Man of Medan is a horror game that was released for the PC, the PS4, and the Xbox One on August 30 of 2019. It was created because of the success of Until Dawn, meaning that it might interest those who remember that particular title with fondness. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Man of Medan:
1. Created By Supermassive Games
Supermassive Games made Man of Medan. For the most part, it makes titles for PlayStation consoles. However, this isn’t the first time that one of its titles have seen a release on a wider range of platforms. Regardless, most people should recognize Supermassive Games because of Until Dawn. However, there are some people who might be more familiar with it because of other titles such as Walking with Dinosaurs, Hidden Agenda, and The Inpatient.
2. Similar to Until Dawn
Man of Medan was made in response to the success of Until Dawn, so it should come as no surprise to learn that it shares a lot of similarities with its spiritual predecessor. For those who are unfamiliar, Until Dawn was centered on eight people who have to survive the supernatural horrors haunting Blackwood Mountain until rescue can come in the morning, thus explaining its name. However, what made the title stand out was that it was an interactive drama, meaning that it could offer interested individuals an incredible range of potential outcomes.
3. The First of The Dark Pictures
It has been stated that Man of Medan is the first title in an anthology series called The Dark Pictures, which is why its full name is The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan. Story-wise, each title will be a standalone centered on a different horror trope, but mechanics-wise, each one will be very similar to the others. Currently, Supermassive Games is planning to release new titles in the anthology series on a biannual basis, though it remains to be seen whether it will be able to meet such an ambitious schedule.
4. Man of Medan Is Centered on a Shipwreck
For those who are curious, Man of Medan is centered on a shipwreck. To be exact, Man of Medan is centered on American divers who are vacationing in the South Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately for them, a storm causes them to be stranded on a sunken ship that harbors supernatural horrors. In Man of Medan as in Until Dawn, the exact number of survivors will be based on the sum of the player’s choices, thus making for more replayability than otherwise possible.
5. Inspired By Ghost Ships
By this point, interested individuals might have guessed that Man of Medan is inspired by ghost ships, which covers a number of concepts. First, ghost ships can mean supernatural vessels that are ghostly in nature. Second, ghost ships can mean derelict ships that have been discovered with their crews either dead or missing. Third, ghost ships can mean ships that have been decommissioned but haven’t been scrapped. Fourth, ghost ships can mean ships that have been carried away by the wind and the waves because they have broken loose of their ropes.
6. Inspired By the SS Ourang Medan
With that said, Man of Medan is based on a ghost ship called the SS Ourang Medan, which should be clear in an instant to Malay speakers because ourang means either “man” or “person.” Regardless, while the existence of the ship has never been confirmed by the relevant records, stories about it have popped up in a number of publications. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the stories see significant variation, with some being very simple and straightforward in mentioning how a ship was brought to a bad end by its cargo of hazardous materials while others play up the mystery as well as the sense of horror.
7. Dark Pictures Are a Mechanic
Curiously, dark pictures are a mechanic in The Dark Pictures. Essentially, players can discover dark pictures by exploring with their player characters, which will provide them with a glimpse at what can happen in the future. Something that can help them survive the circumstances that they are caught in. It will be interesting to see whether Man of Medan and its follow-ups in The Dark Pictures anthology series will ever come up with an in-setting explanation for what these dark pictures are supposed to be.
8. Expect Jump Scares
Jump scares might be cheap, but there can be no doubt about the fact that jump scares are good at scaring us by playing upon some of our oldest instincts. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that Man of Medan has its fair share of jump scares, which makes sense considering that the sunken ship is harboring supernatural horrors. With that said, the people behind Man of Medan understand that jump scares can be over-used, which is why much of the horror comes from a proper atmosphere established via the scenes, the sounds, and the visuals.
9. Supports Multiplayer
Man of Medan has two kinds of multiplayer. One is pretty simple and straightforward in that it lets interested individuals play with one another over the Internet. The other is more interesting in that it lets interested individuals assign different player characters to different players so that they can switch between themselves at the appropriate prompts as the game progresses. This can sound rather unusual, but it is a formalization of a popular practice with Under Dawn, thus making it an excellent example of how the people behind Man of Medan have sought to improve upon its predecessor.
10. Some People Have Mentioned Issues
Some reviewers have mentioned both technical problems and storytelling problems with Man of Medan. For example, frame drops have been reported during critical moments, which is a serious problem when outcomes in the title are often determined by quick time events. Likewise, there has been mention of forced storytelling in the sense that characters sometimes do things based on what the plot requires of them rather than what make sense for someone with their particular personality in their particular situation. Since successful horror is so reliant on proper setup, this can take some players out of the right state of mind in which to get maximum enjoyment out of the game.