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The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man Of Medan, Man Of Medan – viettingame

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I’ve played through several endings of The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan, and I’m going to play more until I get the ending just right. In this post-World War II era horror game set aboard a derelict freighter, your job is to make sure that all five characters come back alive — no matter how annoying they are.

Man of Medan is one of multiple installments in The Dark Pictures Anthology, and it’s the latest horror game to come from Supermassive Games — the makers of Until Dawn, my favorite title of 2015. Medan debuts on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC on August 30. This time it comes with a multiplayer mode: Shared Story, where you can play in the same story with another human player, who controls a different character among a group of playable characters. The game also has a Movie Night mode, where up to five people can pass the controller around, taking turns controlling one character each.

These new modes make the game a lot more social and live up to the legacy of innovation at Supermassive Games. And while this game has fewer main characters — five compared to eight — than Until Dawn, it’s not easy to keep them alive. You face many more branching paths, and those five characters can die in 69 different ways.

Warning: This review contains some spoilers.

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What you’ll lượt thích

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Above: If you miss a beat in the heartbeat mechanic, you’ll give yourself away.

Image Credit: Supermassive Games/Bandai Namco

The soldiers get into a fight with an officer aboard the ship, and they’re thrown in the brig. They wake up and find that the ship is in a very bad state. Some mysterious acid has leaked and mixed with water to form a toxic gas that affects the crew and the bodies of some soldiers in caskets. The two soldiers — now controlled by each human player — discover that the crew has gone mad and has begun shooting each other.

The soldiers try to escape and start wandering through the ship. You can hide, and then you have to control your breathing as another deranged soldier runs by. You have to tap the controller at the right time, a la Guitar Hero, to control your breathing. I really liked this mechanic, as you had to match your button pushes to the sound of a heartbeat of a terrified person.

Playing as one of the soldiers, I picked up a machine gun and then a kid ran by me. He hid in a locker. I fired into the locker, and then opened it. The kid transformed into some kind of zombie, and then I died. During this prelude, or tutorial, I figured out that you can’t survive. I paid close attention because I figured the prelude would give me a lot of hints about the main story.

Five distinct characters, some worth saving

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Above: Do you know Fliss well enough?

Image Credit: Supermassive Games/Bandai Namco

As the player, you control all of the characters at one time or another. The control shifts to different characters as the plot advances. You can see the nature of the relationships clearly as you make the choices, either with your head or with your heart. A meter will show whether your relationship with one character is strengthening or weakening. You can also get to see the personality of the character you are playing change.

They board the boat and take off on the open sea. You start making small decisions during the journey. Playing as Alex, you can decide whether or not to accept a beer from Conrad. You can refuse and watch Conrad get moody. Or you can accept, and pay the consequences of getting sick. As you make these decisions, your traits are updated. You can become aggressive, impatient, or daring. And these traits will change the options that are available to you when you have to outwit an unstable opponent or have to make a split-second decision to run or fight.

The Dark Pictures

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Above: Decision point in Man of Medan.

Image Credit: Supermassive Games/Bandai Namco

When the game puts you in a touch situation, it doesn’t necessarily judge you. You can wander through the boat in tìm kiếm of small clues, lượt thích why Fliss’ identification seems sketchy and why a book in a closet features a creepy guy with a hood .

Of course, the game developers steer you into making some bad decisions. Brad has figured out where they might find a World War II airplane wreck. They go to that spot and an underwater camera shows that Brad’s calculations are correct. Julia and Alex plan to dive down to the wreck. Fliss warns they should go by the book, reporting the find and not disturbing anything.

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But Julia insists on diving, and, as Alex, you can agree with her wholeheartedly or sympathize with Fliss. In any case, the duo dives down to the wreck. They find the intact rescue plane from the World War II era. They dive inside, disturb a lot of the innards, and make some discoveries. As they emerge, Alex has a moment where he wonders whether to tell Julia his big secret.

But they see an explosion on the boat from below, and they have to decide whether to rush up or not. If they rush, they run the risk of decompression sickness, which can be life threatening. I chose to go up fast. When we got up there, a motorboat sped off. Conrad says sheepishly that they had a barbecue mishap, which caused the explosion.

The boat carried some thug-like guys who were insulted by Conrad. And those thugs come back, triggering much of what happens next in the story.

Thinking quickly

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Above: Can you get to know Conrad better?

Image Credit: Supermassive Games/Bandai Namco

I also played the same scene in Movie Night mode, where up to five players can play one character and pass the controller around as other characters become active. Several of my human colleagues played with me. We talked over the things that happened in our first playthrough, and we got started on a second. We talked about the decisions we made and how the outcomes in our second playthrough were different.

Movie mode definitely showed me how fun it could be to play in a group, as it was with Until Dawn.

Going back to trả lời the game

This is one of those rare games where it pays to play it repeatedly. In my first playthrough, I made it through the story with only one death. But that didn’t mean I had to waste my time going all the way back to the beginning. You can go into the Scene Selection feature and choose where to begin again. After you finish your first game, you’ll see 24 or so scenes listed. You can go back to one of them and start a New Save. When you do so, you are picking up at a key point in the story. Then you can trả lời it and have a different outcome. Of course, sometimes you have to go back farther, and that might just necessitate an entirely fresh game. But for the most part, the key decision points take place in the second half of the game.

What you won’t lượt thích

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Above: Will Conrad save the day or slip into the ocean?

Image Credit: Supermassive Games/Bandai Namco

At many points in the game, you have to be ready to press a button fast and sometimes repeatedly to avoid having a character die. And obviously when that happens, you can’t rewind time and bring that character back. The dead are dead. I suppose this mimics real life. When we’re in an emergency, it unfolds quickly, and we are rarely prepared for it. But I wish that we had just a split-second longer to save the day when the button mashing has such high stakes.

Clunky movement

While the 3D characters look amazingly realistic, they move slowly. It is hard to maneuver them through a room, since they engage in weird combination of 2D and 3D when it comes to movement. You often have to wait for them to complete their movements before you initiate the next movement. And you often waste time when you run into dead ends and have to turn around. I hope this is the last we see of this high-latency game engine, and that the next versions will be much more fluid. I’m almost willing to get a game with lesser graphics quality if it means better motion and interactivity.

Relatively short story

While Man of Medan is a standalone story, it does feel short at just a few hours long. Until Dawn felt lượt thích it had a bit more heft, with the chance to get to know some of the characters better. I would have enjoyed playing a game that went deeper into each character’s background and motivations. In that way, this game feels a bit more lượt thích a chapter in an anthology, rather than a full game unto itself.

Conclusion

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Above: Trouble is coming.

Image Credit: Supermassive Games/Bandai Namco

After playing Until Dawn in 2015 and Hidden Agenda in 2017, I was wondering if Supermassive’s single-player horror games were going to become stale. But with the multiplayer mode in Man of Medan, the experience seems much more fresh, as you now have to figure out if your human comrade is going to stick with you or screw you over. If your colleague is a coward, you may die. The Movie Night feature also makes it even better as a party game.

I think this is much more fun and takes advantage of the fundamentally social nature of the choose-your-adventure style gameplay in Man of Medan.

Overall, I think The Dark Pictures is very spooky, and the sense of fate that comes with it is very compelling. I think it was very smart for Supermassive Games to build a whole horror series around this concept. I’m looking forward to the next one, but I also hope that the graphics and gameplay will strike a better balance so that it’s more interactive.

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Score: 88/100

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan is available on August 30 on the PlayStation 4, Steam, and Xbox One. The company provided GamesBeat with a copy of the game for this review.

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