Horror games have been one of the genres for braver gamers to tackle. It’s also one of the genres with the most nuances and ways to draw the players into the story. From franchises such as Resident Evil to Silent Hill, horror games have left their mark in the industry. This time, however, we’re going for a more interactive bent with the Dark Pictures Anthology.
What Is The Dark Pictures Anthology?
The Dark Pictures Anthology is a set of interactive survival horror games with a lot of drama and death. The games are created by Supermassive Games, which should be familiar since they’re the ones that made Until Dawn. They’re published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, the same guys who published games like Little Nightmares and Code Vein.
The Dark Pictures Anthology is made of eight games. Of those eight, two are already released with the third releasing sometime this year.
In terms of system requirements, the Dark Pictures Anthology needs, at minimum, an Intel i5-3470 or an AMD FX-8350. That’s for the processor. Memory-wise, you’ll need 8 GB of RAM, though it’s usually recommended to have 16 GB of RAM. For the graphics card, the game needs an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti or AMD Radeon HD 7870. Lastly, it needs DirectX 11, a good connection to the internet, and at least 80 GB of storage space.
If you want to have the optimal gaming experience, you’ll need an i5-8400 or an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 for the processor. Additionally, it’s ideal to have an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580 for the graphics card, 8 GB of RAM, DirectX 11, and 80 GB of storage space.
In any case, make sure that you’ve got a 64-bit processor as well.
Game Series and Their Stories
As already stated, there are currently two games on the Dark Pictures Anthology already released. The third one is going to be released later this year. These are the games:
Man of Medan
Man of Medan is set in the middle of the ocean, with our protagonists trying to find a crashed WW2 Era plane. Unfortunately, their boat got hijacked by pirates who then proceeded to crash them to the SS Ourang Medan. After that, things all went downhill from there.
Little Hope meanwhile is set in modern times, where a group of four students and their professor got stranded in Little Hope, a ghost town in the middle of nowhere. There, they get dragged into events from the past, forcing them to relive them, and either dying in the process of escaping. There’s a pretty cool twist at the end as well, which we won’t spoil since it’s something players need to experience for themselves.
House of Ashes
House of Ashes isn’t released yet but will be soon—in October. However, we do know that it’s about five people trapped in an underground Mesopotamian Temple in the middle of the Iraqi War. Unfortunately for them, the war woke up the vicious monsters trapped inside the temple, so they have to work together to get out.
The Dark Pictures Anthology Game Review
Now that we’ve talked about the games specifically, let’s talk about the games in general.
In terms of gameplay, all of the games are played from a third-person perspective. You, the player, must make choices for all of the characters. These choices can either lead to them living or dying. So their fates are literally at your leisure. There are, of course, various quick-time events in the stories as well, which can also lead to the characters dying.
Lastly, depending on your actions and on which character survives, the game has a specific ending. There are endings where all characters survive, no characters survive, and everything in between—giving every action and decision weight. This would tie into replayability, which we’ll talk about more later.
Graphics-wise, the games look pretty good, if a bit realistic. The atmosphere of the games is also top-notch, adding to the horror. It’s especially horrifying when they start to get up close and personal. And the various scenes of horrible things happening to people are appropriately gory and unsettling.
In terms of replayability, the Dark Pictures Anthology has a lot of ways that their stories go. Depending on player choices, there are many different endings. Thus, it’s up to the players to discover them all by playing through the games multiple times. There are endings where every character survives, endings where none survive, and so on.
All in all, the games have replayability in spades. They’re just, unfortunately, incredibly tedious to play.
Games Like The Dark Pictures Anthology
Now that we’ve talked about the Dark Pictures Anthology, let’s talk about other games like it. We’ll start with Until Dawn, then Oxenfree, and lastly, Life is Strange 1 and 2.
The most common comparison with The Dark Pictures Anthology is Until Dawn. However, this is the obvious choice as Until Dawn was Superheavy Games’ previous game release. The gameplay’s identical, the graphics are identical, even the horror’s identical. Still, the game does have its unique themes that need to be discovered, and it could be said that Until Dawn is Episode 0 of The Dark Pictures Anthology.
Next on this list is Oxenfree, a brilliant game about the inevitability of some events and how to cope with them. The game is set on New Edwards Island, and your character, Alex, goes there along with some friends for a little get-together. However, due to an incident, certain paranormal events begin to happen, and time begins to unravel itself. Now, it’s up to Alex to save her friends, learn why the incidents are happening, and get out of the island safely. There’s only one problem, Alex is a teenager with issues, and these and other complications can affect the game’s story.
Still, the game is an overall masterpiece that some people are sleeping out on.
Life Is Strange
Last on this list is Life Is Strange, and it’s no surprise that this is on the list. After all, the game is all about the player’s choices in Max’s life. Depending on said choices, some events may or may not happen, and various things can change. For example, saving a certain person will trigger a tornado that will wipe out the town Max lives in. Yes, that can happen.
Anyhow, the message is the same. Things can not be altered. However, if you wish to defy that fate, then it’s ultimately up to you. Just make sure that you can take on the consequences of your actions.
The Dark Pictures Anthology for Horror Game Enthusiasts
All in all, the Dark Pictures Anthology is a great addition to any horror game enthusiast. They’re great in terms of how many ways they can end and overall have a great atmosphere. In addition, there are a lot of secrets for players to sink their teeth into, so if you’re willing to scare the ever-living crap out of yourself, try out the entries currently released. It’s well worth it.