The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan. | PS4 Review.

Monday 16 November 2020

Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: Supermassive Games
PS4 Review

Main Characters:
  • The Curator
  • Fliss - Captain for expedition
  • Conrad - Julia's Brother
  • Julia - Conrad's sister/Alex's Girlfriend
  • Brad - Alex's Brother
  • Alex - Julia's Boyfriend/ Brad's Brother
  • Junior - Pirate
  • Olson - Pirate
  • Danny - Pirate

I did a first impressions post on Man of Medan when I was half way through but since playing it and doing videos I felt like it needed it's own review. First of all I need to add that Man of Medan isn't a very long story and it's part of an anthology of games being released over a period of years with other mini horror stories, each one unique with a different take on horror. Man of Medan focuses on a haunted ship, it wasn't always haunted and the events that led up to it's demised thanks to a "curse" is what caused it's biggest downfall, they say that spirits can attach themselves to objects/places/people, but is that what's really happening?! We are thrown into the story straight away, there isn't really an introduction you just have to pay close attention to what is going on around you, there are a lot of cut scenes so my biggest advice is to full immerse yourself with a headset with no distractions.

When you eventually get to control the game you will swap and choose between characters, the first part of the game you play as young marines (from 1947) who are messing about then the game moves on to the ship which is where nearly all of the game takes place, this ship recently picked up a very mysterious cargo and it's caused strange happenings to take place, throughout the scenes QTE (quick time events) are thrown your way but it's clear no matter what you do yours and your shipmates demise will happen sooner than you think, once this chapter is over we are introduced to a very strange British man who happens to be the curator and explains how the game works and how your choices are important so basically choose wisely, he is telling the story from an anthology which is the first installment. The interesting thing about this is, even though we know that our choices chooses the characters deaths we are told it's just a story yet their deaths have a huge impact on what comes next and our outcomes so it feels more like our own journey.

Once he explained how the game worked to me and I looked through my settings I was fully aware of what I needed to do much like the game Until Dawn, Man of Medan however has a very different feel and tone to it (which I'm not mad about). There are a number of things to look out for throughout your game play so I made sure I looked around as best as I could, pictures on the walls give you premonitions of how characters COULD die and these deaths can be avoided with choices you make which is why I encourage anyone to play to pay full attention. After meeting the curator we move on to modern day and meet 5 new characters, only 4 of them are friends and hire a captain named Fliss to help them find a WWII wreck, but Fliss wasn't aware of all the intensions and things start to go very wrong.

Fliss was hired for a diving expedition for the gang of 4 but soon turned ugly when they were taken hostage by pirates which then introduces us to 3 new characters, there are options to help one of the characters escape to get help which I thankfully managed to do but unfortunately the rest of the crew are taken upon a ship, a very familiar ship from the first chapter of the game and we all know this spells danger for ALL of the characters. From this point on they had no idea what would await any of them, it's clear the ship is in disrepair and that they need to be very careful of whatever move the choose to make next. You can just imagine how hard it would be trying to escape pirates and get off a ghost ship at the same time right? Not knowing your surroundings is unnerving which is how the game got to me most of the time.

Free roaming would either push you to a dead end or have little jumpscares waiting for you, if I'm honest I found Until Dawn to be a lot more scary with it's jump scares, where as Man of Medan played with your mind. dialogue choices were interesting at times, it would show just what kind of character I wanted them to be whether that was heroic or an utter twat which is what I thought of Conrad at times, then because of a silly choice I made I ended up getting my favourite character killed (Fliss) she was the only one with the brains to see that what they were doing was a bad idea from the start. I did encounter some bugs through my second playthrough but they sorted themselves out in the end which is what we like to see, the biggest issue I had was on some parts of dialogue the game never registered what I chose ruining what may have come next for me.

When you switch between characters you start to learn more about them, obviously, I would tend to get curious and see how they would react if I veered off with certain dialogue choices and instantly regretted it but this also opens up the story to situations you never saw coming as sometimes jumpscares were predictable. I feel that if I had played the game on co-op mode I would have had a different experience with my outcomes, at some point I would love to give the co-op mode a go and see how the second player would react and what they would choose to do in certain situations, It also adds more playability to the game and would be fun for a gaming night with friends with the movie night mode where you can play with up to 5 friends.  

Looking through the menu, you can look at characters relationships with one another and their personalities and characteristics, it gave you an idea of how they had changed from the start to how they were now, You will get the impression that some of the gang just put up with others to be polite, if I was in that situation I would end up arguing with them all the time because they're so reckless and this shows with the dialogue options. There is also a section called Bearings you can access in menu, this shows your choices throughout the game and deaths of characters to help keep track of what choices you have made at certain points and there are 8 altogether. 

As I mentioned before there are paintings you find that give you 
premonitions, they're not that essential unless you want a hint of what to avoid when it comes to that point in time a death will occur, I tried my best to find as many as I could but I missed a good few by the end of my gameplay, if I choose to platinum the game I will just play back through with a guide. QTE (quick time events) are the main mechanic, in the menu there are accessibility options that allow you to hold the button to button mash and to disable QTE time out, great initiative to have these options, I personally am not sure how accessible this will be for everyone but i have a feeling that Supermassive Games looked into it and decided they needed to add a single action prompt to accessibility options for Little Hope.

Yes, I loved this game I did feel it was a lot shorter than the likes of Until Dawn and it's the next game in the anthology, Little Hope (I have a review written up for this too), at the same time I'm not sure where else they could have taken the game once you reach some sort of outcome, the character progression was a nice pace and as soon as I end up liking someone the game threw me in a sticky situations. Looking back at the scenes from the videos I did from the game I realised just how devastating it must be for the families of the men on the ship to not know where they are or what happened to them, it's a devastating situation that happen and when you realise why you will understand that it's more about a silly mistake rather than a haunting. If like me you enjoyed the movie Ghost Ship I think Man of Medan will be a game you will enjoy.

Whilst you're here why not check out my friends post all about Animal Crossing New Horizon and it's spooky season post HERE


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