The Medium: A game review of one of 2021’s biggest releases

The Medium shines with its cinematic approach and the great way it conceptualizes the role of interacting with spirits.

By   |  Published: 20th Feb 2021  6:45 pm

First things first, The Medium is not for everyone. It is a game that is in the ilk of games like the Senua franchise, Until Dawn and A Plague Tale. This is the latest attempt of games trying to make the horror genre their own but not in the way Dead Space did it. It’s slow, measured, and perfectly placed as you peel back layer by layer of the plot to unearth the mystery within. Zoinks! The Medium can be quite a hair-raising adventure.

The game’s plot starts with the protagonist Marianne having the unique ability to see spirits and talk to them. An orphan, she is raised by someone who runs a funeral home as she helps departed souls find closure and accept death. The Medium, starts heavy and the very first mission requires you to prepare the father figure that gave you purpose for his final journey, talk about issues. As you grapple with the emotional loss of the protagonist and acquaint yourself with the game’s mechanics a phone rings and you immediately are down the rabbit hole.

The Medium shines with its cinematic approach and the great way it conceptualizes the role of interacting with spirits. It begins with a subtle heightened sense, then an ability to enter the spirit world, and soon the game introduces you to out of body experiences. This is a game that builds on the powers carefully but once it does it seems a natural extension. The way this game shows the spiritual world and splits the screen for it is simply fantastic. In my opinion, The Medium has the best implementation of existing in two instances at the same time in a video game.

The last time this was well done was in Titanfall 2’s campaign as you shuttled between two times of the same place. However, this is on another level as depending on the level, the setting the screen splits accordingly. The color scheme, the ratio of screensplit, animation on the other screen and the attention to detail is a clear indicator that the game wants you to stitch what’s happening in both the worlds together to play the game.

In terms of gameplay, The Medium has a few glitches and they can get in the way sometimes. At times the fantastic story can be held back by how little you have to do in the game, I would be waiting wondering when I could do something. These minor hiccups apart The Medium is an experience that needs to be tried. Gaming is the best medium to experience horror after all, film is so 1990s he said flippantly.

Sneak Peek

  • Title: The Medium
  • Developer: Bloober team
  • Game Type: Third Person, psychological horror
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X & S exclusive
  • Price: INR 2,999 on Steam

Verdict

  • Innovative Gameplay: 4
  • Game Handling & Quality: 3.5
  • Value for Time: 4
  • Overall: 3.8

What Stands Out

  • The game is wonderfully conceptualized, the split screen play segments are one of a kind
  • The ray-tracing is terrific here, its subtle but enhances everything. Just the lights, reflections and effects accentuate this game and the genre significantly

Fails to impress

  • The glitches are still a bit bothersome but the updates have fixed most issues
  • The game feels a lot more narrative focused; the play elements could have been more central to the experience

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