In a PlayStation blog post, series director and executive producer of The Dark Pictures Anthology, Pete Samuels, confirms the series will be “built from the ground up with multiplayer in mind.” British developer Supermassive Games, partnered with Bandai Namco Entertainment, is set to release the first title, Man of Medan, on August 30th on PS4, Xbox One and PC digital.
The Dark Pictures Anthology website has detailed the three ways to play the game: Solo Mode, Movie Night Mode, and Shared Story. Solo Mode provides a whole single-player experience much like the 2015 horror hit Until Dawn. The Movie Night Mode is similar to Solo Mode but allows you and up to four friends to play together, with each person taking control of a different character. The game will prompt the players on when to pass the controller and periodically give a summary on how each player performed. This couch-based mode was added based on how many people played Until Dawn with friends, almost as if it were a movie night.
Shared Story is perhaps the most interesting addition, with you playing online with a friend and each player having a little bit of a different experience. Players share the story and won’t see everything; after characters ‘split up’, you may not see them again. This allows for some interesting gameplay design and narratives. Samuels stated, “We think that it really brings something fresh to the genre to play with a friend online, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results.”
Having played Until Dawn ourselves, we can’t wait to try out these new modes. Supermassive Games has proved that they can build a suspenseful narrative video game, so it is nice to see them take a step back from VR and go back to a more traditional cinematic gameplay experience. Man of Medan is the first title in this anthology and can’t come soon enough.