Review – The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope

I’ve been a fan of the Supermassive Games since the beginning of time. Their games, although not always scary, are for the most part entertaining. Rush of Blood is still one of my favourite VR games and I wish they would release another game like this. Instead, they seem to give it all in their interactive, cinematic style with the Dark Pictures anthology. Man of Medan was his first episode of the series, which I enjoyed very much despite the difficulties. We now have the Dark Pictures anthology: Little Hope, who piqued my interest directly from the trailer. Although a lot of good has been done, unfortunately it hasn’t landed.

Little Hope follows four students and their teacher on an excursion after their bus accident. The accident took place near the abandoned town of Little Hope. Out of desperation they decide to brave the night and go into town to find a working phone or someone who can help them. Instead, they find a veritable ghost town where the dead keep turning up to tell our heroes their horror stories of cruel accusations, conspiracies and betrayal.

Giving up hope is the right thing to do.

The story of Kleine Hoop follows the hysteria surrounding the witch trials in Salem in the late 1600s, although in the fictitious city of Kleine Hoop. During a walk through the city, the group discovers the remains of the history of the former inhabitants of the city, as well as the regular visits of the spirits that still roam the city. Throughout the game, our heroes will travel back in time to the 1600s to see the events that took place between the first inhabitants of Little Hope. The time jump is a first in Supermassive Game narration and works very well for this entry.

Little Hope does a good job by depicting the madness and hysteria surrounding witch trials.

All in all, I must say that the story of Little Hope is one of the best so far in a Supermassive title. The film creates a great sense of tension, even if it makes too many jumps. Even the characters feel better than in the previous entries. However, it is far from perfect. The whole game is seriously marred by one thing: the end.

It will be very difficult to talk about it without falling into spoilers, but I will do my best. Let’s just say at the very end there’s a revelation that completely killed the game for me. Not only does this make no sense, but it also completely undermines the events that took place during the game. The sad thing is that I liked the story and the symbolism so far. I went back and played both Until Dawn and Medan Man again to make different choices and see different endings, but I don’t feel like doing the same with Little Hope, even though it has a good ending.

And here I thought clowns were scary.

But until then, it was a good time. I would like to thank the developers for listening to the reactions of their fans and solving the gameplay problems that Man of Medan has encountered. It’s still essentially an interactive movie, but the controls are much better this time. Your characters will accelerate and change direction if you don’t want to return by bus. They also added some more time in the QTE, as well as tips to let you know what’s going to happen soon. That was my biggest complaint with Man of Medan: I’ve spent so much time watching things happen that I’ve dropped guard and missed the occasional lightning QTE that turned up.

I also feel that your decisions carry more weight in this game. There are some seemingly simple choices you have to make for your characters along the way, but many of those choices will have far-reaching consequences. As in other games, all your characters can die or survive, depending on your decisions and your success with QTEs. Your personalities seem to depend more on your choices, which is refreshing.

Your decisions have much more weight in this game.

Visually, Little Hope is beautiful…. Usually. They again used motion capture technology on actors to create realistic models and animations. However, there is a part of the game where the graphics seem much less polished than the rest: the prologue. At first, I was really worried that a year after Man of Medan, they were cutting back on graphics to launch the game. The characters seemed stiff and plastic, and there was almost no emotion on their faces. Fortunately, this only applies to the prologue and the beginning of the first chapter.

Be prepared for too much cheap jumping panic.

However, there are some other graphic inconsistencies. The main characters, the landscape and the monsters are beautiful, but the spirits are by no means of the same quality. I know they are usually designed for short periods of time, like jump alerts, but that shows how badly designed they are. Little Hope also suffers from the same problem as other games, where the animations of the characters may become distorted if they don’t speak. Scenes and perspectives can also make a dramatic leap. I suspect it has something to do with the algorithm of the game that tries to follow the player’s decisions, but it’s still hilarious and sometimes confusing.

The sound design is generally very good. The soundtrack is completely forgetful, but it has served its purpose. The sound effects, on the other hand, are very well done. The squeaking of old wooden planks on the ground, the rustling of bushes at the edge of the path and the crackling of a fire bring the game to life. The performances were also well played, with the exception of the prologue again. I really wonder if they didn’t run out of time or money before they deleted this article. Compared to the rest of the game it almost looked like a gadget.

The practitioner remains a mystery.

Honestly, I’m very frustrated and disappointed in Little Hope. It was their best game so far, but because of the direction they went at the end, it all fell apart. It’s crazy to think how five minutes can ruin an entire experience. I’ll say the whole game’s a lot of fun for that. His story is fascinating, with clever symbolism and metaphors. I’m also glad that the developers listened to their fans and improved the gameplay. Let’s hope next time they listen again and don’t undermine the experience of cheap revelation at the end.

Although most of the game is beautiful, the prologue part seems much less polished. Character animations can look weird if they don’t speak. Another interactive cinema style game where the only game is to choose dialogues and QTEs. Some improvements have been made, such as. B. more time during EQTs and easier character flow.
Although the soundtrack is largely forgetful, the game is played reasonably well and the sound effects are convincing. I really enjoyed this game until the last five minutes. The end definitely ruins this game and makes no sense.
Last block: 6.5

Anthology of dark pictures: Little Hope is now available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X and PC.

Tested on Xbox Series X.

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