House of Ashes review, this is a game I want to talk to you about today. Trust me, it’s a title you have to prove if you love horror and tension. At the same time, this game developed by Supermassive Games and published by Bandai Namco is full of twists and turns.
Let’s discover the pros and cons of this video game together! Is it the best chapter of The Dark Pictures Anthology? Well, we’ll try to figure that out in this review. First, let’s take a look at the trailer.
An intricate plot
The plot of the game is thrilling. We are in Iraq, in 2003, just after the attack on the Twin Towers. The special forces are looking for Saddam’s nuclear weapons and are searching the territory for the secret storage facility.
The Lt.Col. Eric King arrives in a camp of soldiers with great news: a satellite of the latest generation, the Caelus, has found the underground location of Saddam’s weapons. A team of several professionals will start the search immediately. Specifically, Eric, his wife Rachel, Dr. Clarice, and Sgt. Nick Kay, and 1stLt. Jason Kolchek will be on this mission.
However, what they will find when they arrive on the site will surprise them. Due to an earthquake, American special forces will sink into an ancient Sumerian temple. Some Iraqi soldiers will also be involved in this seismic event, such as Salim, a man not interested in the war, who wants to go back to his son.
What lies in the depths will terrorize all the protagonists of the game. An ancient evil will be awakened and the soldiers will have to team up together to survive and discover the truth.
The game has some incredible twists and turns. In my opinion, the plot is better than Little Hope, the previous chapter of The Dark Pictures Anthology. I don’t want to spoil you too much, but the plot of this chapter mixes different genres like horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.
Plus, I liked the subtle social critique of the game, which tickles the American army for actions committed in Iraq. Nothing too explicit, but you may notice a not too veiled criticism of American pragmatism.
House of Ashes review: many references to pop culture
The many references to pop culture have amused me. The game has a dark atmosphere that is inspired by great movies. I noticed references to masterpieces such as Nosferatu, 30 Days of Night, The Exorcist, and Aliens.
Moreover, there is an aura of mystery and paranoia. This feeling reminded me a lot of the works of Howard Philips Lovecraft. I mean, if you’re weak-hearted, maybe this isn’t the game for you!
On the contrary, if you are a big fan of this genre, you should immediately add House of Ashes to your collection. You may have nightmares, but it’ll be worth it.
Gameplay: too many shadows and few lights
The gameplay has slightly disappointed me. House of Ashes is a step back from the first chapter of the series, Man of Medan. There is little action and poor exploration. The areas to explore are linear and the secret objects are easy to find.
The gameplay consists in making choices for the protagonists and having the reflexes ready for Quick Time Events. Every choice leads to a consequence. You will have to pay attention to the butterfly effect, trying to avoid a fatal fate for the main characters.
Some do not define this title as a real game but label it as an interactive movie. That’s right, just like some people do with Heavy Rain. Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m wrong about who has this opinion about the game.
Those who are used to FPS and open-world will get bored with the gameplay. On the other hand, those who have always loved graphic adventures and exciting plots will love House of Ashes.
A unique multiplayer mode
As mentioned above, House of Ashes is a kind of “interactive movie“. This is an advantage for multiplayer mode. In this House of Ashes review, I want to praise that mode. If you play with friends, everyone can decide to impersonate a character. At that point, each person will make their choices, with positive or negative consequences. Believe me, it’s a lot more fun to play like this, because it makes you live the game firsthand.
Besides, I loved the fact that you can play with friends both online and offline. That’s right, you can get together with your friends and stop whenever the game “changes” the main character. At that point, it will be up to another person to play, taking control of the keyboard.
House of Ashes review: what about the graphics?
The graphics of the game gave me mixed feelings. Sometimes, the scenes shown were beautiful to see and full of detail. Moreover, the underground Sumerian temple is excellent and mysterious, it can leave you speechless.
Anyway, in some cutscenes, I noticed a decrease in frame rate and poorly treated textures. Maybe it is a problem with my computer, but I tried to meet the minimum requirements.
Regardless, I expected more from this game. Maybe I’m too picky, but hey, if I have to play with an interactive movie I want to do it in high resolution!
What do you think of the game?
Ultimately, House of Ashes is a game full of tension and mystery. Despite the simple gameplay and modest graphics, it is a good choice for those who love horror. Plus, remember not to play alone, use your friends to enjoy maximum fun.
If you want to add this game to your collection, buy it now at a special price in our store! Besides, if you have already tried it, share your opinion and discuss it with the Indiegala community.
Are you ready to face the dark horror of the House of Ashes? Be brave and destroy the abominations of the Earth’s depth!