The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil In Me concludes the first season of the Supermassive Games’ Anthology series. Each game in the series featured new characters, new stories, and novel gameplay with a focus on local and online multiplayer. The Devil In Me follows the tradition of telling a story that is inspired by true events.
The Devil In Me is set in the present day, with a documentary team attempting to acquire footage and information about the historical serial killer, H. H. Holmes. It was commonly assumed that Holmes had a hotel that he had equipped with traps. He was also known as America’s first serial killer because he saw his actions as the work of the devil within him.
In its prologue, The Devil In Me introduces the player to the character of H. H. Holmes. This also serves as a gameplay tutorial. An unfortunate couple becomes the victims of the famed murder hotel under Holmes, allowing the documentary team to take over the story. This group is made up of a varied cast, with each character adding their spin to the gameplay.
An unnamed benefactor invites the documentary crew to a replica of the Holmes hotel, and they decide to use this chance to promote their interests, as their efforts to acquire information and evidence were failing. As they arrive at their new destination, they must reconcile their beliefs with a new threat that appears to have drawn inspiration from Holmes’ works.
While the quality of this anthology is debatable, there is no denying that it provides lots of entertainment. Man of Medan, the first game, was a psychological horror with supernatural overtones, and each subsequent game aimed to tackle a new horror narrative and theme. The Devil In Me is the closest thing to a serial killer story. It’s a welcome change of pace for the series, but it also leaves a lot to be desired.
Not only have thematic adjustments been made to the story, but the gameplay has also been greatly improved. The control choices have been increased with additional skills, and there is even inventory management in play, allowing the player to choose the outcome of some puzzles. Because the user decides the fate of their characters, the game provides a variety of scenarios and endings based on the player’s decisions.
Despite its enhancements, the game retains the flaws of its predecessor. The pacing was a little slow for my taste, and the quick-time events can be awkward to accomplish. They appear forced rather than well-designed. Because the game is mostly a cinematic experience, the developers take control away from the player during cutscenes, thus I believe these QTEs are a method for the player to feel like they are a part of the narrative.
I felt the main cast to be likable since they provided adequate character development. This is possibly the most fascinating cast in the anthology. Each character is also distinctive in that they have specific abilities that enable them to unlock new opportunities in the story. They each have a unique item that they can only utilize in the game’s many scenarios. Puzzles are important in the story and may even save the lives of certain characters.
While the new improvements are excellent, and the plot is interesting to some level, the gameplay may be slow at times. Part of it is due to the game being derived from a heritage series, and part of it is because we have seen better games in a similar genre elsewhere, even from Supermassive Games, such as The Quarry. This entry appears to be an experiment by Supermassive Games to see what they want to achieve with the upcoming season.
Overall, The Devil In Me is a very pleasant game with some innovative gameplay ideas, a nice cast, and a lot of replay potential. It’s not as exciting as The Quarry, but for a low-budget production, it’s fairly entertaining.