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The next Dark Pictures Anthology game makes it hard to know who to root for | PC Gamer

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Supermassive’s Dark Pictures Anthology is poised to spit out its third grisly instalment this year, once again pitting five unlucky souls against a seemingly supernatural threat. The series is no stranger to unlikable characters that make you question how hard you really want to work to save them, but in House of Ashes I might actually be on the side of the monsters. 

This time we’re in 2003, during the US invasion of Iraq. Instead of a gang of holidaymakers or students on a field trip, we’ll be deciding the fates of soldiers and CIA agents. The Iraq War had plenty of horrors, but in House of Ashes there are also literal monsters accompanying the war crimes. 

“Hunting for weapons of mass destruction, a team comprising U.S. Special Forces, Air Force and CIA is sent on a mission to unearth an underground chemical weapons depot that’s been picked up on satellite,” game director Will Doyle explains. “Arriving on the scene, they come under attack by holdout Iraqi forces. And during the firefight, an earthquake pitches both sides into the ground below, where they discover a vast underground temple dating back to the ancient kingdom of Akkad.”

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

That’s where the hands-off demo begins, with us following Nick, a marine, as he finds himself underground and separated from his allies. The temple was erected around 2250 BC by Naram-Sin, a historical Mesopotamian king who fancied himself a god. Like all of the Dark Pictures Anthology, real history and myth inspire the supernatural shenanigans. In The Curse of Akkad, a real poem written centuries after Naram-Sin’s reign, it’s claimed that the king angered the god Enil, who punished the kingdom with plagues and famine. In House of Ashes, he built this temple to appease the god, but it failed, and now it’s home to a pack of bloodthirsty creatures. 

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