The Medium is a Microsoft exclusive for the new generation of Blooper Team, which is best known for developing psychological horror, mystery and exploration games such as Layers of Fear and The Observer. This new game from the team was inspired by classic horror games like Silent Hill and Alan Wake. The main idea of the game is based on the presence of the character in two parallel worlds at the same time on the screen in a way that we have not seen before.
The story from the beginning of the game seems to be very mysterious, and you will listen to conversations from several people you do not know. Events at the beginning will be simple and slow, and it may not attract your attention greatly, but when you progress further in the game you will discover interesting places, and you will find messages and blogs for different people, each of them telling about his own experience or his own past. Later, everything will be logical to you, as all this information is connected in a vortex full of mysteries and mysteries, and with time, you will dive into the core of the story and its events attract you strongly, this may be the most enjoyable horror game story that I have enjoyed to this day.
The gameplay is the most prominent element of this game, and it uses the idea of Dual Reality. The idea is that you will play the character of the heroine in two different worlds at the same time, as the screen is divided into two parts, and you can watch the heroine move simultaneously in two different environments. The two worlds we are talking about are the real world of living and another world called the world of spirits, where you see there is a character who is a copy of you moving in. The main idea of the game is to solve multiple puzzles using the idea of being in two worlds. For example, you can find a closed door in the real world, but opening it in the realm of spirit opens the way for you in the real world as well, and vice versa. The game mainly depends on puzzles and solving them, and there is no fighting and battles of any kind, and it relies on classic horror elements to play with your feelings while walking around and searching. For example, one of the gameplay clips has an idea similar to what we saw in Death Stranding, where you suppress yourself to try to pass by a specific enemy without being detected. Some other clips include escaping from a specific enemy, and in these clips the character can die and be forced to return. In general, the puzzles are very diverse and are not repeated in the game, but some paragraphs are repetitively annoying sometimes, such as some leather doors that you must open using a scalpel, and the process of opening them is slow and you are asked to repeat this several times.
The ambience is not the only thing that this game takes inspiration from the classic horror games, but also the camera style while playing it. In this game, the camera will be fixed and you cannot move it, but it will move with you during the game automatically. The development team talked about the issue of trying to introduce a moving camera, but mentioned that while testing the idea the players felt spinning, and we can really imagine it. In general, the fixed camera works great in the game, and it fulfills the purpose of being a puzzle solving game in which there is no combat at all.
The game’s graphics are very impressive and show many details, especially the character’s facial expressions and also details of the environments in the game. But as is usual these days we encountered some graphic technical problems, such as the sudden appearance of patterns on the walls or the so-called texture popup. And also I noticed sometimes the color arc lights appear on the screen strange, and it would disappear if I download the save file again, generally these errors can be solved with a future update, it will depend on the developer. In general, we noticed that the game requires a lot of effort on the device, as two characters and two different worlds work at the same time on the screen, on the Xbox Series X through our experience we got 30 frames in the best case, sometimes we felt that it falls below this number, But the truth is, we did not find this inconvenient, especially since it is not an action game and we will talk about this more later. For anyone who wants to know, our quick experience on the PC has revealed that it can run it at a speed of 60 frames.
One of the things that fans of classic horror games will love is that the music in the game is composed by the famous Akira Yamuka, who is famous for composing the famous Silent Hill series. Here Akira unleashed his creativity again, the music in the game is charming and beautiful, and it will give you a sense of the atmosphere of the place you are in, as the style of the music differs from one place to another. The sound effects in the game have been applied perfectly, you will hear whispers, for example, if you approach a tool with engraved memories, and sometimes you hear the sound of footsteps around you, as the sounds play an important role in the game and enter the atmosphere and help you in exploring the place and solving puzzles.
This game has been reviewed on Xbox Series X with a publisher copy.