There are several genres in the gaming industry that are losing their popularity over the course of progress. Horror movies are clearly one of them. Quite rarely in recent years worthy representatives of this genre come out. Company Supermassive games, which released in 2015 a very strong horror film with a variable history Until Dawn, is not going to stop and is ready to present her new project to the public soon – The Dark Picture: Man of Medan… The game will be in the same genre as the previous project – a kind of interactive cinema with simple controls and difficult moral choices. As in Until Dawn, there are many heroes waiting for us, whose fate will be influenced by your decisions and not immediately. But that is not all. Supermassive Games shared their Napoleonic plans – the British plan to release both related and completely different projects within the framework of The Dark Pictures series within 20 years! Two releases a year! But they warn that if the development does not go as planned, they may release one game at a time, that is, for forty years … Will these plans come true or not – we will not know soon. In the near future, we are going to get acquainted with the first game from this grand series. So what exactly is The Dark Picture: Man of Medan?
Hard moral choices and all
The game mechanics will be built in the spirit of the cult games of recent years from Telltale Games: you move around the location, simultaneously performing trivial tasks and by activating some important dialogue or reaching the desired point, you start some important event. And, as you already understood, Supermassive Games are going to repeat the success The walking dead time after time, for 20 years!
The whole essence of such adventures is precisely in the complexity of the choice, because soon the player will feel the burden of responsibility for certain actions. From the point of view of games where the heroes have to constantly run away, hide and survive, this concept looks the most suitable. Supermassive Games understood this too, with an emphasis on the personalities of the characters and a branching plot in the conditions of modern horror. As already mentioned, this is not the first experience of the British with such games – Until Dawn was exactly the same… And when the players saw the trailer at Gamescom 2018, many were puzzled – how will The Dark Picture: Man of Medan be different from the previous project? Many were sure that they were looking at the same Until Dawn, only in 2018. Again, adventurous young people, again fell into some kind of terrible trap, again humanoid evil spirits. In the same way, it will be possible to kill all the heroes or save them. Or you can kill one, pull the rest out of the trap. Maybe not lead one to one, all the rest will survive. Etc. Therefore, such an announcement puzzled the community, and the ten-minute trailer that was released recently left more questions than gave any answers. While the game looks like a nightmare “Wrong turn“(In the worst sense), only from the world of interactive entertainment. It’s very funny here, of course, the desire of the developers to stretch it all over forty projects – there are just about so many subgenres of horror.
Each game in The Dark Picture anthology will be no longer than five hours. The calculation is based on the fact that the player will be able to regularly receive a charge of good horror, while not really straining and paying attention to the details. So do not get ready for something breakthrough, a good adventure awaits you, which can keep you in constant tension for the next hours, the developers assure.
The first one went
From what we were able to see at the exhibitions and in the gameplay trailer, one can understand the following: a group of young people are going to have a great time on a small yacht, along the way looking for the treasure of the First World War, sunk somewhere in the ocean. As history shows, this venture in video games should definitely end very badly. And so it happens. Students, having sailed far enough from the coast, are caught in a storm. After several long hours of struggle with the elements, the weather is slightly improving and young people see a mysterious ship a couple of hundred meters away, which looks like it was abandoned many decades ago. All divers decide to get on the ship in order to find out its secret.
This is how the plot of The Dark Picture: Man of Medan looks like. Further, everything is as expected: you wander along the hard rail corridors of the abandoned ship, along the way hearing some terrible sounds. Everything looks as if there should be no one living here for a very long time, but the feeling of the presence of something other than heroes is constantly haunted. At some point, what should have happened: a humanoid evil spirits appear and try to kill you and your partner. Now, just now, it will be necessary to make that very difficult moral choice: to go along the rational path and try to save yourself, or to follow the emotional path, making an attempt to pull a friend out of the clutches of monsters. At this moment, Supermassive Games once again demonstrate their interesting idea, which we saw in Until Dawn – we are again offered a choice of only two decisions, which are made with the right stick. Only now is it justified as a rational and emotional approach. Perhaps, on such mechanics it will be possible to build something worthy. Let’s see.
The developers promise in each new game The Dark Picture Anthology a new setting and a new genre. Whether all parts will be interactive films based primarily on the player’s participation in the development of a complex story, or something else awaits us – remains to be seen. Chances are, the future of the series will depend on the success or failure of Man of Medan. By the way, this time our game will not be exclusive to PS4 and will appear on PC and Xbox one…
A little soap
It’s very strange that even at the development stage, when the trailers are trying to make it much more beautiful than the real picture, everything looks very blurry. If you belonged to the category of players who loved to post the Uncharted series for soap (this was especially noticeable in Drake’s face in some moments), then here’s a new victim. The Dark Picture: Man of Medan looks very strange. An incomprehensible play of light and shadow, obvious problems with facial animation and that very notorious soap … There are hopes that the shown version will only be on consoles, on the PC there will be a more worthy technical component. In any case, such a short, five-hour project still has a long time before release and can still be fixed. Well, such a small game, practically without gameplay, should not look like So…
Moreover, if Supermassive Games relies primarily on characters, plot and experiences, then the heroes still look very trivial. Such characters I’m not sorry at all. And if the developers screw up with this component, they are unlikely to be able to interest the players. But, as in the situation with graphics, there is still a lot of time, maybe they will come up with something.
What is the bottom line?
The Dark Picture: Man of Medan doesn’t look promising yet. The community is already saturated with games of this genre, and no one has yet been able to get even close to the royal Heavy Rain. Therefore, playing the new Supermassive Games project may be of no interest to almost anyone. This time, the British are trying to reach more of a new audience, releasing the project not only on the PlayStation 4, but forget about the importance of a certain “trump card” for games in this genre. To attract attention only the ability to kill everyone / save everyone is unlikely to come out. The new design of solutions in the form of “emotional” and “rational” is also not very interesting. Especially if the heroes remain the same soulless and not charismatic. Everyone will simply become indifferent to their fate, as well as the fate of The Dark Picture Anthology. As a result, we run the risk of getting a “Wrong Turn” from the world of games. In 2019, we’ll see what the developers can do.