The latest game in Supermassive Games’ Dark Pictures Anthology, “Little Hope”, is a great addition to the franchise; using effective horror tropes and shot framing to help deliver a great frightful narrative

Released in October 2020, Little Hope sees you, as the player, control a variety of central characters to the story - with decisions you make along the way impacting their relationships with each other, their personality and, naturally, their mortality. 

One thing that Little Hope manages to achieve through its cinematography and shot design is establish a truly eerie world for the audience; using common horror movie tropes we’ve come to expect whilst also maintaining originality in its delivery through in-game quick time events. Without giving too much away, when one of the characters is in an escape chase against “the evil” within the game, the tension built up through pacing and editing of the shots (moving from high-frequency cuts into a speed ramp towards a slow motion movement when switching characters mid-chase*) further helps to emphasise this, putting the full focus on the drama of the scene. 

*See the bottom of this blog for the scene mentioned

Additionally, the use of a static camera when controlling the characters outside of choice-selection scenes builds into this narrative focus; we, as an audience, are actively being shown the world in a similar way that we would be if this was a live action film or television episode. The frequent use of high angled, off-centre and wide shots increasingly work to simultaneously distance the player from the characters whilst forwarding this notion of an unsettling presence.

Yet another thing that Little Hope manages to replicate from the filmic world in an effective way is its lighting and composition. On the initial look, the shots seem (once again) familiar to us; we are used to seeing low levels of light throughout the horror genre and the setting of an abandoned town, coupled with desolate streets, isn’t revolutionary. However, where Little Hope manages to excel at is the switch between its locations effectively, which is enhanced by the noticeable lighting and colour grade shifts. We oftentimes go from the dark, mysterious streets throughout the town to (again, without spoiling too much) a setting reminiscent of older times and, with this, comes the change towards shots with a richer colour palette (for example, in the trailer shown below, the fire illuminates the entire shot, bringing focus to the girl and expanding the setting behind her).

Overall, Little Hope is a great game if you’re looking for a narrative-heavy, decision driven experience. Who doesn’t want to live in a horror film every once in a while?

Check out the trailer below:

Please be aware this game is rated PEGI 18, so viewer discretion is advised.

Here's the scene mentioned above; this does contain some narrative spoilers.

Images © Supermassive Games / BANDAI NAMCO.

Ben Lintott
Digital Marketing and Content Assistant

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