Home Reviews 3.5/5 Review The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope Xbox Series X|S Review

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope Xbox Series X|S Review


October is the ideal month to stay in, watch horror films, play horror games and just generally try and scare yourself silly. Most people will likely have their “go-to” bits of horror, much like their favourite Christmas game. Mine genuinely would be a playthrough of all the currently released games in The Dark Pictures Anthology; and now with an Xbox Series X|S update to the first too, I have another reason to dive back in.

Unlike the Xbox Series X|S update to anthology opener Man of Medan, this update to Little Hope doesn’t come with any extras. For better and worse, it is the exact same game that came out in 2020. Just with a few cosmetic touch ups.

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Little Hope lays out its horror mysteries straight from the gate. A seemingly zoned out bus driver swerves to avoid what appears to be a little girl in the middle of the road and crashes. Before we see the aftermath of said crash, we witness a family subjected to a horrific house fire.

When we see the survivors of the bus crash again, they all look very familiar to the family in the fire. They must be connected somehow?

In Little Hope, you primarily play as the survivors of the bus crash as they make their way into the titular town to get help. As they walk along the deserted road, strange goings on transport them to a time hundreds of years before. Rumours are that Little Hope also had its fair share of witch trials around the same time as Salem did…

I love these flashbacks though, mainly for the surprisingly decent Yorkshire accents the cast are putting on. As a fellow Yorkshireman, they’re pretty accurate. It is just a shame that what is being portrayed is a world away from God’s own country itself.

In true Supermassive Games fashion, where Little Hope starts and ends are as far away from each other as possible. Without giving too much away, Supermassive have a penchant for including as many horror genres in their games as possible, and Little Hope is certainly no exception.

Where Little Hope is let down though is through repetition. It is the shortest game in The Dark Pictures Anthology series and has one highly effective jump scare. But it then repeats this, with increased frequency, the more you progress. Even after only a few times, you can anticipate its next occurrence and be prepared. Repeat playthroughs negate the fear from it entirely.

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But repeat playthroughs are a necessity to get the most out of The Dark Pictures games. Every character can live or die, and even within these there are multiple endings if you do get the same characters to survive Little Hope. The scares become less effective, but there is a whole mystery to uncover and explore through repeated playthroughs. Even on third and fourth plays I am still piecing everything together and working out how to get everyone to survive.

The Dark Pictures Anthology games have always been outstanding looking games, blurring the lines between graphics and real-life. So, in the first instance, a current-gen update for Xbox Series X|S may feel a bit obsolete. And indeed, there is very little in terms of a graphical update to really mention. But to coincide with the upgrade, there is a healthy update across both generations.

A whole suite of new accessibility options have been added. Alongside some of the QTE options you can now tailor the subtitles to an appearance that suits you and even have them appear in a dyslexia friendly font. Considering how story-driven these interactive horror games are, this is a solid inclusion.

There aren’t the traditional options for performance or quality settings we have come to expect on Xbox Series X|S but Ray Tracing has been included. However, as the games launched as Xbox One X enhanced in the first instance, 4K and HDR has always been there.

There is one display option to note, however: The brightness slider remains. For those who love horror but are also scaredy cats, it is the best accessibility option out there.

Gameplay-wise, and it may sound trivial, but the walking speed has increased. This improvement benefits players massively and yet takes nothing away from the experience. Collectibles and points of interest are still visible in plenty of time so that you don’t miss a crucial secret that helps piece this mystery together.

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There are still performance issues, though far less than the first release. During Movie Night mode – your couch co-op mode if you will – every time the game switches character and player, the character on screen does a weird head twitch. And in one scene Taylor appears in the background, despite meeting her demise ten minutes ago. It is in a much better state, but not quite perfect yet.

Unlike Man of Medan – which has also received an Xbox Series X|S – there is no new content though. Little Hope remains the same game, and unfortunately the weakest in The Dark Pictures Anthology.

It does have the creepiest setting though. The ghost town that is Little Hope along with its Silent Hill-esque fog hides a dark secret. You can feel that in every secret, abandoned building and character interactions. It takes the Salem witch trials and applies a novel and unique story to it. However, the scares don’t quite match up to that of Man of Medan, and the characters aren’t nearly as interesting as in House of Ashes.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope is far from a misstep but, even with an Xbox Series X|S upgrade, it just isn’t able to hold its own against the others in this wonderful horror anthology series.

Return to Little Hope via the Xbox Store

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