Game review: The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope (Nintendo Switch)
Choice-based narrative games have been quite popular in recent years, with several titles in this genre exploding since the early 2010s. The first one I played was Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain, and this remains to be my favourite PS3 game of all time!
Aside from Quantic Dream, Supermassive Games is another developer that loves to make games in this genre. Unlike Quantic Dream, though, many titles from Supermassive Games’ library are from the horror genre. The developer’s big break was the PS4 exclusive Until Dawn, released in 2015.
Due to the popularity of Until Dawn, Supermassive Games released a series of games under The Dark Pictures Anthology banner. Some games I have already played included Man of Medan and last year’s The Devil in Me.
One game I did miss from this series is the 2020 release called Little Hope. Originally released for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, Little Hope is now finally available for the Nintendo Switch console. The Nintendo Switch version is what we will be reviewing today.
The first thing I will say about the Switch version of Little Hope is that it looks and plays pretty okay. It’s not a technical mess like the recently released Mortal Kombat 1, which performed horribly on the Nintendo Switch.
Since this is a narrative-based video game, most of the time, you will be watching cutscenes, so it doesn’t matter if the game drops to under 30fps. The character models look mostly fine, although the environments are super dark, so I had to increase the brightness in order to see where I was going.
In terms of its story, Little Hope has an interesting premise that will keep you guessing what the heck is truly going on. After a short prologue, the real game begins when a professor and his four students are involved in a bus crash. The scary part is the fact that they crash in a town called Little Hope, and it’s far from a friendly place.
As you further progress, you learn that some witch trials had taken place in Little Hope back in the 17th century. These witch trials are the reason why Little Hope is a haunted place because some evil supernatural beings start stalking the main characters in the game. The only way to escape Little Hope is to find a way to leave the place altogether!
The game has five playable characters, and your goal is to try and make each of them survive. Since this is a narrative choice-based game, there are strong chances that several of them can die if you fail to press the right buttons. I usually like to save everyone during my first playthrough, but sadly, three of the characters died when I played it. Saving them all is something I wish to do in other playthroughs.
People who don’t like to watch lots of cutscenes may not like this game at all. There are a lot of cutscenes, and the actual playable moments are kept to a minimum. The controls are awkward, too, because the characters walk so slowly, and it sometimes can be hard to try and turn them around.
Aside from walking slowly and investigating dark environments, another thing you will do a lot in Little Hope is participating in quick-time events or QTEs. QTEs are essentially button prompts you have to press at the correct time. If you fail these button presses, you may see your character die an awful fate.
You cannot replay sections of the game until you finish the whole story after the first playthrough. If you want to save a certain character, you can replay chapters in order to see a different outcome. There is a lot of replay value on offer here if you want to see what you may have missed out on the first time you played.
That being said, the decisions in Little Hope aren’t as interesting as other games from this developer. It didn’t appear as the game had many choices that altered the story in a dramatic way. Several of the different endings weren’t as funny or entertaining, like The Quarry and Until Dawn.
Another thing that might bother some people is that Little Hope is a very short game. On my first playthrough, I managed to finish the game in around four hours. This is shorter than the eight and nine-hour stories featured in Until Dawn and The Quarry, respectively.
Probably the game’s biggest flaw, though, is its controversial ending. I won’t spoil the ending for you here, but I will say it feels like a waste of time once you know what happens to all the characters. It seems like the writer of this game wanted a huge twist, but it doesn’t feel satisfying, in my opinion.
Sadly, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope is my least favourite game from Supermassive Games. The game feels boring most of the time, and the alternate endings and decisions aren’t satisfying. Still, if you have a Switch, this might be worth it if you want to play something different.