House of Ashes, is the third episode of the saga of The Anthology of Dark Images. A saga that has accompanied us for a few years and which comes from the hand of Bandai Namco and Supermassive Games. The two studies took us through multiple horror stories strongly influenced by cinema of the same genre. Likewise, the company continued to work with a formula that did not give it bad results at all.
For those who do not yet know the basics of this formula, we anticipate that we are facing a kind of interactive film. That is, a game where the player sometimes interacts by making decisions or taking specific actions during the story. However, anything that involves this process that the player goes through is of paramount importance in the development of the adventure. Could even mean the death of one of the protagonists.
On the other hand, as is customary within the saga, there is an episode that includes not only a new story, but also a whole new place. So in the midst of the conflict of the Iraq war, we made the big leap to this third episode.
A journey through time
In the prologue of this episode, we are placed in distant Mesopotamia, where we play the role of one of the military leaders of King Naram-Sin. Who has a real myth that goes with it and who House of Ashes wanted to reinterpret. In this first moment of the past, we see how the king loses his head slightly and unleashes terrible evil. However, the temple is buried and the terrible creatures who awoke at that time will not be revealed. However, after a few millennia, a group of American and Iraqi soldiers fell back into this temple. Once inside, the creatures wake up and a race for survival begins.
The premise is accompanied by a series of more than obvious nods to horror classics, being one of the most present Extraterrestrial and Prometheus. In fact, there are some scenes that are almost a carbon copy of what we’ve seen in those productions. I think it’s not a bad thing to represent it all in a different way, although maybe in House of Ashes it’s too obvious. We could tell you more about its history, but the truth is that this is a game in which the player has to discover the plot on their own.
However, as a negative point, I must say that there are scenes which lack coherence or which have a somewhat poor script. Something that really surprised me about the great work done in Little hope. As in the previous sections, the game is dubbed in our language and continues to h ave professional dubbing, although in some scenes some characters clash a bit with the context (Jason, we’re watching you).
A graphic section that sometimes surprises
Leaving aside the history of the game, which respects but does not surprise, we encountered a small graphic jump compared to what we had seen previously. Still, there are some considerations to take into account. The game features some truly spectacular scenes and it has never been said so well, they look like the movies. Despite this, we observe how the company has tried intersperse CGI scenes with playable scenes, sometimes generating transitions that are not quite correct. What generates a certain lack of control in the action. In fact, there are times in the game where the cutscene shows one thing but the playable shot another, making it seem like even footage is missing.
In addition, and with these errors, the reality is that the game continues to maintain a high graphics level. Mainly in those scenes where darkness and light effects become the absolute protagonists. It’s there that House of Ashes, inflates the breast and shows a fantastic result. Additionally, many faces have a lot of detail, although the lip syncing was a negative surprise, which has a few errors that in one set of these features penalize more than others.
To finish, the game offers two graphics options, the classic quality mode, which offers higher resolution and graphics quality but a lower refresh rate. While on the other hand we have its performance mode, which displays a very solid screen refresh of 60 FPS.
More film than game
All of us who are fans of the titles of Supermassive Games, we are aware that their works have a great narrative character and that the playable plane repeatedly goes to a secondary plane. Even with this, the game has always had an interesting exploration component thanks to which we will get clues or key items that can represent a drastic change in the adventure. At House of Ashes, I noticed that the playable spaces have been reduced to the maximum, with very few moments where the well-known quick time events appear. Likewise, exploration is almost non-existent and has very little presence in the game. This somehow makes the tension and “fear” much more diluted.
While it is true that these moments are always present and influence the future of the adventure, but perhaps they are too rare. All the more so if we are faced with a title where grace is in its multiplayer, that is to say by placing the order to a friend to play. On this occasion, some turns are practically non-existent since it is a continuous cinematic with very little interaction with the player.
On another side, something this episode did very well is the fact that it includes some difficulties as well as various accessibility options. Ensure that people less assiduous in the world of video games can also enjoy this adventure without fear of failing in each of the interactions offered by House of Ashes. There are a good handful of options with which to fully customize our experience.
More personal decisions
Added to all this, we noticed a change in decision making by the player. The reduction in interaction resulted in a smaller number of QTY. Which have been replaced several times by moral decisions of each character. To make a correct decision, we will not only have to deal with the situation itself, but also the personality of the character in question.. Relationships in this latest installment are essential to survive in this adventure.
Ultimately, House of Ashes He appears in front of the player again with a more than interesting premise. A new mystery that horror movie fans will be eager to investigate. In addition to that, its graphics section will generally offer a great performance showing simply spectacular prints. As if that weren’t enough, the game continues to have a good voice over in the general lines in Spanish. However, the biggest drawback that we can put to this game is that it has somewhat upset the balance between film and video game. Showing in this case a much more cinematic title than one would have liked.
From there, we thank the Bandai Namco team for the code that allowed us to perform this analysis. If you liked this analysis, we remind you that you have many more here.
House of Ashes
- The setting is still beautiful
- Interesting script twists
- Some scenes are very striking
- The creatures are very well recreated
- There are totally unbelievable scenes
- Some dialogues are inconsistent
- Too much film and too little interaction