Preview of The Devil in Me: The Shining Meets Saw – The Dark Pictures Anthology – Preview

Preview of The Devil in Me: The Shining Meets Saw - The Dark Pictures Anthology - Preview

While Gamescom is taking place in Cologne (finally again), visitors from all over the world are having their very personal experiences with hotels – and not always the best ones. A musty smelling carpet here, a pillow that is too hard there. Mold in the bathroom or pest infestation in the mattress.

Believe us, it could be a lot worse! In the guest house that you are staying in The Devil in Methe season finale of Dark Pictures Anthology will enter, you expect rows of deadly traps, dark secrets and a generally spooky atmosphere. We were able to accompany the five heroes on their way through the horror hotel and tell you below why we are already looking forward to the release in November.

The world’s first serial killer

As always in the Dark Pictures Anthology, developer Supermassive Games draws on a horror myth for the backstory. For example, while the ghost ship cruising in the Bermuda Triangle in episode 1, “Man of Medan”, or the village in “Little Hope”, which is vaguely reminiscent of M. Night Shyamalan’s film “The Village”, were pure fiction, there is in “Devil in Me” a historical background.

More specifically, it’s about the American criminals HH Holmeswho at his Chicago hotel in the 1880s and 1890s whole alleged to have committed 27 murders. That is unlikely to be true, however, any more than Holmes was America’s first serial killer or the rumors circulated by contemporary tabloid media that he equipped his hotel with deadly traps or secret rooms. But so be it: it is precisely these myths that make the story really exciting!

Since the action isn’t set in the late 1800s, but in the present, you’re unlikely to meet the real HH Holmes in Devil in Me, although – another myth – the killer is cast in concrete after his execution should have to prevent a recurrence.

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But we’re betting heavily on a copycat that lures the actual main characters into a replica of Holmes’ Hotel. The five heroes are a TV crew that is shooting a documentary series about serial killers, but they don’t really have a budget for the last episode.

So it came as no surprise that a certain Graham Du Met offered the replica hotel as a filming location and even assumed all the costs. However, he attaches conditions to his offer, such as handing over the cell phones, and the quintet are stupid enough to agree to the deal…

© Bandai Namco/Supermassive Games

More interaction in the horror hotel

Similar to the three previous episodes, the five heroes all bring their own character traits with them, are rather anxious like audio specialist Erin, have had a relationship like cameraman Mark or unit manager Kate in the past or are particularly tough like lighting technician Jamie.

Of course, all of this plays a role in the course of the supposedly seven-hour storyline, which would be almost twice as long as in “Man of Medan” and at least a good 60 minutes more than in the most extensive episode to date “House of Ashes”. Even the smallest decision should have a serious impact on the course of the game, although as always, everything is possible between surviving and dying.

While the principle is basically the same, there are a few innovations and other special features. For example, all heroes each have an individual gadget that only enables them to perform certain actions. In the case of Erin, for example, this is an audio device with which she can record even distant noises or filter them out in an understandable way.

© Bandai Namco/Supermassive Games

Mark, on the other hand, carries a small camera with him, while crew chief Charlie can use his business card made of sturdy plastic to pick primitive locks on drawers, for example. Kate, on the other hand, has a pencil with her, which she can use to make entries that have been pressed through on a notepad visible again. These tools are simply intended to give the characters personal opportunities to interact with the environment, although you can certainly only get certain background information with them or even unlock one of the warning visions of death.

Apart from that, more interactions are planned for “Devil in Me”. Game director Tom Heaton promises, among other things, that more hidden secrets will be found in the surroundings and hidden areas that can only be reached with the tools or with the generally increased action potential.

This includes, among other things, climbing crates or moving objects. While we don’t think this makes Devil in Me play completely different, just watching it feels like it just feels more immersive, since we’re not constantly chomping at even waist-high obstacles like most in was the case with its predecessors.

© Bandai Namco/Supermassive Games

As the interactions expand, there will also be more puzzles, code panels that need to be combined, and other puzzles that need to be deciphered. How complex are they? Hard to say. But we expect more creative puzzles and less particularly demanding ones.

After all, it is essential for the “Dark Pictures Anthology” to interrupt the flow of the game as little as possible, insofar as the players do not voluntarily want to spend more time exploring. Finally, another promise from Heaton, it’s now possible to run almost anytime, or shall we say at least walk at the highest possible pace, instead of shambling through the corridors or the still-under-construction spa area of ​​our demo as dictated by the game . Everyone should be able to go at their own pace. We think it’s good when Supermassive manages to ensure that the staging doesn’t suffer at the same time.

© Bandai Namco/Supermassive Games

I saw you in The Shining

In any case, we really like the atmosphere, for which Supermassive Games uses, among other things, Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic “The Shining” as a model. That’s not to say that you ride a pedal car down hotel corridors and see the chopped up remains of a pair of twins or other things that aren’t really there. But we think Devil in Me captures the spooky mood of a large, abandoned hotel, partly dimly lit by small oil lamps, and with an interior decor that taxidermist Norman Bates would have liked.

The second important source of inspiration is the “Saw” film series. Because you have to take part in deadly games or survive deadly traps from time to time. Exactly such apparatuses are said to have actually been installed by Holmes in his hotel.

So far we only know one of these deadly devices. Specifically, Kate and Erin end up in a two-part oxygen chamber, from which the gas that is absolutely necessary for breathing is continuously withdrawn. From the outside, Jamie and Mark watch the gruesome spectacle as both heroines struggle to breathe. There is a way out, but only for one of the two.

© Bandai Namco/Supermassive Games

Do you sacrifice Erin or Kate? As always, the decision is yours. Since it is well known that all characters can survive or die, we are already curious as to how we can avoid this situation entirely or how we can cope with the rescue of both women. At least when watching, unfortunately we couldn’t play “Devil in Me” ourselves, we found the death (in our case the developers let Erin down) but not as dramatic as some other death sequences in the predecessors. But Tom Heaton also promises something with a view to this: “Devil in Me” should offer nothing less than the most spectacular deaths in the entire series. Well, if that’s not an exaggeration…


To be honest, the presentation by the developers and the subsequent, almost 30-minute team interview with Tom Heaton wouldn’t have convinced me that much about “Devil in Me” if I hadn’t known the predecessors. Because concrete insights into the strengths of the series, such as the sometimes finely ramified decision-making system, but of course also the often cruel death scenes, which are very entertaining for genre fans, the present provided limited at best.

Of course, the risk of spoilers is also huge. But I know the strengths and I can’t imagine that Supermassive Games could screw it up in these areas all at once, I just firmly assume that “Devil in Me” will keep the high level in this respect. According to my impressions so far, this also applies to the squad of heroes, who, as is usual in horror stories, are not free of clichés, but seem less stereotypical than, for example, in “Man of Medan” or “Little Hope”.

© Bandai Namco/Supermassive Games

I also like that the interaction possibilities should increase and the concept with the individual tools of the quintet, because even when watching the game seems less limited in terms of game mechanics. The most important reason why I trust Supermassive Games with “Devil in Me” to be the crowning glory of the first season of the “Dark Pictures Anthology” is the setting.

Probably completely without supernatural elements, as Heaton emphasizes, this horror game should ignite a little better for me in terms of atmosphere, especially since I like the mood, which is otherwise strongly based on “The Shining” and “Saw”, especially visually. There will be a final answer in November as to how good “Devil in Me” has become. I’m looking forward to it!

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