The Dark Picture Anthology The Devil In Me mini-review

By Sean Lawson,

Despite middling reviews from early release, The Dark Pictures Anthology The Devil in Me is a fantastic addition to the series and a brilliant way to close off the first season of the franchise — yet, it does have its flaws.

The Devil in Me has received very middling reviews so far and paints the latest instalment in the series as sub-par at best. We wanted to visit the final entry into The Dark Pictures Anthology Season and see if our experience matched the critical consensus. Here is our mini-review of The Dark Pictures The Devil in Me.

A variety of spoilers ahead for The Devil in Me and previous Dark Picture Anthology games.
The Devil in MeThe Devil in Me is a fun saw-themed romp!

The Devil in Me is a fabulous way to end season one of the Dark Pictures Anthology

Season one of the Dark Pictures Anthology series has come to a close with The Devil in Me: a game that, whilst flawed, certainly does the series as a whole justice and helps the franchise close with a bang... until Season Two launches with Directive 8020.

At its core, The Devil in Me is a slasher movie. Our cast of victims must overcome and outsmart a deranged serial killer and escape the hotel that they are now trapped within. Making their way through various traps, horrors, and scares in the hopes of seeing daylight once more and leaving this nightmare behind them.

Going into this title after curating the previously mentioned review round-up, expectations were pretty low as reviewers commented on new mechanics being fiddly, the story being all over the shop, glitches being rife, and a general averageness all-around. While some of the aforementioned issues were certainly prevalent within my own playthrough; there was nothing too serious that diminished the overall experience.

The Devil in Me!The Devil in Me will put you in a tough pickle... not an actual pickle though

Characters, story, and atmosphere in The Devil in Me

The story of The Devil in Me is great, albeit at times a little confusing in places. The general gist is that someone is trying to be a copycat killer of HH Holmes. There are nods to possible suspects as you collect the many different secrets that are littered throughout the game world, but another angle brings in a supernatural element involving the soul of HH Holmes reincarnated that is back to bring hell on earth. I found myself really enjoying trying to figure out just what was going on even if I was unable to actually figure out who this killer was.

The cast of unfortunate souls you play as all start off pretty shallow and egotistical, with notable exceptions being Erin and Mark, who actually have a decent showing from start to end. Kate, Charlie, and Jamie all need a bit of time to cook and grow into themselves, before showing any kind of relatability through compassion. Jamie managed to do this relatively quickly and become one of my favourites by the time the credits rolled — she's a badass, highly capable, quick-witted, and under the tough exterior has a heart of gold, something I found myself gravitating towards.

The Devil in MeThe Devil in Me sees you hunted by this cheeky little masked menace

Towards the end of the game, a dog becomes a character that you can save and for the brief five minutes of screen time he had, he managed to become my favourite character — I would have sacrificed everyone if it meant saving the adorable doggo.

The game does a fantastic job of building atmosphere, with that feeling of being stalked filling you with dread as you navigate the many claustrophobic corridors. This sense of dread is only amplified by how easy it seems to get your cast of characters killed off, with most encounters and traps leading to someone's death if you don't make the correct choices. Seemingly innocent choices can lead to your demise, which is also a blessing and a curse, as this actually gives a lot of weight to your choices and actions — something previous games may have lacked somewhat.

The Devil in MeErin becomes pretty badass by the end of the game

Gameplay in The Devil in Me needs something more

The Saw series has clearly inspired most of the traps we see, and being a fan of that franchise brought out an extra bit of enjoyment whenever I would face down one of these twisted killing contraptions. Genuine panic and anxiety overcome you as you are forced to make quick and rash decisions that may lead to the end of many of the cast members prematurely. While these traps are fantastic, they are somewhat few and far between — the game really should have capitalised on this far more than it actually did.

The Devil in Me Trophy Tactics

The Devil in Me trophies follow the suit of the rest of the series — those are the Man of Medan trophies, Little Hope trophies, and House of Ashes trophies. All require multiple playthroughs to be able to earn all the different trophies The Devil in Me offers. This makes the platinum trophy 'The Architect' a bit of an annoyance to earn, as many bronze trophies can't all be earned within a single playthrough and will require you to make key choices and certain intervals in the game to meet requirements need to net this little pest. One trophy, in particular, requires a number of requirements to be met: a character being dead before a certain chapter and playing on 'Curators Cut' to unlock additional scenes needed for the trophy 'Crime Scene Photographer.'
A feature that got a fair bit of criticism was the new mechanics, which now include moments where you have to hide from threats, shimmy across walls, push and pull objects to be able to climb up, and a fusebox mini-game. During my time with the game, everything was well implemented and — if anything — actually enhanced the experience in a positive way. However, the shimmying mechanic could have been removed without any complaints from me. The best new mechanic was the threats introduced at random intervals requiring you to hide. It made for quite a few intense and intimidating moments that piqued my anxiety in the best possible way.

The Devil in MeThe Devil in Me puts our crew in some serious peril!

Glitches and bugs in The Devil in Me

The glitches seemed most active at the start of the game and strangely dissipated the further the story progressed — apart from pictures merging with the different light sources on the walls. At first glance, these issues felt like they were going to truly hinder the game, but after around an hour in, they became far less notable and frequent. The main issues I experienced were clothing spinning in every direction possible, slash marks and stab wounds not appearing, and camera freakouts causing the world around to battle it out and try to display multiple aspects of the environment all at once, which was both hilarious and terrifying.

Summary

The new features are a lot of fun, the story moves at a nice pace, and the feeling of dread is constant which leads to many great scares. This is certainly one of the better Dark Picture Anthology ventures, beating out the likes of Man of Medan and Little Hope, but falling somewhat short of topping House of Ashes that was a stellar outing from start to finish. The Devil in Me is a solid 8/10 experience and provides you with a great amount of satisfaction when you finally manage to save everyone from this horrific nightmare. The game is worth your attention if you are looking for a fun horror romp to play with friends.
8 / 10
* Sean played through the entirety of The Devil in Me with his partner over the weekend. He managed to net a total of 13 trophies out of 31 and kept everyone alive until the credits closed. Sean purchased The Devil in Me for the PS5 himself.
Sean Lawson
Written by Sean Lawson
Sean is a Staff Writer with a focus on the geekiest Sony news. He writes stories about unobtainable PlayStation trophies, the best PS Plus games, as well as RPGs and Fighting games. He is also excited for Tekken 8, Dragon Age Dreadwolf, Baldur's Gate 3, and Dragon's Dogma 2 to launch on PS5. Sean’s favourite games include Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, Tekken, and Persona.
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