Hands On With Man of Medan: Submerged in Horror

In the light glow of Bandai Namco’s very posh London offices, I was transported to the musky, wet depths of a sunken World War Two warship.

As part of a post-Gamescom event, I was able to journey through a playable demo of Supermassive Games’ latest venture: Man of Medan, the first game in the newly-announced Dark Pictures Anthology series.

Supermassive Games is perhaps best known for 2015’s Until Dawn, a narrative-driven horror filled with suspense and the supernatural that put the fate of a group of teenagers directly in your control. If you haven’t played Until Dawn yet then you need to stop reading immediately and go pick up a Dualshock 4 controller. It’s easily one of the most engaging horror stories of the last decade; its blend of pure mystery with great acting chops easily made for Game of the Year material. And so when I heard that Supermassive was once again flexing its horror muscles with a brand new title, I couldn’t wait to try it out.

Man of Medan‘s playable demo put me in the role of a young adult named Fliss. I was accompanied by a very awkward chap named Brad, and a chubby guard with a gun. Fliss and her companions found themselves amid a very unsettling setting; a rusty, dank world war two era freighter ship – an unnerving environment made even more so by the lack of footwear by our trio.

The gameplay very much reminded me of Until Dawn. With the character you’re in control of, you can explore around your immediate environment, picking up any interesting items you come across. And also like Until Dawn, you’ll have to make a lot of choices – some of which may well decide the group’s fate. Man of Medan also features “premonition paintings”, which are in the place of Until Dawn‘s totems – collectible items that give a glimpse of a possible future outcome.

Don’t let the idea of familiarity put you off though. Man of Medan is very much its own, unique game, but just one that uses the best elements from Until Dawn. We wanted more of the same and it seems like The Dark Pictures Anthology might be just what we’ve been waiting for.

Man of Medan

The short demo of Man of Medan that I played did an excellent job of keeping me on edge, making it very hard for me to keep up my cool exterior around the Bandai Namco staff. Just as Until Dawn did, it seems that Man of Medan delivers horror very effectively. The characters are very well delivered and the changes in environment really help to keep you on your toes.

Alas, keeping my cool was impossible as the demo drew to a close. The ending left me gobsmacked, and desperate to play more. I’ll leave you in the dark as to not spoil the surprise, but needless to say, Man of Medan is high on my radar. And if you enjoyed Until Dawn or are a fan of great horror games, it ought to be high on your radar, too.

Man of Medan is set for release on Xbox One, PS4 and PC in 2019.