Review: Man of Medan

The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan is the spiritual successor of the popular Until Dawn, a horror game that came out four years ago. Man of Medan is only the first title in Supermassive’s Dark Pictures Anthology, a series of horror stories based on urban legends. Does the game offer a strong start to the series or is our interest in future installments already dwindling?

Man of Medan is based on the ‘SS Ourang Medan’ urban legend. This is the story of an SS ship that mysteriously dissappeared during the second World War. Once again the player pilots a group of teenagers, often switching between characters during their playthrough. These characters eventually happen to stumble upon the supposed to be empty vessel and that’s when the horror starts.

Unlike horror games such as Layers of Fear 2, this game has got you on edge from start to finish. Players are bombarded with hard choices during their time with the game and it is a constant struggle to try and keep your beloved playable characters alive. You can never be certain whether or not you have just made the right choice, even when the game sometimes shows you little bits of things that might happen in the future. To elaborate, Man of Medan uses a similar system as with the totems in Until Dawn. Find a certain picture and you get a glimpse at what the future may bring, yet you do not know which choices led to this outcome. Indeed, uncertainty quickly becomes a familiar feeling when playing this game.

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Choices are paired with QTE’s (quick time events), so there is never a dull moment whilst playing. The game itself only takes about 4-5 hours to finish, which isn’t a problem considering its immense replayability. Playing the game solo offers a different experience than playing couch co-op with a friend and both methods are equally well worth doing. Man of Medan also features a ‘Movie Night’ mode where four friends can have a good old fashioned pyjama party and play through the game together. Time to find which one of your friends scares the easiest?

The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan is a must have for any horror fan. It improves upon many aspects of Until Dawn and is worth playing over and over again. This is the perfect all-night game to play with you friend(s) or significant other and has got you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. All that’s left to say is: when is the next title in the franchise coming out?

Rating: 8/10

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Developer: Supermassive Games

Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment

Price: €29,99/$29,99/£24.99

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