Well, not quite, but it’s as close as you can get to playing the game without a PS4. This is the Until Dawn binaural trailer — a kind of choose-your-own-adventure that’s played through a series of interlinked YouTube videos. Just like in the game, you’re given a choice between two options — such as running or hiding, going outside or going upstairs — and just like the game you could potentially die at every turn.
Binaural audio, sometimes called ‘3D sound’ is a recording technique that involves placing a dummy head between two microphones, in order to record sound as close as possible to how human ears hear it. The demo is best experienced with a good pair of headphones in a quiet place — and turning all the lights out won’t hurt either.
If you’re not in a position to watch the video yourself right now, it goes a little something like this — the video explains that you are ‘somebody’ who is trying to evade the psycho, and that the wrong decisions will lead to death. It starts out slow, with a peaceful walk through the woods, before you hear a twig snap behind you. It’s enough to spook you into running — with someone following close behind you. The only visual on screen is the ubiquitous ‘butterfly effect’ visual from the start of the game.
You can follow your path across the butterfly’s wings and the simple image of the line reaching a junction in the path is surprisingly good at building tension. Even the anxiety-inducing music played while you have to pick a path is reminiscent of the nail-biting timed decisions in the game itself. As an interesting note, the view counts on each video option give you a good idea of how many other people picked each option. If you make it to the end and survive, you’ll get a neat little surprise as well. Good luck!
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