Little Hope is the latest installation of the Dark Pictures Anthology series. So far they are separate stories, whether that will change later on as the series develops is still uncertain. The Curator from the first game is back and begins to tell an unfinished story and that it is up to you to complete it as well as possible.
In the first game, Man of Medan, you followed a group of people on a diving adventure in the Pacific searching for a WW1 plane wreck. Little Hope keeps it a lot drier. A group of students, along with their teacher, become stranded on the edge of a village called Little Hope, located in New England, USA. The bus they were on crashed and the bus driver is nowhere to be found.
Little Hope focuses on the history of witch hunts that took place in the area during the colonial period. An inexplicable dense fog forces the group to venture into the village and come face to face with all the horrors that have taken place in the past.
Just like in the first part and one of the previous Supermassive Games titles Until Dawn, the game gives you several characters to control in turn. This can be done in both single and multiplayer. The game itself is more of an interactive film where you get to make important plot choices or solve puzzles but it never gets really difficult. By means of quick time events (pressing the indicated button within a certain time period), you can guide the group through the story. Unlike other games, there is no respawns, dead is dead and the choices you make really are final. This is a really unique and enjoyable element that contributes to the replayability factor, you could play it many times with different choices and get an entirely different story.
The game has many different outcomes. Every choice you make, no matter if you respond by staying silent, passing a sarcastic remark or by answering irritably affects your other choices. This can lead to a good or bad change to the course of the story. The main story broadly stays in the same direction throughout, but during my second play through I already experienced some different outcomes. And that element, those non-adjustable choices and people you lose, invites you to play again after you see the credits roll after more than 5 hours. What happens if I make that other choice? How will the game play if I don’t react so pessimistically and sarcastically? Could I have saved [insert favourite character here] from a grizzly fate?
As I mentioned previously, the game has online and local multiplayer. You can play online with one other person or couch co-op with up to 5. Playing with one or more people is very rewarding because they will make choices you might not have made, giving the story another twist because you can no-longer control every element of the groups survival. Now you have to put your trust in another persons (or peoples) hands and hope that they make the right choices. It is precisely this interactive element that ensures that you are constantly communicating with each other. While I was playing I would pause the game to consult my co-player and work out what choices I should make. I had never experienced this before in a multiplayer game and it really forces you to think ahead and pay attention to what’s going on in the game.
All in all, I had a great time. The irreversible choices you have to make make a big difference to replayability content. I wanted to start a new game right after I finished, just to see how the game goes with other choices. The interactive game is fun to watch (although I still have to experience what it is like if you already know the story very well) and the story is exciting. The only downside I think is the shock effects. They are actually the same every time, but this could have had a bit more variation and creativity. But otherwise this is a short adventure that I can wholeheartedly recommend to everyone. Especially in multiplayer mode!