House of Ashes contains some interesting and unexpected references to previous games that only fans of the series will have noticed.
The most recent entry in Supermassive Games’ The Dark Picture Anthology is now available to the masses. House Of Ashes, which follows a group of unfortunate souls who find themselves trapped in an underground temple filled with vampiric creatures from outer space, has received widely positive reviews (ish) community at large, who were honestly excited that the inhuman threat was true this time.
But, for fans who delved a little deeper into the entire series, the ones who spent hours collecting all the secrets and reading all the wikis and building intricate theories of lore, there was so much more to enjoy. These are just a few of the cool things that meant more to die-hard fans than the general population.
This article contains spoilers
Changes in quality of life make the experience much better
Longtime fans of the Supermassive Games horror franchise will appreciate the quality of life changes that were implemented for House Of Ashes. First, it features a tiered difficulty system (Forgiving, Challenging, and Lethal), one that the player can configure to their liking. Quick Time Events (QTE) that required targeting have also been modified. Once, they demanded intense precision, but now they allow a greater margin for error.
The most significant change is in the camera. In previous titles, the camera worked from a fixed point; Regardless of what happened in the game, the angles were predetermined, but House Of Ashes provides its players with a more standard and maneuverable third-person camera, which helps a lot with the exploration segments.
Repeated Character Models: Lazy… or Smart?
The Dark Pictures Anthology has been quietly reusing character models in every game. For example, Dr. Clarice Stokes, the unfortunate technician from House Of Ashes, shares a face with a sailor from Man Of Medan and Taylor from Little Hope. Corporal Lance Joey Gomez, another victim of the vampires in House Of Ashes, shares a face with Private Charles Anderson from Man Of Medan and Daniel from Little Hope.
Both character models also appeared in Supermassive Games’ Hidden Agenda and The Inpatient. And these are just two examples, in fact most of the characters are seen in multiple games. It is unclear why they have been doing this. Maybe it’s a nod to a connected universe, something they seem to enjoy hinting at, or maybe it’s just an easy way to save a little time and money.
Creepy curator watcher-style appearances are everywhere
The main connective tissue shared between all the games in The Dark Pictures Anthology is that of The Curator Of Stories, a seemingly human figure who shares the stories from his Repository with the player. He ponders, ponders, and quotes a lot from Shakespeare, but the most interesting thing is that clocks.
Somehow follow the player in the story and watch their progress. He’s never on the cutting edge, but if you pay close attention to him, he can be seen lurking in the background of multiple scenes in each game. It harks back to G-Man’s delightfully creepy demeanor in the Half-Life series and serves as an attractive Easter egg basket for dedicated fans.
The crow effect goes back to dawn
Aside from the quality of life changes, there are a few cosmetic refreshments that brought House Of Ashes back to the roots of Supermassive Games. Once in the form of a literal “moral” compass, the menu that collects player-selected options and effects now appears as the two wings of a raven.
While the raven has never appeared in any version of this menu before, not even in games prior to The Dark Pictures Anthology, it is reminiscent of the butterfly that was so vitally symbolic to the menu and ideology of Until Dawn.
Some of the deaths are also inspired until dawn
It’s clear Supermassive Games’ wanted to recapture some of that sweet, sweet fan fervor that Till Dawn manifested, and they did so by molding House Of Ashes in the image of their biggest game. Several of the possible death animations in House Of Ashes reflect the possible endings that appear in Until Dawn. Both games feature fatal eye tears, death by explosions, decapitation, and characters meeting their disappearance at the hand of a steep cliff.
While it is granted, there are a limited number of ways that developers can eliminate their characters, pure number The parallels between the two games feel intentional.
Medan’s Man and Little Hope Hinted at House of Ashes Forever
Remember how once everyone and their dog talked about it. Pixar’s legendary lunch reunion where they basically planned an entire decade of movies on the back of a napkin? The Supermassive Games did that, probably. We know there was at least one confusing way of what was to come because they have been sowing seeds for their future games in every title.
For example, In Man Of Medan, there was a newspaper discovered from 1947 that covered a story about a group of archaeologists who mysteriously disappeared in Iraq… exactly like the (skeletal remains of) group that House Of Ashes players stumble upon. through. Fast forward to the present, and there are references to Devil In Me, his next title, in House Of Ashes, where players can find newspaper clippings and hidden books about a serial killer.
Un final secreto une House of Ashes con Little Hope
Near the beginning of the story, it is revealed that Lt. Corporal Eric King has a prosthetic leg. It’s a memory of a car accident, but in terms of more details, nothing is actually given … not unless the player completes the game with all characters alive. If this noble condition is met, a special scene is unlocked showing the day of the incident.
On its own, this wouldn’t be a particularly interesting reward for all the player’s hard work, however, it is revealed that the car accident took place near a certain restaurant … the restaurant at the end of Little Hope. It’s an odd reference because the timeline clearly indicates that it can’t be the same accident at the beginning of Little Hope, but it’s gratifying to realize that there is something truly ethereal about a game that put a disappointing twist on the extraordinary.