E3 2019 Preview: The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan

Following the success of Until Dawn in 2015, developer Supermassive Games has brought out a game in that vein. The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan follows a group of five friends as they set sail to find a rumored World War II shipwreck. In typical Supermassive Games fashion, some complications come along the way.

A Trip Gone Wrong

Like Until Dawn, Man of Medan tackles the horror trope of a group of friends on a boat. In the demo, we follow our five friends as they’ve been tied up by a group of pirates. Additionally, the outcome of the story is based upon what the player decides to do. For example, the story could end with all the main characters dying or all of them living. The game also plays on the butterfly effect introduced in Until Dawn. In some way, each conversational choice you make affects what comes later.

E3 2019 Preview: The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan

The demo takes place a little before the pirates come on board. One of the friends tells a story to everyone and dialogue options appear as you’re listening to it. Some of these choices are questions while other voice disdain for the story. None of the options seemed major but even the little choices can have an impact.

Trying to Break Free

From there, the demo picks up to where our five friends have been tied up and are trying to escape. The demo goes back and forth between one of the rooms where some friends are trapped and the deck where other friends are being kept. Throughout both settings, choices appear that dictate how you’ll try to escape.

E3 2019 Preview: The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan

Conrad, played by Shawn Ashmore (X-Men, Quantum Break), comes up with a plan to escape and go on a smaller boat to get help. The pirates find them before they do anything and decisions come up that lead to escaping. In my playthrough, none of the characters died and Conrad escaped in the end.

The main critique I have at the moment is that the demo never gave me a chance to explore parts of the ship and walk around. In games like this, exploration plays an important role and lets players find more out about the world. Granted, it wouldn’t make much sense for most of the demo so we’ll see what happens in the final product.


As someone who loves narrative-driven games, my excitement for Man of Medan has increased. It feels like Until Dawn and the story Supermassive is telling sounds interesting. Additionally, Man of Medan is a part of an anthology series. It’s not clear how many games will be in The Dark Pictures anthology, but all the games will be standalone experiences.

The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on August 30, 2019. For more E3 coverage, including our previews for Cyberpunk 2077 and Marvel’s Avengers, stay tuned to vgr.com.