Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Developer: Supermassive Games
Release Date: 10/30/2020
Also Available On
Supermassive Games once again excels in its strengths and doesn’t learn from its weaknesses or mistakes. Man of Medan was a great start to a horror series, and Little Hope could have learned a lot from the fumblings of the past game but didn’t learn a single thing. You play as a crew of five this time who end up in a bus crash on their way to a school field trip to the Northeast town of Little Hope. A ghost town.
The game starts out very strong. You are in the 70s stuck in the middle of a dysfunctional family. The prologue quickly introduces what the series is good at. Death. You then end up in a bus crash and are stuck in a rural town in the Northeast in the middle of nowhere. I was excited about this one. It has a great Silent Hill feel to it. Endless fog, creatures creeping around in the distance, and a ghost mystery. Sadly, the game quickly devolves into walking around what seems like random houses, forest paths, and buildings. The same issues plague this game such as the lives of the characters dwindling down to succeeding in QTE events. The traits between characters that are strengthened or weakened through dialogue choices will determine how hard these QTEs will be. You can also explore and find secrets and a few hidden weapons to make these scenes easier as well.
The game feels less cohesive than Man of Medan. The story itself doesn’t feel as exciting or interesting as the previous game either. The story just never seems to go anywhere and doesn’t make any sense until the very end which is really annoying. I kept hoping that there would be a twist or something, but the story just drags out as it has nothing to really tell. The characters themselves are more compelling than in the previous game and I felt a little more attached to them, but they are still walking stereotypes and cliches. The facial animations are slightly improved, but the voice acting can still be spotty.
There is still no gameplay here. Outside of the walking scenes and looking for secrets and QTEs this is just an interactive four-hour movie. We still get cuts to The Curator who can give you occasional hints and I’m sad that his backstory isn’t told and we still no nothing about this character. That seems to just be a running theme with this series. We just get characters thrown into some B-grade horror mystery for four hours with nothing else to show for it. There’s nothing memorable about this series or insanely interesting. The monster designs are still well down. Supermassive still does a great job slowly revealing these monsters as there are only a few of them. However, it’s not enough to make up for the lack of everything else.
The game is visually impressive. It looks fantastic on PS5 and PC, but is also poorly optimized on PC with insane slowdown and requires way too high of a setup for what it is. The textures, models, and lighting are top-notch, but the janky animations just bring it down some. The game still suffers from mannequin-like facial animations sometimes. Overall, it’s a very impressive game visually.
In the end, Little Hope does little to advance the series and instead sets it back a bit further. With a less than compelling story, stereotypical characters with no depth, wonky facial animations, and spotty voice acting, plus the lack of gameplay makes this a four-hour B-grade horror movie that’s interactive. You won’t miss much by skipping this one as there is no overarching story over the entire Dark Pictures Anthology.