The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope Xbox One X Review

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope provides a short 4-hour adventure full of dynamic changes that encourages you to try again.

By Grayshadow, Posted 01 Nov 2020

Man of Medan was a mostly mediocre start to The Dark Pictures Anthology as it focused less on the supernatural and more on loosely connected events with some chemistry. It had a lot of flaws and just didn't have the same impact as Until Dawn but Little Hope is a step in the right direction. Offering a complex and layered story with scares and hidden details required to get the full picture of this tragic story.

Little Hope,NoobFeed,Bandai Namco,The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope,

Little Hope takes place in the small town of Little Hope. After a major bus crash 4 college students and a professor find themselves stranded without any cellphone signal and their bus driver gone. Things get worse when they find the town is surrounded by a fog that is preventing them from leaving, circling them back whenever they enter the mist but that's just the start of their difficulties. The group finds they're randomly being transported to the 1600s where Witch Trials took place in Little Hope and demonic creatures hunt them down.

Like previous Supermassive games, the story will continue regardless of who dies. Choices are important as they shift the narrative and the player is randomly given control of 1 of the 5 survivors. Your choices will create dynamic changes in how they treat one another and determine whether they will survive. Each of the 5 survivors, Andrew, John, Taylor, Daniel, and Angela are provided with a list of their core attributes at the beginning of the game and will remain loyal to these personas. Such as Andrew being detached or Taylor headstrong, giving you an idea of how to treat the person to either vex or gain favor.

The character models look incredible, with lifelike movement and facial expressions. The voice acting complements everything being said and provides a fantastic narrative experience like you're watching a movie. With incredible visuals and lighting to add to the sinister tone as you venture deeper into the fog-covered town of Little Hope. What is truly amazing is the death animations and the way the body shifts from being alive to dead. With the eyes turning bright red as blood vessels explode or the character's skin burns when on fire. The animation team really outdid themselves with the level of violence here and doesn't shy away from the graphic details.

The Curator does return to record the events and speak directly to the player. With each act ending with the Curator speaking about events that transpired and event providing tips if the player wants it. As always he remains indifferent to the circumstances.

Little Hope,NoobFeed,Bandai Namco,The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope,

The game has 2 versions of Little Hope, the Theatrical Cut and Curators Cut that offer different perspectives on the adventure. Sometimes the group will get separated and these 2 versions offer the other's view. This encourages multiple playthroughs to see what could happen but it also highlights Little Hope's major issue, no skippable dialogue or cutscenes. You can choose from a chapter and continue playing from there with all the choices from the previous chapter carrying over but you have to watch every scene that follows. In a narrative game, skippable cutscenes should be a standard feature.

Gameplay is simple, you choose up to 3 answers for specific narrative points and then watch the results. You have 2 talking options and 1 option to remain silent. Everything you say is important as traits will adjust along with relationships to determine how each character sees the other, altering the dialogue for future encounters. These profound decisions are constantly highlighted on-screen, with major choices shown through a dial graphic.

All the action sections are separated into QTEs. With you inputting commands and targeting certain trigger points. You can fail these to alter certain scenes but at the same time, some QTEs don't change anything. For example, there's a huge chase scene against Taylor's demon and whether you decide to run flawlessly or miss every trigger the scene will play regardless. Supermassive did include an animation for each missed and completed QTE, which is always an incredible feature from these developers.

Little Hope,NoobFeed,Bandai Namco,The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope,

Where the game shines is in the combination of story and collectables. Making choices and watching the story is only half the narrative. You have to actively collect the objects around each area to not only get access to future events to better prepare yourself but learn of Little Hope. There's plenty of information that provides context into the narrative that is not shown. Things such as newspapers and historical documents all have significance to what is happening and astute players will be able to figure out the game's big reveal through these clues. And yes, there's a teaser for the next game.

Unfortunately, the game does not provide a full summary of the collectables you obtained. The item's basic description is provided in the Secrets section of the game but not the entire summary of what's written on the item. This seems like a minor problem but for those trying to uncover all the hidden secrets, you'll need to comb through these which you can't.

That being said Little Hope is not a stable game. I encountered several frame rate issues, the game crashed on me multiple times, and a weird glitch happened where my character was trapped in limbo. Occasionally the game would require more time to load certain scenes and textures would take a long time to load. All of these issues mount up by the end and definitely made the game experience weaker for it.

Little Hope,NoobFeed,Bandai Namco,The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope,

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope provides thrills, chills, and a great finale. The adventure has a lot of complicated turns and twists that kept me on my toes while at the same time encouraged me to try again. I just wished there was a way to skip to the parts I wanted to alter instead of having to play through entire sections. This coupled with the game's numerous technical problems and much of Little Hope's momentum is quickly destroyed. Regardless, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope provides a short 4-hour adventure full of dynamic changes that encourages you to try again.

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco
Developer(s): Supermassive Games
Genres: Narrative
Themes: Supernatural
Release Date: 2020-10-29

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