A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
Parents and caregivers: Set limits for violence and more with Plus
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope is an interactive horror movie adventure game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. Players attempt to survive against seemingly impossible odds in a mysterious town. As a horror story, the game not only has numerous scary moments, but a lot of blood and gore as well, including images of characters being shot, stabbed, mutilated, and hung. Frequent profanity such as "s--t" and "f--k" are present in the dialog. Communication between players in co-op sessions isn't monitored.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In THE DARK PICTURES ANTHOLOGY: LITTLE HOPE, some college students and their professor are stranded in a freaky New England town after their bus crashes. Not only do they have to figure out how to get out, but how not to die in the process. Like the previous installment in this series, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan, the gameplay alternates between controlling all five main characters in the story, and deciding what they do and say, which can have consequences for your friends. Along with a mode that lets you play on your own, this has two co-op modes that let you and an online friend either play characters who are working together. Also, you and four pals in the same room at the same time can each pick one character to play as, with the game telling you when to pass the controller to direct this person's actions.
Is it any good?
Like an interactive version of a very scary horror movie, this not only casts you as all of the characters, but as the director and co-screenwriter as well. In The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, four college students and their professor survive a bus crash, only to find themselves stranded in a spooky New England town that rivals Salem on the creepy meter. To survive, you -- playing as all five characters -- not only have to explore, you also have to interact with each other, and it's how to you do so, and the other choices you make, that could determine which characters live or die. But while we've seen this in other games that are basically interactive cutscenes, what sets it apart from other titles like this is that it doesn't try to recreate hand gestures and other movements with the controls, but instead employs ones like those in action games, which makes it easy to avoid making stupid mistakes.
This game also fixes some of the issues that slightly undermined the first one, Man of Medan. For one thing, your foot speed is more appropriate for someone in a life or death situation. Similarly, the camera works a bit better this time around, though it's still not as good as if this employed a player-controlled one. And this is true whether you play this alone, with a friend co-op online, or with four friends in the same room, during which each of you control one specific character. Though we'd suggest first playing this one on your own...late at night...with the lights down low.... After all, truly scary games like The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope are always best when you're alone in the dark.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope affected by how realistic the scenes appear to be? Do you think it's necessary to show people hurt and killed in gruesome ways in graphic detail? Does it make the game scarier? Would it have the same impact if the scenes weren't as graphic?
In The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, the choices you make -- including the choice to not make a choice -- can have dramatic, even deadly results, so why is it important to think things through before making a big decision?
While The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope can be played on its own, it can also be played co-op with a friend online, or with other people each taking control of a specific character, so what does playing a game this way teach you about the importance of working together towards a common goal? What if the goal is surviving?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: October 30, 2020
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Intense Violence, Strong Language
- Last updated: November 24, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love adventure
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.