Since the launch of The Dark Pictures Anthology, the series has had its ups and downs. However, The Devil in Me repeats many of the same mistakes that the starting game, Man of Medan, suffered from. The improved gameplay elements and performances remain high quality but poor writing and confusing judgments made by the cast encourage more frustration than dread. If you were to skip 1 game in this series The Devil in Me is definitely the one.

The Devil in Me stars a new set of characters attempting to save a dying show about serial killers. The cast is given an incredible opportunity to explore a modern-day replica of the hotel used by Henry Howard Holmes. The cast is unfortunately the latest victims in a house of horrors as they attempt to survive a psychopath’s rampage.

The narrative has promise in the beginning but falls off toward the end. The killer isn’t scary, just irritating. Often he’ll just appear out, slowly walk towards the cast, and either disappear or the characters will get away. The writers play with the idea of this being supernatural but it just comes off as confusing.

As for fear, The Devil in Me has some tense moments but mostly focuses on cheap jump scares. Often the killer will dart across the screen, a cat jumping out, and other cheap tactics to get that jolting feeling Five Nights at Freddy’s fans crave.

Similar to past games from Supermassive Games the narrative will continue regardless of who lives or dies. Each character has specific characteristics and you take control of 1 of them during certain situations. Improvements have been made to make the characters more distinct during gameplay. Charles, the boss of the crew, can pick locks for example. Other improvements include the ability to run and more paths that hide hidden collectables and items that predict future events.

Players will have to interact with the story through optional dialogue with 1 option always being silence. Alongside dialogue, choices are QTEs and puzzle solving, in this case, the bulk of the puzzles are fuse switches.

The characters themselves are not the problem. They have unique personas and will react prudently to your choices, molding them into cynics or caring people towards one another. The problem comes with their basic problem-solving and the writers using cliche jump scares too heavily.

Often characters will trip on nothing and make idiotic choices on purpose. For example, knowing that the killer has complete control of the hotel 2 characters decide to purposely run into a door they clearly saw the killer unlock or try to sabotage his devices. It doesn’t help that none of the characters pick up or attempt to find an item to defend themselves with unless it’s under special circumstances. It’s understandable that these people are not soldiers but in one scene a character is willing to kill a dog to keep her from exposing them. But will put down the broken bottle she was going to use to kill the dog, beg for mercy when the killer finds them and waits for the killer to swing an ax on their head. There are many other examples of the characters acting foolishly just for the plot’s convenience.

The killer himself is nothing dreadful. An incredibly intelligent person with a mastery of medicine, chemistry, engineering, and planning but shows no emotion. The writers attempt to justify this type of direction but it comes off as boring. The limited information provided about his story provides little of how he turned into this or the other supernatural actions he commits. It just comes off as a giant tease with no payout in the end.

The Devil in Me repeats many of the issues that Man of Medan had. The idea of “just accept what just happened” constantly runs true here. A combination of poor choices and an annoying antagonist causes the entire experience to fall flat. The Devil in Me starts off with a solid edifice but slowly crumbles by the middle point.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me - A Step in the Wrong Direction
Positives
  • Great Voice Acting
  • Excellent Character Models
  • Improved Gameplay
Negatives
  • Lack of Common Sense Between Characters
  • Poor Ending
  • Annoying Main Antagonist
5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
2.2

About The Author

Adam S
Sr.Staff Writer

Adam is a Senior Staff Writer for GAW with over 15 years of experience in writing and is completely obsessed with video games. He holds a BA from Brooklyn College and lives in NY.