The Dark Pictures Anthology – Man of Medan – Review
Follow Genre: Interactive drama, survival horror
Developer: Supermassive Games
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PS4

The Dark Pictures Anthology – Man of Medan – Review

Site Score
7.4
Good: Well crafted setting, Appealing story
Bad: QTE, Texture popping, Horrible controls
User Score
7.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Narrative driven games have become rather big over the years with top titles such as Until Dawn, Detroit: Become Human, or the recently released Erica. The Dark Pictures Anthology is a new franchise published by Bandai Namco that will feature several story-driven horror experiences where your choices will create a unique experience for you. The first game features a group of young adults who are stuck on a ghost ship, where, as you may expect, shit is about to go down. We were curious to see if this short horror experience could spook us, or that it would sink like the Titanic.

Story

The story starts off like any poorly written Shark movie would start off with, namely a bunch of teenagers/young adults who go out to the middle of the ocean to go diving. While an event with a shark is hinted at, things don’t turn for the worst in that department. The group, however, struggles with a storm (and another encounter) and they eventually end up on an abandoned ship that has been lost at sea for over half a century. As expected, things turn for the worst from that moment on with paranormal encounters and a strong desire to stay alive. The outcome of the group eventually depends on the choices you make, and the game allows for a set of different outcomes, which can motivate players to play the game again if they did not reach their desired ending the first time around.

Graphics

Man of Medan is a very attractive game. The developers created the perfect setting for a horror experience and all the decors look picture perfect. The backdrops all feel realistic, and the amount of free-roaming you can do makes it an impressive piece of art. We only noticed a lot of texture popping, where the models and sceneries would load, only to have the textures pop on a second later. The game also seems to struggle with keeping up the frame count and sometimes lag spikes make the cinematics skip from one scene to the next with no proper transition. The latter destroys a lot of the immersion and even can cause you to miss a QTE command now and then. That being said, the game does push the capabilities of the PlayStation 4, and even with the few hiccups we mentioned, this game is a sight to behold.

Sound

The sound design of the game is also pretty much pitch-perfect. You’ll have proper voice acting from start to finish, and the subtle backdrops also enhance the experience. The volume also differentiates from time to time, simply to stress the player of what is going on. Scary sections can go from eerily quiet to extremely loud, simply to scare your socks off. While we don’t advise you to play this with the volume cranked open when your parents are asleep, we can commend the developers for setting the proper atmosphere and tone.

Gameplay

The Dark Pictures Anthology – Man of Medan is an interactive survival horror experience. You’ll have to play with the different characters available in the game to uncover clues, to flee from scary apparitions and to – hopefully – make it out alive. The game doesn’t require you to do many fancy things and proves to be straightforward mere moments into the game.

The control scheme of the game might be simple, but the actual controls aren’t all too good. You’ll mode around in semi-static environments with fixed camera angles, pretty much like the old Resident Evil games. You’ll move around rather clumsily like you would in the aforementioned series. You can interact with a lot of items lying around in your environment, but the command does not always trigger, and even when the prompt is there, you might lose it because you moved ever so slightly. Other than that, the game presents you with a lot of QTEs, which isn’t for everyone, especially when playing locally with friends in the Movie Night mode. This mode allows you to play with up to five people by passing the controller to another player when it’s another character’s turn in the game. If you’re playing with movie-buffs but inexperienced gamers, they might often miss a QTE section of the game, which then hampers the experience or can cause you to do something wrong during crucial moments. Nonetheless, with the limited amount of gameplay options available, as there is no real combat to be found in the game, we can understand the choice of simply adding QTEs and conversational options.

Your choices impact the flow of the story. It’s possible that characters die, that characters get cross with each other and so on. Overall it’s fun to replay the game if you’re looking for different endings or simply different survival options. If you wish to leave everything to bad luck that’s an option, but if you want to get everyone out alive, that just might be an option too.

Conclusion

The Dark Pictures Anthology – Man of Medan is a great horror experience, albeit with a few minor flaws. The game does struggle to remain stable from start to finish, and there are clear texture popping and some rough transitions from one scene to another. Those remarks aside, Man of Medan is extremely well crafted, the story is very appealing, the different choices create an original experience, and it’s one of those games that motivates you to keep pressing on.

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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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The Dark Pictures Anthology – Man of Medan - Review, 7.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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