Interactive dramas appear to be an increasingly popular genre in the world of video games-titles whose narrative and destinies of the characters themselves will be altered depending on the choices you, the player, decide to make.
Man of Medan is the latest project from Supermassive Games-a studio that can almost already consider as a veteran in this type of games, having released in the past titles like Until Dawn and The Inpatient who follow similar structures, both in terms of the gameplay As the darkest and most laden atmosphere itself, as if it was actually a horror film or a psychological thriller.
- A frightening story and an interesting mystery
- Realistic graphics
- The addition of the curator
- QTE are too punitive
- Controlling the characters is strange and uncomfortable
Control your horror movie
After the cabin in the forest in Until Dawn or the Inpatient asylum, Supermassive Games decided to opt for a distinctive but equally frightening location: a gigantic haunted boat lost on the high seas.
The story begins with the innocent and ingenuous joviality of a typical horror film, with a group of 5 friends investigating some wreckage at the bottom of the sea of a World War II airplane. However, the story gives a considerable turnaround when, in the middle of the night, the group of divers is taken hostage by pirates, who decide to take them to the infamous boat I mentioned in the previous paragraph.
This is where the horror film begins, itself. Quickly, the characters realize that it is not a normal ship and that something more obscure and supernatural hides inside, causing disturbing visions and making them all gradually begin to lose their sanity.
The distinction between what is real and what is not just a haunting begins to become increasingly faint in the minds of Alex, Brad, Fliss, Julia and Conrad, being persecuted in several sections by a series of creepy skeletons, nurses with appearance Truly terrifying or even disorientating loops in which you per run the same corridors over and over again.
Therefore, your mission is not only to escape your captors but also to escape these disgusting beings, while fighting for the survival of the 5 characters that compose the narrative of the game. In the midst of all this, you will also discover the mystery behind the events of the game, something more scientific than quite supernatural-but I won’t dwell on this subject to avoid ruining the surprises of Man of Medan.
You will play with each of the characters in the game and, as you make decisions, you can see how this influences the characteristics of each of them-courage, altruism, insecurity, eagerness, egotism, among many others-but also the way that Affects the relationships with the rest. You’ll have to carefully manage the traits of each of the characters, something you can change with the choices you make throughout the narrative and that will change the way they react in certain situations. Still, it is important to resave that this was my story in Man of Medan. Is it possible that yours is quite different depending on the choices/answers you’ve selected-who knows, all your characters die? Or, hopefully, you can come to the end with all of them sane and saved.
A stressful experience
The game follows a structure identical to games that you may have already experienced in the past and that, briefly, consists of cut-scenes, select from some answers and/or options, sometimes a QuickTime event, with some exploration sections that allow you to Go through many of the halls and lugubrious corridors of the ship to the mix, collecting some items along the way.
The mystery of the game and the whole mysterious aura created was extremely well-achieved-even if, at times, the Supermassive was founded on jump-cars a little cliché; However, I quickly got a foot right behind the use of QuickTime events. Not only because they are very fast and punitive, sometimes appearing suddenly when you least expect it, barely giving you time to complete it, but also because they are associated with some of the most important moments in the game-namely the Deaths of the characters.
It was especially frustrating for me to be choosing the right answers and, in general, doing everything in the most strategic way possible for the characters not to die so that, sneaky as a fox, appeared a QuickTime event that, not Fulfilled, dictated the tragic end of my character. Two, incidentally, who happened to succumb to that same reason.
Another interesting point-but equally irritant – are other commands that the game gives you and you must do compulsorily, continuously pressing the same key until you fill a meter. When the command first appears on the screen, it is easy to assume that this is a simple QTE (Quick Time Events) and, therefore, press the key once: when you realize that you have to fill the meter is already too late and the story has already continued. A more delineated distinction of the different commands would have been quite useful to the player.
These are the biggest flaws I could find in a game that can create a very curious horror story and that, in a twist of events that even surprised me, gave me want to play it again and see how I could change the story.
The graphics of the game are also interesting, with special emphasis on the models of the characters and their animation that, at certain times and from certain angles, showed a frightening realism. Watching your character walk through the corridors and dark passages of the ship, shaking his arms and moving his head naturally, almost gave the impression of being watching a movie. In contrast, playing with them is another story – they all seem to have lead feet, each weighing a ton, and moving them from one side to the other or making them go through a simple door is dull, clumsy and simply did not know well.
In another interesting move that can create a little distinction between Man of Medan and the other games of the genre, Supermassive decided to break the fourth barrier with the introduction of the curator-a character that communicates directly with you and makes a Recapitulation of everything that happened. And what might happen? Although, in the beginning, having found the cuts of the narrative and the transition to the curator somewhat boring, I ended up slowly changing my mind, the fact that he knows that story is being controlled by me brings an interesting goal to Man of Medan.
As you should also be waiting, completing the game will not take long-in my case, it took me about 4 hours, but I feel that I could only experience a very small fraction of all the possibilities of the narrative. There is also an online mode and several collectibles scattered throughout the game that you can acquire that give some extra longevity. Some of them consist of a series of paintings scattered across the most diverse scenarios of the game that give you a vision, clue or hint of something that may happen in the narrative-being in your position to avoid it or not.
Man of Medan is not entirely groundbreaking – it is a frightening and quite idealized mystery that, in my opinion, can become slightly frustrating by the way Supermassive Games has implemented some of its mechanics. Still, it does not cease to be a curious beginning for an anthology that already has sequel marked for 2020 with Little Hope.