The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me tells a terrifying story that far exceeds the games that came before it, with flaws that are few and far between.
The Dark Pictures Anthology Game Review: The Devil In Me
The Dark Pictures Anthology season one ends with The Devil in Me, a terrifying and sad entry in the series that goes deeper than its predecessors and upends when it comes to its story, characters, and ghosts. Stands up well. The strongest entry in a hit-and-miss series about The Devil in Me, here’s what there’s to love – and dislike – about.
The Devil in Me follows the standard DPA gameplay concept, with choice-based and quick-time events aimed at keeping the ensemble of people alive. As noted in Screen Rant’s Devil in Me preview, there are some additional mechanics added here, with characters being able to use equipment specific to them, such as Erin’s audio equipment to hear unseen things, or Charlie Let’s open the closed drawer of the business card. Another new addition is Hidden, which is very reminiscent of survival horror staples such as Outlast, adding to and expanding the atmosphere that is often a strength of DPA titles.
While Supermassive Games has never shied away from its horror film inspirations with its major releases such as Dawn and The Quarry, The Devil in Me embraces its cinematic inspirations like no other DPA game. Elements from films such as Saw, Psycho, Halloween and even The Shining can be seen at play here, making The Devil in Me a diabolical delight for horror movie buffs from The Dark Pictures Anthology Want a little more classic horror.
The Devil in Me Brings H.H. Holmes to Life
Of course, the biggest inspiration behind The Devil in Me is America’s first serial killer, HH Holmes, around whom the story is based. The game takes place in a replica of Holmes’ hotel, and this unforgiving environment is one of its greatest strengths.
Frequent hallways, trapped-in-time corridors, and a generally grim sense of unease pervade the game’s early chapters, creating the sensation of being trapped in an inescapably familiar-carpet labyrinth. It’s the perfect setting for a horror game, and one that plays to a DPA game’s strengths.
The characters and story of The Devil in Me also make this combination of series extraordinary. Even unlikeable cast members have their strengths, with enough depth of character to help players form bonds that will test their morals when it comes to keeping everyone alive.
The story also goes beyond Man of Maiden, Little Hope, and House of Ashes, with enough horror movie tropes that it feels strangely comfortable – while simultaneously innovating on those stereotypes. The story isn’t exactly engrossing or entirely unique, but it is more than engrossing, with a much more satisfying ending than other DPA’s often disappointing resolutions.
While certainly one of the best of the Supermassive games, The Devil in Me isn’t perfect. The over-reliance on jumpscares – some of which are too predictable or badly executed – certainly hinders some of the atmospheric horror, while new mechanics, like hiding or using tools, feel a little underused.
There’s also a bit of variation with the puzzles, which mostly come in the form of pushing crates to climb into new areas, or getting power through an electrical fuse box. Repeating a common supermassive game mistake, it is also possible to ruin Jumpscare by affecting updates, which tend to provide information before the game is played.
Despite its few flaws, The Devil in Me is a more than fitting end to The Dark Pictures Anthology Season One, improving on its predecessors in the main area they criticized: weak story. The endings of both Man of Maiden and Little Hope, in particular, left many players unsatisfied, but The Devil in Me delivers a substantial and sinister tale filled with dastardly deeds, classic crimes, and unintentional gore.
The Devil in Me is a game that deserves a second playthrough immediately after the credits roll – and maybe a third or even a fourth. The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.