×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Dark Pictures: House Of Ashes Release Date, Trailer, And Gameplay - What We Know So Far

"House of Ashes," the third entry in Supermassive Games' "Dark Pictures Anthology," offers a distinct premise from its predecessors. "Man of Medan," which sees five individuals attempt to navigate the treacherous halls of a ghost ship, kicked off the series of standalone interactive horror titles in 2019. "Little Hope" followed just over a year later, transporting players to a haunted town rooted in witchcraft. "Houses of Ashes" delves deeper for its influences, with the action unfolding in the subterranean ruins of the Akkadian Empire dating back over 2,000 years.

Though the central threat of "House of Ashes" is rooted in ancient history (complete with a mythological curse), it also explores a more recent conflict: the 2003 Iraq War. According to a Eurogamer interview with director Will Doyle, the latest "Dark Pictures" installment serves as part "war story" and part supernatural thriller. "We wanted to show human aspects of their personality and put those aspects under strain," Doyle said regarding the playable cast, which includes a CIA operative, members of the U.S. military, and an Iraqi soldier. "So, when faced with this absolutely implacable, hostile foe, it naturally brings out the humanity in the characters."

Itching to uncover the evil that lurks in the remnants of a fallen civilization? Here's what you need to know about "The Dark Pictures: House of Ashes."

When will The Dark Pictures: House of Ashes release?

Supermassive Games revealed "House of Ashes" and its 2021 launch window via a teaser trailer hidden in "Little Hope," though the developer may have seeded the first hint about the third game slated to join the "Dark Pictures" lineup in "Man of Medan." A 1947 newspaper clip on the ship mentions the disappearance of 24 British archaeologists in an Iraq mountain range, a headline that lines up all to well with the setting in "House of Ashes." Players spotted a second clue in "Little Hope" during its 13th Premonition, which included a scene centered on a never-before-seen woman rappelling down a cavern. Though intriguing, the teaser trailer and choice tidbits provided more questions than answers.

The studio and publisher Bandai Namco left "Dark Pictures" fans to speculate for several months before revealing the first "House of Ashes" gameplay footage on May 27. Several key details about the setting and main characters accompanied the drop, though the broad 2021 launch target remained. Two weeks later, Bandai Namco revealed the official release date as part of the Summer Game Fest: October 22, 2021.

"The Dark Pictures: House of Ashes" releases this fall for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.

Is there a trailer for The Dark Pictures: House of Ashes?

Three trailers have released for "House of Ashes" — the Announcement Teaser, a May 2021 Teaser, and the Story Trailer & Release Date Announcement.

The 49-second Announcement Teaser provides a taste of the game's subterranean setting, along with the first look at Ashely Tisdale of "High School Musical" fame as CIA officer Rachel King. Though Bandai Namco did not confirm Tisdale's involvement until later, viewers quickly latched onto the resemblance shared by the actress and the woman shown in the trailer.

The longer May teaser offers a more comprehensive look at the Akkadian ruins King and her team find themselves trapped in. Moody red lighting and occasional shifts to the perspective of the malevolent being that has claimed the caverns as its hunting ground strike a sinister note, especially as more than one soldier meets their end.

Clocking in at nearly two and half minutes, the Story Trailer contains the most detail of the trio of "House of Ashes" clips. It starts strong with the appearance of a familiar figure for "Dark Pictures" fans: the Curator, an enigmatic being who ties the otherwise separate entries of the anthology together. In the following montage, you see a small group of U.S. forces in Iraq embark in search of what they believe to be an underground cache of chemical weapons. The mission quickly goes south when the ground cracks open in the ensuing encounter, leaving individuals on both sides of the conflict stranded deep below ground.

What is the gameplay like in The Dark Pictures: House of Ashes?

Supermassive Games offered the first look at the gameplay in "House of Ashes" on May 27. At just under 20 minutes, the reveal includes a wealth of information about the series and its newest addition, with game director Will Doyle setting the scene and guiding viewers through the footage.

Like the previous installments, "House of Ashes" puts the life or death of five playable characters — CIA officer Rachel King and her husband Colonel Eric King, Marines Jason Kolchek and Nick Kay, and Iraqi officer Salim Othman — in the hands of players. Your decisions influence the title's branching narrative, culminating in one of several available endings and significantly enhancing its replayability. As with "Man of Medan" and "Little Hope," "House of Ashes" incorporates elements inspired by real-world events and myth, though its premise springs from a much older story that originated in the ancient kingdom of Akkad.

"House of Ashes" further distinguishes itself from earlier "Dark Pictures" games through its inhuman monsters, which Doyle described as "some of the most complicated we've ever made." The team at Supermassive has brought these creatures to life via a combination of hand-animation and mo-cap. While "House of Ashes" retains the series' central mechanics, Doyle also promised "many improvements." A 360 degree camera controlled by players replaces the fixed camera system, while the addition of a flashlight button allows you to better explore the environment. New difficulty levels — easy, medium, and no-holds-barred — also offer a far more customizable experience.