The Career Game Review | Games

Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, PC

It’s clear that the creators of Supermassive Games have imagined themselves to be filmmakers as much as game developers since 2015. Until dawn, which cemented their reputation for creating interactive dramas inspired by classic horror films. After focusing on the annual The Dark Pictures Anthology series since 2019, The career marks the studio’s first big new property in years, but anyone expecting a creative leap will be disappointed – while there will be minor twists, it’ll be all-too-familiar territory for gamers and moviegoers alike.

Spot the Tropes: A group of summer camp counselors find themselves trapped in the woods after the kids return home, only to learn something is hunting them, while the camp’s suspicious owner and a creepy little girl sheriff town hover around the hot young cast as their lives descend into bloody chaos. The career is a bit more ambitious than the teen slashers it draws inspiration from, with a plot that layers together several horror features in a really interesting and cross-cutting way, but anyone who grew up on a regular diet of 80s scary movies and 90 won’t find much new here.

That said, the clean homages and nods to genre classics are often cleverly done, and it’s all clearly coming from a place of love for the source material. One of the best touches is the implementation of animated tutorials that play like episodes of The twilight zone, with voice-overs à la Rod Serling. It’s also one of the best-looking games of the year, both in terms of its environments and its incredibly well-captured cast – Ted Raimi! David Arquet! Judge Smith! Brenda Song! Evan Evagora! After! – all of whom actually look like the actors in question. It’s the closest any game to date has come to bridging the uncanny valley, allowing actors to really play in their roles.

If you’ve ever played any of Supermassive’s video games, you’ve actually played The career in everything but the name.

The problem is, if you’ve ever played any of Supermassive’s video games, you’ve actually played it before. The career in everything but the name. Mechanically, you can expect the same mix of light exploration, crucial choices, and quick events to determine the success of any given scene. There are some fun twists – you might not want to beat all of these QTEs, for example – but nothing that redefines the genre.

Another issue is the length. Where Dark Pictures games hit that sweet spot of being long enough to tell a satisfying story, yet short enough to end in a single “movie night” session with friends – a mode The career replicas, allowing a controller to be passed around so that the choices and actions of each of the game’s main playable players rest in the hands of a particular player – the 10+ hour runtime here makes the games feel social repeated indeed impossible. Sure, you can split the game into multiple nights, but anyone who’s ever tried to get the same group of friends to commit to watching extended cuts from all three The Lord of the Rings movies will consecutively appreciate how difficult it is.

That’s the biggest shame, because the story, familiar though it is in places, offers some interesting detours depending on the choices made. There are enough diverging paths based on seemingly insignificant decisions that ultimately determine who and how many characters survive, which means you’ll probably want to give The career several games – but given that you could probably watch all Nightmare on Elm Street around the same time as a part, it’s likely going to win over most horror fans.