The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope (2020) Review
All flash no filler sums up this evening slog through the empty streets and story of Little Hope
The second entry into Supermassive Game’s Dark Pictures Anthology follows a group of four hapless college students and their professor after they are involved in a road accident which leaves them stranded on the outskirts of the town Little Hope, a rundown ghost town covered in a dense fog that prevents anyone from leaving.
The story jumps between modern times and the past as Little Hope was once the site of witch trials and the ghosts of the past are still active in haunting it today.
Each of the five playable characters experience their own flashback to the time of the witch trials where they see the version of themselves from that time be tried and executed on suspicion of witchcraft. Back in the present day they are each pursued by a demon representing the execution from the past. It’s all very confusing and doesn’t make a lot of sense and the story or characters aren’t strong enough to warrant much care.
The gameplay of Little Hope consists of walking, talking, and quicktime events, bog standard for the genre. Occasionally you’ll come across something your character can slowly interact with in an effort to extend playtime and bore you with uninteresting background information or a cheap jumpscare.
Little Hope follows a formula of: Slowly walk through a linear section, sit through some cringe worthy dialogue, fire off a cheap jumpscare, cue the unneeded quick-time events, rinse and repeat, and while this is fine for the genre so long as the story, characters, and pacing make up for it, it’s not the case here as too much time is given to pointless exploration and uneventful filler scenes.
Little Hope lacks any of the intrigue or tension of the previous entry in the series as the presentation here feels very rushed. Action scenes feel stilted and sloppy, often throwing way too many camera cuts and slow-motion shifts in character perspective in your face at once. Combine this with a generic, uninteresting cast and writing that is saturated with a disconnect from what’s happening on screen and any sense of immersion the story could’ve had is ruined.
The monster design was easily the best aspect of the game. Each of the demons have their own style, incorporating their method of execution into the aesthetic and way they attack the player. However, again the presentation ruins the atmosphere as the animations and cinematography in most scenes involving the demons is incredibly jarring and often ends up teleporting the slow-moving demons in an artificial attempt to make scenes more intense.
Overall I didn’t find Little Hope to be all that interesting and definitely not worth the 6ish hours to complete. If you have a friend to play it with I could see some merit in playing the co-op story for a laugh, but if you’re looking for a serious horror tale with actual scares pass this one up.