The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me looks to evolve the series' formula further

We took a trip through a dangerous murder house in an early preview of The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me.

Bandai Namco

Supermassive Games’ The Dark Pictures Anthology series has become a staple of the annual fall release calendar, delivering spooky new adventures centered on player decisions. The latest outing, The Devil in Me, finds a documentary crew in a massive hotel inspired by the infamous murder hotel created by serial killer H. H. Holmes. Our brief preview of the game gave us a taste of how Supermassive Games is bringing new scares while evolving the franchise’s formula.

The latest horror picture

Mark holding back Erin from something off-screen

Source: Bandai Namco

The demo quickly introduces the five main characters of The Devil in Me. After receiving a mysterious invitation, the group heads to a modern-day replica of H.H. Holmes’ murder hotel to film a new installment in their docuseries. Before long, it becomes clear that the hotel isn’t just a replica, and that the group is in legitimate danger.

As players have come to expect from the series, the characters in The Devil in Me have a rich history together, which is slowly revealed through dialogue and other interactions. The choices made will impact the relationships between characters, either opening or closing off new paths down the line.

Supermassive Games loves to draw inspiration from iconic horror films, and that is once again the case with The Devil in Me. The ominous atmosphere of the hotel gave shades of The Shining, and one particular sequence in a bar felt plucked directly from the Stanley Kubrick classic.

A deadly new game

The five protagonists of The Devil in Me standing in a hallway.

Source: Bandai Namco

It became quickly apparent how The Devil in Me will set itself apart from previous entries in the Dark Pictures Anthology. While there are still quick-time events that players must pass in order to successfully complete actions, there are new gameplay elements being introduced. This includes environmental puzzles, as one sequence tasked me with moving around bookshelves, climbing ladders, and leaping around a library to find an entrance to a locked part of the hotel. There was another point where I had to find a four-digit pin to enter a small room, which housed a puzzle involving electrical breakers.

What really intrigued me was the introduction of an inventory system. Each character has at least one to two items that are unique to them. For example, Charles is a smoker that carries around a lighter. Players can use the lighter to illuminate dark areas as they explore. The cameraman, Mark, can snap pictures of his surroundings.

It’s clear that Supermassive Games is trying to give The Dark Pictures a sense of mechanical depth, something that had been a point of criticism for the series in the past. It’ll be interesting to see how this idea is expanded upon in the full game.

The house that Du’Met built

An interior shot of the house from The Devil in Me, with moonlight shining in through the window.

Source: Bandai Namco

The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me is the latest installment in Supermassive Games’ horror saga. As the final game in the first season, it’s clear that the developer is setting the stage for how the series will evolve in its next leg. New gameplay mechanics mixed in with the proven formula will hopefully make for yet another thrilling romp when the full game arrives this November.

These impressions are based on a digital Steam code provided by the publisher. The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me launches on November 18 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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