The Darkest Tales: Into the Nightmare (PC) Review
Michael P Cleworth
Perfect voice acting
5-hours of gameplay only
The Darkest Tales: Into the Nightmare throws you into a fantastical world of the dark side of fairy tales, penned by The Brothers Grimm. Playing as a disgruntled teddy bear, you’re awakended from a deep slumber – in which you’ve happly been enjoying – by a luminescent flying orb named ‘Lighty’ that tells you your owner has fallen into a deep sleep, in which her conscience is being fed upon by demons.
As you can tell, The Darkest Tales: Into the Nightmare is far from your conventional fairytale of sunshine and roses.
An Interesting Premise with some Familiar Faces
Dark and ominous takes on fairy tails often make for interesting games and movies. We only need to take a brief glance at the likes of the seventh generation video game – Alice: Madness Returns and the multitude of references in the monumental hit of the same generation, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to realise that fairy tales have earned a place in the world of video games.
The Darkest Tales – Into the Nightmare, brings many of the fairy tales of all our childhoods into a wonderfully macabre story of forgotten grudges and adventure. With familiar faces cast in a sinister light we see the likes of an evil Red Riding Hood, Arial from The Little Mermaid as a grotesque sea monster, and a rather disturbing battle between our long-nosed friend, Pinocchio and his creator, Gepetto.
Then game keeps you waiting in a keen anticipation to see what other gruesome rendition of a childhood hero is waiting for you ahead.
The Darkest Tales: Into the Darkness – Voice Acting
What rounds this dark journey off nicely is the voice acting. The Darkest Tales: Into the Nightmare features a talented cast of voice actors that give a real lease of life (sorry, Pinnochio) to the array of characters you meet along the way.
The game opens up with a fairy-tale-esque narrative that draws you into the story from the very start. ‘Lighty’ has a wonderfully mischevious lilt that perfectly complements in contrast to the surly, grumpy tones of the main character.
It’s refreshing to see such care and attention being given to the voices of The Darkest Tales: Into the Nightmare, as opposed to the lazy approach off scrolling subtitles that we all too often see. From start to finish, the voices add a fresh spark to an already compelling game.
Not Everything is Perfect in The Darkest Tales
With its visually outstanding in-game art, fairy tale premise and aforementioned voice acting, it would be easy to be led to believe that The Darkest Tales: Into the Nightmare is a perfect game, and it very nearly is, apart from one element where developers, 101XP, have dropped the ball – control mechanics.
Don’t get me wrong, the controls aren’t at a point where they make the game unplayable. They do, however, make traversing and fighting a little more awkward than they could otherwise be. Soft-lock raises its ugly head all too often and the whole system just feels clunky, sluggish and under-responsive.
The Darkest Takes: Into the Darkeness – Summary
With its stunning graphical style, dramatic musical score, interesting premise and top-notch voice acting, The Darkest Tales: Into the Nightmare will appeal to most fans of side-scrolling platform games. While at times a little slow, the pace can be a little drawn out. However, it more than makes up for this with the many qualities that shine in abundance throughout.
Yes, The Darkest Tales: Into the Nightmare does let itself down with the clumsy control mechanics, but this isn’t something that can’t be sorted out with a developer, a large jug of good coffee and a little tinkering of code.
The Darkest Takes: Into the Nightmare is available now on Steam.