The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan | game review
When is a man not a man?
Game summary: Four friends and their captain set sail on a holiday diving trip to find a rumored WWII wreck, but as the day unfolds, a storm rolls in and soon their trip changes into something much more sinister. (IMDb)
I had watched a few playthroughs of The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan before I'd played it and was impressed how there were new scenes and new combinations of characters each time thanks to the differing choices of the people playing the game. When I got the game as part of a Humble Bundle (I think), I thought I'd at least give it a try , having already enjoyed Until Dawn from the same developers.
To my surprise, my choices for where the story went must have been pretty different to what I'd seen before, as I had a lot of scenes that were brand-new to me, with characters appearing together that I hadn't seen in anyone else's playthrough. It might not sound like much, but being able to discover entirely new sections of a game after four complete runs through it speaks very highly of its replayability.
It's also a pretty good-looking game and the character models certainly seem at least one step up from Until Dawn, although the animations are still wonky a lot of the time and the often frustrating tank-like controls for moving around are actually worse in Man of Medan. It doesn't help that a lot of the game is set on a ship with narrow corridors and doorways, making it a pain to get the characters to go where you want sometimes.
As for the characters, none of them really stand out as much as those in Until Dawn, but I'm not sure if that's because of worse writing or just that we don't get enough time to spend with this new bunch - this game is only about a third as long as Until Dawn. Quick to complete and avoids outstaying its welcome for sure, but it also means there's less time to make an impression, despite the much smaller cast.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan is enjoyable while it lasts, but feels very much like a 'fast food game', meaning that it's not quite substantial enough to truly satisfy. It's fun to blast through in a few hours though, and if you've never seen any playthroughs before, there's tons of different sequences and scenes that you can discover by making different choices that make it worth going through at least a couple of times.