The first of The Dark Pictures Anthology, the development team behind Until Dawn bring forth another interactive cinematic experience. Released in August 30, 2019 the start of a new horror anthology begins with Man of Medan. To summarize the game, in its own words. Man of Medan is a game about repercussions, and there are always repercussions. Your actions, your successes, your failures, and your decisions will directly influence the path and events of the game. Some decisions will have immediate results while others may come back into play later in your story.
The game begins in the past with Navy shore man returning from leave to their vessel, but the events that start that night leave no survivors and the ship adrift at sea. In the present however you are introduced to the main cast. A group of friends going out diving and the captain of the boat they have hired to take them out to sea. What they find on the dive and an ill fated encounter with pirates starts them on their trip to the abandoned cruiser adrift at sea. But what you find on board may not always be what it seems.
The game play itself is pretty basic. When presented with choices you use the right stick to select an option, but saying nothing is also an option. The primary game play is to explore, find items to reveal the secrets. Combat and action sequences are handled through quick time events where you might need to hit a button to safely jump across dangerous holes in the floor, or by moving an on screen cursor and hitting it before the person, or thing, attacks you.
The games graphics are impressive. The environment is very detailed and while wandering the halls of the bowels of a ship might seem repetitive. The rooms, halls, and decks are littered with objects giving the ship a very rusted and abandoned feel. Sound design like wise is on point. From the creaking of the metal hull. To strange whispers and noises around you. Both the graphics and sound work together to build a tense atmospheric experience straight out of a well made horror movie.
While the game play is shorter than most big titles. What the game does provide you is rich in story, tension, and scares. Combining this with the games repercussions for just about everything you do. You can almost treat this as a rainy day game to pop in and have a choose your own horror adventure movie. The games achievements encourage runs of the game such as everyone survives, only the women survive, or you can be a real bastard and try to kill all the characters in the game. The choices are yours to make. The game also comes with an option to play with other people. There is the shared story mode where you and a friend play together and your decisions can affect one or both of you. The other is the movie night mode which is a couch co-op mode where you, and up to four of your friends, pass the controller around as you take control of one of the games main characters. So whether its a party night with your friends or a late night play through. It does provide a number of reasons to play the game a second or third time.
Course like any good horror movie, after the credits roll. Dark Pictures Anthology has a final stinger teasing the second game of the anthology. Little Hope coming out in Summer of 2020. So check out the Man of Medan and see if you are able to solve its mysteries and guide the cast to their horrific demise or their salvation.
Dark Picture Anthology: Man of Medan
Developer: Supermassive Games
Composer: Jason Graves
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows