The Devil In Me Review: Fumbled Finale (PC)

The Devil In Me is the fourth and final game in Season 1 of The Dark Pictures Anthology. It's an installment that would be solid if not for game-breaking bugs that required restarts. Still, new gameplay mechanics and an interesting story can convince many fans of the franchise to pick this one up.

The Devil In Me Review: Fumbled Finale

Supermassive had a wonderful first half of the year with the release of The Quarry, a title that arguably surpassed their hit, Until Dawn. While The Devil In Me was made aware to the public last year, The Quarry wasn’t until a few months out. As the Developer was already working on the next installment for The Dark Pictures Anthology, The Quarry was quite a surprise. And while I’d love to say the developer finished Season One of The Dark Pictures Anthology with a bang, The Devil In Me didn’t fully deliver. It wasn’t a complete loss as the studio grows with each installment though. Let’s go over what worked and what didn’t. This The Devil In Me review won’t contain spoilers. 

The Devil In Me is available on Steam, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

See Also: The Quarry Review: An Entertaining Creature Feature (PS5)

The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil In Me – Official Launch Trailer

Story – Devil in the Details

The Devil In Me follows a group of filmmakers that arrived at a private island that hosts a serial killer hotel. Their plan is to shoot scenes for their latest documentary. The island and the hotel have a history that is explored through documents and clues found throughout the island. Several murders and disappearances have occurred at the hotel that these characters are shooting at. Their only concern is whether they can grab footage for their documentary but they soon come to realize their lives might be in danger. While the story works well, there are some aspects that were alluded to earlier on that seemed to never be brought up again.  As for the characters, each of them has their own history with one another and through their interactions, players will understand their motivations and behavior more.

Your decisions can save or end their lives

Your decisions can save or end their lives

This isn’t Supermassive Games’ best story to date but the setting makes for an engaging horror tale. Compared to previous entries though, storywise, Devil In Me does feel a bit more contained. Most of the game takes place inside the hotel and with only a select few characters. And while not all of it makes sense, I always do appreciate the stories and the location that the studio comes up with. The world here always feels more realized with a backstory that is present for players that wish to discover more. Part of the reason why it also feels more realized is that the length this time runs at almost 8 hours while previous entries were about 4 or 5 hours long. 

Gameplay – Bigger and Buggier

The Devil In Me keeps the basic structure of previous games in the anthology. Players will make choices that can determine whether characters live or die. Wrong decisions will result in the death of characters while the right ones will allow players to continue playing them. This time though, The Devil In Me adds to that formula. There is more player interactivity during traversal. Players are able to jump in certain areas, interact with puzzles, climb, and even hide behind objects. Characters are also given items they can use. For example, one character has a card that allows them to open doors. Others will have a flashlight to help see in the dark or a camera they can use to flash and see surrounding areas.

Issues like this were often encountered.

Issues like this were often encountered.

And while these new gameplay mechanics are a welcomed breath of fresh air for the series, The Devil In Me is plagued by numerous bugs. Moments where a cinematic would play and then get abruptly cut or where the camera would become unmoveable were frequently encountered during my playthrough. The camera becoming unmoveable could only be fixed through a restart. It’s possible progressing in the story did so too, but because the camera was stuck, items found during traversal could not be interacted with. Other bugs such as character models breaking, broken puzzles where I couldn’t interact with switches, and where I was unable to control the flashlight were also experienced. These bugs drastically altered my experience, and the frequency of them made progressing through the game a headache.

Online Co-op

Online co-op has been a part of The Dark Pictures Anthology for a few installments now. For those that haven’t played through it, two players can take control of different characters in the story. Sometimes the two players are with each other in the same area and sometimes they are not. Playing through it once on co-op is an enjoyable experience. You and a friend are sometimes communicating trying to figure out where to go or what to do. What isn’t so great is how things are connected. 

Helping a friend make decisions is always fun

Helping a friend make decisions is always fun

Progressing through the story with a friend that is in a completely different area can sometimes interrupt a player’s playthrough. For example, if player A interacts with a door that leads to a cinematic, it can cut player B’s session early even though player B wasn’t done with their level. It’s a frustrating aspect to online co-op that hopefully is fixed in future titles.

Graphics and Audio – Horrifyingly Beautiful

While The Dark Picture Anthology horror games always look good, they sometimes struggle with facial animations. The Devil In Me in particular felt like it could have used more time to smoothen some of these animations. Character eyes were the major problem here. Eyes would often be looking in the wrong direction or staring absently into nothing. This repeatedly took me out of many cinematics. As for the environment, the game mostly takes place on an island and a hotel. Both the island and the hotel looked great and had many well-designed sets that created a more chilling atmosphere. Apart from some bugs, visually, these games always deliver.

The level design often added to the creepy atmosphere of the hotel

The level design often added to the creepy atmosphere of the hotel

Audio work here was also sufficient. Music works to elevate the tension when navigating through the hotel, but at times felt too obvious. There are occasions where sound works but whenever it played, I just felt as though a cinematic would play rather than being scared something might happen to me. I found that the level design did more to create tension than sound did. When walking around the hotel or outside, scares were achieved from items falling or running into a well-placed mirror. I wish there was more audio work that felt like I was being pursued.

The Devil In Me was reviewed on PC.

Summary
The Devil In Me is one of Supermassive Games' most interesting title to date. It's an entry that expands on their classic horror formula while never straying far from the decisions that made these games so fun. Unfortunately the plethora of bugs made getting through this title a nightmare. While there is still fun to have in the story and gameplay, it's a title that's recommended to play through in a few months when these issues are fixed.
Good
  • New Gameplay Mechanics
  • Interesting Story
  • Great Visuals
  • Fun Decisions
Bad
  • Horrific and frequent bugs
  • Facial Animations
  • Unexplored story elements
5.5
Average

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