The release of the horror title The Medium was actually planned for December 10th. But then Cyberpunk 2077 came in with another postponement and just claimed this date for itself. That's why the makers decided to wait a bit and aim for January 28th instead. Not a stupid decision, because at the beginning of the new year we will have at least one more well-known title to play. We'll take a closer look at what The Medium actually has to offer in the final preview.
The Medium comes from the pen of the Polish developer Bloober Team. They have already worked on titles such as Layers of Fear, Blair Witch or Observer, so they have already extensively proven in the past that they are well versed in psychological horror. But her latest work is not about a creepy forest or even the dystopian Krakow of the future. No, instead this time you will be drawn to an abandoned holiday resort that years ago was the scene of a terrible tragedy. There you go with the protagonist Marianne in search of clues as to why she is haunted by horrific visions of a child murderer. Is this her own fate or that of a stranger? Has it all already happened or is it a sinister forecast?
Two realities are better than one!
As the name of the game suggests, you can also use supernatural powers. As a medium, your young heroine is able to communicate with spirits, uncover hidden information and thus bring the truth to light. If there is one truth. Because nothing in The Medium is what it seems at first glance. The central element of the psycho-horror trip is the patented dual reality gameplay. This enables you to move in two worlds: the real and the spiritual. You will spend around two thirds of the game in only one of the two. At some points in the game, however, both realities happen at the same time.
Source: Bloober Team
This works via split screen, thanks to the advantages of the Xbox Series X – such as background streaming – both worlds are rendered simultaneously and in real time. The movements of your character always remain the same on both sides. So you only control both Mariannes once with the left stick. However, since the environments vary depending on the world, you can always expect different interaction options. Depending on where more is happening, the corresponding half of the screen is also enlarged or reduced.
If you want to move a little more freely, you start what is known as an out-of-body experience. In this you leave your carnal body behind you and move through the spiritual reality in ghost form. This way you can also solve puzzles or overcome obstacles. For example, you open a locked elevator door by restoring the power supply in the spirit world. However, you are always a little under time pressure. These out-of-body experiences do not persist indefinitely.
Jigsaw puzzles and beating
In addition to puzzles, some confrontations with opponents are also on the agenda. When Marianne has recharged her psychic powers with the help of the so-called "Spirit Wells", she can also build up energy shields or fire powerful mental blows. So you survive nasty swarms of moths or other dangers that the spirit world hurls at you. However, there are also moments when your skills do not help you. Then running away, sneaking, or hiding is the only option. If you crouch behind a box and hold your breath while the hellmouth monster set to music by Troy Baker (known as Joel from The Last of Us) haunts around millimeters away, The Medium is already reminiscent of horror classics like Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
Source: Bloober Team
The title also draws inspiration from other genre sizes. In terms of staging, this time the Bloober Team opted for a third rather than a first person perspective. Since fixed camera settings are used, there is occasionally a real Resident Evil or Silent Hill feeling. This could also be because composer Akira Yamaoka contributed to the soundtrack. Among other things, he wrote the topic of Konami's iconic survival horror series.
Is that next-gen graphics?
The supernatural environments, however, were designed based on the Polish artist Zdzislaw Beksinski. Nowadays he is best known for his dystopian paintings with an eschatological touch and already provided the creative impulses for Lust for Darkness, Tormentum or Scorn. The dark world of The Medium, built in Unreal Engine 4, has a correspondingly repulsive and demonic effect. The characters were brought to life with the help of motion capture recordings. All of this merges into a very atmospheric gaming experience, which so far has mainly scored with its oppressive mood and less with clumsy, cheap jump scares.
The only downer: The Medium doesn't look really "next-gen" either. Faces and lighting in particular leave something to be desired from time to time. Smaller jerks can be seen in split-screen passages. We won't find out until the game is released whether these minor flaws will actually have a noticeable impact on the gaming experience. This will take place on January 28th on the PC and the Xbox Series X. In addition, the title will also be included in the Xbox Game Pass from day one.
All readers receive daily news, articles, guides, videos and podcasts about their favorite games free of charge. So far we have financed this site through advertising and kept it as free of clickbaits or paid items as possible, but since COVID-19 this has become increasingly difficult. Many companies are cutting or cutting their advertising budgets for 2020. Budgets that we unfortunately have to rely on if we want to continue to offer PC games free of charge as usual in the future.
For this reason we turn to you now. You can support us as a PC Games supporter so that we can continue to offer our content in the usual form for free, without introducing a paywall or publishing clickbait news like "And you won't believe what happened next …" . Every contribution, large or small, is valuable.
Source: Bloober Team
Also popular with PC games readers PcXSX
The Medium: 14 minutes of gameplay for the horror title
The Medium: Release probably postponed because of Cyberpunk 2077
Xbox Series X: Check out the exclusive launch games
EA 2021 Promo
(including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PC // Origin) for € 24.99, Star Wars: Squadrons for € 23.99, Battlefield 5 – Definitive Edition for € 28.99, Anthem for € 8.99, FIFA 21 for € 28.99)
(*) We have marked affiliate links with an asterisk. We receive a small commission for a purchase via our link and can thus partially finance the free website with this income. There are no costs for the user.