Supermassive Games’ Until Dawn was an exclusive sleeper hit on PS4, managing to capture the campy horror of classic slasher films while creating an experience that felt both engaging and ensured player choice meant something.
Being haunted by terrifying creatures while trying to solve an unfolding mystery was hugely enjoyable, and it’s something we remember fondly. The Dark Pictures Anthology is set to introduce a new series of horror stories, starting with Man of Medan in 2019.
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Described as “intense standalone horror games” by Supermassive CEO Pete Samuels, it will follow in the footsteps of Until Dawn where 8220;your decisions, your reactions to horror thrown at you, will determine who will and who won’t survive.8221;
A heck of a lot like Until Dawn, as it turns out. Supermassive Games has clearly taken the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach with The Dark Pictures Anthology, and it’s worked wonders. At least, it proved both spooky and compelling in the short demo I had a chance to play at Gamescom 2018.
Taking place on an abandoned ship haunted by what is presumably an ancient curse, Man of Medan features a group of hapless teenagers eager to party. As expected, things go terribly wrong and you’re left to fight for survival. My time with the game begins right in the thick of things as I’m taken hostage and escorted through the ship’s rusty corridors. My captor is clearly just as uneasy as me, making the entire situation ooze a palpable dread.
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Controls feel very similar to Until Dawn as you move around a singular character while they explore a specific environment to progress the narrative. It’s strictly linear, only deviating from the established path when you make decisions, which can be both major and minuscule in magnitude.
For example, I could choose to inspect corpses for a little extra insight or, by the end of demo, leave a friend behind to be eaten alive by living corpses. Choices like this punctuate the entire experience, and they’re all made to serve the unsettling atmosphere that permeates everything.
Camera angles shift majestically to take perfect advantage of the environments you explore. As I descended down a corridor my character was thrust to the back of the frame, allowing for a dastardly jump scare as an alien hand crept away in the corner. It’s fun, spooky and the exact kind of campy horror I signed up for.
Beyond what was mentioned above, there isn’t very much more to say about Man Of Medan. It’s an extension of Until Dawn both in terms of narrative ambition and gameplay mechanics. If you’ve experienced Supermassive’s previous horror effort, you’ll likely adore what’s to come in The Dark Pictures Anthology.
Are you ready to be spooked by Man of Medan? Let us know on Facebook and Twtter @trustedreviews.