THE DARK PICTURES: MAN OF MEDAN
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on September 5, 2019
Okay, I was hyped for this game as soon as I heard that Supermassive Games was working on another title. I loved every bone chilling second of Until Dawn; I played every possible scenario (even made all the characters both all survive till dawn or all die) and I unlocked every trophy and collected everything there was to collect. In short, yes I love that game and I couldn't wait to play another game created by the same studio!
When you enter the main menu you notice someone who looks like a professor of sorts in the background, who immediately put me in mind of the psychiatrist that was in Until Dawn. After the intro of the game, this guy seems to be a curator. And not just any old curator, no sirree! He is actually a curator of stories and is very anxious to see how we will do in our story. The curator explains the basics of the game and tells you what you should pay attention to. In terms of game play this game works almost exactly the same like Until Dawn. The controls are similar, you will switch from character to character and should always keep an eye out for some collectibles. Plus, there are ways for you to take a peek into certain future events, so you will be a little better prepared what's coming (like the totems in Until Dawn).
So, for Man of Medan we trade the big winter lodge for an even bigger ship. After a disturbing intro we get to meet protagonists of this game: Brad, Alex, Julia, Conrad and Fliss. These characters are introduced the same unique way that was also used in Until Dawn. When a character first enters the stage, everything will slow down and stop for a moment and some important keywords will appear. Those words will indicate the relationship to other characters in the game and some characteristics which gave a little bit of an impression about that specific character.
The story of Man of Medan revolves around a couple of friends who are in the mood for some wreck diving. To this end, they rented a boat and set a course towards where they believe a wreck of a WWII airplane is located. And, as luck would have it, they indeed find a previously undiscovered wreck lying on the ocean floor which two of the friends start exploring. Everything is all fun and games at first but, like in any good horror story, things will go downhill really fast after that and things will quickly start to become serious and dangerous. Think bandits, being tied up and eventually exploring a ghost ship, hoping to find a way to get to safety.
As we've come to expect from a Supermassive Games game, you'll have to make a lot of decisions while playing. Now, some of these decisions might seem more important than others, but all of them have one thing in common; they all contribute to how the story develops and how the characters relate to each other. The funny part is that sometimes a decision doesn't seem that important until later on in the game. And it's those decisions that often have serious consequences, so be sure to choose what's right for you. On a personal note, while playing Until Dawn, I discovered that, most of the time, the social and friendly approach was the one that yielded the best results. So I'm curious to see if this will also be the case in Man of Medan, or that the story writers spiced up things a little. And from the first minute I started to play this game I was wondering if I will be confronted with a surprising and interesting plot twist. Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you if I did or not, you'll just have to play the game in order to find out! And what could be more fun than playing the game and experiencing every twist and scare for yourself? That's beats the hell out of some random reviewer, spoiling the entire story for you, am I right?
In the game menu you will notice that there are two ways to play the game: Play Alone (Single Player) and Don't Play Alone (Multi Player). Multiplayer in a game of this genre? Well, Pete Samuels, Executive Producer and Series Director for The Dark Pictures Anthology at Supermassive Games, explains why: "We're delighted to reveal two very different multiplayer modes ahead of the launch of the first title in The Dark Pictures Anthology. We know from fan reactions to Until Dawn, that multiplayer was a massively desired feature for Man of Medan, so we're sure players will love tackling the horrors of the world from new perspectives".
And I must say, Supermassive Games delivered as promised. In the Don't Play Alone section you'll find two options: Movie Night, which lets you play the game in couch coop mode. When playing the game like this, each player takes control of a character and gets the controller whenever his or her character is playable. The other option is Shared Story, which offers you the opportunity to play the game online, together with one other player. Now, you'll both take control of one of the characters and play the game side by side.
I had so much fun (and scares!) while playing Man of Medan. It was a truly awesome ride! My first play through took my like four and a half hours, but then you have one possible outcome. The replay value of the game is high, because you'll definitely want to know what would have happened if you'd just made different choices.. And the developers promised to release a new story/installment to the Dark Pictures Anthology every 6 months, Man of Medan being the first of eight! I loved every minute of this game, so I'm definitely looking forward to again check every possible outcome and collect all the trophies and hopefully, by that time, it's time to once again get my horror groove on with the next story in the anthology!