The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me Review – A Dull Conclusion
I’ve always been a fan of the Supermassive The Dark Pictures Anthology and have loved their other games, including the newly released The Quarry, but I don’t think The Devil In Me is a fitting conclusion to what they consider to be the first season of The Dark Pictures series. On paper, it offers a lot of cool concepts, but it lacks the execution to deliver them flawlessly.
This game appears to be interesting on the surface. The plot revolves around H. H. Holmes, a historical serial killer, and his murderous hotel. It is essentially an inspiration for the developers who have turned this story into a video game. The tutorial takes place in the past and places the player in the shoes of a couple who are unlucky enough to stumble into H. H. Holmes’ hotel. It was widely assumed that this hotel was outfitted with traps that assisted the historical serial killer in murdering his victims, although this has never been confirmed to be true. This premise, however, is utilized in the game’s opening when the couple suffers a terrible death at the hands of H. H. Holmes.
While the opening prologue is set in the 1800s, the game transitions to present times and focuses on a documentary team with a varied cast. They are working on a serial killer series, and their most recent work looks to be focused on Holmes. They are on a mission to gather all of the proof and facts regarding Holmes, who claimed to be possessed by the Devil, hence the game’s title. As they discover a unique opportunity to gain a closer look into Holmes’ life, things take a turn for the worst when they discover they are stuck with a copycat killer who is inspired by Holmes’ works.
The majority of the story takes place in a hotel that looks to be based on Holmes’ works. It is filled with numerous traps and death lurks around every corner, therefore it is essential to look into the many gameplay choices to prevent murdering any of the key characters. This has been a major theme in The Dark Pictures series, as our decisions affect who lives and who dies. As a result, the game has multiple endings and scenarios to go through, which means it has great replay value.
The gameplay of The Devil In Me is a progression of what we’ve seen in earlier titles. This time, a new mobility system is included, allowing the player to sprint or climb around things. The puzzles and inventory management are also different this time around, challenging the player to think with the clues at hand. Because there are multiple playable characters in the game, they each provide a unique gameplay twist by having access to items that only they have. This leads to various sequences when a specific character is required to have a deeper understanding of the game’s story. While these things provide some value to the game, their design makes them feel redundant. Even though the game tries to spice things up, their use becomes tedious quickly. This is also dependent on the player’s decisions since if a certain character dies, it will be impossible to utilize their item.
The lack of supernatural components is The Devil In Me’s worst flaw. The Dark Pictures has long been known for its jump scares, but the excitement of turning a corner is diminished here due to the lack of a potential threat. The traps build up an intriguing narrative twist, and while a potential serial killer is stalking the character in the story, the majority of the segments fail to heighten the tension. As a result, it appears to be a straightforward adventure game in which the player is just attempting to go to the next objective.
In terms of the PC port, I was able to run it just properly with all options set to ultra. The game also looks to support ray tracing, so if you’re playing on a low-spec PC, you can set the frame rate to 30 FPS, which is great given that this is more of a cinematic experience. Overall, I believe the PC port works well and can scale smoothly from a low-spec to a high-spec PC. Keep in mind that I did not test with ray-tracing enabled.
The Dark Pictures: A Devil In Me always seemed like a Supermassive Games experiment, and it still does now that I’ve played it. The new gameplay elements are intriguing, but they are not utilized creatively in the game, and the characters lack personality, making it difficult to care whether they survive or die. If the game had been more focused on giving a decent combination of survival horror and twists, it may have been a satisfying finale to the saga, but as it stands, this is a bland final chapter that had potential but fails to deliver.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me Game Information
- Price: $39.99
- Publisher: Bandai Namco
- Developer: Supermassive Games
- Platform: PC (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher