The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil In Me PC Review

November 21, 2022

After an initially rocky relationship with horror games, I’ve gradually come to love being spooked in games. Part of that love has come through games like Until Dawn, where the choice and consequence systems make it feel like I have a say in how my adventure plays out. Since Until Dawn, I’ve become a fan of developer SuperMassive’s ongoing Dark Pictures Anthology. While they have some quirks, and are clearly lower budget than their prior games, they have a certain level of shlock that I love. Now, we’ve reached the end of the first season with the release of The Devil In Me, which somehow manages to have the scariest moments in the series, while also becoming one of the most tedious towards the end.

As with prior Dark Pictures games, The Devil In Me opens with a prologue chapter that sets up the rest of the game. The difference here is that this prologue is based on a decidedly realistic scenario: a young couple checking in for a stay at H.H. Holme’s infamous World’s Fair Hotel, aka. The Murder Castle. This is where Holme’s murdered anywhere between 9 and 200 victims (depending on the estimates you follow) using a variety of traps he set up, as well as other methods. This is a much more real premise for a Dark Pictures game than in the past, and is in large part why it has the scariest moments.

Leaving the prologue behind, you’ll follow 5 members of a production company creating an episode of a show based on Holmes. After receiving a call from a mysterious benefactor, they jet off to a small island where a replica of the Murder Castle has been built. Complete with Holmes’ memorabilia, this place is framed as a loving recreation of the original building put together by someone with immense interest in the topic of Holmes. Probably not the sort of place I’d personally go to without thorough vetting beforehand, but that’s the opposite of what the characters do here. Instead, blind faith is placed on their benefactor (although there is a little bit of suspicion) and they’re on their way to being slaughtered in a new and improved murder castle.

It’s this setting which brings so much tension and fear to The Devil In Me. This isn’t some supernatural monster, this is a deranged person taking perverse pleasure from murdering people. Not only that, it’s a deranged person continuing the work of a real person. There’s a level of primordial fear that comes from that realisation, and the knowledge that the landscape is shifting and traps could be anywhere only heightens it. The use of that fear over the first few hours of the game is fantastic, and it was well on the way to becoming my favourite Dark Pictures game, but then the wheels started to fall off the wagon.

There were a few things that contributed to the downturn, but one of them came with a shift in the structure of the game. Instead of the internal environments filled with hazards around every corner, you shift into external environments with more of a classic slasher movie feel. I love a good slasher movies, but they generally work because of carefully curated pacing, with swings between tension building and climactic sequences. In a game where you can have anywhere from 1 to 5 characters alive, the pacing gets thrown off. The tension building isn’t as successful, because you basically know you won’t be attacked while performing puzzles in the game, causing the climactic sequences to be less impactful. It leads to a back third of the game that honestly feels pretty tedious at point.

Further compounding this issue is some questionable choices the game puts in front of you. There’s always an element of some hard choices in a game like this, but it feels like SuperMassive jumped the shark on a couple of specific late-game choices you’re asked to make. While I won’t spoil the specifics, I’ll say that I deliberately chose to let a character die rather than make what was evidently deemed the ‘correct’ choice in the game.

Now, throw in some heapings of the animation issues we’ve coke to know and expect from Dark Pictures games. While a few animation issues here and there never put me off too much in the last games, they’re much more abundantly clear here. Facial animation transitions seem incredibly disjointed, leading to plenty of conversations looking completely wrong in motion. Lots of the voice over work is disjointed as well, making it really clear where the game is slipping in something based on the choices you made or which characters are still alive. After seeing improvements in this space in House of Ashes and also the recent current generation updates to Man of Medan and Little Hope, it feels like the tech side of this game has gone backwards.

Beyond the somewhat dodgy animations and transitions, the rest of The Devil in Me looks pretty great. Characters and environments are detailed, and the textures across all of them are artistically interesting. It’s certainly not the best looking game out there, but it definitely pulls its weight.

The Dark Pictures Anthology has been known for missing the landing, and while The Devil in Me has the most promising start of the series, it unfortunately falls in the same category. It’s still an interesting horror adventure to play through, but it falls short of the improvements we saw in House of Ashes. If you’re looking for a serial killer/slasher story to live through, you’ll get some enjoyment out of this, but otherwise this might not hit the spot.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me was reviewed on PC with a review copy provided by the publisher. The game is also available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. For more information, check the official website.


- Excellent tension during the first half
- Environment and characters look good on a technical level


- Questionable 'correct' choices
- Game goes downhill the further you get
- Animation and voice transitions seem to have taken a step back

Overall Score: