It’s time to dive into another horrific timeline of events curated by Supermassive Games with another entry into The Dark Pictures Anthology with The Devil In Me. Supermassive Games paves the way for interactive drama horror video games with iconic titles like Until Dawn and The Quarry. While some entries in the anthology have been weaker than others, they always guarantee an enjoyable and tense experience for the player.
The Devil In Me is the last entry of the first season of The Dark Pictures Anthology, succeeding Man of Medan (2019), Little Hope (2020), and House of Ashes (2021). Man of Medan had us aboard a ghost ship with phantom creatures, Little Hope had us trapped in a town surrounded by fog, and last year’s House of Ashes had us fighting vampiric entities in Iraq as US Armed Forces. So does The Devil In Me capture the essence of a thrilling horror experience like its predecessors? Only just.
The Devil In Me – Story
The Devil In Me takes place in the modern day and follows a diverse group of documentary filmmakers invited to visit a replica of serial killer H. H. Holmes’ “Murder Castle”. As they start filming the documentary, things start going horribly wrong. The group must fight for their lives and make tough decisions to survive.
Once again, you have the task of navigating the narrative, attempting to save five characters who have been thrown into a series of unfortunate events. These characters are the filmmaking crew mentioned earlier and consist of director Charlie, reporter Kate, cameraman Mark, lighting technician Jamie, and intern Erin. During the 7-8 hour experience, you learn a lot about these characters and who they are. I found myself creating an attachment to a few, which had me determined to save them even more. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way.
The Devil In Me – Gameplay
The formula of The Dark Pictures Anthology remains the same for this entry into the series with some welcome additions to the core gameplay. The game brings back staple features such as quick-time events and death premonitions, while also introducing new elements like an inventory system, new movement capabilities, and tool-based puzzles. The new inventory system is great, each character has certain tools specific to them. Two of the most daunting items to use were Erin’s headset and microphone which played ambient noises when pointed toward subjects, and Mark the cameraman uses his camera flash as a torch which means you are constantly taking photos to light up a room which can make navigating the murder house even tenser.
The puzzles were straightforward but still enjoyable, and I’m glad to see that the developers are expanding the much-loved formula that they have constructed for their games. I would like to see them expand even more in the next season of The Dark Pictures Anthology.
The Devil In Me – Scare Factor
This is one of the most horrifying experiences out of all The Dark Pictures titles with jump scares galore. Most death scenes that I witnessed or narrowly escaped looked like they were taken straight out of a Saw film. They were brutal, which made saving the group even more paramount. I love nods to classic horror films in games like these; with previous titles in the series referencing and taking inspiration from Predator, Silent Hill, The Crucible, and more.
While the atmosphere is well constructed, the tension outside of cutscenes or Quick Time Events (QTEs) can fall flat. I was on edge during traversal through the dark halls of the Murder Mansion, but in the back of my mind I knew that nothing will jump out at me or stab me in the back unless it “loads in”.
The slight delay between controlling the character and a cut scene really detracted from the game’s immersion, but future patches can fix these performance issues.
The Devil In Me – Music and Audio
The cast in this entry into the Dark Pictures Anthology brought the most diverse lineup yet, offering a refreshing departure from the typical teen horror film archetypes found in previous games. Performances by the cast were terrific with the standout being Jessie Buckley who you may know from Fargo and Chernobyl.
The Devil In Me is another entertaining addition and finale to the first season of The Dark Pictures Anthology. While the story’s ending may be more predictable than others, it still delivers an enjoyable and captivating experience for players to enjoy solo or with friends.