As a fan of all things anthology, and the surprise that comes from each entry telling a new and fresh story the premise and structure of Supermassive Games'
Dark Pictures anthology sounds promising. Each offering a new slice of terror, another helping or horror, playable alone or with a group - with multiple endings and the cast's ultimate fate in the hands of players. So then, how does the debut installment The Dark Pictures Anthology - Man Of Medan
Well, pretty good.
An experience like Man of Medan – one that lives in the horror space – is something that outside of interactivity unique to the format, would need the atmosphere and immersion to back it all up. Outside of some stiff walking animations and robotically trying to get in the right position to read a nearby document or check out a sparkly glowing thing in the room you’re standing in, it mostly succeeds. The real-life actors turning in digital performances are mostly solid, with Quantum Break’s Shawn Ashmore as Conrad and Ayisha Issa as Julia being a few of the stand-outs. The environments and effects are all excellent, and with very little in the way of exploration outside of finding hidden objects and collectibles there’s cinematic camera placement and movement reminiscent of the Resident Evil series.
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This then lends itself well to numerous jump scares, of the unexpected horrors popping into frame variety. Sometimes abruptly with accompanying musical cues, and sometimes subtly with an apparition of a figure eerily appearing between camera cuts.