Supermassive Games has already been on a roll this year with horror releases such as The Quarry, but it’s about time to settle a different matter: The Dark Pictures Anthology Season 1. Supermassive is closing in on the end of the first arc of this series with The Devil in Me, and this latest harrowing adventure will take players on a deep dive into the lore, mystique, and terrors of what was considered to be one of North America’s earliest serial killers. New and grisly dangers await, but so do new opportunities, and Supermassive and Bandai Namco were kind enough to give us an in-depth look at what’s coming when The Devil in Me closes out this first season of The Dark Pictures in November 2022.
It's just a “Murder Castle.” What could go wrong?
For the last chapter of The Dark Pictures Anthology Season 1, Supermassive wanted to go all-in on a mysterious, yet classy type of history driven horror. This one focuses on a small TV production company known as Lonnit Entertainment. They have created a documentary series that follows the story of serial killers throughout history. However, they are coming to the end of their rope. They want to cover the subject of H.H. Holmes, but they don’t have a lead and as the last episode of their season, their funding relies on knocking this one out of the park.
Who is H.H. Holmes, you ask? H.H. Holmes was a real American figure, born Herman Webster Mudgett, and was a con man and swindler. He was also a killer. He designed a special hotel in 1892 in which to carry out his crimes, but many a visitor disappeared, resulting in rumors that Holmes’ hotel was a “Murder Castle” full of intricate traps and brutal equipment made to ensure its guests never left. In eventual trials, H.H. Holmes confessed to at least 27 murders. He claimed it was the ”Devil in [him]” that caused him to kill the people he killed and is considered to be one of the earliest recorded serial killers in North American history.
Unfortunately, existing records and materials related to Holmes are thin and that leaves the Lonnit Entertainment crew at the end of their rope until a mysterious benefactor, Granthem Du’Met, calls. Du’Met claims to have inherited a property from deceased family who had a fascination with serial killers. The house is a supposed perfect recreation of H.H. Holmes’ “Murder Castle.” Granthem invites the crew to come and see it for themselves and record what they need for their last episode. Despite knowing little of Granthem, the desperate crew takes up the offer. Things soon go sour.
The Lonnit crew soon find themselves locked up in the recreation of the Murder Castle and searching for a way to escape its labyrinthine corridors full of shifting walls and traps. There are five crew members players will take control of at various points to explore the hotel and, as one may have guessed, the choices you make could save or kill any one of them. What’s more, Supermassive has promised that The Devil in Me will be one of its most mysterious and grisly games yet, featuring some of the most over-the-top deaths it has ever put together.
There are also expanded features coming to the game that should make The Devil in Me a bit more interesting to explore. One of the most notable is that there’s a persistent inventory among characters. Each of the five crew members starts with a different item related to their job on the crew that comes in handy when exploring the Murder Castle. One has a business card that can be used to pick simple locks. Another has a special pencil that can be used to shade paper pads and discover important information like safe codes. Yet another has a directional mic that can be used to hear through walls.
It seems very similar to Capcom’s classic Famicom horror game Sweet Home. The characters can even pass the items along to one another, or the items can be lost or broken if you make unfortunate decisions. There are other items that can be shared too, such as keys and information. Each of these items can mean life or death for any given character in various situations.
More than that, The Devil in Me has gotten an upgrade to its exploration. Players can now make characters climb pallets, tables, and ledges within reach with fair ease, allowing a lot of verticality in the exploration of the Murder Castle. We watched the characters explore a derelict sauna in which they had to traverse an empty pool full of construction equipment to try to make it to a reception lobby.
Finally, it sounds like The Devil in Me will be one of the most content-rich episodes of The Dark Pictures Anthology yet. Where other episodes have been around 4 to 5 hours to complete, Supermassive suggested that The Devil in Me will likely average out to about 7 hours to finish. Simply put, we’re in for the most packed tale in The Dark Pictures games yet.
You can check out anytime you like, but…
The glimpse we got of The Devil in Me was delightful to be sure. The mix of real-world history to arrange its harrowing tale of a fascination with a serial killer and his deadly lair looks to be one of the most compelling stories of The Dark Pictures Anthology yet. More than that, the upgrades to inventory, exploration, and other elements in the game make The Devil in Me seem like it will be the most fun to play as well. With a release date set for November, we won’t be waiting too much longer to decide how this story ends and the final chapter on The Dark Pictures Season 1 closes.
These impressions are based on a hands-off demonstration presented by the publisher. The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me comes out on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC on November 18, 2022.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, The Dark Pictures: The Devil in Me dances with the mystique of a notorious serial killer