different outcomes based on our choices. Marchal didn’t tell us exactly how many scenarios are in the game but she did point out there are A LOT. She also mentioned you can jump back to certain points during your playthroughs if you want to see a different outcome.
INTERIOR/NIGHT’s As Dusk Falls launches exclusively on Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One consoles, Windows PC, Steam, and Xbox Cloud Beta on July 19.
Photo: Interior/Night/ Xbox