The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me – Review, men are scarier than spirits

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Don't think too much about the numbers, not this time, because despite this season finale of the The Dark Pictures Anthology present a few decimals less than in the last two chapters, we are undoubtedly faced with the best chapter of the series so far, indeed, we would venture to say and this series is born on purpose to talk about this story. Before getting into the review of The devil in me, fourth title in the series of Supermassive Games e Bandai Namco, it is necessary to take a small step back and make some clarifications regarding the game: it is a chapter that in many ways deviates from the canons that the series itself has dictated during these four long years. But in what sense?

An alternate season finale

First, let's start from the fact that The Devil in Me, like the other chapters of the series, was inspired by true events, however the substantial difference from the other three chapters is the context: if Man of Medan, Little Hope and House of Ashes have directed us – sometimes only apparently – towards something mystical or supernatural, The Devil in Me is totally focused on reality. The story of Herman Webster Mudgett, later known as HH Holmes, it's anything but supernatural: it's real, insanely, and sadly creepy.

Ma Supermassive Games for the game he didn't just take his cue from the Castle of the first American serial killer, but he tried to reconstruct much more, on a psychological level and in terms of social behavior. Always talking about context and details, The Devil in Me is without a doubt the richest and most precise chapter of the series, thanks also to the amount of documentation and information regarding the Holmes case. What would a Holmes look like today, after more than 120 years have run their course?

The other differences from the other chapters are always in a style of play exploratory, but more "played", with a leaner and faster control system, closer to action games, but above all with video parts that were dried in terms of time. So here in some sections our characters will be able to climb over, climb, solve problems environmental puzzles or take advantage of some objects present in their little ones personal inventories.

For the rest we are faced with a classic narrative adventure in stile Supermassive, con choices to do, relations between the characters, quick time event to get in the way – but we will be able to choose the difficulty – e clues to find (very useful for ourselves to understand what is happening, as well as collectible).

As always, it will be possible to take on the game in single player, playing the various scenes on your own, or experience ashared experience with a friend online, or even play by passing the controller with the mode Cinema evening. And the Curator? Always there, ready to guide us, to comment, and to give us advice if we let him.

The last attempt

The Devil in Me starts with a very particular prologue that we will let you discover for yourself, and which, as often happens, is set in the past. The main plot in the present day however, you see a television crew of documentarians than to receive a very generous invitation from a very private person, who responds to the name of You' Met, For visit a faithful reconstruction of HH Holmes Castle, America's first serial killer. Charlie Lonnit, the crew chief, can't pass up this opportunity, as the program he and his team are working on deals with exactly these themes, and by a strange coincidence the next episode is supposed to deal with the showman in the bowler hat. An opportunity too tempting to pass up, right? Given that the show is not sailing in good waters and needs to be revived, with this being the last attempt, where it is make or break. Completely free of charge they are offered “an authentic experience”, what do they have to lose?

The other characters in the cast are Kate Wilder (played by Jessie Buckley), girl who impersonates the face of the program, as well as a graduate in criminal psychology, Erin Keeman, sound assistant, Mark Nestor to photography, and lastly Jamie Tiergan as a factotum and electrician.

Without going into the heart of the story, as it should be in this type of review, know that The devil in me it most likely is the chapter that will most be able to disturb and frighten you. Clearly we are not talking about pure terror, but we are still faced with a title that succeeds where its predecessors have failed: neither in House of Ashes, much less in Man of Medan had we ever had that feeling of distress, that wanting to hold back before moving forward, that looking behind us for fear that something or someone would suddenly come out and hit us; well, for most of the game The Devil in Me succeeds, at least until we find our comfort zone by getting used to everything.

Mostly it's the atmosphere, which makes very good use of the dark stages, the lack of light, combined with the impossibility of escape, but above all puts us in front of a far worse reality than those we have seen before: if we have to be afraid of something, it is human wickedness, the one that knows no bounds. In short, the vibe which we will feel will be halfway between the suffocating ones of un’escape room and the perverse ones to the Saw the Riddler. Also the pace of the adventure is good, slows down and speeds up continuously, and changes scene and/or location just before you get a feeling of monotony.

The Devil in Me

As we have mentioned, all characters will have a personal inventory: everyone will be able to take advantage of the objects they have by default, which will allow them to take certain actions: this feature, although nice, is end in itself, because all these actions are often forced, and apart from a couple of specific cases they offer nothing to the “variety” question. Also count, that some objects seem to be there just waiting for them to be encountered by that specific character. We can only say that, in most cases, they go to "justify" the resolution of some simple puzzles. It must be said, however, that possessing a different object to shed light, specific for each protagonist, it's something that is quite tantalizing and that has been integrated in a way consistent.

These slightly more “played” phases in The Devil in Me turned out to be like a double-edged sword, which in some cases seemed perfectly fitting to us, while in others they were mere fillers to lengthen the scenes a little more. Interesting the new mechanics (which we will certainly find in the next chapters with the new season), but to be filed.

There's also something interesting another novelty: within the various scenarios there are coins, or rather, coins get sick, which you may or may not collect. This is not a collectible, but a real one in-game currency that you can spend in the main menu for buy the various dioramas which you will unlock as the adventure progresses, by seeing certain scenes.

A heartfelt advice and added value of the game, it is also take advantage of the part of special contents that you will unlock, because in addition to the interview with Jessie Buckley, there are also a couple of interesting videos of one of the secondary characters of the game, but above all a substantial documentary about HH Holmes, on the Castle, and on its victims.

Architect, bricklayer, designer… artist

To close, we want to say that the technical sector on a couple of occasions it proved to be fluctuating, but these are minor defects that can be solved with a patch on day one. From a graphic point of view, The Devil in Me proved to be a rather controversial title, given that it alternated moments where the details on the screen were excellent, with others in which some textures - especially environmental ones - did not seem quite at the top of the possibilities. Instead, the sound sector should be commended as regards sound design, Then effects, sounds, Recordings and so on, but a little less from the point of view of the Spanish dubbing, sometimes not quite compliant with what is happening on the screen (loud volume of the voice when one should whisper so as not to be discovered, or inconsistent sensations with facial expressions ).

Even greater praise goes to the colonna sonora, an integral part and not just a side dish: often inside the rooms, the scenes will be accompanied by classical music (there will be gramophones that will reproduce it), which has always been capable of instilling pleasure and terror, while the final song of the game - with an attached gem - will be an alternative version of the theme song of the Dark Pictures Anthology, A Conversation with Death, of which there will we will say nothing so as not to spoil the surprise.

  • The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me (Provato su PC)8.5Voto Finale

    The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me is undoubtedly the chapter of the series that has succeeded best from the point of view of unease and fear. Although we still don't get to real terror, the atmosphere is king, and we don't feel the weight of a predictable plot after all (once you know the context). Certainly an excellent closure of this first season of the Dark Pictures Anthology, which also in terms of gameplay and content has been able to insert several small innovations that will certainly be re-proposed in the future, perhaps in a more in-depth way. For now, "cut and... curtain".

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