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Man of Medan - Worth a Play!

the profile of a skull is on the background of a map, with a man's face and a ghostly ship pictured inside the skull

Man of Medan

Developed by Supermassive Games

Original Release: August 30th, 2019

Man of Medan belongs to an anthology horror game series called ‘The Dark Pictures Anthology’. I first played Man of Medan after it had been out a short while, in 2020. Now, as into horror as I am, I do genuinely struggle with horror games. Sometimes I can’t get out of my head that the person I’m playing as is me, which makes for a lot of anxiety and easy scares. I was willing to take a chance on this series, and I’m quite glad I did. If you aren’t familiar, Man of Medan was developed by Supermassive Games. They are known for titles such as Until Dawn, The Quarry, and Hidden Agenda. More recently they are taking on the Little Nightmares games and are working on the third installment. Little Nightmares was previously developed by Tarsier Studios. They did part one and two.

Man of Medan starts out in the year 1947, during the aftermath of the second World War. We meet Joe and Charlie in the prologue and experience what is the start of the mystery and chaos that costs everyone on the ship their lives. The story fast forwards to 2019 and we are introduced to a group of friends going scuba diving. Things get spooky during a dive, but soon after, the group comes up against something they didn’t expect. The pacing on this story is really well done and for a first installment, I felt it was off to a great start.

So going into this series, I felt I knew what to expect. I expected a beautiful game. I knew it was going to be decision-based, where things you do even early on in the game would impact the rest of the experience. I expected some fun dialogue options as well. This game really didn’t disappoint. I played this on PC with my gaming controller and my partner and I did the co-op experience with the two of us.

The positives:

  • The gameplay itself is really smooth. There was no random cut outs or glitches. It functioned well on my laptop, even though I don’t have a gaming build.

  • This game LOOKS the part of a Supermassive game.

  • The characters were relatively likable and the voice acting is super on point.

  • There is one decision in particular that if you mess it up, you get more out of the experience, and that story arc was really good!

  • I did enjoy the story, but I believe it was more than a little predictable, meaning there was no real “reveal”.

  • The intro music and the character of the Curator is FLAWLESS. I love it so much!

The negatives:

  • This is pretty early on, so not a huge spoiler, if Conrad makes it to the speed boat, the game itself is a shorter experience and you miss out on some REALLY cool scares.

  • I do think the decision mechanic in this is a little unfair compared to Until Dawn. In Until Dawn it was much easier to make logical choices. In this you will find yourself making choices (and possibly getting a character killed/or getting the bad endings) without really knowing what would be the result.

All in all, Man of Medan was a really fun game to play with my partner. We did the entire series, so I’ll be retroactively reviewing those as we get geared up for the new release hopefully in the last quarter of this year.

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