Developer Supermassive Games has been treading water for far too long now. After its 2015 title Until Dawn became a bit of a cult hit that deserved a lot more love, it overloaded itself with PlayStation VR projects, most of which missed the mark by a big margin. The likes of Bravo Team and The Inpatient seem to be behind the studio now, though, with its latest project hoping to capitalise on what made Until Dawn tick. The Dark Pictures Anthology will be a series of short stories based on different horror tropes, with the first taking the form of Man of Medan. After getting hands on with the debut episode at EGX 2018, it looks like Supermassive is back to doing what it does best.
The 15 minute demo takes place aboard a seemingly abandoned ship, with a suspenseful tour guide trying to stick by our side as much as he can despite wielding a gun. Just take the chance to roam a few of the ship’s hallways and you’ll immediately feel at home in terms of both control and feel, it’s clear that the game is the next evolution of the studio’s tech. Lighting casts deep shadows across corners and walkways as the moon peers in from above, controls feel natural as you navigate one of the gang to safety, and character models alongside environments look phenomenal.
But most importantly, that cheesy horror that made Until Dawn so good is back and better than ever. The fixed camera angle in certain scenes highlights spooks that the characters themselves don’t see coming, quick-time events allow you to delve into combat with the ship’s inhabitants, and decisions need to be made to shape the path of the story. Will you save your friend from certain death or close the door and let them rot so that you can escape? We’ve missed making those fun decisions, and Man of Medan is sure to deliver with a bucket load.
After a string of schlocky products, it’s clear that Supermassive is stepping up its game with Man of Medan. With teens to be saved, romances to blossom, and bad guys to escape from, the bone-chilling gameplay loop from Until Dawn is back with a bang. We’ll still have to wait a while before we get our hands on a final build thanks to a release date of 2019, but we can’t wait to experience what awaits us in The Dark Pictures Anthology’s introductory episode.
Are you looking forward to playing Man of Medan next year? Are you going to save your friends, or focus on yourself and leave them behind? Set up a fright in the comments below.