On paper, Man Of Medan sounds like a throwback – as a narrative-led third-person horror game, it’s essentially a point-and-click adventure with modern graphics. But Until Dawn, its 2015 predecessor from developer Supermassive (cruelly unavailable to Xbox One owners as it’s a PS4 exclusive), showed that such games could still find a modern audience.
Man Of Medan adheres to the blueprint established by Until Dawn, but it manages to innovate by bringing in a clever two-player co-op mode to the format. It starts with a flashback to 1947 that also functions as a tutorial and story setup, in which two sailors overindulge during shore leave in Manchuria, before boarding the SS Ourang Medan as it sets off for San Francisco. Before long, an electrical storm and a sinister cargo turn its voyage into a disaster.
Man Of Medan then cuts to the real action. In present-day French Polynesia, four young Americans – medical student Alex, his geeky brother Brad, his rich, adventurous girlfriend Julia, and Julia’s obnoxious brother Conrad – gather on the Duke Of Milan, a boat they have chartered in order to go wreck-diving; feisty skipper Fliss completes the party. It’s a similar setup to Until Dawn (although only the entitled Conrad matches the brattiness of that game’s characters).
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