The Dark Pictures Anthology is one of the most interesting genre experiments happening in videogames right now. Developer Supermassive games’ surprise smash-hit with 2015’s Until Dawn made waves among horror fans. And it was swiftly followed up by The Dark Pictures Anthology, a series of short, standalone horror titles with similar narrative styles and gameplay mechanics. Each explores a different avenue and subgenre of horror, leading to a huge amount of variety.
Now, along with the already established season 1 finale: The Devil In Me, Supermassive Games have trademarked 5 titles and logos for future games in the series.
Dark Pictures: Until Dawn 2.0
The varied, experimental nature of The Dark Pictures Anthology would never have been possible Without Until Dawn. Until Dawn brought something genuinely new to the horror genre, serving as an interactive horror movie. The survival of the ensemble cast of protagonists was solely dependent on the player’s choices, nerve and reflexes. The title was no doubt inspired by the likes of Telltale’s narrative games but innovated upon its inspirations. Until Dawn featured a wide-ranging choice and consequence system. Players’ decisions would enfold across a vast tapestry of alternate possibilities, something that would serve as an inspiration to future narrative games like Detroit: Become Human. Fans are eager to see if the Dark Pictures anthology can deliver similar innovations and advance the genre with each new title.
The Future of The Dark Pictures Anthology
Thankfully, fans don’t have to resort to empty speculation over the series’ future. The titles of each of the upcoming games are readily available to view. This, along with the design of each logo, gives plenty of clues as to how each of these games might play out. Join us as we break down each title in turn and attempt to figure out where this anthology series is heading.
While the moon taking the place of the title’s ‘0’ may call to mind werewolves, the second most striking thing about this title is easilly the font. It’s clinical and futuristic. Could we see Supermassive Games taking a swing at sci-fi horror? The Dark Pictures Anthology has so far taken us across history and the modern day, so a leap into the future would be a refreshing change. If this game is to be within the realms of Alien, a rag-tag crew being picked off by a malevolent entity would certainly be with the series wheelhouse. Or perhaps it will be similar to the aforementioned Detroit: Become Human, concerning androids and a clash between synthetic and organic life. While that games humanised androids to a significant degree, perhaps they could be utilised to more sinister effect here.
This one seems a sure bet. Given the title’s meaning and the crucifix-esque logo, Intercession is likely to heavily feature the priesthood. This narrows the threat of this game down to one of two likely options: Vampires or demonic possession. Vampires would offer a wealth of new story options for The Dark Pictures Anthology But possession is perhaps the likelier option, with a whole host of classic cinema to draw on as inspiration. It remains to be seen whether Supermassive will hew closer in tone to The Exorcist, or something more tongue-in-cheek like Constantine. Until Dawn could be surprisingly funny at times, and after House of Ashes, the series is overdue an injection of levity.
The Craven Man
This title could offer the clearest reference yet. In fact, both the title and the logo heavily invoke The Wicker Man. It stands to reason that Supermassive will be crafting a memorable folk horror tale with this one. Cult worship and corruption of pagan iconography are sure to abound. But will the title stay grounded, or will the series return to the supernatural?
Both the title and imagery here are enigmatic. Death abounds in The Dark Pictures anthology after all. The most significant clue to latch onto is that ‘O Death’ appeared in Until Dawn, as a song that plays over the game’s title sequence. Might we see a return to that game’s story, or at least its themes?
Bullet holes aplenty. It seems that a western/horror hybrid is on the horizon. Both genres offer evocative imagery in spades, and it will be interesting to see what Supermassive bring to the table. Will Switchback be a bleak, grizzly affair ala Bone Tomahawk? Or will the developers lean into the absurdity and go full Weird West?
Perhaps the hardest to puzzle out. The title alone gives little to work with, as does the licence plate/sign imagery. Perhaps something akin to 30 Days of Night? Or a zombie story along the lines of hit board game Dead of Winter? A large part of Until Dawn’s successful atmosphere-building is down to the chilly lodge and mountainside. The studio returning the well of frostbitten horror would be far from the worst thing in the world. Maybe the relative simplicity of the title design is a misdirect, and there will be nods to some more outlandish artic horror like John Carpenter’s The Thing along the way? Adding deductive gameplay would be an interesting way to keep the franchise from being put on ice.
The Dark Pictures Anthology’s future
Whatever these games end up becoming, The Dark Pictures Anthology is set to delight horror fans for years to come. With their sheer variety and cinematic production, the series offers a unique experience few others can match.