The Devil in Me, analysis. How to put Jigsaw in front of the Overlook Hotel

Four years later, the first season of The Dark Pictures comes to an end. The anthology of horror games from Supermassive Games (creators of till dawn and The Quarry) says goodbye with The Devil in Me, a fourth installment that we have found to be the best to date. It is not just that he continues to refine the formula by adding nice news, but this time the classic ingredients (story, setting and scares) all work like a charm. At the height of fiction about serial killers, Supermassive and Bandai Namco mark a delicatessen for fans of the genre which could well bear Jigsaw’s signature. A remarkable work that guarantees us one or two nights of popcorn, jumping on the couch and laughter with our partner and friends. Although this season finale could not arrive in time for Halloween and has been made to beg, the wait has been worth it.

The first game in the series Man of Medanspoke of ghost ships and supernatural epidemics and plagues. The second, Little Hopedealt with the subject of witch hunts and enchanted forests In the third, House of Asheswe found soldiers who entered where they shouldn’t and woke up ancient curses. The game that concerns us today, The Devil in Me, is played serial killers and the architecture of terror, that is, the houses, hotels and even remote islands that have been built and designed with a single idea in mind: to kill their guests and tenants. Mirrors behind which there is a camera, walls that move behind us, animatronics, gas chambers, spiked moats and as many deadly traps and challenges as you can think of. that trembles the Overlook.

serial architects

As always, this is an eminently narrative game that lasts about 6 hours. Its plot takes place in a single day and is independent and self-contained (it is not necessary to have passed the previous ones installments of The Dark Pictures). This time, the real story from which everything starts is that of HH Holmes, one of the first serial killers in the United States. Nicknamed Dr. Holmes, it is estimated that he killed nearly three hundred people at the end of the 19th century. Through fraud, Holmes acquired a piece of land in Chicago and he built a hotel of which only he knew its internal layout. It was a labyrinth, a fortress, the so-called Holmes Castle. During the six months that the windy city hosted the World Columbian Exposition of 1893dozens of tourists stayed at the hotel and were eaten by that death factory. The details about his method and case, accurately and carefully captured in The Devil in Me, are our starting point.

The game tells the story of HH Holmes, considered to be America’s first serial killer.

Because we are not facing a vintage game. Prologue aside, the story is not set in 1893, but in the present, in the contemporary world, where a team of documentary filmmakers is doing a television report on HH Holmes. During its recording, its five components are invited to the mansion of a descendant of the murderer, Grantem Du Pet, who has opened a museum with its belongings and recreated the rooms and composition of his castle, the World’s Fair Hotel. Convinced of the added value it represents for their work, our five filmmakers accept and immerse themselves in a journey that soon turns into a nightmare.

“The tributes to Saw, The Shining, Psycho, House of Wax, Halloween and Friday the 13th are constant and will delight the most moviegoers.”

The group is a new parade of familiar faces of hollywood. We have paul kaye (Game of Thrones) in the role of Charlie, the director of the documentary, a despot with Spielberg airs. Jessie Buckley (Men, I’m thinking of quitting) plays Kate Wilder, the presenter fed up with her peers and the seedy series in which he works. Fehinti Balogun (Dune) is Mark, the cameraman loved from Kate. Gloria Obianyo (also from Dune) gets into the skin of Jamie, the sarcastic and cynical responsible for lighting Y Nikki Patel (Coronation Street) transforms into Erin, the poor sound engineer to which others exploit and use as runner and secretary.

The Devil in Me review The Dark Pictures Anthology

A documentary team recording a report about a serial killer in a replica of his house located in the middle of nowhere. What can go wrong?

Scares > Tension

Without making spoilers, the story has seemed fun and rhythm. We even bought his third act and the always complicated final twists and aces up his sleeve. The characters and the relationships between them work and the setting in which they unfold is captivating. The tributes to saw, The glow, Psychosis, House of Wax, Halloween and Friday the 13th are constant and will delight the most moviegoers. As for jumpscares, we have good news. Last year’s installment, House of Ashes, traded terror for tension and didn’t quite convince everyone. The Devil in Me returns to the path of scares and let us tell you that it has some of our favorites from the entire saga.

At the controls, the concept is the usual one. Many kinematicsmany decisions with important consequences in history and many quick time events (press the right button at the right time, smash this one, hold that one… etc.). We are jumping from one character to another, exploring various scenarios and discovering more or less details about what happens depending on the collectibles we found. The best is again there is permadeath (if we screw up and kill a character, the plot continues without him) and the wonderful cooperative options house brand (you can enjoy it online from start to finish with another friend or locally with up to five people distributing themselves to the protagonists and passing the command according to touch). Like the previous ones, The Devil in Me Thanks for several passes and replays to discover all its secrets, endings and possibilities.

