Game review - The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan
Choice based games have been popular over the years thanks to developers like Quantum Dream and Supermassive Games just to name a few. Many games of this genre had been PlayStation exclusives like Heavy Rain, Until Dawn and most recently Detroit: Become Human.
Supermassive Games developed the aforementioned Until Dawn back in 2015 and the game became a huge sleeper hit. It was popular on Twitch and YouTube because gamers and viewers loved seeing all of the different storylines and outcomes that could be conjured up.
Well Supermassive Games is at it again releasing a similar game called The Dark Pictures: Men of Medan for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Much like Until Dawn, Man of Medan is again a horror game in which players need to save the lives of five playable characters. Sure you can try to save every character, although many of them can die early on too if you’re not good enough!
What I love most about choice based games is just how unpredictable they can be. In one moment you could be doing really well, but things can easily fall apart if you miss pressing a button and this can lead to many fatal consequences.
None of the main characters in Man of Medan have plot armour because each one of them has the chance to die at anytime. It doesn’t matter how early you are playing the game, any of the characters could have an early exit. On the flipside of this, you also have the chance to make everyone live to have a happier ending.
In terms of the main story, Man of Medan is your typical style of horror game. You control a group of young adult divers named Fliss, Conrad, Julia, Alex and Brad. All of them are on a trip at the sea looking for interesting things they have found inside old wreckage.
As you progress further into the story, the group is confronted by some pirates where they are led to step on board a huge and evil looking ghost ship. It’s inside the ghost ship that the majority of the game takes place in and the characters have to survive its many deadly obstacles.
There’s more to the story as you find more clues, although I do not want to spoil too many details here. I will say the game is very interesting to play through the first time around to find out the reasons why the ship is haunted and why there’s so many dead bodies lying around.
As I already mentioned, this game is unpredictable and it’s best to play the game multiple times to see what you may have missed the first time around. Like I said before, you can either make the characters all live in one playthrough, or you can also make many of them die. Finding all of the different scenarios is really fun and playing this game more than once is recommended.
As for the gameplay, I will say Man of Medan isn’t as good as other games in this genre like Until Dawn and last year’s release of Detroit: Become Human. Moving characters around can feel like a chore because there’s a fixed camera and all of them move at a snail’s pace. It’s easy to miss doors and areas of interest thanks to the shoddy camera angles too.
If you don’t like Quick Time Events (QTEs), you probably won’t like this game either. It’s very easy to miss pressing a certain button that can lead to the death of a character. Trust me, I’ve played this game multiple times and missing a button prompt can be very frustrating if you want a specific character to stay alive.
Another thing I dislike about this game is just how short the whole story is. This game is far shorter than the likes of Until Dawn and Detroit: Become Human. You can pretty much play through this game multiple times in just a few hours.
Graphically, the game is fine as a whole but I would have liked if the game had more settings and locations for you to visit. The game takes place in a dark looking ghost ship for the majority of the time and it can get boring searching inside the same location all of the time. I preferred Detroit: Become Human because there were lots of other places for you to explore.
As a whole, The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan is a fun game to play with friends or by yourself solely to see how the story unfolds. The main fun factor of the game is pretty much finding out all of the branching scenarios you can find. I would have liked if the game was longer, but I still enjoyed my multiple playthroughs.