house of ashes preview

The Dark Pictures Anthology – House of Ashes Hands-on preview: the third part in the horror series seems more reliable to scare

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The Dark Pictures Anthology – House Of Ashes hands on preview – Like an annual take on your favorite Halloween movies, the Dark Pictures Anthology has been running since 2019, giving horror fans an annual reason to shit their pants with friends and generally have a good time doing it. The latest entry in the series, House of Ashes, seems to fit this template well, offering quite a bit of terror and eerie atmosphere in an all-new location and an array of characters that seem ready to take players through the Dark Pictures Anthology. in general.

So far we’ve had ghost ships and enchanted villages as the settings for the last two entries in the Dark Pictures Anthology, with House of Ashes taking something of a different tactic (or at least as far as I could tell based on the preview image). build I played).

The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes hands-on preview


Set during the waning days of the Iraq War in the late 2000s, House of Ashes pulls off a super fun trick that the previous two games never did. Instead of letting players control a group of functional or dysfunctional friends and acquaintances, House of Ashes instead pits two firmly established factions (namely the Iraqi and US armies) against each other as they grapple with their own prejudices against the backdrop of a long dormant and, of course, murderous evil presence.

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Without giving the game away too much here on exactly what that evil is, it’s refreshing to note that at this stage it *appears* to be a single entity, rather than the choice and mix of nightmare fuel that the previous two have. games gave us . Basically, if the previous two games felt like Cabin in the Woods in terms of the sheer number of bad things that made your life a misery, then House of Ashes feels more akin to Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking Alien, with just a single enemy stalking players. throughout the game. Or at least that’s how it seems so far.

Although there are two main ‘sides’ to the game, you are actually playing as individuals of three different groups of people. While you have the Iraqi soldiers and the American soldiers you also have the CIA investigative team sent to Iraq and in turn supported by the latter, but what they all have in common is that by the end of the preview all three groups have some sort of contact with what appears to be the great evil in House of Ashes.

As for the creature itself, the split-second visual exposure via jump scares and ample amounts of darkness keeps its identity pretty well hidden for the most part, while also confirming that House of Ashes, like the games before it, is from plan is to diet largely from jumping anxiety more than anything else.

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In practice, House of Ashes seemingly plays just like the previous two games in the series. House of Ashes can be played alone or via controller co-op. It encourages players to explore the environments, discover clues about the evil that plagues the joint, while the decisions you make create divergent paths in the story which in turn can lead to everyone surviving, some surviving or almost no one makes it to the credits.

In the same way, as with the previous games, you can discover premonitions that give you a tip about possible future results. Except here they appear on stone tablets rather than in photographs or paintings. As you’d expect, QTE sequences also return – requiring the player to quickly enter a sequence of on-screen button presses to complete an action sequence. Again, it will all be familiar stuff if you’ve played any of the previous games in the Dark Pictures Anthology.

Also predictably, the visuals are top notch with some still best in class character and facial animations supported by highly detailed environments that really lean on some great light and shadow effects. After all, if you’re going to portray an underground horror effort, it’s a boon to render light and shadow realistically, and developer Supermassive Games does a great job here.

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While House of Ashes does little about the overall structure put in place thus far and what appears to be locked up for the remaining entries in the Dark Anthology, that works in its favor in a way. As I mentioned at the outset, the Dark Anthology games felt like an annual spectacle – a reliable reason to celebrate Halloween outside of the community spirit brought on by the usual screeching trick or treaters and crowded streets.

And while this year’s game doesn’t seem to be evolving the formula much in any direction, I’m still looking forward to getting some friends around a TV with plenty of snacks and ready to scare the brown stuff out of our pants. when The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes releases later next month.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes will be released on October 22, 2021 for PS4 and PS5.

PC sample code kindly provided by PR.