Two worlds, one family
It’s nice to have one last gut-feeling look at The Medium before its January 28 launch.
Bloober Team released 14 minutes of gameplay footage today, and while I’ve seen the split-reality horror game on a bunch of occasions, in some ways, this is the first time I’m really seeing it as it truly is. That might sound like the setup for a backhanded compliment, but it’s not – I knew the central split-screen hook, and honestly, that’s all that sunk in. This footage paints a more comprehensive picture.
I won’t go through the video beat by beat, but I had a few – okay, more than a few – takeaways:
- It’s nice to see Bloober Team branch out with a more classic camera. If you’re burned out from the studio’s first-person adventures, this might recapture your attention.
- The framing of the real world and the spirit realm works for me a lot more in dynamic moments than it does in conversation-heavy scenes. I wonder if those will get old.
- When I see a creepy hotel map represented as a piece of scenery, I’ve gotta smile.
- The unnerving song (and whole vibe) surrounding the masked girl is a high point.
- I think The Medium is going to live or die by its exploration-based puzzles, and this footage shows off one such limited-time out-of-body scenario. The deteriorating effect on Marianne is neat, at least.
- Rotating items to inspect them, plugging them into their rightful place, and whipping out the all-important bolt cutters – this game should speak to survival-horror fans of a certain persuasion.
- The breath-holding stealth encounters seem like they could outstay their welcome, so I hope they aren’t overused. Bloober Team had a habit of relying on the same spooky tricks in prior games. Here’s the official blurb for the antagonist: “In the spirit world, The Maw is visible and can easily spot Marianne, while she can defend herself with the Spirit Blast. However, traveling to the material world makes The Maw invisible but also blind, so it relies solely on hearing to locate its prey there.” Also, Troy Baker voices it.
What do you think so far? Are you even in the mood for a horror game in January?
It’s worth remembering that The Medium will be an Xbox Game Pass title, and if you’re potentially thinking of buying it outright, it’s launching at $50 (with a bonus $5 pre-order discount currently in effect). This game is going for it in ways that Layers of Fear and Blair Witch didn’t, but it could ultimately collapse under its own weight. I hope it turns out, though – I’ll take all the new horror IPs I can get.