The hit-and-miss survival horror series is back again for a third swipe at the throne of choice-based gaming. House of Ashes, although looking rather promising from November's sneak preview, still appears to be following that familiar psychological compass. And, while that can often work wonders for any standalone game — we do have to question whether or not it'll work for eight whole chapters straight — let alone three.
While Man of Medan and Little Hope dabbled in completely different tales set in separate eras, both overlapping narratives frustratingly followed a similar pattern — which left endings somewhat predictable. The only question now is whether or not Supermassive Games can convince players to board the train all the way through to the end. After all, eight games is a lot to accomplish, and the developer is leaving very little time between each entry. Of course, this begs the question of whether or not we'll see a series of compelling tales with unique concepts, or just rinse and repeat washouts that fall under the same domain.
One thing Supermassive Games has stuck to with each chapter is a top-tier casting roll. Until Dawn, although idling away from The Dark Pictures sub-domain, hosted Rami Malek. Little Hope, which homed the Bandersnatch bandit himself, Will Poulter. And now, we'll be diving into the shoes of Disney's Ashley Tisdale in the upcoming House of Ashes tale. So, evidently, the developer remains consistent with hiring characters that draw crowds with minimal effort. But will it be enough to keep the ball rolling and the revenue soaring?
With The Dark Pictures set to release a new title each year, it's looking like 2026 could be the grand finale of the franchise. We're only hoping the series as a whole can keep original concepts pouring in and overused methods flushed out. After all, we'd hate to see such an ambitious collection of tales lost to feeble and lazy designs. But who knows? Perhaps we're in for a treat this year with the mysterious third chapter. Maybe Supermassive Games is ready to wipe their hands with the world of psychological horror. Or, perhaps House of Ashes will follow a similar pattern — one of which results in that cliche “it's all in your head” malarkey. Only time will tell on that one.
The Dark Pictures: House of Ashes is set to release this year on PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series. We'll be giving you a heads up once we know a little more about the third leg of the journey. Until then — it's back to Little Hope with you!