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Parents' Guide for Until Dawn Rush of Blood (PEGI 18+)

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In collaboration with the Games Rating Authority, here’s our parent’s guide to Until Dawn: Rush of Blood.

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1. PEGI Rating

In the UK and Europe, PEGI rates Until Dawn: Rush of Blood PEGI 18, suitable for adults only, for Extreme Violence, Violence Towards Defenceless People and Strong Language.

Although experienced through VR technology PEGI ratings apply identically to non-VR games. The GRA stated that, “at present, the PEGI ratings continue to reflect content issues rather than issues set around technological improvement in gaming hardware.”

The Games Rating Authority expands on its PEGI details by saying that Until Dawn: Rush of Blood features ‘frequent instances of gross violence’ and requires the player to ‘shoot the ghostly apparitions, masked killers and other demonic creatures which attack you’. The GRA goes on to say that ‘Enemies include human characters, whose heads and arms may break apart into bloody chunks when you shoot at them’ and that ‘there are also depictions of violence against vulnerable persons, with one human character who is strung up by the wrists being bisected at the waist by a saw blade.’ The game features occasional use of the word ‘fuck’.

2. Genre

Until Dawn Rush of Blood is a horror themed shooting game in which the player travels through a nightmarish ghost train, shooting monstrous enemies.

The game is played from a first person perspective, wearing a PS VR virtual reality headset to inhabit the player character. The player character does not control movement through the game, instead sitting in a ghost train cart. The main interaction is shooting using either a Dualshock 4 controller or two PS Move motion controllers.

3. Similar Games

Until Dawn Rush of Blood VR is a spin-off from Until Dawn, 2015’s popular slasher horror survival game, but in its on-rails shooting gameplay is closer to the House of the Dead or Resident Evil: Gun Survivor games.

4. Story

Billing itself as a psychotic episode being experienced by one of the characters from Until Dawn, Rush of Blood douses the sinister imagery of its parent game over a nightmarish, surreal journey of survival. The result is as basic and illogical as a dream - you’re on a fairground ride, you can’t get off, and you need to both play the fairground game of shooting targets and survive by shooting the monsters and killers that rush you.

5. Developer

Supermassive Games developed the original Until Dawn game as well as another PS VR title, block arranging puzzler Tumble VR.

6. Format

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is exclusive to PS4 and the PS VR system, and will require both the PS VR headset and Playstation Camera to play, as well as two PS Move controllers if you wish to use motion control to shoot. It costs around £16 or $20.

7. Duration and Difficulty

Until Dawn Rush of Blood can be played through in about an hour and a half, with each of the seven levels constituting a tight ten minutes or so of focused, arcade-style shooting. The game encourages replayability by requiring players to complete all four difficulty levels to reach the game’s ‘true’ ending, with the higher difficulty levels living up to their billing. The game also encourages mastering your skills to beat your own high score, as well as seeding each level with secrets and hidden routes to find.

8. Themes

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood bills itself as a journey into madness, but the game doesn’t really have anything to say about mental illness and the loss of control. This is madness in the comic book, horror movie sense, an excuse to abandon linear logic and toss surreal and scary imagery around the place.

While there are references to sadistic torture and violence, with mutilated corpses and references to the killings in Until Dawn, the creepy clowns and spooky fairground setting are closet thematically to Scooby Doo than Silent Hill - albeit with a lot more flying blood and severed limbs.

9. Why people play:

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood takes one of the oldest game types - shoot stuff to survive and score points - and rebuilds it on the latest hardware, the PS VR. What it lacks in subtlety and complexity it makes up for with immersion and finely tuned jump scares. Developed specifically for virtual reality, Rush of Blood strips away any gameplay aspects that are difficult to achieve in VR, such as walking around, and embeds score counters and other messages in the game environment so as not to break immersion with free-floating captions. Short, fast-paced levels aim to maximise excitement without trapping the player under the headset for long sessions.

It isn’t particularly clever, but if you’re looking to indulge in VR’s potential to immerse you in a scary setting and throw creepy stuff at you for all directions, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is engineered specifically for that purpose.

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Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson is the editor of AskAboutGames and has written for national press and broadcast about video games and families for over 15 years. He has just published the Taming Gaming book with its Family Video Game Database.