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The Dark Pictures Anthology ‘House of Ashes’ teases Aliens-style horror game

By Kara Santos Published May 31, 2021 5:38 pm

The first look and gameplay footage from House of Ashes, the upcoming game from Until Dawn developer Supermassive Games has been revealed. 

House of Ashes is the third in The Dark Pictures Anthology, developed by Supermassive Games and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, after 2019’s Man of Medan and 2020’s Little Hope. The series of standalone cinematic horror games challenges players to explore and uncover each story, with the knowledge that all playable characters can live or die horrific deaths depending on the choices you make.

Game Director Will Doyle last Friday (May 28) shared an in-depth backgrounder on the story and game development, along with some work-in-progress footage for the intense game.

The first gameplay reveal was released when the independent game studio launched the official teaser trailer earlier this month.

In House of Ashes, players will have to work their way through an intense multi-perspective character-driven horror narrative.

The game is set during a mission in Iraq in 2003 "at the close of hostilities in the Iraq war," and sees both American and Iraqi soldiers trapped underground after an earthquake crumbles away the land beneath them. 

The presence of the military unit awakens something inside a nest of savage supernatural creatures in the ruins of a buried Sumerian temple, deep beneath the Arabian desert.

The game puts players in the shoes of Rachel King, a Marine played by High School Musical’s Ashley Tisdale, one of the two Marines Jason Kolchek and Nick Kay, Rachel's husband Colonel Eric King, or as an Iraqi officer named Salim Othman.

According to Supermassive’s game director, players will get a glimpse of popular cult movies and literature referenced throughout the game.

“In House of Ashes, you will notice inspiration from films such as Aliens, Predator, and The Descent.” said Doyle “We also delved into the wealth of horror literature available. House of Ashes takes some inspiration from the works of H.P Lovecraft. In particular the novel, At The Mountains of Madness.”

The House of Ashes director also touched on how the studio listened to feedback from players regarding previous titles and made improvements based on what they learned.

Some changes include various difficulty settings from easy, medium to no-holds-barred, and the ability to control the speed of Quick Time Events or QTEs, so players can tailor their experience to their skill set and preference. The game also does away with fixed camera angles and replaces it with a 360° player-controlled camera and introduces a new flashlight button to help navigate darker parts of the catacombs.

Watch and hear directly from Doyle, and see the gameplay footage unfold firsthand, in the 20-minute video feature below.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes is set to be released later in 2021 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

(Images via Supermassive Games)