Supermassive Games will soon be scaring our socks off again it seems.
The next entry in its Dark Pictures Anthology series, Little Hope, is set to launch on PS4, Xbox One and PC on 30th October, though thanks to publisher Bandai Namco we’ve been able to go hands-on with a short preview of the game. And from what we’ve played, we think we’re going to like it more than we did Man of Medan. Though it is quite different.
Our hands-on with the game began as Andrew, played by Will Poulter, and his professor John enter a seemingly abandoned police station via an open window. A search for a phone ensues, and so you’re left floundering in the dark, investigating curios while you’re at it. When you do eventually find a phone it transpires that it’s not plugged in, so yet another search gets underway for a cable. All hope seems lost, to be honest, but then the unthinkable happens: the phone rings.
It’s at this point in the preview that Little Hope opened up for us – just who was going to answer that phone? Anyone that has played Man of Medan, or Until Dawn for that matter, will be familiar with the formula: Little Hope is a cinematic adventure in which you call the shots; who lives and who dies is a result of your actions, so every decision must be given consideration. In this case there doesn’t seem to be any grand repercussions; answering the phone as Andrew simply seemed to let us listen in on the call with more detail. Who knows if it might have a greater effect further down the line, however.
It was once the phone call ended that Little Hope kicked it up a gear. Out of nowhere a freaky, ghostly woman appears, grabbing the person who answered the phone. Then we are mysteriously transported to the past, witnessing a witch trial. The only thing is, the woman on trial looks eerily familiar to someone our characters both know, and her husband looks very similar to the professor. Just what is going on? Not a fair trial, that’s for sure. But do you speak up to stop the madness unfolding in front of you? That’s for you to decide.
With judgement passed, you suddenly find yourself back in the real world, with some of your friends banging on the station’s doors to get to you. Reunited, you discuss the next course of action, and come face-to-face with the woman whose double you have just seen accused of witchcraft. Again you’re faced with question – do you tell her? Your choice could ultimately determine her fate. In any case, trapped in the creepy town of Little Hope you head outside, hoping to find a way out. The preview is about to come to end, but not without a few final scares.
A bridge your group was hoping it could cross has seen better days, but they’re determined to make it work. Andrew and the professor go on ahead, but then disaster strikes; a part of the bridge crumbles, and freaky ghost lady appears once again to give us a vision of the past. Or is it? It’s up to you whether you’re vocal or not, but if you do shout out, it seems your voice is heard. So, what does that mean? In any case, with the vision over, it’s time to get off the bridge, pronto.
Down on the ground, things are about to get very tense. The water nearby began to stir, and out comes a what can only be described as a corpse, clawing it’s way towards our three characters who are now seemingly in peril. Andrew quickly makes his way to higher ground, but then he’s faced with a choice – who does he help first? It’s at this point that Little Hope finally throws a quick-time event our way. The professor and Angela hurriedly try to reach Andrew, but ultimately his ability to assist and their very own climbing skills are tested. Fail to press the buttons in time, and it could be game over for at least one of your companions.
With that, the preview comes to an end. But we want more. In just 25 minutes, Little Hope has had us more on the edge of our seat than perhaps Man of Medan ever did. It’s intense, engrossing, and downright spooky. It helps that it looks so good – on ultra settings it really is just like watching a movie at times. And once again, the voice acting is top notch. Everything comes together to create a great atmosphere that really sucks you in – and then makes you jump out of your skin when you least expect it.
We’ve played through the Little Hope preview multiple times, trying out various dialogue responses and actions to see how it affects the action that unfolds. The preview is only a small slice of the full game, but already we can tell that just like in Man of Medan, there are repercussions both big and small. Those who preorder the game will also be happy to find that they can jump into a Curator’s Cut mode from day one, adding in some new scenes and offering an alternative perspective on others. Though it will, of course, be made available to all owners of the game at a later date.
After going hands-on with Little Hope, we’ve no doubt in our minds that fans of Supermassive Games’ previous cinematic experiences will love it. And what better time is there for it to release than Halloween? Keep an eye on this one if you like a good scare.
Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope launches 30th October on PS4, Xbox One and PC