An Enjoyable Interactive Horror Story
My first video game of 2020! Just a few hours ago I saw the ending of Man of Medan, the first game in The Dark Pictures Anthology.
I played with my girlfriend in what I guess we will call “boyfriend mode” where I control the game and the girlfriend calls out the decisions. (Man of Medan actually has couch co-op and online co-op options. With the latter, you can give a friend a free code to play with you online, pretty cool). This is actually our preferred way to play similar games: Until Dawn, Detroit: Become Human and Untitled Goose Game.
Speaking of Until Dawn, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan is made by the same Developer Supermassive Games, the game plays the same way. If you haven’t played before; these games are basically interactive stories. Gameplay consists of exploring areas, making decisions (during dialog, actions) and quick time events (QTEs).
To quickly summarize Man of Medan’s story, without spoilers; it’s a psychological horror story following around a cast of 5 characters and their bad luck during a diving trip. The find their way aboard a ghost ship, the Ourang Medan (a real alleged ghost ship!) and attempt to make their way back to safety.
Decisions you make and how good you are at QTEs alter the story and can result in the death’s of any (or all) of your characters. There are actually achievement’s/trophies for completing the game with: all, none, just men or just woman alive, promoting multiple play-throughs.
I enjoyed the game and it didn’t overstay it’s welcome, but I’m not really sure how impactful the way I played or decisions I made actually impact the story. I had one character die because I believe I chose B instead of A and another die because I couldn’t mash the square button fast enough. I understand they need to do something to make it seem like you’re actually playing a video game, but honestly would have enjoyed the game more if choices and not button mashing determined the outcome.
The game is a little glitchy with loading issues, and I feel like I failed some QTE’s when I shouldn’t have, but I enjoyed my 5 or 6 hours with Man of Medan. I’m not one for replaying games, but I can see myself going back and playing this again in a year or two, making some different decisions and attempting to save (or maybe kill) the whole group. Maybe even sooner to mess around with the Co-Op.
With The Dark Pictures being an Anthology series, another game will be coming out in 2020; A brand new horror story titled Little Hope, which I will definitely be playing.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan gets a solid 3/5 stars, a Good, but slightly flawed game.
Some frame-rate hickups and button-mashable deaths keep it from a higher score, but I enjoyed my time with it.