Man of Medan is Supermassive’s newest narrative-driven choose-your-own-adventure game and it’s the first of many horror titles that are going to be part of an anthology titled “The Dark Pictures.”
Essentially, Supermassive is taking a bunch of tropes and horror genres and giving them that oh-so-loved Until Dawn design that critics and fans adored back when the PS4 title launched back in 2015.
Man of Medan was looked at as a sort of spiritual successor or even a full-fledged sequel to Until Dawn, but sadly Supermassive’s new game doesn’t come even come close to the wonderful, campy plot that was Until Dawn.
First of all, Man of Medan has a lot of technical flaws, flaws that literally mess up crucial moments in the game that can alter the narrative –flaws that are out of the player’s hands.
Just like Until Dawn, there are tons of QTEs and even a heartbeat monitoring mini-game that has you pressing a button in times with beats of a heart.
The latter which work less than half of the time due to massive frame rate drops and stuttering, leaving your character to be found during quiet moments, or worse, leaves them dead.
Man of Medan promotes player choice and freedom, but way too often the game ends up just choosing something terrible for you because a technical issue prevents you from doing what you actually wanted to do.
Until Dawn didn’t have these problems. Whenever you failed a QTE in that game, you know whose fault it was? The player. Whenever you killed one of the characters, you might’ve gotten angry, but you didn’t blame it on something technical at least.
Man of Medan also drops the cliched and campy story that’s present in Until Dawn and decides to go for a bit more realism, but these five characters are not even half as interesting as Hayden Panettiere’s and Rami Malek’s portrayal of Sam and Joshua, respectively.
Even when you make decisions and choices that may be unlike their character, they immediately pretend like what was just said never happened at all, which makes the characters feel like they just forget everything that happens every five seconds as if they were goldfish.
It’s extremely noticeable and when you couple that with the uninteresting plot and boring setting, Man of Medan just falls flat in so many ways.
The characters walk extremely slow, movement is clunky, the hallways all look the same, the endings are mostly determined by end-game decisions, and only like one of the endings actually surprised me. The rest of them are simply anticlimactic and leaves the script feeling unfinished or rushed.
Each entry in The Dark Pictures Anthology is planned to be based on a different story. So we’re never going to see these characters or this plot-line, which I am perfectly fine with.
Nevertheless, I just hope that Supermassive reads the complaints and critiques for Man of Medan and uses that feedback to give fans a game that’s worthy of being called an Until Dawn a proper follow up because Man of Medan is not it.
If you want to read more about my thoughts on Man of Medan, make sure to check out my review right here and while you’re at it, you can also look into our extensive Wiki Guide that’s full of useful info on the game.