The scene begins with the purchase of refreshments for a party at home, with the preparation of the bags for a picnic or with the great classic of the house isolated in the woods, we all know that in a matter of half an hour will begin to flow through the blood. It is one of the rules of the horror genre, allows us to know the group of victims, to identify with the heroes and peck immediately the pair who will be eliminated first, because of a clumsy attempt to escape. And it is also the starting point of the narrative that gives the Man of Medan, the first episode of the Dark Pictures Anthology of Supermassive Games, which in fact begins with college students enjoying a few beers off.

Little Hope, as the name suggests, has a completely different tone.

This second episode (disconnected from the first) has a beginning far more brooding and unsettling, a beginning that reveals aspects of the plot that were missing from the trailer. Obviously to avoid spoilers, but suffice it to say that the story takes place across two eras (the superstition of 1692 and the life of some of the students of the present day), which plays a central role in the narrative development of the title with links to more elaborate ones seen in Man of Medan.

But there is more, there is a feeling here that the story is much less clear than that seen in the first episode, as well to discover all the clues. In Man of Medan, there was a base of realism that is quietly pushed aside to make space for a plunge into the darkness. We wondered if this subvert its rules was intentional: “there are No rules in the Dark Picture Anthology!” he said laughing at the boss Supermassive’s Pete Samuels. And, indeed, every episode is thought to have its own style, influenced by many of the subgenres that make up the world of horror.

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This, however, does not mean that there are no points of contact. The story of Little Hope is held primarily to our days with a cast of characters that rely on our choices for his own destiny. The story is one of the many books on the shelves of the mysterious curator of the series, the spectre of death portrayed by Pip Torrens. The style is different, as we have said, but the love for movies and video games of the genre is still around here (fans of Silent Hill will not be disappointed). And will return the Shared mode Story and a Movie Night, as well as the option Curator”s Cut.

There are five protagonists of Little Hope: a trio of teenagers, one student, a little older, and their teacher. Find themselves stranded in a small town after a bad accident has put out of the bus on which they were traveling, and you get to drive Andrew’s (Will Poulter of the Bandersnatch) the discovery of the dark past of the place, of course, haunted by horror stories of summary executions and accusations of witchcraft. We continue not to spoil anything, but we want to emphasize the link between the two eras: the Little Hope of 1692 is animated by characters that are mysteriously connected with our protagonists, and they seem curiously familiar. Samuel cites The Witch and The Crucible as a source of inspiration.

Supermassive does not a mystery to have taken the criticisms of Man of Medan, starting from the reported bug to get to the control system, judged as not very intuitive. In Little Hope you will find the possibility to move the camera with the left stick, the more speed of movement, transitions smoother between scenes and QTE more clear. The idea is to bring in the coming chapters, these steps forward. What has not changed, however, is longevity: also we are talking here about four or five hours, that may not satisfy those who waited almost a year.

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Little Hope is expected for this summer, a coat after the original date. Initially the plan of the Supermassive was to publish two episodes of the anthology of the year, the plan has not changed, but the parallel development of multiple chapters, that it is not easy for her, now it is even more complex in view of the need to work remotely due to the COVID-19.

“It is very complicated, now that the whole world is stopped,” said Samuel. “The shooting of the actors are made in America, and now clearly not go forward. We had scheduled sessions that we were forced to postpone. Also the jobs in the United Kingdom are at a standstill, it is not safe to continue. There are certain aspects of the production process we had to pause, but fortunately for the Little Hope we had already finished, and then we can continue with the development. We are a little bit slower, but we think we are achieving our objectives.”

Little Hope is the second chapter of eight planned within the Dark Anthology. The story arc should pass through them all, but this episode has the air of being particularly dark and interesting, and a good step forward after the first chapter.