And now we're bequeathed with a new edition to the genre, Dark Pictures: The Man of Medan. This game is part of a collection of horror game series that will serve as an anthology. The games itself are short compared to other titles, but it comes with multiple different directions that you could take in the journey. It's meant to be a more cinematic horror adventure experience to players as they slowly discover and feel their surroundings with each of the playable character which you will be able to play at certain parts of the storyline.
If some of you more in tune with the gaming world find that this game kinda looks familiar with something from the recent past, you're not wrong. This is the same studio that brought us Until Dawn. Remember the wendigos? Yes, that horrifying experience. And Supermassive Games thought to themselves, how about we make a horror game that takes entirely in a boat in the middle of the ocean? And that's exactly where the entirety of this game takes place. The game also features cutscenes of having a narrator that talks to us directly as the player, albeit less scary than the psychologist (?) character that was in Until Dawn. The narrator offers key information which can help you in navigating your way to a game with a good ending.
The story begins with a bit of a flashback that serves as a placeholder to the whole game which starts way back during World War 2, which also serves for players to get accustomed to the controls as well as certain quick time events that will prevalent throughout the gameplay, so it serves as a pretty nicely done tutorial in away. Flash forward, you know are in the vicinity of your survivors or victims of circumstances, depending on the choices that you make and how quick your fingers are quick to press the corresponding buttons. 5 characters which will be introduced, and if you're horror buff, you can see the typical horror typecast. The jock, the nerdy dude, the obnoxious fool, the pretty diva and a strong type character with an air of mystery. Basically people who are not equipped to deal with horror shit. With each choice you make in certain interaction moments will develop certain traits that will be part of that particular character. So, think the Walking Dead game but with ghosts. Your characters for a dive into a WW2 bomber plane wreckage under the ocean and one thing led to the other, which I'm not going to tell because...spoilers. You now end up in a ghostly ship and things start happening as you and your crew start unveiling what was going on.
In term of graphics, the game shines the brightest. Although, I have to admit that certain facial graphics was really creepy, unintentionally. However, you can definitely feel the environment rendered to perfection. It has a strikingly realistic feel to it which in turn increases the depth of the game experience. The dialogues, however, could use a bit of work, but the effort is commendable. But things like a character whistling in an abandoned ship in the middle of the night in the middle of the ocean and in the dire situation they're in is pretty unrealistic. Are you out of mind, Julia?! The story concept is pretty interesting and we don't get that much of ocean horror, not that I remember of. The closest we got was the coastal town horror, The Sinking City. The story concept is interesting but needs more work and the horror mechanics needs to be diversified as scare jumps aren't going to work anymore if you're planning to have a game that's going to have the players playthrough again and again to get their desired ending.
All in all, it's definitely an interesting game concept, and I'm definitely looking forward to more addition to the series. And I'm hoping the horror experience they're planning to bring evolves as well, instead of relying on cheap jump scares, which after a while just feels exhausting. And it's important to have various game mechanics in play to make the replayability a fresh and continuous horrifying experience. The game got the graphics and the overall feel right. All they need is more horrifying moments. So definitely try out the game, and try to make the best decisions for your characters in hopes that you'll be able to get the good ending. Then again, what's a good ending for you, is totally up to you.