The Dark Pictures Anthology: House Of Ashes – Game Review

Game Reviews

The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes is the latest title in the interactive suvival horror series.
This time we get to control a total of 5 characters who are all part of the American military. Whilst in war with Iraq, our team suddenly find themselves in an underground cave filled with mysteries, secrets, and death.

As the player, our goal to to try and uncover these mysteries and secrets whilst, at the same time, trying to keep the team alive.
Trying to keep the team alive is where the real fun begins. Over time we have found ourselves getting somewhat bored of the simply A-B style games, that have simple and basic storylines, and often feel less realistic and immersive.
However, the good part of these styles of games is the anxiety that suddenly tears through you as a character suddenly finds themselves in danger. The only way to save them is through our actions and if we fail, that is it they are permanently dead.

Thanks to having several different characters all of which can either survive or die allows for some great replayability, as well as an overall better experience and immersion. It truly feels like everything we do has some kind of risk factor. This is an aspect that isn’t featured in many games and one that can really help expand the gaming genre.

The gameplay overall is perhaps basic and for the most part requires simple exploration and timed button presses. Also, the character depth isn’t that great which makes it somewhat difficult to really get emotionally invested into them.
However, thanks to the many different ways and endings that each given action that we need to undertake can give us, the gameplay is for the most part enjoyable and can feel like a proper survival horror.

The game also comes with various collectibles, although there is nothing really new compared to the previous games. By this we mean that the type of collectibles that players can choose to collect remains the same. With pictures telling you of the potential future of what our actions can present, and secrets which basically requires you to collect notes and files on the story events which the game fails to directly tell you about. None of this is new, as the past games also feature this.

The environment is always the same, meaning you will forever be underground in your exploration. However, it is still well done and a lot of it is rather dark and thus often giving an eerie feeling of what might or might not be lurking in the shadows.

OVERAL:

We enjoyed this title, maybe it is the best one in the series so far. Speaking of which, all of the titles within The Dark Pictures Anthology always come with their own different set of characters and story. The only aspect of the series that connect to each other is the narrative curator and the whole survival and choices that we must make. So if you are new to the series and feeling a bit apprehensive, then there is no need to be.

The game is also rather short and, as said before, the characters lack any real character depth. Of course our main goal is to keep them alive but it would be nice if they had more to them and then if they do happen to die, for whatever reason, we can then feel more bad and sympathetic.

Otherwise, this title is a rather good one. However, I would recommend waiting on the purchase until it at least hits £20 or roughly around that price. Having to spend full price on it can feel like a bit of a rip off, given the length of the game and how basic it can feel at times.

Developer: Supermassive Games
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release Date: October 22nd, 2021
Platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, XBox One, XBox Series X/S
Genre: Interactive Drama, Survival Horror
Main Story Length: 6-7 Hours
Platform Reviewed On: Playstation 5
Overall Rating: 4/5


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