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The Dark Pictures Anthology – Man of Medan


Parappa
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  • 4 weeks later...

Just completed this and found it fascinating, perhaps because I haven't played Until Dawn. It's the first time I've actually been impressed by graphics, which really helped sell the fates of the 5 as well. And loading times on the Series S were noticable by their absence. Enjoyed it for the most part,

 

however

 

I'm much more interested in peaking under the hood at the clockwork of it all than the story or mechanics. That's partly because it was a bad story (long tedious introduction, clearly signposted 'twist', implied threat of sexual abuse, entirely reliant upon jump scares), but also because the depth of the game is in the structure, not the mechanics or story itself. It might have been my choices, but my story made sense and left me with a thought of 'but what if...' towards the end (saved everyone btw). Reading about other people's games, and their vastly different experiences, make me want to play it again, even though the mechanics and actual story don't.

 

The premonitions also added to this, with most of them not apparently applying to my playthrough, or me misinterpreting them. But that adds to their mystery so I actually like that about them. What I'd really love though is for this game to have a VLR style flowchart- that was a game which understood the importance of gamifying the butterfly effect, but also making the player's ability to see those changes without making it tedious. In my game for example, I broke the knife on the underwater door in the first act, so it wasn't there in the later scene, but I have no idea if that really mattered in the long run or not.

 

Also really like the sound of the online play- I kind of wish the game had leant into this more somehow. It feels like something which would be fun for strangers to do, albeit with amounts of trolling. Really interested in doing a blind online play of the next one when (if) it gets discounted or hits GP.

 

The one bad thing, apart from the workmanlike story, was the QTEs. Hated them. For one it detracts from decisions making an impact- it's akin to losing a skill check in a Fighting Fantasy gamebook, for maximum fun you just ignore that bit. This is especially egregious given you can't just try again, I admire a game that demands you stick with your decisions, but not one that punishes players for not knowing the controller. Also the 'A' prompt for breathing appears before the breathing metre, meaning I once  pushed it immediately and then failed the breathing, which infuriated me enough to stop playing for a bit. After which I just turned these off. They also stop the game from being able to be played with non-gamers in movie night mode. A baffling decision.

 

Instead of QTEs they should just use those metres and stats they record to also record the players energy levels or calmness or something. That way early decisions will have an impact throughout, and players can make decisions based on the characters- that character who is exhausted and injured probably not the best decision for them to be moving the block and so forth.

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I think I ended up with everyone dead because of a failed QTE. I’m sure it came at the end of many other bad decisions and failed QTEs, but was still felt a bit crappy. Not gonna replay through to try again, too many boring bits tbh.  

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  • 9 months later...
On 17/11/2020 at 00:55, Majora said:

I thought large chunks of it were horribly tedious. When you actually get to interact and make decisions it's ok but when you're just slowly walking around endless drab ship corridors reading tons of boring notes that try to make a wafer thin story seem more complex and interesting than it is, you can really feel the reduced budget from Until Dawn.

 

A lot of the dialogue is horrendous too. Some of the ways characters would react to events I could barely recognise as human.

The impending removal of this from Game Pass got me to pick it from my list, but I honestly wish I'd never bothered as I've just finished it and I tend to agree with the above. I thought it was complete rubbish, after really enjoying Until Dawn.) It seems to have kept the bad things from that game - glacial

 

movement, horrible controls, lots of aimless walking - but removed any likeable characters, any sense of pacing and all plot; I'm not sure I've ever played a game where so little happens.

 

It didn't even look good - ignoring the dead-eye stare of the characters, the boat itself (which should've been a character in its own right) had nothing going for it, other than bland, samey looking corridors and rooms. A real disappointment.

 

Also, just to pick up on another old comment:

On 10/02/2020 at 22:18, robdood said:

And lol the curator at the end "some decisions have consequences you don't realise for a loooong time".. Really? Cos I didn't see anything to back that up during my playthrough, mate.

 

I assume the intention is that decisions made in this will affect the subsequent games (presumably your decisions are saved server-side?) Can anybody who has played them confirm?

 

Not that I have any desire to play them now, for whilst I did enjoy Until Dawn, I imagine the other games are still exactly the same mechanics and have the same issues (although I would certainly hope there's actually some plot movement in them!)

 

Edit: I've just read the wiki page for it to see if I missed any plot - I didn't - and have seen they plan to release 8 of these games. 8! Oh dear.

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The second one, little hope, impoves on the mechanics. It has less bits where the story doesn't add up. Is more varied, longer. All round better made. But unfortunately the characters are similarly unlikeable as they don't have enough depth/ motivation. Also if you found the man of Medan ending bad, this one is worse.

 

However the recently released house of ashes gets both bits right. Is probably the best example of its genre along with until dawn. 

 

Next year we get another one. 

Then another 4!

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3 minutes ago, f2097 said:

The second one, little hope, impoves on the mechanics. It has less bits where the story doesn't add up. Is more varied, longer. All round better made. But unfortunately the characters are similarly unlikeable as they don't have enough depth/ motivation. Also if you found the man of Medan ending bad, this one is worse.

 

However the recently released house of ashes gets both bits right. Is probably the best example of its genre along with until dawn. 

 

Next year we get another one. 

Then another 4!

Yeah, I read the wiki pages for Little Hope and House of Ashes and they don't seem massively better (I appreciate a four-paragraph summary on wikipedia isn't the same as playing it, but I just can't stomach the exact-same gameplay for another x number of hours). I've just read the threads for the subsequent games too and whilst it does seem House of Ashes is better-received, it seems some similar criticisms are still coming up.

 

Who knows though, if they hit Game Pass and I forget how much I hated this one...;)

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On 08/12/2021 at 11:56, dreamylittledream said:

I loved Until Dawn and have been meaning to give this a play since it appeared on Gamepass.

 

Only it’s leaving in a week or so and Halo comes out tomorrow…

 

Oh well, sounds ultimately like I’d have been disappointed. 

 

It's only four or so hours long if that makes a difference. I haven't played Until Dawn but I enjoyed this.

 

Spoiler

Saved most of the gang. Most. Lost Conrad to a failed QTE.

 

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  • 7 months later...

Just played through this after it appeared on PSPlus, and I thought it was great! I think the short length really helps it, it doesn't really drag on for too long. The criticism here are all valid though - you do get some cuts to scenes that don't quite make sense, the boat itself should have been the star of the show, but its far too bland and samey. I know its an old military freighter but I'm sure they could have done something better with the environments. Plus, there's a little too much walking around the ship with not enough happening (which again, may have been ok if the environments were a little more interesting).

 

The characters were good though and the story was engaging - and it kept me interested to the end. I didn't think the ending was too terrible either. Might go through Little Hope now - and then House of Ashes before giving The Quarry a go. 🙂

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  • 1 month later...

Yeah, it was pretty decent. The pacing kinda died on the ship, but it didn't outstay its welcome. As mentioned above, it could've been doing with a Detroit/VLR style flowchart of what you've missed as from looking at the secrets page I've missed A LOT but have no real motivation to sit through all those cut scenes again in blind hope of triggering something different. As a one and done it was perfectly serviceable though.

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