HEAT VISION

'Dark Pictures: Man of Medan' Looks to Shake Up the Horror Game

The makers of 'Until Dawn' have released a trailer teasing what could become one of gaming's most innovative franchises.

Tuesday morning, Supermassive Games announced a series of upcoming stand-alone horror games under the banner Dark Pictures Anthology. Horror fans and gamers may know Supermassive as the developers of 2015’s Until Dawn, which took a choose-your-own-adventure approach to interactive horror for an experience that feels as much like a movie as it does a game. Using motion capture and voice work of actors including Hayden Panettiere, Rami Malek, Brett Dalton and Peter Stormare, the game gives players the opportunity to control a group of college friends caught in a slasher-movie scenario set in the Canadian wilderness.

With choices that allow players to choose which secrets to keep or tell, to hide or show courage, fight or run, and even decide who lives and who dies, Until Dawn creates a complex interplay of relationships that gives the game plenty of replay value. Supermassive is looking to strike a similar chord with its first release from Dark Pictures Anthology, Man From Medan

The trailer introduces us to a group of young protagonists, one of whom is portrayed by Shawn Ashmore (X-Men 2), as they prepare to go deep sea diving for sunken treasure in a plane wreck. Of course, the treasure is harder to come by than they initially imagined and their dive takes a surreal turn, which one character describes as feeling like “traveling through time.” The footage teases the group’s relationship beginning to break down as fingers are pointed and accusations made. Whatever they found in the wreck has an “essence” that promises dire consequences for these treasure hunters, and plenty of chills for game players. Given the amount of surprises Until Dawn had in store, expect similar twists and turns in Man From Medan, and a narrative that goes far beyond what this initial trailer suggests.

While the game, set for release on PS4, Xbox and PCs in 2019, still needs some fine-tuning of its graphics, the quality displayed in this initial teaser looks comparable to what fans and critics enjoyed in Until Dawn, which won the horror category at the Global Game Awards and best original property at the British Academy Games Awards. Supermassive’s Until Dawn prequel, The Inpatient, which was released in January of this year, utilized the Playstation VR headset. While there’s no word yet if Man From Medan will offer a similar feature, it might be a cool addition as Supermassive aims to blend video-gaming and movie-watching.

Although the rumored Until Dawn sequel doesn’t seem to be in the works, Supermassive doesn’t look like it’ll be straying from the genre anytime soon. Supermassive told Bloody Disgusting that it has a variety of horror subgenres planned for its Dark Pictures Anthology, with 39 identified as potential candidates. This could end up being one of the most ambitious franchises in gaming and give horror movies a run for their money in the contest to keep us up at night.

  • Richard Newby
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