Gaming

The Devil in Me: A Terrifying Addition to The Dark Pictures Anthology

A Promising Evolution for Supermassive’s Horror Series

I have always been a fan of Supermassive Games’ horror projects, from the thrilling Until Dawn to the recent release of The Quarry. However, I found the previous entries in The Dark Pictures Anthology series, Man of Medan and Little Hope, to be lacking in interesting characters and satisfying lore. That is, until I had the opportunity to preview the newest installment and season one finale, The Devil in Me.

In a hands-off preview presented by Bandai Namco and game director Tom Heaton, I got a glimpse of the inspirations behind The Devil in Me and the improvements it brings to the series. Each character in the main cast has a distinct role within the group, making them memorable. The murder house setting and new interactive gameplay mechanics, including puzzles and traversal, make The Devil in Me the most engaging Dark Pictures game to date.

Just a Normal Funhouse

The Devil in Me draws inspiration from the infamous H.H. Holmes, America’s first serial killer. Holmes was known for his hotel filled with traps and his alleged victims. This real-life horror story sets the stage for an exciting and terrifying gaming experience.

The game follows a production company called Lonnit Entertainment, the creators of a documentary series called Architects of Horror. The company is searching for the perfect location to shoot their finale, centered on H.H. Holmes. The meta premise of The Devil in Me as the season one finale of The Dark Pictures Anthology adds an intriguing layer to the game.

The star of The Devil in Me is Kate Wilder, portrayed by the talented actress Jessie Buckley, known for her performances in Chernobyl and Men. Other characters include Charlie Lonnitt, the owner of the company; Mark Nestor, the cameraman; Jamie Tiergen, the lighting expert; and Erin Keena, the audio intern.

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The Devil in Me's cast
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What sets the cast of The Devil in Me apart from previous Supermassive games is the clear definition of their roles. They are not just random individuals thrown together. Each character brings expertise in a specific aspect of film production, making them easily distinguishable.

Their adventure begins when they receive a call from Grantham Du’Met, a wealthy architect and collector, inviting them to check out a hotel that would be a perfect setting for their documentary. Little do they know, it is an exact recreation of H.H. Holmes’s infamous murder castle. As they explore, they find themselves separated and facing life-or-death situations. This is where the true horror of The Devil in Me unfolds.

Adding More Engaging Mechanics

Unlike previous Dark Pictures games, The Devil in Me introduces a new inventory system that allows players to pick up and use items. Each character also possesses a unique tool related to their area of expertise. For example, Charlie, as the CEO of Lonnit, carries business cards that can be used to pry open drawers. Mark, the cameraman, can use his camera to capture the horrors in the hotel. These tools can be broken, lost, or given to other characters, adding depth to the non-linear storytelling and adventure game mechanics of the franchise.

Jamie shimmying in The Devil in Me
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Devil in Me also introduces more involved puzzle solving and new traversal mechanics, such as climbing ladders, shimmying across ledges, and pushing boxes. These puzzles give the gameplay a distinct Resident Evil-like feel, setting it apart from the more cinematic Dark Pictures games. While I couldn’t determine if there was a time limit for solving puzzles, Heaton mentioned that players would need to find hidden codes, untangle antique fuse boxes, and navigate mazes. So put on your thinking caps, because the fate of the characters depends on your problem-solving skills!

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The new traversal options enhance the suspenseful moments that were previously limited to quick-time events in Supermassive Games’ previous titles. These additions may seem minor, but they provide much-needed engagement and minute-to-minute suspense that elevates the gaming experience.

Venturing into the Unknown

During the 15 minutes of gameplay that I witnessed, I was unable to explore the accessibility options in The Devil in Me. However, considering Supermassive’s commitment to inclusivity, I have hope that the game will offer extensive accessibility settings. These could include the ability to change button prompts and adjust the timing for quick-time events.

Erin in The Devil in Me
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Supermassive Games has promised that The Devil in Me will feature the bloodiest deaths in the franchise yet. In a particularly chilling scene, Erin and Kate find themselves trapped in separate cages, with breathable oxygen slowly being sucked out. Mark and Jamie face a grim choice of deciding who lives and who dies, as they can only switch the oxygen back on for one cage. The consequences of this decision add an emotional weight to the game.

By taking a more grounded approach compared to previous entries, The Devil in Me offers a heightened sense of realism and may prove to be the best and scariest game in The Dark Pictures Anthology. I am eagerly awaiting the release of The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me on November 18th for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.


Editors’ Recommendations:

  • Even if you love Dark Souls, you’re not ready for FromSoftware’s next game
  • The Devil in Me is the most interactive Dark Pictures game yet
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