Since its 2015 launch, teen-horror homage Till Daybreak has constructed a legion of followers, hooked on its branching narrative, memorable characters and ruthlessly environment friendly scares. Developer Supermassive has dipped its toes again into horror on a few events since — with spin-offs Till Daybreak: Rush of Blood and PS VR prequel The Inpatient — however now, with upcoming chiller Man of Medan, it’s making a full-bodied return to the style.
Taking the Till Daybreak template and stretching it in some attention-grabbing new instructions, it’s shaping as much as be a very satisfying religious successor to the studio’s breakout hit. Forward of its launch on August 30, we sat down with Supermassive CEO and the sport’s Government Producer, Pete Samuels, to search out out why followers ought to begin salivating.
It’s the primary in a sequence of intense, standalone horror tales
Man of Medan is the primary entry in The Darkish Footage Anthology, a sequence of cinematic horror video games influenced by actual world legends and occasions. Every sport encompasses a brand-new story, setting and characters, constructing on the identical high-stakes branching narrative system established in Till Daybreak.
“Man of Medan takes place the South Pacific and sees 5 mates set sail on a vacation diving journey,” explains Samuels. “With a rumored WWII wreck to search out, and loads of on-deck partying available, our group prepare for what ought to be the journey of a lifetime. Because the day unfolds, and a storm rolls in, their journey quickly adjustments into one thing rather more sinister.
“Folks ought to anticipate the form of rigidity and concern that many affiliate with Till Daybreak, and with extra important branching that we’ve ever performed earlier than. All of the characters can reside or die!”
The Till Daybreak workforce is concerned
Man of Medan could be very a lot lower from the identical fabric as Till Daybreak, with key expertise from that workforce on the wheel. Horror followers are in protected fingers. “Many of the Administrators are the identical, and about half of the workforce in complete. We’re additionally utilizing lots of the identical inventive companions,” confirms Samuels.
The branching narrative is far greater than in Till Daybreak
As in Till Daybreak, branching narrative is the sport’s spine. All the sport’s key character reside or die relying on the choices that you just make as a participant, and the knowledge you uncover. This time nonetheless, Supermassive has taken issues even additional.
“There are scenes that solely exist on particular narrative paths; totally different combos of survivors attainable earlier than the ultimate scenes; extra important and in some methods extra shocking penalties of ‘mismanaging’ relationships; and endings that modify considerably relying on the paths you’re taking,” explains Samuels. “Man of Medan has probably the most branching and attainable outcomes of any of our video games up to now. There are various methods to aim to quantify this, however right here’s only one.”
“In Till Daybreak there have been 38 dying scenes for the characters and you may see as much as 10 on a single playthrough. In Man of Medan there are 69, and probably the most you’re prone to see on a single playthrough can be 9. Meaning you’d have to play the sport a minimal of 9 instances simply to see all the dying scenes, not to mention all the different attainable story occasions.”
It’s not limiting itself to 1 horror sub-genre
Whereas Till Daybreak was an unabashed tip-of-the-hat to the teenager slasher hits of the ‘80s and ‘90s, Man of Medan attracts on a wider vary of horror influences.
“Man of Medan actually has some related touchpoints, but additionally some that you just’d acknowledge from the house invasion subgenre, and a few rather more supernatural — even sci-fi horror,” says Samuels. “It actually feels extra up to date in its influences we predict and, in fact, it’s the primary in an anthology. The second, third and fourth are fairly totally different of their influences.”
Supermassive has pulled collectively one other proficient solid
A key consider Till Daybreak’s success was the way it leaned on a proficient solid of actors to essentially promote the sport’s pulpy, tongue-in-cheek dialogue — amongst them, breakout Heroes star Hayden Panettiere and a pre-Mr. Robotic/Bohemian Rhapsody Rami Malek.
With Man of Medan, the studio has put collectively one other spectacular roster of Hollywood expertise, together with Shawn Ashmore (X-Males, The Following) taking part in Conrad and Ayisha Issa (Shadowhunters, Heat Our bodies, Immortals) voicing Fliss.
It’s actually pushing the PS4
Till Daybreak was an actual looker, harnessing Guerrilla Video games’ Decima Engine to make its darkish, atmospheric areas actually pop. Man of Medan’s visuals are each bit its equal. “We’ve moved to Unreal Engine now, and our workforce have constructed some superior methods and instruments that, very particularly, help what we do and the look that we wish,” explains Samuels. “We’ll be supporting 4K decision and HDR for suitable methods.”
The characters shall be relatable
Making a horror sport that’s genuinely scary is a uncommon ability, and one thing that few titles efficiently pull off. Supermassive’s secret sauce? Relatable characters that you just consider in and care about.
“Our model of horror is concerning the vulnerability of characters that you just care about. Characters that is perhaps just a bit such as you. They’re largely unarmed and unsuspecting, and are as terrified as you’d be if such occasions occurred to you,” says Samuels. “That’s what efficient horror is for us. ‘Actual’ folks, with plausible relationships, subjected to excessive terror.”
It’s the beginning of one thing greater
As already talked about, Man of Medan is the primary installment in a sequence of horror titles, dubbed The Darkish Footage Anthology. It’s not episodic — every entry shall be a standalone story — however they’ll all exist in the identical universe. “There’s one character that bridges the anthology. He’s referred to as The Curator and is brilliantly performed by Pip Torrens,” teases Samuels.
“We’ve dedicated ourselves to 2 video games in any 12-month interval. The primary three are properly underway and the fourth and fifth are pretty properly superior from a story perspective. We even have our concepts in place for the sixth, seventh and eighth! Throughout all of those, and others to come back, we hope, we’d anticipate to cowl many extra of the 39 subgenres of horror we’ve recognized! We couldn’t be extra excited.”
Man of Medan hits PS4 on August 30.