Supermassive Games came to prominence with their bone-chilling, choice-driven horror title Until Dawn. The game was unique for making every choice count and containing a variety of branching paths and endings. The studio's most recent game was a change of pace for the developer. Instead of full-length titles, Supermassive plans to release a smaller horror game every six months under The Dark Pictures anthology banner.
The first of these was Man of Medan, and Little Hope is following it in early 2020. After spending some time with the former, we thought it appropriate to come up with a wish list of ten things we hope to see from The Dark Pictures' next outing.
10 Subtle Connections To Man Of Medan
The Dark Pictures is an anthology series, meaning each game will tell a unique story tackling a different sub-genre of horror. While the curator will surely make a return, Supermassive should drop some subtle connections between Little Hope and the first title in the series.
It doesn't have to be heavy-handed, but little things only observant gamers will notice. If they do this throughout the whole series, they could potentially create a second underlying narrative throughout the episodes.
9 Better Movement
As the video game equivalent of a choose-your-own-adventure novel, these games shine when one is making choices. The rust shows primarily when players roam the environments independent of cutscenes. Characters are slow, janky, and don't feel good to control.
If Supermassive improves one thing from Man of Medan in Little Hope, it ought to be the movement. Maybe their intention was for the slow movement to build tension and suspense, but it ultimately just slows the pace of the experience and feels unresponsive.
8 Less Reliance On Quick Time Events
This one goes hand in hand with improving the movement. If running and navigating the environments were reliable and fun, then the more action-packed sequences could utilize quick-time events to a lesser extent.
In a game like this, QTEs will probably always have a place, but some sequences in Man of Medan simply had the characters running away from a threat. In any other game, doing this as a QTE would be inexcusable, so it shouldn't really get a pass here, either.
7 More Multiplayer Modes
The best way to experience Man of Medan is with friends. Playing alone is fine too, but horror is always better when shared with loved ones, whether it be side by side on the couch or over the internet. The currently existing modes will most likely return, but why stop there? Surely the developers have other ideas for multiplayer functionality within the game.
Why not include a mode where several people played simultaneously, voting on each decision? That's just one of many possibilities with this type of game.
6 More Than Just Jump Scares
Supermassive has more than proven itself as the master of jump scares. However, great horror is more than just surprising people with abrupt loud noises. With Little Hope, the developer should strive for something more psychological and atmospheric.
The mere concept of the story and world should strike fear into players' hearts with every step they take. Jump scares startle people for a moment, but a terror with more depth sticks with them long after they put down the controller. People don't still talk about Silent Hill 2's because it made people jump every once in a while, but because of its haunting themes.
5 Longer Ending
Despite the variety of outcomes in Man of Medan, consequences aren't really felt in the ending. Once the main conflict resolves, the credits quickly start rolling. It would have been nicer to see some of the emotional tolls left on the characters by the experience.
The best it does is the enigmatic curator discussing the results. Little Hope's ending should delve deeper into the impact of the ending and whatever events transpire. Did the people who made it out alive end up emotionally scarred for the rest of their life, or do they move past the traumatic events?
4 Retroactively Putting Any Improvements Into Man Of Medan
Any developer worth their weight in office space is constantly trying to find ways to improve their games. With modern technology, they can add these in post-launch via patches. Whatever quality of life improvements are included in Little Hope should also find their way to Man of Medan.
As beautiful as the games are, they could still stand to run smoother. If performance stabilizes for the next game, hopefully, they can use that to make Man of Medan a little less clunky in motion.
Maybe this would go against everything Supermassive aims to do with its projects, but adding a little combat shouldn't hurt the narrative-driven experience. They probably want the series to remain as accessible as possible, but the gameplay segments with the highest stakes are typically QTEs, which are loathed by gamers.
Some honest to goodness combat would go a long way towards switching up the gameplay. Until Dawn already had some aiming mechanics, so something along those lines would be more than enough.
2 Another Recognizable Face
This one is a little superficial, but one cannot help but stare in awe when a known actor is put into a virtual world. Until Dawn featured Hayden Panettiere and Rami Malek, whose fame skyrocketed just a couple of years after its release.
Man of Medan has Sean Ashmore in his second video game starring role after Quantum Break. The technology for scanning people into video games is only getting better and better, decreasing the uncanny valley effect. It must also help that games can make actors look as good as possible.
1 Sympathetic Villain
Not all horror has to be a black and white story about innocent bystanders hunted by an evil force. The genre's best stories often deal with the unknown and the conflict between it and humanity. Frankenstein's monster was not a malicious beast; he simply misunderstood the world around him and his physical appearance made others hate him.
Guillermo del Toro's work is perhaps the best example of this in the modern era. Maybe the terrifying entity in Little Hope isn't out for blood, or at least has a sympathetic reason for their seemingly cruel actions.