The Medium is a third-person horror/adventure game developed by Bloober Team, available exclusively on the Xbox Series X and PC consoles. Over the past few years, Bloober Team has emerged as one of the most effective horror game developers, with exceptionally scary titles like Layers of Fear and Observer.
The game tells the story of Marianne, a medium with psychic powers that allow her to experience both the land of the living and the dead simultaneously. Using these unique abilities, Marianne does her best to guide lost souls to the afterlife, although the powers have started to take their toll. Featuring an inventive “dual-reality” gameplay mechanic and incredibly atmospheric visuals, The Medium grabs the player’s attention and takes them on a wild and creepy ride.
How to Download The Medium
You can download the game from a digital store of your choice by clicking the Download button located below this review.
The Game Review
The story in The Medium takes place in Poland in the late 1990s, with Marianne mourning over the recent loss of her father. Adopted at a young age while fostering her remarkable powers, Marianne has become lonely and disconnected from the world around her. One morning, she receives a call from Thomas, a man offering to divulge the truth behind Marianne’s abilities. Agreeing to meet with Thomas, Marianne travels to the Niwa Worker’s Resort, an abandoned vacation spot tucked deep in the woods.
What starts off as a creepy walk through an abandoned building quickly becomes a mind-bending mystery, as the haunted spirits of Niwa begin to appear. Using her powers to peek behind the veil, Marianne must investigate and solve both the mystery of Niwa and the origin of her powers.
In terms of gameplay, The Medium feels similar to classic horror games like Silent Hill and Alone in the Dark, featuring lots of puzzles and slow-paced exploration. Most of your time is spent walking around the Niwa Resort, investigating both the interior and exterior for clues.
You’ll briskly jog along while looking out items of interest, including both narrative-focused collectibles and objects used in puzzles. At certain points in the game, Marianne’s consciousness splits as she exists in both the real and spirit world, displayed in a split-screen style. You’ll control Marianne in both worlds at the same time, moving and interacting with the environment simultaneously.
Your actions in the spirit world have consequences in the real world, so some puzzles will force you to think outside-the-box. That said, the “dual-reality” gameplay might throw some players off, especially if you’re playing on a smaller screen.
The Bottom Line
Overall, The Medium is a slow-burn, atmospheric horror game that bucks current horror-game trends in favor of a classic genre style. Instead of buckets of blood and gore, The Medium offers an intriguing mystery with an ample amount of dread, touching on some controversial topics along the way. While it might not have as much action as other third-person horror games, The Medium succeeds with its more passive approach.
The experience is not without its flaws, as some pacing issues can cause certain sections to feel drawn out, but most horror fans will have a great time. Apart from some other minor grievances, The Medium is a suspenseful adventure worth checking out.
- Unique “dual-reality” gameplay
- Effective atmosphere
- Interesting mystery with lots of twists
- Some sections feel too long
- Occasional visual glitches