THE DARK PICTURES: LITTLE HOPE IS FREAKY-TASTIC
Not gonna lie. I sh*t myself at least twice.             


REVIEW

By JAY TEE
05/11/20
Reviewed on Xbox One X.

That’s a curious eyebrow.

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The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope is a resounding return to form; a taut, structurally unusual horror yarn that spins off into unexpected territory. That subversion of expectation is easily its greatest strength, with a confidently pitched narrative and meaningful story choices that genuinely impact how things play out. It’s also stunning to look at, and you know, really f**king scary.

I consider myself to be well educated in horror tropes, and general storytelling technique. I like to think I have a handle on jump scares, and am able to be steps ahead without being overwhelmed. But there I was, playing our review copy alongside my fiance, as she completely failed to contain her laughter whilst I regularly get bamboozled out of the blue and jump out of my skin.

Supermassive appear to have moved away from their reliance on excessive close ups with the cutscene framing, and instead allow the direction to breathe and the atmosphere to build. In fact, the shift away from entirely static cameras in gameplay, to a more hybrid approach offering sections of free control, is appreciated. Much like Until Dawn, these games are about poking around and discovering titbits that might affect the outcome.

Where Little Hope really shines is in moments of stillness. A foggy open road. The hint of movement in the trees. The open acknowledgement of its own stereotypes in certain sections of dialogue. Music (and silence) is used to great effect. It’s easily their most confident, most self aware game to date, and plays to the strengths that this team have traditionally always exhibited.

As for the characters themselves, that’s a little more hit and miss. Whether a fault of the dialogue or performance capture direction, their reactions to certain things is occasionally underplayed, especially when it feels like they should be responding with greater intensity. This is most apparent in the early chapters, and becomes less of an issue the further you progress.

It’s polished, graphically stunning, and tells a great story. That gets a thumbs up from this guy.


WORTH IT?

AND

YEAH!
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope is a sure fire hit that leaves you ready for more.   

You’ll need to bring your sh*ting pants, because there’s jump scares aplenty!      

TARPS?

BETTER THAN*:

WORSE THAN*:

At the bottom of some of our articles, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.  

The MAYORAL ELECTION badge is for a game filled with high pressure moments that put your skills to the test.  

The COMMANDER DATA badge is for a game where death has a profound impact on your experience.

The GRUMPY SPONGES badge is for a game where certain characters aren’t pleased to see you.    


The SLICK RICK badge is earned when the soundtrack, effects, and / or overall audio design is fantastic across the board.


The DIGITAL FOUNDRAJON badge is for a game that pushes technical boundaries with cutting edge presentation.



The WHOMP’S ENTRAILS badge is for a game with a lot of bad language, gore and / or other mature content.


The PUMPKIN LOOK badge is for a game where the art style, graphics, and/or presentation are on top form.



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* This is not a serious comparison.