A Casual Rundown of ‘The Devil in Me’ – The Dark Pictures Anthology’s Final Act
Over the last few Twitch streams, I’ve been diving into the final game The Dark Pictures Anthology‘s first season, and it’s called “The Devil in Me.” We’ve been navigating through the spooky twists and turns of this horror adventure, uncovering mysteries and facing off against some creepy stuff.
In a hotel, you’d usually freak out about weird stains on the mattress or hair clogs in the shower, right? Well, “The Devil in Me” takes that unsettling feeling to a whole new level. It’s less like staying at a regular hotel and more like checking into your worst nightmare. The final episode of The Dark Pictures Anthology’s first season draws inspiration from a real murder castle and its infamous serial killer owner. The result? A place filled with deathtraps and creepy animatronics that’ll make you question your decision to stay there. Sadly, the excitement kind of fizzles out thanks to a bland group of main characters and some unnecessary detours that had me wishing for an early checkout.
The premise of “The Devil in Me” is pretty intriguing. Imagine getting an unexpected invite to spend the night in a recreation of H.H. Holmes’ house of horrors. Sounds like something you’d turn down, right? Well, not for a group of filmmakers working on a documentary about America’s first serial killer. They’re just there to get some footage and enjoy the hospitality of the hotel owner, Granthem Du’Met. But, of course, things take a dark turn as Du’Met has more in mind than just recreating the World’s Fair Hotel’s vibe – he wants to reenact the gruesome events that happened there.
Unlike the previous Dark Pictures Anthology episodes, which dealt with supernatural stuff, “The Devil in Me” is rooted in real history. I find that way more interesting than ghost stories. Uncovering the hotel’s dark past and the true identity of its owner kept me hooked. I was more focused on solving the mystery than worrying about the characters’ safety.
The main issue here is that the characters are just not that interesting. They’re all kind of meh, and I didn’t really care about their survival in this horror hotel. The early interactions give you a glimpse into their dynamics, but the writing falls short in giving them depth. It doesn’t help that the lines are delivered with deadpan expressions and awkward movements, making everyone seem a bit too stiff. When some of them met a grisly end, I couldn’t summon much emotion beyond a shrug.
Still, there were some good scares, mainly from the freaky animatronics and the masked assailant inspired by H.H. Holmes. These encounters added tension, even if they relied on the usual run-or-hide decisions and quicktime events we’ve seen before in Supermassive‘s horror games.
But, and it’s a big but, the tension doesn’t last. Despite the variety of torture chambers in the hotel, “The Devil in Me” seems more interested in wasting time. There are long stretches of wandering around in the dark, solving boring puzzles, and doing balance-beam walks that slow down the pace. The mansion itself looks cool, with its ornate details and creepy atmosphere, but it doesn’t feel as dangerous to explore as it should.
They tried to make each character’s part unique, you know? Gave them different tools to navigate through the creepy stuff. Charlie’s got his zippo lighter casting an eerie glow, and Mark’s rocking a camera flash that only shows you what’s up for a sec. It could’ve been a cool way to amp up the horror with quick flashes, like in that game Madison from Bloodious Games, but they didn’t really go all out with it here.
They threw in an inventory system for the first time in The Dark Pictures Anthology series, which is something new. Now you can interact with stuff in different ways. Like, Charlie’s using his business card to pop open drawers and find more evidence. And Erin’s got a shotgun microphone that gets kinda creepy when she uses it to pick up tortured sounds from some unseen victim. But some of the character-specific tools feel kinda pointless. Jamie’s got this electrical multimeter, but flipping the switches on fuseboxes just seems like a random task, and Mark’s camera monopod with a drill bit? Never got a chance to use it as a weapon, even though he stuck around till the credits. Maybe if you play it again, you’ll find better uses for these gadgets, but on my first run, it felt like they just added the inventory system for show.
The setting, though, could’ve set the stage for a killer horror adventure. We’re talking a twisted murder castle, right? But the pacing’s wonky, and the group you’re stuck with lacks that oomph. It’s like a horror vacation with low stakes and not many thrills or tough decisions. Trying to spice up each character’s gameplay didn’t really change things up much. The survival parts still stick to the same stress-inducing quicktime event formula we’ve seen before. Sure, there are creepy animatronics and a big baddie, so there are some jump scares, but overall, The Devil in Me’s tour through the maniac’s mansion lacks the real punch and surprises I was hoping for.