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  • Writer's pictureIndy Goodwin

It's Behind You! Indy Plays Man of Medan

Just who is The Curator?

Let's get right to it. Man of Medan is... bad. Really bad. However it manages to be so bad it's good. Kind of like a cheesy horror movie.

The Dark Pictures Anthology is presided over by the enigmatic Curator. Man of Medan is the first instalment, with the second released a short while ago - Little Hope. Stories are best started at the beginning however, so Man of Medan is up first.

My friend and I played through the game using the shared story feature over Xbox Live. We took turns playing each of the characters making questionable decisions and outright screwing the other over. The way it was set up meant I couldn't see what their characters were doing sometimes which lead to a lot of confusion and more than a few accidents.

The game begins with two drunken American soldiers reporting back to their ship. Thrown in the brig for fighting, they were initially spared from the madness that enveloped the rest of the ship, brutally murdering the entire crew. Of course, they're quickly killed off and we fast forward to the present, where two trust fund kiddies dive to explore an old plane.

They manage to piss off some fishermen who come back to take their revenge and take them aboard the spooky ship from the intro in search of "Manchurian gold" they found out about from documents recovered in the plane. Long story short - the "gold" was a chemical weapon that causes hallucinations. No one had a happy ending, especially not Fliss, who my character brained to death with a spanner thinking there was a zombie in front of me. Whoops.

Technically, this isn't a good game. The story is... well it's paper thin. The animations of people making decisions when talking are laughable and very clumsy. I think this game benefits from more social play as I had great fun making terrible jokes with my friend. We got a lot of laughs watching it.

As a piece of media it reminded me of a B movie, and that was just fine. The addition of the Curator as a narrator and commentator on your quite frankly terrible decisions really helped with that vibe. He reminded me of the narrator in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Media doesn't have to be good to be worthy of consumption. Think about the British Christmas tradition - pantomimes. They are knowingly terrible and I love them for it. If you go into Man of Medan expecting Outlast you'll be sorely disappointed. If you expect Scary Movie, you'll be in better company.

I had a good time with it, just don't take it too seriously. Make weird dialogue choices, do a run where you don't say a word (entirely possible). Find the weirdest ways for your character to die. Have fun with it! Not everything has to be BAFTA worthy.

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