The Dark Pictures: Little Hope (PS4) – Game Review

Damned To Burn At The Stake?

With Pip Torrens reprising his role as The Curator, we once again find his all-knowing and all-seeing character to be as mysterious as ever as he continues to guide us through the events of Little Hope – a story of loss, tragedy and Witchcraft, and one that’ll hit a little too close to home for some.

Not unlike Man of Medan, Little Hope is an interesting little game that relies solely on player choice. Following the same ideas as the iconic and unforgettable Until Dawn set into motion, you’re presented with a fresh cast of characters who, over the course of the game, you’ll get to know and love/hate.

With superb acting and voice talent, each character feels believable and you’ll very quickly find yourselves gravitating toward certain characters, which is just as well because their entire survival rests entirely on your shoulders.

As a side note I really hated Angela, but decided to keep her alive in the hopes of using her as a tool to ensure the safety of everyone else. Does that paint me as the villain?

As with previous titles, Little Hope’s cast consists of a single well-known actor backed by a handful of lesser known faces. This time around we’re given control over Will Poulter, most famously known for his roles in Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Maze Runner and more recently, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

While Will puts on an absolutely phenomenal performance, it would do the rest of the cast a disservice to focus solely on him, as the entire cast do a fantastic job in reeling you into this world to deliver one of the series most immersive stories to date.

On the flipside however, I suppose my biggest gripe is the length of the game – it’s short and you can really feel it. I understand this is the type of game made to be replayed and so being short shouldn’t necessarily be considered an issue, but coming in at around 6-7 hours long, I personally would have loved to have had an extra hour or two of gameplay to sink my teeth into.

That aside, the story begins with Anthony – the second youngest of four children. Exploring with Anthony during the game’s prologue familiarizes us with his drunk father, downtrodden mother, edgy older brother, caring older sister and mischievous little sister. Like any family, it has its problems but remains functional.

As we begin to investigate each of the rooms of the house, we’re limited to the ground floor, but there are a number of points of interest that add to the story, ranging from books that represent character interests to character interactions that reveal more of their lives and personality.

As is the way of these games, each and every choice you make has a very real and meaningful consequence, be it a bad, neutral or good one. Following the universal rules of the Butterfly Effect, the most minute of actions you can take can and often will have a much more significant effect on the surrounding world later down the line. Additionally, every action you take can also have an equal and opposite reaction.

As is tradition here, to avoid spoilers I won’t go into further detail regarding the plot, but what I will say is it’s clever. It’s clever because some of the most obvious revelations are so well hidden that you likely won’t see them coming – I know I didn’t!

Keeping in theme with the darker setting of the Salem Witch Trials, Little Hope is definitely a creepy game and while I’m not one to be unnerved by horror, I couldn’t help but stop to take in the dark and foreboding tone of my surroundings to truly appreciate the heavy yet mysterious atmosphere the game so cleverly conveys.

With tailored lighting to suit every area, mist encroaching to force a sense of claustrophobic imprisonment and eerie locations, devoid of almost any sense of present life, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope looks and feels fantastic, and the thematically appropriate music only serves to empower this.

Worth noting is the fact my review is based solely on the single player experience, as I didn’t get a chance to try the multiplayer features with a friend.

Overall, it’s hard to say whether Little Hope is a superior game to its predecessor, simply because it’s so different. Where Man of Medan was set on a haunted Ghost Ship, Little Hope is set in a small, chilling, isolated town in the middle of nowhere.

There are plenty of jump scares to be had and a good, varied number of interesting interactions to be made, but the question I always find myself going back to is “but does it surpass Until Dawn?” and the answer to that is no, but it succeeds in delivering yet another chilling experience that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish and remains to be an absolute pleasure to play.

If you haven’t already picked up The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, I highly recommend doing so and for as low as £20 at select retailers, it’s an absolute bargain.

 

This review first appeared on Weknowgamers – a dedicated gaming site we’re currently affiliated with. You can read the original post HERE


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