Video Games

The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me Review

Usually the most unsettling thing you can find in a hotel is a mysterious stain on the mattress or a clump of hair in the shower drain, but The Devil in Me isn’t like a Best Western, it’s like your worst nightmare. The fourth and final episode of the first season of The Dark Pictures Anthology is inspired by a real-life murder castle and its infamous serial killer hoteliers, featuring terrifying deathtraps and spooky animas. Introducing a fascinating facility full of tronics. Unfortunately, it squanders it all on a bland band of protagonists, filling its runtime with tension-draining detours.

The premise of The Devil in Me is certainly intriguing. An unsolicited invitation to spend the night in a remote recreation of HH Holmes’ House of Horrors seems easier to turn down than a volume of silent films, but as a small crew of filmmakers struggles It’s proven to be all too good to say no to America’s first serial killer documentary. The team is effectively there to acquire footage that lends some credence to its production, and to indulge in the lavish hospitality of reclusive hotel owner Grantheme Dumet. Revealing that it’s not just trying to recreate the look and feel, but the horrifying events that actually happened, the B&B’s promise is quickly replaced by the threat of mayhem and carnage. Even in a maze-like structure.

Rooted in real historical events, unlike previous installments in The Dark Pictures Anthology, each inspired by supernatural evils, The Devil in Me gives its horrors a far more plausible edge. Personally, it’s far more compelling than any fantastic tale of ghosts and vampires. , was arguably more obsessed with piecing together the central mystery than with each of the five playable leads remaining one by the end.

The promise of a bed and breakfast is quickly replaced by the threat of fuss and bloodthirsty…

last resort

The main problem with that cast is that they’re very uniformly uninteresting, and I’d say I’m especially invested in their attempts to survive this disastrous stay in a poignant hotel. The early cast interactions of Devil in Me offer extensive insight into the group’s dynamics. Light technician Jamie and sound engineer Erin nurture a budding romance, while journalist Kate and cameraman Mark work through a breakup, but the only thing director Charlie wants is his lost packet of cigarettes. but not strong enough to attach real flesh to the bone before being burned or beaten by one of the hotel’s vicious torture devices.

Developer Supermassive Games did a much better job of adding an incredibly human spark to the cast via friendly quips earlier this year in The Quarry, but here it’s that kind of playfulness. Every attempt at a certain joke often goes awry. The dialogue is often delivered with dead eyes and stilted movement, making each character literally look scared. With so little warmth for anyone on screen, when three members of the team are obliterated during a seven-hour playthrough, each of their gruesome fates is met not with screams of agony but with indifference. I shrugged my shoulders.

gin and tronic

But there was usually a solid serving of terror brought on by the sudden shock of warped animatronic hotel employees and residents. A more physical threat is a mysterious masked raider disguised as H.H. Holmes, a bowler hat-wearing Michael Squad like Myers in his Squad stalking Squad members from the shadows. Occasional encounters with him are tense, despite each relying on the reused run or hide decisions and quick-time his set of events that have become standard in Supermassive’s horror his template. have been successful in increasing

But such tensions rarely last long. Because, despite the variety of torture chambers seen in its sadistic setting, time is the main thing that The Devil in Me seems obsessed with killing. When you’re outside the interactive cutscenes, it’s safe to know that nothing will hurt you, so you’ll be prowling in the dark, swinging along rock ledges, and crawling under fallen trees around the hotel island. There are certainly secrets to discover, such as hunches that hint at potential character destinies, but the tedious crate-pushing environmental puzzles and balance beam walks are largely ineffectual and devastating. Brake forward.

The mansion itself is rich in ornate details and atmosphere. The scratchy opera music that spins on an old gramophone every time you walk down a dark hallway seems a little creepy, but it rarely feels particularly dangerous to explore. The fake walls that move around you are meant to be disorienting and panic-inducing, but look for unlocked doors to get you from one end of a blocked corridor to the other. Strolling up to it, you’ll find it’s nothing more than a minor inconvenience – a padlock icon hovering in front of it. It’s amazing how sedated The Devil in Me looks, like you’ve checked into the scariest hotel in the world and forgot to remove the “do not disturb” sign from the door. I also felt it.

light up

At the very least, an effort has been made to ensure that each playable character’s sequence feels distinct. For starters, it is equipped with various contrasting light sources to navigate through the shadows. Charlie’s Zippo The flickering flame of his lighter casts an amber glow around him, while Mark’s camera flashes only a fleeting glimpse. For example, one that is ahead in short bursts at a time. The latter, like the developer’s Bloodious Games Madison instant his camera, was a great way to startle with flashes of terror, but unfortunately it’s not used as creatively here. Hmm.

The Dark Pictures Anthology series also includes an unobtrusive inventory system for the first time, at least introducing different ways to interact with the elements around you. Charlie’s business card can be used to jimmy specific drawer locks to access additional evidence, while Erin’s shotgun microphone can be used to identify the tortured moans of unseen victims. , which is used in certain sequences to achieve a rather unsettling effect.

At times it felt like I had checked into the scariest hotel in the world, only to forget to remove the “do not disturb” sign from the door.

However, many of the unique character-specific tools seem somewhat redundant. Jamie has an electric multimeter that helps him fix tripped fuse boxes, but because he absent-mindedly flicks the switches in the order shown in each fuse box’s instructions, its analog display is actually On the other hand, Mark’s camera monopod was eventually enhanced with a sharpened drill bit to become a weapon, even though it stuck all the way to the end credits. Regardless, I wasn’t given the chance to use it. But based on my initial experience, the inventory system looks like an addition to The Dark Anthology formula that’s more superficial than Supermassive.

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