While not perfect, Supermassive Games hears players and House of Ashes is the best release in the Dark Pictures Anthology to date. The improved game mechanics, environment and story make it a creepy experience that is perfect for Halloween.
At the end of the day, if you already liked The Dark Pictures games, you should really enjoy House of Ashes. Its story is unique, complex, interesting, and suspenseful without relying on cheap scares. If you didn’t like Little Hope or Man of Medan, but are still open to enjoying the series, House of Ashes is worth giving a shot.
House of Ashes adds little to the Dark Pictures formula, and doesn't seem to progress the anthology's overarching plot. That said, it's still a great adventure with some jaw dropping visuals and action-packed set pieces. A solid addition to the franchise.
House of Ashes will not be remembered as a horror masterpiece in video games, but it is a good excuse to gather friends or family for a different night; already almost traditional. And thanks to that, the experience earns many points.
House of Ashes is a fun horror romp. There's nothing subtle to be found here and the game is all the better for it, with exciting set pieces and a fast-paced story. It has its issues, both technically and with not really having anything interesting to build into its Iraq War setting, but it's still a hoot to play.
The premise of The Dark Pictures Anthology is that choices matter and have consequences however the problem with House of Ashes is that I didn't really care. Given the upwards success of the previous titles I came into this expecting a brilliant game with great story telling and 'edge of your seat' moments but House of Ashes simply doesn't have that. When choices got to a life or death situation, the lack of attachment I had to the characters made me pick a choice not for the 'I like this character, I'm going to pick this because I want to try and help them survive or escape' but 'I'm going to pick this because it looks a lot more interesting and fun' leading to multiple deaths in my first play through. This is the complete opposite to what I would've picked in the previous games which is what made them so fun and thrilling to play - the choices you do get though are interesting at times and despite not having any feeleings to the characters, you are given a good amount of 50/50 'not sure what to do moments' but not enough to save what could've been a good game with an interesting premise.
The story is weak throughout most of the game, a poor narrative and boring personalities makes it a chore to play. There's some characters I think would've made the game more fun if they were simply not inluded. The dialouge at times was just tedious to sit through and the most exiting thing to come from some of these characters was the physical decision you got to pick for them to do and not the rubbish that comes out their mouth. Like previouis games, what you decide for them to say to each other affects their relationship and personality traits but the game doesn't make it too clear on what this actually does in terms of decision making further down the line. I made 1 character absolutely hate a certain individual but the choices I got to pick from between them made no sense, it's like they were on good terms and my previous actions changed nothing?
A plus for the game is you're able to move the camera now and it's not stuck in a '1 camera position' like the previous games which could be terrible at times however with how enjoyable they were, this was something that I wasn't too fussed about.
The only reason I made it through the full game is because I was playing with my partner. I don't think I could've made it through playing by myself. I will be picking up the next game but this is simply down to the fact I had a lot of fun with Man of Medan and Little Hope and have hope the exciting story and characters can return to the final game of series 1 which The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes completely missed.
As a big fan of the horror genre, i was excited about this game. Especially after seeing all the good reviews it got, i wanted to give it a try. But it's nowhere close to the immense horror factor of Until dawn. And that's not the only problem. I know these games are interactive cinematic type of games but i felt like this one focused more on the cinematic part and forgot all about the interaction. At some point, i seriously got bored of watching cutscenes after cutscenes. The dialogues are far away from being original. The only good part may be the realistic graphics as you walk through and explore the caves. But that alone is not enough. It's a disappointment..
SummaryFrom the creators of Until Dawn
Switch between the perspective of 5 playable characters - All can live or die in your version of the story
Multiple ways to play including 2 player online coop mode
Hugely branching storyline that changes based on the decisions you make
Each game in The Dark Pictures Anthology is a complete and...