Back in 2015, Supermassive Games released a cinematic survival horror game named Until Dawn, which proved to be a critical and commercial success. Instead of following their triumph with a full-blown sequel, the developers decided to develop a series of spiritual follow-up titles under a franchise named The Dark Pictures Anthology. Man of Medan is the first game to be released from this project, this time releasing on several platforms instead of being a PlayStation exclusive.
As you may expect, Man of Medan is a shorter experience, so that the development team can release multiple stories within the same framework. This approach is similar to the episodic structure used by Telltale Games, albeit without any story elements or characters crossing over. The only exception to this rule is the Curator, a Twilight Zone style omnipotent narrator, which observes the players actions and gives occasional hints should they desire it. What makes these sections engaging is that the library shifts and changes depending on your decisions in the main story, making each playthrough of the game unique for each player’s experience.
Moving away from the snowbound cabins of Until Dawn, the game’s plot focuses on a group of twenty-something adults who are on a diving expedition in the middle of the South Pacific. Their seemingly simple endeavour turns sour when their boat is overtaken by a group of pirates, and after a dramatic storm, they are forced to take shelter on a haunted military ship named the Ourang Medan. The choice and consequence system that was the lifeblood of Until Dawn makes a triumphant return, with your choices this time around being categorised under Heart and Head decisions represented by a moral compass.