A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Horror game with no messages for the player to read into -- overt or subtle.
Positive Role Models
You can play as various people in this game. Role models are generally good -- they're documentary filmmakers looking to escape a killer on the loose -- but you can make decisions that may have a tragic outcome, such as getting someone murdered.
Some diversity in characters, though most are White. There are two Black characters and one light brown-skinned woman.
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Ease of Play
Whether played with a game controller or a keyboard and mouse (on PC), the game is fairly easy to control. It seems to have been developed for novice players, but there are some timing-based button presses that need to be pulled off too. At start of game, choose from three difficulty levels: Forgiving, Challenging, or Lethal.
Violence & Scariness
Features realistic graphics, with a lot of violence, blood, gore, and horror. You can see a woman stabbed (in the eye, no less) or crushed, and others burned with fire or acid, or decapitated. Some sequences depict decapitation and/or mutilation.
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Contains strong profanity, including words like "f--k," "f---ing," and "shit."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some characters can be seen smoking (or a cigarette case as an item in another scene) and/or drinking alcohol (including one scene with the filmmakers all drinking red wine together).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me -- playable on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4 or 5, and Windows PCs -- is a scary and gory horror game about a serial killer murdering documentary filmmakers in an island mansion. Players can be stabbed, burned, and decapitated. There's plenty of blood, too, and scenes of fright. Strong profanity includes words like "f--k" and "f---ing," and characters are also seen drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes.
Is It Any Good?
At times, this really does feel and look like a horror movie that you're in control of. Decisions you make in The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me could have life or death consequences, and the murder scenes can be quite graphic. The graphics are impressive, and it's good to see the developers add a few features not found in its predecessors. But on the flip side, the characters can be bland, wooden, and lifeless (often with clichéd situations and comments). The puzzles aren't remarkable, and the action sequences don't feel very interactive. In the end, it's a good but not great adventure that leans more toward mediocrity than magnificence. Initially, you'll marvel at the realism of these characters in the prequel scene in the late 1900s, but the suspension of disbelief fades by the time you're playing in 2022, with the filmmakers arriving on the scene. While a passerby may do a double-take, the timing is off, the eyes are often "dead," and the movements can be awkward.
Having the story revolve around a serial killer instead of a supernatural tale is a welcome change. There's no shortage of games about zombies, ghosts, and demons, so kudos to Supermassive for sticking to the "real" horror of trying to escape a madman's wrath. While it's not utilized too much, the inventory system is a good idea, and for variety, different characters can do and use different things. You can now hop over chasms and run, climb, and perform a few other moves. At least the developers are trying something new. Cutscenes are plentiful, and if you're invested in this story, you won't mind watching -- but it's certainly not for everyone. That, and the quick-time for button mashing sequences, can be annoying as it may not work even though you went quite fast. The fun is trying to stay alive, exploring the premises and experiencing the different paths and character options, even if you perish (and you will). Fans of horror fiction may get something out of this $39 thriller, but it feels somewhat incomplete.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.