Title: The Devil in Me
Developer: Supermassive Games
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games America
Platforms: PlayStation 5 (reviewed on), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows
Release Date: November 18, 2022
Ever since Until Dawn, Supermassive Games has had their bar moved up, down and sideways in regards to the quality of similar games they pushed out. From the low (Man of Medan) to the high (The Quarry), they have increased their quality with each release from The Dark Pictures Anthology. Not only their quality but it seems that Supermassive has listened to players and they improved the gameplay mechanics. With the release of The Quarry, it seemed they had reached the pinnacle of quality. It’s smooth sailing from here on out. Unfortunately, there was only one way to go and that was now. Let me introduce you to the newest entry to The Dark Pictures Anthology…The Devil in Me.
The Devil in Me follows a group of five filmmakers as they get invited to a replica of H.H. Holmes’ murder castle on an island. The owner of the mansion, Granthem Du’Met, is extremely private and tells the group they can film on the condition his face and nothing about him gets on film. Almost immediately after arriving, Du’Met and his daughter high tail it off the island without telling anyone, leaving the group alone with some strange faceless man wandering the grounds and hallways. What starts as an opportunity for the filmmakers to legitimize their work with shots of an historic house of horrors turns into an actual house of horrors. Hallways are laden with traps and walls move around to create disorientation.
Unfortunately, the environment is about as interesting as The Devil in Me gets. Believe you me, that as soon as I saw this installment was about H.H. Holmes, the Murderino in me jumped for joy. Monsters, vampires and government experiments are scary but there is something about America’s first serial killer that will give you the real chills. The game seemingly starts in the past (or is it just the documentary) and then ends up in the present with the most unlikable group of people you will ever meet.
The crappiness of these characters may be why this game is such a miss. In The Quarry, I found myself rooting for different characters and I swore if my favorite died, I was going to stop playing (he lived, by the way). In The Devil in Me, I literally didn’t care if anyone made it off the island. Whether it was delusions of grandeur, infuriating attitudes, whiny behavior or just being boring, these characters are so bland, they think salt is spicy.
Supermassive tried including rudimentary inventory systems in this installment with each character having their own special set of “skills”. By skills I mean one character has a card that can open drawers, one uses camera equipment to reach high places, etc. I know they are trying something different, but in the end it was just okay. Worse still it seems that the mechanics have regressed to being WORSE than in Man of Medan.
Walking around is a chore with whatever character you’re playing because no matter who they are, they will have the sense of direction of a drunk sorority girl. Buttons don’t work half the time you tell them to and every action sequence (like climbing up on top of something) features our “beloved” band of filmmakers with the dead, glassy eyes of a shark. It’s unsettling to say the least. I’ve seen better facial expressions in old episodes of Goosebumps from the 90’s (if you know, you know). The environmental graphics for the mansion makes for a really beautiful and eerie place that would truly be creepy to walk around and explore. However, the glitchy and blocky character movements, monotonous puzzles and boring dialogue ruins what could be great.
The Devil in Me had so much potential to be the coolest entry in The Dark Pictures Anthology. House of Ashes, while not The Quarry level of greatness, was truly scary and a great concept. With the increasing quality of each installment and how amazing The Quarry was, Supermassive had every opportunity to continue the hype and enthusiasm with this release. Unfortunately, this game falls dead faster than one of H.H. Holmes’ victims. And you aren’t fooling anyone with the name Granthem Du’Met. Any true crime enthusiast would pick out Herman Mudgett from a mile away.
Unfortunately, The Devil in ME is DOA right out the gate and may be the worst of the Dark Pictures Anthology in terms of mechanics and the biggest waste of potential. I can’t tell if they tried too much or didn’t do enough but either way, it doesn’t live up to its predecessors. You can play The Devil in Me if you dare but be warned, the characters’ dead eyes will stare directly into your soul.
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.
The Devil in Me (PS5) Score: 4/10
With so much potential under their belt after their last successful release, Supermassive dropped the ball with The Devil in Me, leaving players with crappy graphics, crappier mechanics and the crappiest of characters.