Please sign in or sign up!
  • Forget your password?
  • Want to sign up?
  •       ...blogs for gamers

    Find a GameLog
    ... by game ... by platform
    advanced search  advanced search ]
    GameLog Entries

    dkirschner's The Medium (PC)

    [June 16, 2021 09:25:51 AM]
    Bloober Team is kicking ass. I played Observer a couple months ago, which was fantastic. The Medium is at least as good. It's another story-focused game, straight up psychological horror this time. Observer had some psychological horror to it, but the dystopian cyberpunk setting was so strong that it overshadowed the horror. Honestly, the horror elements in Observer--primarily avoiding a monster--were the most drab parts of the game. And Layers of Fear, their first game I played, was not good. So The Medium is the first time they nailed the genre.

    The story is a complex narrative puzzle that you are fed out of order. You'll be confused as it unwinds, but you should stop to think about it. Piecing it together is thought-provoking and all falls into place by the end. Here are the basics: You primarily play as Marianne. Marianne is mourning the loss of her adoptive father when she gets an urgent phone call begging her to come to an abandoned workers' retreat, as "you are the only one who can help." Marianne is a medium, which means she exists both in the physical world and in the spirit world. She goes to the workers' retreat, which has suffered tragedy and ruin, and over the course of the game, she learns the dark truth of what happened there. Spoiler: It involves Marianne's past.

    The gameplay is a novel take on psychological horror games. You play from a third-person perspective with fixed camera angles (which are done well, very few issues with doors or movement!). You are generally exploring areas, reading notes, listening to "echoes" and "memories," and solving puzzles. The neat bit is that, as I said, Marianne exists in the physical and spiritual worlds, and so at times, the screen splits and "both" Mariannes are controlled together. Their movements are exactly the same. Sometimes you can interact with things only in one of the worlds; they need each other to solve puzzles. Sometimes, physical world Marianne's way will be blocked and you have to trigger an "out of body experience," which allows you to briefly cross obstacles with spirit world Marianne. In more elaborate puzzles, you use mirrors to cross between worlds at will. Characters and objects may exist in only one world, and it is cool to see both Mariannes doing the same actions, but only one of them actually interacting in the presence of the character or object.

    If I had to take an issue with the game, it would be that it's totally linear. The game's progression is, I mean. The story is not, but the gameplay is. Couple its linearity with the lack of challenge in the puzzles and one could understand how players could find the game boring. However, I found the story, characters, and settings so strong that I didn't feel bored in the slightest. The Medium is really well paced. Although there is no combat per se (no weapons), there are a few enemies. And beyond the simple "avoid bad thing" in Observer and Layers of Fear, you do actually "fight" the enemies here and you can (and will) actually die. They are also scarier and more omnipresent.

    Taking a page from Observer, the enemies are all manifestations of psychological suffering and trauma. In that game, the protagonist hacked into the brain-chips of murder victims and explored their memories/consciousnesses and saw their lost grips on reality. In this game, you do a similar sort of thing, exploring past traumas and facing characters' demons. Since the worlds are linked, doing something in one world affects characters in the other. It's really interesting, similar to and different from how Bloober Team did it in Observer.

    So yeah, I'd definitely recommend this. I've got The Evil Within 2 queued up soon, so I'll get some direct comparison in the genre.

    add a comment Add comment

    dkirschner's The Medium (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 13 June, 2021

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 16 June, 2021

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Intriguing plot and gameplay. Tense. Very linear. ---------- Excellent. Great setting, characters, plot makes sense if you keep thinking about it. Novel split screen gameplay.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dkirschner's page

    See info on The Medium

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game

    This is the only GameLog for The Medium.


    games - logs - members - about - help - recent updates

    Copyright 2004-2014