18+,  Horror,  Reviews,  Survival,  Xbox Series X

The Devil in Me Review

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Fast Facts

The Devil in Me

Developer: Supermassive Games
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Website: https://www.thedarkpictures.com/the-devil-in-me
Genre(s): Horror
Platform: Xbox Series X (Also available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and PC)
Age Rating: PEGI 18
Release Date: 18/11/2022
Price: £31.99

A code was provided for review purposes

I was very excited when I was offered the chance to review The Devil in Me, the newest instalment in the Dark Pictures Anthology series. I love horror titles and story-heavy games, and while I have yet to play House of Ashes, I have enjoyed the other titles in his franchise.

Did I enjoy my journey with the Devil, or was I left praying for redemption? Keep reading this Rapid Review to find out.

Given the story-heavy elements of the game, I will not be giving away any of the major story points, nor will I reveal any of the ‘choices’ needed to have specific or all characters survive.

The Devil in Me main screen
Check into the horror hotel

A Familiar Look and Feel

It has been a while since I played one of the Dark Pictures games. However, it took all of two minutes for me to re-familiarize myself with everything. The controls haven’t changed, and neither has the game’s look.

The narrative control and the impact of a simple response to the rest of the story are the key points of the Dark Pictures games. I would have liked to have had more moments like this throughout the game; it felt a little light at times, but regardless of that, knowing your actions can directly influence the end result makes things infinitely more interesting. The game did a good job of creating different characters; each one felt fleshed out and genuine. Some I liked, some I didn’t, and being able to change their relationships through their reactions definitely adds to the intrigue and replayability of the title.

My first criticism of The Devil in Me came right at the very start and stuck with me through to the end credits. It’s the same complaint I have had for all the games I have played. Yet, I can’t help but think everything seems that much worse in The Devil in Me. Maybe it’s because I expected better on a next-gen console, or perhaps it’s just been the time between me playing the games. Yet, everything looked off. Everything from the scenery to the character interactions seemed to lack something.

I say something, as there isn’t one single element. It was different things in every scene, yet always some tiny detail. The developers were close to hitting the mark but seemed to be lacking that final element to make the game truly shine.

My issues with the game’s look could be condensed into four key areas.

  • Body Language
  • Proportions
  • Interaction with the Environment
  • No Wear and Tear

While these did not ruin my experience with the game, they certainly left me wanting, especially from a title such as this.

Your choices matter
The eyes don’t have it

Body Language

There was something in the way the characters interacted with each other that shattered any sense of immersion in the game. The way the characters moved around each other and the small intricacies of human touch and connection were sadly and severely lacking. The worst and most evident was in the eyes.

While overall, the graphics in this game were good – more on that later – the character’s eyes were dead and expressionless. Thinking about it now, as I write this review, I think part of it was their pupils. They were largely unresponsive. When two characters were conversing, they never came close to making eye contact. If anything, they would be gazing at an entirely unconvincing angle. Think of early live-action movies where the cartoon characters are added later, and you will understand where I’m coming from.  

Overall, this was my biggest issue with the game. So, I figured it’s best to get it out of the way early on.


While this was not always noticeable, there were more than enough instances where objects seemed out of proportion with the rest of the world. There was no consistency in picture frames, windows, or door handles.

Interaction with the Environment

Oh, invisible walls. How you vex me! I had completely forgotten how annoying the invisible walls are in these games. The devs have created a detail-rich environment, and I’m the sort of gamer that likes to explore everywhere, and it’s frustrating to have areas of the game inaccessible due to invisible walls. Especially where the gaps are larger than many of the other shimmy points.

The same then applies to the object collision that runs through the game. The characters simply pass through objects, or they disappeared from the screen until the character had passed. One example would be plants and branches. As I was walking around the gardens, I would move through the undergrowth and never feel as if I was close to it or that it was actually part of the game. Then when there were branches in my path, they disappeared as I moved through them.

I know this has been the case in the other titles too, and while I hate to be so strong, I can’t help but think it is just the people in charge looking to take the cheap way through development. This would be understandable for a smaller or indie title, but for what is a mainstream game, I find it nearly unacceptable.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the game, but these glaring issues should not have escaped proper in-house testing.

No Wear and Tear

There is no denying that the five playable characters go through some stuff in this game. Yet, you would never really know. They didn’t change at all during the game. No matter how much they ran, scurried, cried, screamed, or bled, their clothing was immaculate, their hair was in place, and their gait never even gained a limp.

One part that really annoyed me was towards the end of the game. The character – I won’t say which – was walking around outside in the rain, yet they never once looked wet. Their hair, their clothes, everything remained as it had been inside.

Great visual overlooking a lake
What’s the worst that could happen?

Slow and Steady Might Win the Race

I already mentioned that I wouldn’t be giving away any major plot points; however, some minor things are unavoidable. The story is inspired by Henry H Holmes, America’s first serial killer. The intro segment, which sets the scene but doesn’t directly impact the rest of the game, happens hard and fast. However, the plot is very slow to unravel once the main game starts. There is a lot of wandering and foreshadowing with very little linking or follow-through.

This game has a lot of lore and backstory, and the plot is full of twists and turns. It could be argued that there are almost too many characters to keep track of. However, the key NPCs soon become apparent. However, little of the story unfolds due to character-on-character interactions or conversations. Instead, all the backstory and lore exist in documents and secret items.

