Man of Medan, the first standalone title in a series of horror games that will eventually make up The Dark Pictures Anthology will be releasing on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 30th August. We’ve analysed the game’s performance on PC, testing it on a 4K display as well as checking out its ultrawide support, accessibility options and more to see what this port may offer over its console variants.
Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that Man of Medan uses the widescreen aspect ratio known as letterboxing to imitate the cinematic, movie-like feel that the developer wants to achieve. This means that if you’re playing on a regular 1080p or 1440p monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio, your game will run in that letterbox style with subtitles situated in the black bar underneath. So, if you intend to play on an ultrawide monitor at 21:9 aspect ratio, you’ll be happy to hear that Man of Medan features full ultrawide support and will run full-screen without the need for mods.
Man of Medan offers players the option to limit the framerate to 30FPS but I found that playing at 1440p using Ultra settings enabled me to play at 120 in the portions where you control the characters, and fluctuated from around 80 upwards in cutscenes. Switching all settings to Low didn’t appear to make much of a difference to the character models when they’re close to the camera, but mainly affects the environments in the background.
The game also supposedly features HDR support for displays that can utilise it. We tested it on our 4K TV and even though it was connected to the PC via HDMI and was the only display connected at the time, we couldn’t get HDR to work at all. There are no other settings relating to HDR in the menus other than the on/off toggle so we’re unsure how else you’re supposed to access this feature exactly. The game also ran significantly worse on Ultra settings when at the 4K resolution so we recommend running the game on High if you have similar specs to us.
You’ll have the option to play using a controller or keyboard and mouse. All controls can be remapped and you can set the Key Icons to display either Xbox or PlayStation icons, depending on which controller you’re using. In the build that I reviewed, keyboard and mouse controls were still being optimised. I started the game playing on keyboard and mouse but quickly felt the need to switch to a controller as the camera angles switch often and it felt much smoother changing direction quickly on a controller than using WASD. I cannot currently navigate menus properly using the keyboard controls as the Escape key doesn’t work all the time. Hopefully these controls will feel better for those who want to use a keyboard and mouse by release.
There are a number of accessibility options, including the option to hold a button rather than mashing it and disabling the timeout on QTEs. You can also adjust the subtitle background and colours, as well as toggling the sidebar information panel on or off for interactions.
As you’d expect, the PC port of Man of Medan is the definitive version. Offering full ultrawide support as well as running at high framerates. The build that I played was not the final version and I did experience a few occasions where textures flickered, or loaded in slowly. On one of the early scenes, the soundtrack also kept restarting awkwardly and in one of the scenes right at the end of the game, the volume of the character’s dialogue fluctuated significantly. That said, I’m hoping that all of this will have been fixed by the time the game releases as they are just minor annoyances. I installed the game on an SSD and found loading times to be very short, with the bar only appearing for a few seconds at most at the bottom of the screen.
Overall, the game runs smoothly and achieves the interactive movie-like quality that is intended. If you’d like to see half an hour of 4K gameplay, please check out our other video that shows some scenes from the beginning of the game.