The Devil in Me review The Dark Pictures Anthology

Jessie Buckley (Men, I’m thinking about quitting) is the big star of another cast of characters full of familiar faces.

But within this logical conservatism, the saga has come a long way and has never stopped improving and adding nuances. The differences between the first installment, Man of Medan, and the current one, The Devil in Me, are notorious. The main and most important is the camera. It is maintained (and power) the free camera that House of Ashes introduced and with which it seems to break definitively with the fixed cameras of the original and Little Hope. This gives us greater freedom of movement and allows larger scenarios where characters can run, jump, climb and move objects to solve simple puzzles and access new areas. It is still the most basic; remains most accessible, linear and mechanicalbut Supermassive games they look more and more like the survival horror of yesteryear and less to the genre that they share with Quantic Dream (heavy rainDetroit: Become Human) and Telltale Games (the walking dead, The Wolf Among Us). Evolution is being natural and graceful.

“An inventory system, abilities for each character, puzzles, greater mobility… With the right updates, The Devil in Me improves and evolves the saga.”

On this occasion, the great additions are a kind of inventory in which to store objects and the existence of special skills for each character. For example, the documentary director can pick locks, the cameraman uses her tripod to reach tall objects, the sound engineer pulls her microphone to hear through walls, and so on. We insist that it is still very basic and that none of these “powers” are developed. Sometimes they are used once due to script requirements and see you later. Let no one expect different ways of dealing with them depending on what situations. Now these additions what they provide is variety, freshness, that when you pass the command to a friend it is not to see him doing exactly the same with another character. That they change even if they are the devices with which each hero gives light (a mobile, a lighter, the flash of a camera). let there be new bonus puzzles as simple as they are (the typical ones of moving containers to reach high places or following electrical cables in search of their switches). And the goal is achieved, although the idea has a lot of room for improvement and development.

The Devil in Me review The Dark Pictures Anthology

Each character has their own abilities and associated mechanics and mini-games.

audiovisual excellence

Graphically, The Dark Pictures is A show worth seeing on the big screen.. The photorealistic settings, the lighting, the character modeling… In addition, the jerks and loads of textures from previous installments have been almost eradicated in The Devil in Me (almost). From now on all the company’s efforts should be focused on body animations and facial expressions. Not because they are wrong, far from it (they are clearly above average), but the result would be overwhelming if this section were put on a par with the rest. We would talk about a referent and role model in the industry. Until then, strange movements with the eyes, mouth, and limbs occasionally break the spell.

The Devil in Me review The Dark Pictures Anthology

At a graphic and sound level, it is still a show worth seeing on the big screen.

We close with the mention of turn to great dubbing job (ignoring a certain character from the prologue) and with a round of applause for Jason Graves, the excellent composer of the saga, who returns to demonstrate once again that he is a guarantee of quality. On this occasion, the sections with Erin, the team’s sound engineer, play more than usual with the effects and the soundtrack, resulting in a particularly remarkable and meritorious field. The result is only clouded by a usual failure of the franchise: some lines of dialogue skip in English even though we have the audio in Spanish. You know, God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.

CONCLUSION

The Devil in Me is our favorite installment of The Dark Pictures to date. The most polished and varied, the best in terms of rhythm and scares. This is a treat for fans of serial killer stories and houses full of traps and deadly evidence. It is the result of putting Jigsaw in charge of the Overlook Hotel. It fully respects the traditional formula of the saga (cinematics, quick time events and decisions), but renews it and makes it evolve with new ideas (inventory system, abilities for each character… etc.). It’s still very accessible and basic, but it’s less and less satisfied with being a mere narrative experience and incorporates more of the classic survival horror. In short, The Devil in Me is a step forward and a game capable of giving us a couple of hilarious nights, especially in company. Make popcorn, turn off the lights and get ready to meet the devil.

THE BEST

  • The permadeath and cooperative modes.
  • Setting, rhythm, scares… the story works like a charm.
  • On a graphic and sound level it is a spectacle.
  • May he continue to contribute novelties to the formula.

WORST

  • It repeats failures (very props) of previous deliveries: some load of textures, lines of dialogue in English…
  • The new puzzles are a bit generic and the skills are undeveloped. There is room for playable improvement.

8

Very good

A game with a remarkable finish that we will enjoy and remember. A good purchase, highly recommended for lovers of the genre. It is well cared for at all levels.

The Devil in Me, analysis. How to put Jigsaw in front of the Overlook Hotel