Personally, I enjoy this, but, as mentioned earlier, the overabundance of invisible walls ruined my enthusiasm for exploration. The result was also that the story’s pacing was all over the place. Characters would be running for their lives one minute, turn a corner, and all would be forgotten until the next encounter. The game would have been stronger with a more consistent pacing and a growing sense of urgency about the characters during non-confrontational gameplay.

Beyond a few utterances of surprise, there was very little that made me think the characters were overly fussed about their situation. There was one scene when two characters – early on before the real meat of the story unravels – open a door and find a hallway caked in blood. They just brush it off with a passing comment and continue their stroll.

Body storage locker from The Devil in Me
Completely unphased by all the bodies

Interesting Story with a Factual Background

While it might sound as if I am being overly hard, I did enjoy playing the game. I liked the storyline, and I enjoyed finding the lore. My complaints revolve more around the finer points of execution. They are at least consistent across all the titles, which I guess makes it a style at this point.

What I found clever about the game was how they mixed in real-world history with the fictional plot. Not just the famed killed HHH – Holmes, not Helmsley – but also several other characters are woven from the annals of history into the lore of this world. This is another trait that appears in several other games in the series.

For those that take the time to read all of the documents, the letters, and the clippings, there is a clever story to be found. Working out the storyline as it unfolds is fun, and I will admit to taking a few notes to try and figure out who was behind it all. However, for those less inclined to read, the story is still explained in a roundabout way.

But personally, I would say read it all. Drink in the words because they do the game justice, and in my opinion, they were its saving grace in many ways.

Sluggish Controls Were Frustrating

Another issue I have had with all of the titles in the Dark Pictures Anthology, which sadly carried over to The Devil in Me, was the sluggish controls. Delays abound in this control department, from pressing X to examine an item to simply moving around, shimmying, and jumping. Everything happened after a momentary pause and contributed to the lack of immersion.

Playing on a next-gen console, I again feel that these problems lie in the heart of the game itself and could be rectified if people were so inclined.

Tying into this were the sluggish or rather stiff animations. The characters all seemed to be as inflexible as I am when it came to moving around. Their limbs were stiff as boards, especially when they climbed up or jumped down from ledges. I half expected them to groan, ‘oh, my back,’ as they moved.  Not to mention landing from a jump with locked legs.

Again, small details became more irksome as the game went on.

Body mannequin sitting at an interrogation table
Waiting for the horror to start

House of Little Horrors

The premise of the game had me expecting a truly horrifying experience. However, the story itself was remarkably drab, and there were very few times that the characters were ever in any real danger.

Maybe I just happened to make the right choices, but I can only really recall one real death-defying RTE sequence per character in the whole game. Yes, there are some grizzly things in the game, but… well, I won’t give anything away, but I was left underwhelmed. The story failed to be scary, rarely touched on tense and at times was often quite drab. Walking around the hotel grew tiresome as, for long stretches, nothing seemed to happen.

Sights and Sounds of Terror

What the story and gameplay missed was helped at times by the sights and sounds of the game. I know I’ve complained about the interactions and character eyes, but for the most part, the game looked great. The dinginess of the hotel, the barren landscape of the island, and, yes, previous comments aside, the general look of the characters was impressive. Although this game, much like so many others, confirmed how hard it is to do hair well in video games.

There was not a massive soundtrack in the game, but there was lots of ambient noise. There was always something going on. Whether it was the creaking and groaning of an old house in a storm, the sound of gears whining, or potential victims screaming. However, even this had its drawbacks. I thought the ambient noises inside the hotel were great and helped set the scene. However, once things moved outside, there seemed to be a loop of a few environmentally inconsistent sounds. A man’s breathing and a creaking sound like ships tied at the quay.

Room of mannequins
Ambient sounds enhanced the atmosphere

Glitches, Bugs, and Frame Drops, Oh My!

There were certainly a few annoying gremlins living inside The Devil in Me. I encountered an alarming number of bugs and glitches when playing the game. Including one lengthy segment that was played out in near darkness with a glitch that meant my character’s torch didn’t work. A quick Google search – once I finished playing – revealed this was a common problem.

I also encountered a few disappearing walls and multiple instances of lost frames and jumpy characters. They were nothing major but noticeable nonetheless, and as I got to the end of my playthrough, all of these minor issues had started to take their toll.

Discarded mask from The Devil in Me
The End?


Contrary to what it may seem, I enjoyed playing The Devil in Me. I loved the premise, and I enjoyed the storyline. However, I was ultimately left disappointed. My issues are not that this is a bad game but that I wanted it to be a better game.

It had everything it needed to be a masterpiece of horror. It could have gone psychological, it could have gone slasher, it could have been a truly terrifying game that had you on the edge of your seat, but in the end, it tried to do both and just missed the mark. If I’m being honest, it feels as if they were afraid to pull the trigger.

Everything was set up, but they failed to follow through with it each time. Sadly, the result is a fun but ultimately rather average game, which is a crying shame.

For those who have read this far, I saved all but one character on my playthrough. I was happy with this but angry at myself for allowing the main character I liked to die.

Rapid Reviews Rating

3 out of 5


You can get your copy of The Devil in Me from the Microsoft Store today.

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