It has become the little ritual of Supermassive Games since the launch of Man of Medan in 2019: at the end of each year its new episode of The Dark Pictures. And it is not because we have already had the right to The Quarry last June that the studio intends to break this tradition. Scheduled for November 18, the release of The Devil in Me is now fast approaching. And after being treated to a video presentation of the game in August, Bandai Namco offered us the opportunity to wander between the walls of the Castle of Murders during a preview session of about an hour and a half. What reinforce our first impressions of this new opus? Certainly.
Beginning shortly after the arrival of the Lonnit Entertainment team at the Granthem Du’Met hotel, this demo allowed us to follow in turn the different characters at the heart of this new adventure, namely Charlie, Erin , Mark, Kate and Jamie. And if there is one thing that quickly marked us, it is the quality of writing that this episode seems to benefit from. Rather talkative, The Devil in Me manages to depict with a certain authenticity the relationship between the members of the team, whose personality is easily identified.. The dialogues are well written, some situations are not lacking in humor and as it stands, everything suggests that we could be dealing with the most endearing cast of the anthology so far.
Having taken the time to do the demo twice, we also saw that our choices had, from the start of the adventure, a certain impact on the course of events. For example, some scenes took a very different turn depending on the relationship of the characters, which could then lead to new lines or dialogue options.. Similarly, while we didn’t lose anyone in our first playthrough, simply choosing a different choice in the second resulted in the death of one of them. More than ever, therefore, their destiny seems to be hanging by a thread and despite certain appearances, things can quickly degenerate.
A palpable tension
The speed at which the situation is changing within the walls of the hotel was also one of the other nice surprises of this preview. If The Devil in Me takes the time to quietly set the mood at the beginning, we still witness a meteoric escalation of the tension by exploring the places, where the unease is really palpable.. The influence of movie greats like Saw, The Shining and Friday the 13th is obvious, but it works like a charm. The corridors of the hotel, in addition to being labyrinthine, sometimes change layout to better confuse us while the screamers, often predictable in The Dark Pictures, are extremely well placed here. Result: we jumped more than once… and we loved it!
It must also be said that the game is largely helped by its technique, which looks much more surprising than we imagined. For example, while we had some doubts about the characters’ facial expressions during our previous preview, we finally have to admit that we were very surprised by their finesse in this demo. As for the environments, in addition to being of great beauty, they are simply sublimated by the quality of the lighting, which contributes more than ever to immersing us in a deliciously gloomy atmosphere.. Note that we did the demo on a PC equipped with a GTX 1070 with 8 GB of RAM, and that we were able to run the game in Ultra without encountering the slightest problem.
A more extensive exploration
Finally, this demo was an opportunity for us to experiment with the new gameplay features of this opus, which will offer the most extensive game mechanics we have seen in a Supermassive to date. So, might as well warn you right away: there is obviously nothing that reinvents the wheel. But these few additions are still very pleasant for adventure seekers. The simple fact of being able to climb a ladder, move objects to scale heights, cross precipices or even run to go faster, for example, makes exploration more dynamic, while the ability for each character to use custom objects seems very interesting. It remains to be seen if all this will be exploited with ingenuity over the course of the adventure.
- The atmosphere, definitely mastered
- The cast, endearing and well written
- Visually very successful
We didn’t like:
- A few small bugs still present
This second approach to The Devil in Me, which took place controller in hand this time, therefore really confirmed our first impressions. As it stands, everything suggests that this fourth episode could represent the high point of the first season of The Dark Pictures which, it is true, has not always fully succeeded in convincing the public. But with a more endearing cast, more extensive gameplay and above all, a more controlled atmosphere than ever, this new opus could finally succeed in getting everyone to agree. Answer November 18, 2022 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.