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The Dark Pictures: The Devil In Me Preview – Reservation Confirmed

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Supermassive Games’ The Dark Pictures is a series that has improved with each episode, and the Season One finale The Devil in Me is looking like it’ll carry the momentum of the recent House of Ashes and end the season on a spooky and chilling high. I was able to watch a 30-minute presentation where The Devil in Me game director Tom Heaton (not the Manchester United goalkeeper) went into detail about the team’s inspirations for the title and what players can expect from the upcoming entry in The Dark Pictures series, as well as giving us an extended look at gameplay.

One of the things I love about The Dark Pictures series is that it uses real myths, persons and events as the foundation for its premises. The Devil in Me is no different, and this time the team at Supermassive Games are building the experience around notorious American serial killer H.H. Holmes and his infamous ‘Murder Castle.’ I’ve really liked the settings of all previous titles, but this one may take the cake.

The Devil in Me is set in the modern day and sees members of Lonnit Entertainment invited to a replica of the Murder Castle by someone known as Grantham Du’ Met. The company is filming a documentary series on American serial killers with the final episode focusing on H.H. Holmes, however the money has run dry and so have ideas for the episode until this opportunity presented itself. Naturally, things aren’t as innocent as they first seem, and quickly the team from Lonnit Entertainment realise that not only are they being watched but they’ve been brought to the hotel for a very specific reason.

Like previous entries, players will control a cast of five different characters: Charlie, Kate (played by Jessie Buckley), Jamie, Mark and Erin. Each character has their pros and cons, and their relationships with other characters will vary depending on the choices you make. Of course, Supermassive’s trademark choice-based gameplay is here again, and the lives of all five characters are in your hands – who lives and who dies is up to you.

Supermassive Games is constantly looking for ways to refine the Dark Pictures gameplay, and the studio has made some improvements to the formula that will hopefully improve the experience. In The Devil in Me, characters will now be able to run, jump and climb, which creates a new level of exploration for the series. Characters will also have access to a limited inventory where they’ll be able to store tools and items of use that they find throughout the hotel. Furthermore, each character has several tools and one that directly relates to their role at Lonnit.

For example, Charlie, who is the owner of the company, carries a business card around with him – one that lets him unlock drawers. Mark has a camera that allows him to photograph evidence of crimes they uncover, Kate has a pencil that can be used to draw over torn pieces of paper to discover codes, Jamie can rewire electrical circuits, while Erin has a microphone that allows her to hear through walls. Some of these tools can be shared with other characters, and Heaton says they can be broken or lost, and how they’re used impacts the narrative.

The last major gameplay addition is the inclusion of puzzles, with players tasked with finding codes, powering fuse boxes, and finding their way out of mazes in order to progress forward and save lives. Once again, The Devil in Me will feature a behind-the-shoulder third-person viewpoint, and the runtime will be similar to the eight or so hours of the House of Ashes.

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Heaton says that The Devil in Me’s other influences include the Saw films and that the deaths in The Devil in Me are the most brutal and grotesque the series has seen. Other influences include The Shining and slasher horror films, which given the setting makes a ton of sense.

The gameplay demonstration we were treated to showed off the game’s new traversal mechanics as the characters explored the abandoned castle before ending with a death scene that wouldn’t look out of place in any Saw film. As with these sorts of games, a lot of it is a slow burn, but the hotel’s eerie atmosphere created a sense of trepidation and it made me excited to explore the hotel and for the choices that awaited me there.

From my hands-off look at the game, The Devil in Me looks like it has all the hallmarks of being a cracking finale for a series that seems to get better with every episode. I absolutely love the premise and the modern-day Murder Castle looks creepy and atmospheric in all the ways that matter. Consider me booked in for a stay at the Murder Castle this November.

Written By Zach Jackson

Despite a childhood playing survival horrors, point and clicks and beat ’em ups, these days Zach tries to convince people that Homefront: The Revolution is a good game while pining for a sequel to The Order: 1886 and a live-action Treasure Planet film. Carlton, Burnley FC & SJ Sharks fan. Get around him on Twitter @tightinthejorts

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