(**SPOILERS**) By now, you’ve probably heard some variation of news or review for the PS4 sleeper hit, Until Dawn. With very similar playstyles to titles like Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, this interactive storytelling game mixes in elements from tastefully self-aware, cliché ‘B-moviesque’ slasher movies and psychologically compelling Saw movie-like themes to create the ultimate horror experience.
While playing, I found myself developing varying emotions towards all eight playable characters – an authentic experience that other modern games usually don’t convey well. From Emily’s bothersome badgering toward Matt to the newly kindled romance between Chris and Ashley, each had unique traits that brought their character to life.
With that said, there were simply certain characters that I preferred and could tolerate over others. What better way to convey that through a good, ol’ ranking?
The usual word of warning with these types of articles: spoilers galore are ahead for those who haven’t played the game yet. If you are looking to play the game and experience it for yourself, then do not read any further!
Without further ado, here is my ranking of all eight main Until Dawn characters.
After reading other players’ character preferences, I don’t see why Emily is a consensual favorite for the most hated character. I mean…let’s be real – Emily had one hell of a night. Chased by multiple Wendigos? Check. Potentially being shot through the eye? Check. Complaining about leaving her favorite designer bag at the cable car? Che…wait, what? Nagging Matt (her boyfriend) for questioning all of her decisions? OK…that’s too far.
Scratch what I initially said: the whiny attitude that Emily exhibits throughout the entire game is the sole reason why she is my most hated character. Even if you make decisions that would make her appear nicer, there is this self-entitled aura that you can’t seem to shake from her personality. I ended up keeping her alive…only to obtain the ‘They All Live’ and ‘Four Daughters of Darkness’ trophies.
Best Quote Resembling the Character: “Don’t think you idiot! Just get me out of here!”
The psychopathic antagonist of the game receives a low ranking, simply because I didn’t have many opportunities to play as him (excluding the times you are with Dr. Hill). Much is learned about Josh and his emotional/mental traumas through the dialogue exchanged between the other seven characters and overall narrative. I just would’ve much rather learned about his personality through controlling him in-game.
If we look on the bright side, though…the 10-15 minutes of playtime gave his character more substance than Emily.
Best Quote Resembling the Character: “Guaranteed for at least three hostages, or your money back!”
Due to excellent writing (kudos to Supermassive Games), Jessica is the perfect embodiment of the cliché ‘blonde’ stereotype. From the cookie-cutter pre-sex scene between her and Mike to her cheesy insults toward Emily that showcases beauty over brains, Jessica flaunts her blonde roots flawlessly. For some reason, I was especially fixated to try and keep Jessica alive. This was partly due to how much of a relationship I’d spent building up between her and Mike throughout the first three chapters.
Unfortunately, you spend nearly the entire rest of the game (until around chapter 8/9) wondering what happened to her after she’s taken by the Wendigo in chapter 4. As a result (like Josh), gamers weren’t given much time to play as her.
Best Quote Resembling the Character: “Who needs grades when you’ve got ALL the natural advantages you can handle?”
Matt has to be the nicest character out of the group…too much to where I would label him a pushover. From his acts of kindness like aiding Jessica through the mine shaft in chapter 10 to not hurting the deer in chapter 6, Matt has all the characteristics to be one of the most beloved characters in the game. Unfortunately, Emily’s control over him is so apparent that his naïve niceness towards her makes you feel pity for him. In addition (next to Jessica and Josh), you don’t get many opportunities to play as him.
Best Quote Resembling the Character: His entire dialogue between Jessica in Chapter 10 (trying to console/comfort her).
“There’s something been going on tonight”.
“There’s someone really fucking with us up here…”
“Jess…you…you’ve had a pretty rough night…”
“It’s pretty confusing.”
“It’s okay.I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Mike manages to wins the hearts of the other in-game characters and players through his witty charm and natural knack for being a jokester. Even amidst the chaos, he manages to seek out the positive in all situations, which can be seen through his zingy one-liners. A perfect example of this can be seen when he examines the Wendigo head in the jar found in the Sanitorium. Instead of freaking out like any other normal person, Mike goes on to jokingly say “This place just gets better and better.”
He also ends up being the eventual male leader of the game (alongside Sam), which gives him a sense of charisma that is difficult for the other characters to resist. You also spend a majority of the game playing as Mike, whose charismatic persona transcends through to the player as well.
Best Quote Resembling the Character: “I was just…just answering its mating call.” (In response to a bird scaring him in front of Jessica).
Ashley captures the hearts of many players through her intrinsically curious, funny, and nerdy self. Starting from the difficult choice of making Chris choose between killing her or Josh (even though the outcome defaults to Josh dying, regardless), my fixation to keep her alive mirrored that of Jessica (i.e.: I spent a lot of time building Ashley and Chris’ relationship).
Unlike Mike/Jessica’s relationship however, I felt that there was more sentiment and depth in Chris/Ashley’s. This can be seen in chapter 8, where Ashley tells Chris to ‘Come back safe”, proceeding to then kiss him. Talk about a build up!
Best Quote Resembling the Character: “You were looking at your phone. What, are you tweeting? Hashtag there’s a freaking ghost after us!”
Voiced by Hayden Panettiere, Sam represents the alpha female of the group. With looks, humor, and overall personality that could kill from afar, she is by far the most balanced of the four females. Moreso, she doesn’t annoy players with her attitude. Come to think of it, I don’t think there was any line in Sam’s dialogue that I ever found annoying.
Best Quote Resembling the Character: “Just get me some hot water, and I’ll be super fine.”
Speaking about being balanced, Chris is in another league. He takes the cake for my favorite character, due to his logical approach toward handling situations, emotional/mental stamina, and humor throughout the game. Not only did he have to make TWO life-changing (literally) decisions in a Saw-like movie fashion with Josh/Ashley/himself, but he also had to fight off a Wendigo! We of course cannot forget the sappy, yet very raw and authentic romantic relationship he builds with Ashley. Nothing quite says ‘I’d do anything for you’ than risking to take your best friends (i.e.: Josh) AND your own life.
Best Quote Resembling the Character: “I found my true calling.” (In regards to a monk-like robe he wore to scare Sam/Josh in chapter 2).
Did this list come close to matching yours? Let us know in the comments section below!