Looking for something spooky to play this October? Do you like narrative driven games with where you have to make decisions? Do you like watching hours of cut-scenes? How about quick time events? Then I have a game for you!
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope (here by known as Little Hope) is part of October 2022’s Humble Choice. It also happens to be the game I’ve chosen to take a look at for this month’s Blaugust Reviews Humble Choice. Little Hope is typically priced at $19.99 so with the bundle you’re getting a 35% discount. Not bad, but it’s been as low as 60% off through various store fronts.
I have heard of The Dark Pictures Anthology series before but never played one. There are currently three of them with a fourth set to release in November. They’re all cinematic, narrative-driven, choose your own adventure-esques, horror games with multiple endings. The stories are independent of each other so you can start with any of them. You can either play by yourself, with up to five people locally, or with one friend online. I ended up playing with Brother online via Parsec but technically we played the single player version of the story.
I’m no stranger to this type of game. One of my wife’s favorite games is Until Dawn and we’ve played through that at least three times together. We’ve also played through most of the Telltale games too. Little Hope isnt’ much different from either of those.
Well, Little Hope, is a little more graphic than I remember Until Dawn being at least. It earns it’s M rating for Blood, Intense Violence, and Strong Languaue pretty regularly. On a side note, I completely forgot games had ratings and didn’t realize you could see them on Steam.
It’s hard to talk about the story without spoiling anything so I’ll leave you with the store description:
“4 college students and their professor become stranded in the abandoned town of Little Hope. Trapped by an impenetrable fog they try desperately to escape whilst witnessing terrifying visions from the past. They must figure out the motivation of these apparitions before the evil forces at work drags each of their souls to hell..”
The story starts off with a bang, get’s pretty weird, and I was not expecting the ending at all.
The gameplay revolves around watching cut-scenes, making choices, doing quick time events, and doing some point & click adventuring. The choices you make, the secrets you find, and the quick time events you complete or fail all affect the story and it’s outcome.
I know some people find quick time events annoying but I’ve never had a problem with them. We did, however, missed the explanation of how to do them and failed almost all of them until about 4 hours in. Unlike your typical quick time event where you’re prompted to press a button in time, the quick time events in Little Hope have you move your cursor and click an area on the screen to succeed. I didn’t test the game with a controller but I wonder if that would have given us a more standard quick time event mechanic.
There are sections of the game where you need to walk around and find things to interact with. I think this might be better with a controller than a keyboard and mouse as well. The keyboard and mouse controls have you click to move which ends up feeling really weird in a bit claustrophobic in a 3D space. It also leads to some awkward camera angles and is kind of a pain to navigate in general. One time we got stuck and couldn’t move at all which forced us into taking a decision we might otherwise not have made.
We completed the story in about 6 hours (we got lost in a few walking sections and were also trying to find all the intractable points we could). It was so enjoyable that we immediately started up a new play through after the credits rolled.
Completing the story unlocks an alternative path. This time you’re making decisions in scenes and for characters you didn’t have control over before. This is great because I don’t feel like I’m playing the whole thing over and just making a few different choices. This is a completely new set of choices to see how everything plays out so I’m not really sure I can say I finished the game. Feels like I’m more so halfway through it.
Is this a game worth picking up this month’s Humble Choice? If you like this style of game then absolutely! If I don’t play any other games from this months bundle I’d still be happy with my purchase.
Little Hope has been one of my favorite games I’ve played recently. Which is weird because its the least well received game of the series. If this is how food the worst of the bunch is I’m definitely going to pick up the rest of the series!