Spooky storytelling makes The Dark Pictures Anthology a cornerstone for fans of choose-your-own-narrative-style gameplay often seen in games like Telltale’s The Walking Dead series and Life Is Strange, but with a bit more horror involved. If you’re not familiar, this anthology from Supermassive Games includes Man of Medan, House of Ashes, and The Quarry, all of which act as individual episodes within a larger season, and the upcoming fourth and final entry – called The Devil In Me – looks like it could be taking the series to some truly horrific heights. If it does, it’ll be via its setting, a recreation of the terrifying “Murder Castle” once used by H. H. Holmes to ensnare his many victims. In it, you’ll guide five distinct characters through this grotesque, Saw-inspired labyrinth while searching for clues, solving puzzles, and making story choices that could determine who lives or dies.
While I didn’t get to try The Devil In Me for myself, I did get the opportunity to check out a 30-minute hands-off demo showcasing the newly added features that may surprise returning fans, such as new exploration mechanics that could make The Devil In Me feel even more streamlined than its predecessors.
Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me Screenshots
The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil In Me centers around five different characters – Kate, Charlie, Erin, Jamie, and Mark – each working for the fictional Lonnit Entertainment Company in an effort to create a documentary about a supposed reenactment of H. H. Holmes “Murder Castle.” What makes this interesting is that each of the five characters is designed as a playable protagonist, and according to Game Director Tom Heaton, anyone can live or die depending on your choices. I even got to see a character’s death play out after a series of choices went wrong, and it does make The Devil In Me appear quite multifaceted in the number of ways you can approach it. Aside from the schmoozy businessman Charlie, whose unique ability is to – no joke – open locks with his platinum credit card, I’m certainly not familiar with these characters enough to describe their personality traits, but Supermassive promises that each character has a bit more to them than immediately meets the eye, and that could make it worth checking out different outcomes in different playthroughs.
Exploration mechanics are visibly more action-oriented in The Devil In Me. The decrepit hotel that The Devil In Me takes place in is full of rickety and uneven terrain – and potentially plenty of nooks and crannies to find secrets in – and that all needs a little extra bit of dexterity to move through. As such, it makes sense that there are more cues to jump onto ledges, crawl under objects, shimmy around hazards, and just do more things within the environment in general. It looks more interactive and cinematic as a result, and that could aid in making you want to spend more time exploring these environments, since it sounds like there are plenty of different avenues through which you can solve The Devil In Me’s supposedly seven-hour storyline.
That said, it seems like there was a ton of attention paid to H. H. Holmes himself, and this extends to the immaculately-detailed “Murder Castle” hotel, which appears equally beautiful and deadly with gritty, almost haunting lighting in each scene. The villain has placed plenty of Saw-like traps around the building, one of which gruesomely chained two mannequins to an actual saw and, well, it isn’t the most pleasant thing to describe. But it tracks pretty accurately to the actual traps that were once discovered in H. H. Holmes’ very real and very gruesome hotel during the late 19th century. For that reason, history buffs might be particularly interested in checking this one out.