The Dark Pictures Anthology is a series of short narrative horror games developed by Supermassive Games. The same studio that brought us 2015 PS4 exclusive Until Dawn in the same genre and in 2019 gave us the first entry in the Anthology – Man of Medan.
The first part of the series released in August 2019, and had a fairly lackluster reception, particularly due to its ending.
Little Hope is the latest entry into the Anthology and while it has a very interesting premise, the formula that the game presents does surpass that of the Medan but could be a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. Here is our detailed The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope Review.
Supermassive took a lot of feedback from fans from the previous entry and made a lot of positive changes to the game.
The game has much smoother transitions between dialog choices, there are now more options when switching between cameras depending on your setting, you are warned of Quick Time Events (QTE) preemptively so that you are ready at the buttons, context sensitive icons that help you interact with items, and an overall improvement to walking animations, controls and improving the walking speed.
Overall, this is a much more improved gaming experience and whether you’re playing this after the first entry or your first foray into the series, the new enhancements are sure to help you make the most of your play through.
The characters control much better, failing a QTE is almost impossible and there are also some helpful accessibility options in the game if you are not good at them.
Supermassive has done a good job here to make sure you don’t need super fast reflexes to enjoy the game, and while they did make it easier, it also allows for everyone to join in on the fun of the package.
Little Hope has a very ominous story, one that takes its time to come together and when it does, still begs the player to take one more dive in the game with playing the game online with a friend or in movie night where players can play in the same room and sharing a controller.
This allows players to play the game from a different perspective, and collect other collectibles that may not have been accessible.
While the story has been plainly laid out in the trailers leading up to the game, the story revolves around a town by the name of Little Hope that saw its fair share of Witch Trials (and executions) during the infamous Salem Witch Trials.
The story has you control a cast of youths and a couple of older members of an educational tour group whose bus crashes and the party are forced to head into the town of Little Hope in search of help, but along the way they discover the dark and horrific background of where they’re headed.
One fun twist to the game is how the characters encounter a mysterious inescapable fog that when any of them walk into, turns them back from the way they came. This helps in cementing the spooky vibe and making you feel like the only way out is the straight path.
What makes the characters in this entry stand out the most is how every person you play as are more expressive rather than the two-dimensional and flat characters of Man of Medan which had the composition of a typical horror flick: A spoiled rich boy, the couple that is having a love/hate relationship, and of course the one person who is trying to survive the entire adventure.
Your choices and actions will determine which members of the crew live or die to the games ending.
Similar to the motif in Until Dawn and Man of Medan, players can pick up premonitions that give them a peek of a potential future, and also secrets to help uncover the mysterious history of the town that also act as achievements.
Every person in the story of Little Hope has a distinct personality and truly makes their mark in a unique way. Whether you see them all reach the fitting conclusion of the game or have them die along the journey, these are some faces and names you will remember.
Unfortunately there is little I can share about the story without going into spoilers. If you enjoyed Man of Medan or Until Dawn, the game is definitely worth a buy, especially if you have a friend to play with (local or online).
The real appeal here is the numerous multiple endings you can achieve and the journey to getting them.
Supermassive Games shows us that even at the tail-end of the PS4, they can still make movie-like visuals. While the graphics are sticking to the cinema aesthetic with cinematic bars almost throughout the experience, the motion capture, voice acting, and overall presentation of the game is well done.
If you take away the UI and the HUD from the game, an ordinary person will have a hard time telling this game apart from a movie.
While there were a couple of moments of lip-syncing and animations, we were told of this beforehand Little Hope Review and have confirmed that this will be addressed in the day 1 patch for the game.
A good horror game is only as good as the sound design that accompanies it. And this is where Supermassive has done a stupendous job.
Whether you’re hearing the dreaded signs of an approaching threat that I will not detail for spoiler reasons, or just want to hear the different insects while you’re exploring the game, the sound design in this game is as well implemented as it was in Man of Medan.
The Little Hope Review is difficult to write because it is a great game that offers a lot of replay value. In the brief 4-5 hours, it takes to do 1 playthrough of the game, you will find yourself making multiple visits if you’re looking to get all the achievements or get the platinum trophy in the game.
This is not a game for fans who are not familiar with the work of Supermassive. If you know their style of gameplay and story, you will feel right at home here.
What did you think about our The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope Review? Let us know in the comments below and share your thoughts.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope Review – A lot of hope here
A must play if you're a fan of the genre.
Improvements to the game over Man of Medan
Much better animation, dialog, characters, and overall presentation
A less predictable story when compared to Medan
QTE's are now easier to carry out and aren't as punishing as the previous Supermassive games
Minor glitches that will be fixed in a day 1 patch
The game felt relatively shorter than previous entries, with fewer set pieces
Plot holes that require multiple playthroughs to properly put together