You can not guess how excited I am considering how long I’ve waited for this title since the after credits clip in their first installment in the anthology, ‘Man of Medan’. As everyone probably already knows, scary games usually get passed straight to me for review. There are some bad ones, and then there was ‘Man Of Medan’. Developed by Supermassive Games and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, this is the second of eight planned installments. Named the ‘The Dark Pictures Anthology’, this budding series and its direction, I definitely can’t get enough off. I raved so much about it that I even convinced my editor to pick up a copy, and she has a tough exterior with a soft nougat-y wuss inside. So what does their newest installment ‘Little Hope’ add to the series? Let us find out.
I’m going to be pretty vague about the plot to avoid spoiler territory but enough to give you a general idea of this creepy and fright inducing, adventure tale. The prologue introduces you to a suburban family of six spending some quality time with each other before it quickly heats up. This leads us to meet five more new survivors as our famous narrator puts it, “an unfinished story”. He then requests your assistance in guiding these college students and their professor on an excursion. Things turn upside down quickly as they must take a detour through the area of ‘Little Hope’ due to a car accident.
Having an accident of their own, this kicks off the new adventure, stranding them just on the outskirts of Little Hope, surrounded by an eerie fog. This fog won’t let them leave, herding them to the town to witness the execution of a group of settlers who resembles them like doppelgangers. Find out their connections with this group of Doppelgangers all the while in the typical fashion of this point and click type adventure trying to make the right choices to not die. The gameplay has been slightly improved from Man of Medan with a definite improvement made to walking speed and pop-up warnings for quick-time events and even though they still need a bit of a balance these features were a bonus.
The controls for me and anyone else who played Man of Medan will be like being acquainted with an old friend. For new players, it will feel super simple. You will need to walk around and with the newly introduced faster walking by holding (LB) to interact with items, choose dialogue lines, and use buttons for QTE to progress further.
The game looks downright slick even on the Xbox One S, from the character models, scenery to even the buildings and all the small details in between. Supermassive Games have done an incredible job with ‘Little Hope’. Though I did mention the ability to walk faster, I only used it a little instead of choosing to plod along at my own pace, exploring to take in all the visual goodness.
The audio and voice acting were just as good, setting the tone for whatever dire circumstances I found my survivors in. I do enjoy answering wrong to irk people the wrong way (ask my co-workers) but I did try to curve that habit on the second playthrough. The intro music once again was thoroughly well written and I enjoyed the shit out of it every dam time I booted up and let it sit just to set the ambiance for the experience.
The game features two multiplayer modes. “Shared Story” allows two players to play co-operatively online. “Movie Night” allows up to five players to select their characters and prompts them to pass the controller at each turn. I never got a chance to attempt this as I received it before the launch, but I have plans to play “Shared Story” with Stacefacemayhem to update this as soon as I do but I am sure it is just as enjoyable to listen to other’s horror as much as the last title.
I don’t have much to complain or pick at apart from walking in the woods. I couldn’t step over a small shrub forcing me to walk around it, being able to glide through the model would have been more immersive. Oh, and not enough time with the Curator. I can’t get enough of that guy, the glue between the worlds in the anthology; his quips and charms are one of the things I looked forward to hearing.
Working my way through each act to make my way back to him just to listen to what he thought of my choices is such a unique and intimate sequence of scenes. Even though at the beginning he asked if we’ve met before in which he contemplates a quick “No, we haven’t”. That hurt, not going to lie, after all that time I spent with him playing Man of Medan, it is brilliant the way Pip Torrens brings the ‘Curator’ to life.
Overall, Supermassive Games have taken the formula from Man of Medan and tweaked it a little to serve an even tastier meal. I LOVED my time with Little Hope, however, I’m nowhere near done with it until I can make all the characters come out alive. I will also be trying to do the same in a shared story with friends. I know with my fellow reviewer, Stace, playing it’ll take more than a few attempts while probably getting my ass kicked for just saying that. Though in saying that, I’m off to try making it out alive in the horrors the Little Hope holds. Until next time! Peace.
- The Curator
- The Dam Curator
- Character Models
- Fast walking
- Sooky atmosphere
- Pip Torrens
- Trouble Stepping Over a Tiny Shrub