Skip to main content

The Devil in Me might be the scariest Dark Pictures game yet

While I love Supermassive Games’ standalone horror projects such as 2015’s Until Dawn and this year’s The Quarry, I am less enthused by the studio’s The Dark Pictures Anthology series. Man of Medan and Little Hope were boring as they lacked interesting characters and offered unsatisfying lore behind their antagonists; however, the third installment, House of Ashes, had a likable cast and some genuinely fascinating lore. With Supermassive finally finding its footing with The Dark Pictures Anthology, I was looking forward to what the next anthology entry and season one finale, The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me, offered.

I got a hands-off preview for The Devil in Me, presented by Bandai Namco and Supermassive’s game director, Tom Heaton, as the latter explained the inspirations for this upcoming title and how it looked to improve on the formula. Each of the characters in the main cast has a more distinct role to play within the overall dynamic of the group, making them memorable. Also, its murder house setting and new interactive gameplay mechanics, including puzzles and traversal, might make it the most engaging Dark Pictures game to date.

The Dark Pictures: The Devil In Me - Release Date Trailer - Future Games Show Gamescom 2022

Just a normal funhouse

The Devil in Me is inspired by H.H. Holmes, the real-life man who is known as America’s first serial killer. He is known for having a hotel filled with traps and would lure his victims in before allegedly killing them. The hotel became known as the “murder castle.” While it’s believed that most of the rumors surrounding his exploits were exaggerated, it makes a great premise for a horror game.

The game follows a production company called Lonnit Entertainment, creators of a documentary series called Architects of Horror. The company is looking for an enticing place to shoot its finale about H.H. Holmes, which would garner interest in a second season. This is also an interesting and rather meta premise, considering The Devil in Me is the season one finale of The Dark Pictures Anthology.

The star of The Devil in Me is Architects of Horror’s host Kate Wilder, who is portrayed by actress Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl, Men). Other characters include Charlie Lonnitt, the owner of the company; Mark Nestor, the cameraman; Jamie Tiergen, the lighting expert; and Erin Keena, the audio intern.

The Devil in Me's cast
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What makes The Devil in Me’s cast immediately stand out compared to Supermassive’s previous ones is that they all have clearly defined roles. They’re not just a hodgepodge of random people, like some teenagers at a summer camp as in The Quarry or a group of friends as in Man of Medan. They each have expertise in a specific aspect of film production, making them easier to distinguish.

They get a call from someone named Grantham Du’Met, a wealthy architect and collector who invites the crew over to check out a hotel that would be perfect for their documentary finale. Unfortunately, they quickly realize that it’s an almost exact recreation of H.H. Holmes’s murder castle and find themselves getting separated and in a life-or-death situation. This is where the true fun of The Devil in Me begins.

Adding more engaging mechanics

Unlike previous Dark Pictures games, The Devil in Me features a new inventory system where players can pick up items to use. Each character also has a unique tool related to their area of expertise. For example, as Charlie is the CEO of Lonnitt, he carries business cards around which he can use to pry open drawers. Meanwhile, cameraman Mark can use his camera to take pictures of the horrific things happening in the hotel. It can also be broken, lost, or given to other characters, which adds another wrinkle to the franchise’s non-linear storytelling and an engaging twist on a tried-and-true adventure game mechanic.

Jamie shimmying in The Devil in Me
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Devil in Me’s biggest innovations come in the form of its more involved puzzle solving and new traversal mechanics such as climbing ladders, shimmying across ledges, and pushing boxes. The puzzles provide a sort of Resident Evil-like feeling to the gameplay not present in the more movie-like Dark Pictures games. Although I couldn’t tell if there was some sort of time limit to solve puzzles, Heaton said, “you’ll need to find codes hidden or disguised in the world, untangle antique fuse boxes, and find your way out of mazes. So get your thinking caps on because if you can’t work them out, people are going to die. But no pressure!”

The new traversal options also enhance segments that are usually relegated to just quick-time events in Supermassive Games’ previous titles. These might seem insignificant, as many third-person action-adventure games already have these elements, but they offer a lot of much-needed engagement and minute-to-minute suspense that this style of game sorely needs.

Venturing into the unknown

In the 15 minutes of gameplay that I saw, I wasn’t able to see The Devil in Me’s accessibility options. However, given Supermassive’s track record, I can hope they’ll be extensive, such as being able to change button mashing prompts into simple hold button ones and making the timing for quick-time events last longer.

Erin in The Devil in Me
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Supermassive Games mentioned that The Devil in Me includes the franchise’s bloodiest deaths yet. The end of the gameplay footage shows Erin and Kate trapped in separate locked cages. Breathable oxygen slowly gets sucked out of both, with both Mark and Jamie being forced to choose who lives as flipping the switch in the middle of the room only allows the oxygen to flow back into one cage. The other person coughs up blood and grimly suffocates. This is a moment that will stick with me until I see what’s next when the game launches.

The Devil in Me looks to be a more grounded experience compared to previous Dark Pictures entries, which had more supernatural elements and a sense of mysticism. This more realistic approach will help it stand out and possibly make it the best and scariest game in The Dark Pictures Anthology yet. I’m curious to see what direction The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me takes when it finally releases on November 18 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Editors' Recommendations

George Yang
George Yang is a freelance games writer for Digital Trends. He has written for places such as IGN, GameSpot, The Washington…
Best Buy deals: Save on laptops, TVs, appliances, and more
best buy shuts down insignia line smart home products store 2 768x768

Best Buy is always a great retailer to turn to if you’re looking for some savings. There are almost always Best Buy deals taking place on TVs, appliances, and devices we use to navigate the digital world. In fact, right now at Best Buy you can find some of the best TV deals, best laptop deals, and best phone deals that can be shopped, and we haven’t even mentioned the deals on tablets and home audio equipment currently taking place at Best Buy. We’ve rounded up all of the best Best Buy deals you can shop right now and categorized them for your convenience below, so read onward for some great opportunities to save.
Best Buy TV deals

There may be no better place to purchase one of the best TVs than Best Buy. There is almost always some huge savings to find on TVs at Best Buy, and that’s certainly the case right now. You’ll find deals top TV brands like Sony, Samsung, and LG, and more budget-friendly brands like TCL and Hisense are in play, too.

Read more
Amazon’s Fallout series is crossing over with two Fallout games
Ella Purnell in Fallout.

A TV show based on the Fallout series of video games debuted on Amazon Prime this week, and now Fallout Shelter and Fallout 76 are both getting new content themed around the show.

Free-to-play vault management game Fallout Shelter will get a new eight-mission questline. Playing through this quest will net players six new vault dwellers, including Ella Purnell's Lucy, Aaron Moten's Maximus, and Walton Goggins' The Ghoul. Bethesda is also adding other items themed around the series to the game, including a pre-war Cowboy outfit, The Ghoul's revolver, a wedding dress, and a Vault 33 jumpsuit. That last item will be available for free to anyone who logs into the game between today and May 7.

Read more
Amazon’s Fallout TV series is even more impressive than The Last of Us
Aaron Moten stands next to someone wearing power armor in Fallout.

Aaron Moten plays Maximus in Amazon's Fallout series. Amazon

When the first trailer for Amazon’s Fallout dropped, the internet was hit by a familiar wave of eye rolls. Every aspect of it was scrutinized, from its Power Suit design to its title card gags. Now, days after the entire series was released on Amazon Prime Video to rave reviews, those preemptive haters are eating irradiated crow.

Read more