I look forward to each Dark Pictures Anthology game every year. Without trying to sound down, last years House of Ashes wasn’t a favourite of mine. The Devil in Me, this years entry, definitely had my interest from it’s announcement. The trailer had overtones of Saw, and the basis was the murder castle of H.H. Holmes – America’s first serial killer. Nothing supernatural this time. The evil this round is the limitless evil of man.
So picking up The Devil in Me on Friday, I started playing it that night and finished it Saturday afternoon. Being the last in the first season of the Dark Pictures Anthology, Supermassive has a lot riding on The Devil in Me. As such, there have been some tweaks to the horror template they have used in their previous games.
For example, there are now specific skills for specific characters. Losing a character now means you also lose access to those skills, having a more direct impact on the story. There is also now an inventory system and an enhanced collectable system in the form of obols.
I am going to get gripes out of the way here. Overall, I loved playing The Devil in Me. There are plenty of Supermassive bugs present though. For example, the light system where you aim a light source independently of movement is at its most broken. There are huge sections where your character locks onto something out of bounds.
Then there are other bugs that have appeared in the past, such as prompts not appearing or UI not coming up. Not game-breaking in general, but very immersion-breaking and frustrating. And the further you get in the game, the worse it gets. Near the end of the game I had to turn on subtitles because character audio dropped out completely!
The most annoying one in Devil in Me is inventory items simply not working. For example, here was my view for a portion of the game. In theory, I was supposed to use a torch to light everything. My character has a torch in cutscenes and has one on the UI. Try to use the torch though, and nothing happens.
I didn’t think any frustration could top not being able to shine your light where you want to. I was wrong – not having any light is much worse!
Most if not all of that can be addressed with patches though. The story of The Devil in Me is my favourite to date. There are clues to solve and new ways of solving puzzles which helps to bring you into the story. With the game only just out, I am not going to talk too much about anything in detail to avoid spoilers.
The Devil in Me should be experienced if you are interested. Sure, you can watch a playthrough, but it’s not quite the same as doing things your way. And The Devil in Me has the most impactful choices I have seen since Until Dawn – something missing from the Dark Pictures lately. Every ending the game can be very different. This is so much better than the one ‘generic’ ending with some character specific text.
If you have been interested in The Dark Pictures Anthology at all, and have a fascination with serial killers, The Devil in Me is the entry for you. Maybe give Supermassive a couple of weeks for some patches first though.
The bugs did take a lot away from the immersion, but you can see what I mean in the long play video. Yep, got it up in time for the journal entry! Unlike House of Ashes, I want to play The Devil in Me again to see more endings. That is The Dark Pictures Anthology’s greatest concern beaten at least!