From the creators of Until Dawn, Supermassive Games, in collaboration with Bandai Namco, The Dark Pictures Anthology is an Anthology series of Survival Horror Adventure Game stories following different cast of characters who face various horrors. The player controls them and the choices made will affect the outcome of the story for good and ill.
One of the key elements the stories share is The Curator, a timeless being that appears to the player at times. He acts as an observer of stories and will provide insight into the actions taken throughout the game.
The games include:
The Series Gives Examples of...
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: The player controls multiple characters throughout the games, giving different perspectives to the story.
- Bittersweet Ending: On average, most of the endings are these where at least one of the characters have died.
- Butterfly Effect: Like Until Dawn, the choices the player makes can and will affect how the story plays out.
- But Thou Must!: Just like in Until Dawn, nothing the player does will affect how the prologue plays out in each game:
- The whole plot of Man of Medan hinges on everyone on board the ship dying so that it can drift for 70+ years, until the main game in the present day. Unsurprisingly, you can't save either of the soldiers you play as in the 1940s-set prologue.
- It even gets Lampshaded by The Curator in Little Hope, when he assures the player that nothing they could have done would have saved the Clarke family.
- Closed Circle: The cast of each story ends up trapped in a single location with the general goal being escape.
- Doing In the Wizard: Implied to be the direction the series is going: the seemingly-supernatural events in Man of Medan are revealed to be the result of a WWII biochemical weapon causing hallucinations. The mysterious happenings in Little Hope are revealed to be the combination of head trauma and Survivor's Guilt and are all in his own imagination.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: The Golden Ending where the player manages to get everyone out alive after whatever hell they went through each story.
- Foreshadowing: Players can find certain objects that will given them, and possibly the character, a flash of the future that may or may not come to pass based on choices made.
- For Want of a Nail: Certain choices will cause the story to deviate and branch off. Some are obvious and others are as simple as a choice in dialogue.
- Greek Chorus: The Curator, who makes comments on the story so far and gives hints to choices the player can make.
- Informed Attribute: Character profiles will list personality traits that can be in complete contradiction to the choices the player makes.
- Jump Scare: Used often, as one expects from a Horror game.
- Kill Them All: One of the possible endings, where the players choices can lead to the entire cast dying.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Choices made early in the game can often have unforeseen consequences later in the game.
- Spiritual Successor: The entire series shares a visual aesthetic and gameplay mechanics with Until Dawn.