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I have only played Man of Medan(MoM), but it was enough for me to not have high expectations, since that game was not that great, but the way choices worked there still made me curious for other games of the series. Once I saw a relatively good discount on this one, I decided to buy it, and... I will be refunding it.

It's just worse than MoM. I think I won't spoil much, saying that we get into the main place of the game only after 1.5 hours of gameplay, which is considerable amount of time. It is not that much different compared to MoM, since there we had a significant chunk happening outside of the ship, too, so this alone is probably not an issue. But this chunk being boring and completely brain-dead is.

In MoM you had to be quite active in the first chapter. There was quite a few things going on, even though not all of them were directly related to the main story. You had action, though, and the way it was distributed was quite logical. The dialogues, while somewhat corny, were able to give you initial idea of the characters and develop some not necessarily negative feelings towards them. "House of Ashes" fails in both regards.

The 1.5 hours that I've played were boring. Yes, even the first small portion (tutorial) was boring, even though it should have been a piece setting up the "horror mood". It did not feel scary in any way, it did not have any weight behind it. The last portion of these 1.5 hours also were boring despite it having seemingly more action, since military operation goes wrong and there is a firefight. Let alone the "ground-breaking" moment at the end did not make any sense.

As for characters, all of them seemed unlikeable to me. Maybe because of the dialogues, which was worse that MoM, or because of their actions, or both. If MoM was like a B-movie, this one was more like a C-movie (if the letter stood for grade). Characters were copy-pasted from low-budget military movies of late 80s and 90s. I get that these kind of stereotypes must come from somewhere, but when all characters are behaving almost exactly the same with very minor nuances between them, it is just painful to watch.

That's not all there is, sadly, because it's gotten worse in other areas, too. Models and animations were very plastic, and I saw quite a few clipping moments (like eyebrows clipping with hat or glasses clipping into forehead). The camera somehow got worse, too. I did not like the forced angles in MoM, but "free-roam" camera in this game is even less playable, mostly because of how it behaves near walls in close quarters. With most of the game happening in close quarters.

I honestly do not understand the praise the series is getting. Obviously it's not the worse games ever, but "very positive" rating on Steam seams a bit high. "Mixed" feels more appropriate. Maybe these games play better in coop? I am not going to test that, though, because I am refunding "House of Ashes" and removing the other games from wishlist. I do not recommend this.