This review is as spoiler free as it is possible to be.
Well, here we are again. Back for some spoops with the Dark Pictures Anthology. This time we’re off to the fog-shrouded town of Little Hope. A place with a sordid history of misogyny-in-the-name-of-religion. How they loved a witch trial back in the day, eh? Oh those Puritans. What a bunch of murderous, fanatical scamps.
The game starts off in the dead of night. A bus is diverted through the town of Little Hope, by a bastard (ACAB). On hearing the name of the town, a haunted look passes over the face of the bus driver, but he drives off before crashing the bus. Damn Silent Hill style vehicle crashes, they’re a dime a dozen out here.
There’s a whole scene with a family having some family issues and then we cut to the crashed bus where the previous few minutes will appear to have been the dream of Andrew (played by Will Poulter who I can only ever imagine belting out TLC’s song Waterfalls every time I see him in anything). He’s quickly joined by teacher John and fellow student Angela. You’ll quickly notice that this group all bare a striking resemblance to the family we just saw in the previous scene.
Thrown slightly further away are young rebel-types Daniel and Taylor, they’ll have to find another way around, so they’re clearly the best choice for the other player if you’re playing remote multiplayer. The bus driver meanwhile is nowhere to be seen (ooooh, spoopy. He’s probably been dead for 50 years (jk, I’m not giving spoop spoilers here)).
In a bit of a change for Supermassive Games, our protagonists have a bit of a variance in age on this occasion. Taylor, Andrew, and Daniel who I suspect are supposed to be teenagers, but in Hollywood style, they’re played by people in their mid 20s, so who can say. However, Angela and John look to be mid 50s. That said, the main cast don’t get much more diverse from there.
Gameplay is standard to the previous horror offerings from Supermassive, with you exploring in third-person and occasionally slipping into one of four types of quick time events: aim and shoot, hammer a button, hit the right button quickly, or rhythm action heartrate monitor (this last one can fuck right off, it killed two of my characters. Definitely wasn’t my useless fault).
It’s quickly evident that the party are being railroaded pretty hard by GM Fog(TM). They realise they can’t split up because the fog just turns them around and puts them back in the plot, but then later if they even get slightly too far apart, the fog moves in and keeps them apart while they handle whatever horrific thing they must deal with. This is why you never upset the GM Fog(TM).
As you move through the game, you’ll start to experience moments from the woman-murdery past and realise that the main cast exist in this time too. Albeit as different people. It seems they’re doomed to return, life after life to this corpse of a town, but can the past be influenced by the present or are such hopes in vain?
The graphics are great, the facial animation is impressive as always, the character design is impressive (though to keep spoilers away, I’ll not say which characters I enjoyed most), the environment is nicely designed, the storytelling is very engaging, the Curator is still a snarky dick (but in fun way), the endings are worth replaying for. Supermassive have definitely done it again because I’m already looking forward to the next entry in the Dark Pictures Anthology.
- It’s probably not what you expect from the trailers.
- Worth replaying a few times just to see what you can change.
- Graphically impressive.
- Heartrate monitor QTEs suck (I’m just bad at them).
- It’s going to be a wait for the next one.