Supermassive Games is one of those devs that is synonymous with the interactive story game genre. 2015’s Until Dawn has left an indelible mark in many of us, and they aim to replicate that to a much greater effect with their upcoming game series The Dark Pictures Anthology.
Up until now, we haven’t had an exact number of just how many titles there will be in The Dark Pictures Anthology. According to Supermassive CEO Pete Samuels, there appear to be at least eight games that are currently on the team’s agenda, and that the next story after Man of Medan is “not on a boat.”
Of course, we are all very familiar with the first entry in The Dark Pictures series, and that will be the aforementioned Man of Medan. The nautical horror adventure will feature Quantum Break and X-Men‘s Shawn Ashmore as one of the playable characters.
And from our interview with him back at E3 2019, we understand that just this one game will require multiple playthroughs in order to enjoy all the possible story outcomes, just from one game. Imagine how much more interesting things will get across eight titles, even if Game Director Tom Heaton downplayed the interconnectedness of each game.
Another interesting new feature that Samuels mentioned in a new update on the PlayStation blog will be the fact that The Dark Pictures games will feature online and local multiplayer — the first in the entire series.
The online variant of multiplayer is called Shared Story mode, which is currently limited to just two players. According to Samuels, Shared Story allows you and your online companion to “make choices that affect both of you.”
He also explained that, from a design perspective, Shared Story “created some great new design and narrative opportunities,” such as the ability to “split up” and explore different parts of the locale, and end up with the possibility of “[never seeing the other player’s] character again.”
The couch co-op version of multiplayer is called Movie Night mode. This mode enables you to play with up to four other friends locally (amounting to a total of 5 people playing the same game together), and take full control of each of the five playable characters on the SS Ourang Medan.
And the catch? You’ll only use one controller.
“Each player can enter their name and choose which character (or characters) to play, then simply pass the pad whenever that character is the focus of the game,” explained Samuels. “When prompted, simply pass the controller onto the next player so that they can continue with their character. Periodically, the game will present a summary of how each player has played.”
Movie Night mode seems to aim to live up to its namesake, providing you and your friends the ability to experience The Dark Pictures games like how you would a movie. Samuels said that this mode lends to how streamers and their viewers interacted on Until Dawn, and wanted to make it a more interactive experience with a shared audience.
A narrative-based game like Man of Medan and its successors seems a natural fit for this casual, controller-passing multiplayer mode, as you as the player only ever need to make choices using judgement instead of using skill, which could be a barrier to entry for many casual audiences.
It seems Supermassive Games has learnt a lot of lessons from Until Dawn four years prior, and now they aim to take the interactive story game genre to a whole new level with The Dark Pictures Anthology.
Their first entry, Man of Medan, drops on August 30 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.