The Dark Picture’s anthology – House of Ashes entirely justifies the horror games setting. Here, we are trapped underground in a Mesopotamian temple in 2003 as the Iraq war blazes overhead. It looks afield in terms of influences and geography taking place during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Like its predecessors, House of Ashes also uses real myths and historical events to flesh out mysterious events.
Game Plot: House of Ashes
House of Ashes begins in the ancient Mesopotamian city of Akkad in 2231 BC. It takes inspiration from the curse of Akkad – a poem detailing how the Acadian empire was demolished after its king Naram Sin proclaimed himself a god and ravaged the main God and allele’s temple.
Naturally, this angered the Sumerian deity, who exacted revenge by summoning an invasion from the neighboring Guitan people.
House of Ashes deviates from the Akkadian myth. However, by making this a temple to Bazouzu – the king of the demons, the sinister spin and the appearance of frightening underground creatures possess a higher threat to the remaining Acadians than the attack of Goothians.
In 2003, a mission to find Saddam Hussain’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction resulted in a group of marines exploring the dilapidated Sumeria temple and the monsters burrowed inside.
Throwing a group of heavily armed jar-heads into a fight with supernatural miscreations is a classic genre trope. However, it is a fresh perspective for Supermassive’s brand of cinematic horror.
Turnabout from civilians to soldiers results in a notable change of movement when you confront its antagonists. The winged monstrosities are not overly fussed by bullets, but that doesn’t stop the cast from expanding a veritable bucket load of ammunition almost every time you meet.
Talking about the horror part, House of Ashes is not scary, but this has more to do with the game design than its casts.
The narrow confines of the temple’s labyrinthian pathways deliberately decrease the flow and the plot of vision. Building this would be a tormenting sense of claustrophobia in any other horror game. The problem is you are never in any danger when directly controlling a character.
The danger exists during quick-time events only, so apart from a couple of well-timed jumps scares, navigating the game’s cramped arteries is not daunting The creatures are shown early and often, so any fear of the unknown is eliminated easily.
It has been refreshing to see the Dark Picture Anthology wonder players with unforeseen twists and turns with every new section, and this one is no exception.
In House of Ashes, the player will switch control between five characters who find themselves trapped in long-lost ruins after what should have been a routine mission goes wrong. Soon, they find themselves stalked by something else lurking in the darkness.
All these core five characters can either survive or die depending on you and your choices throughout the game.
The characters are introduced broadly in the beginning, and the individuals who seem brash or irritating have the potential to grow by the end.
The best characters in the House of Ashes are CIA officer Rachel King played by Ashley Tisdale and Iraqi army lieutenant Saleem Offman.
Along with these five characters, there are additional characters known as the wild cards of any situation.
As you progress through the game, you will have choices on what to say and how to act. At the key moments, there will be a variety of quick-time responses you will be given to beat obstacles.
Mash a button quickly to close the door on an enemy or find a target on-screen before your opportunity is lost. Choose your actions wisely – sometimes being quiet is the best thing to do.
There are also sections in the game where you can freely control a character in the third person as you explore the wrecks.
For the first time, the camera is freely player-controlled instead of a hard and fast angle.
Those worried that this transformation would rob the game of tension can rest assured. House of ashes is remains wholly terrifying, but the camera still struggles at times with the circumscribed spaces that the characters frequently find themselves lodged in combination with the slow walking pace and a turning circle that everyone seems to have.
The minimum system requirements to play House of Ashes are:
OS: Windows 10
Processor:Intel Core i5-4690K or AMD FX-8350
Memory:8 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960, 4 GB or AMD Radeon R9 380, 4 GB
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 65 GB available spa
Characters in the House of Ashes
House of Ashes includes five central protagonists. Three military personnel, one CIA agent, and one Iraqi soldier. Apart from these, there are supporting characters and antagonists.
Here are the characters:
Ashley Tisdale as Rachel King
Nick Tarabay as Salim Othman
Alex Gravenstein as Eric King
Paul Zinno as Jason Kolchek
Moe Jeudy-Lamour as Nick Kay
Pip Torrens as The Curator
Sami Karim as King Naram-Sin of Akkad
Zaydun Khalaf as Balathu
Waleed Hammad as Kurum
Alex Mallari Jr. as Nathan Merwin
Clare McConnell as Clarice Stokes
Sammy Azero as Joey Gomez
Nabeel El Khafif as Dar Basri
Tod Fennell as Marine
The Ancient One
Overall, House of Ashes is a well-paced game with a perfect length that ends with an exciting finale. The only drawback it has is a monotonous storyline. Rest everything is fine. So, according to us, on a scale of 10, it stands at 8.