The Medium, where we walk the world between the living and the lived.
Discover a dark mystery only a medium can solve. Explore the real world and the spirit world at the same time. Use your psychic abilities to solve puzzles spanning both worlds, uncover deeply disturbing secrets, and survive encounters with The Maw – a monster born from an unspeakable tragedy.
When I saw this game come up on the Steam front page I got super excited, because it looked really good. Especially the split screen between the world of the living and the spirit world. How in one world you can do certain things, but are sometimes blocked in the other one.
For the most part, the only split screens I’ve ever witness were in co-op games, like in A Way Out or maybe Mario Kart racing games. I’m pretty sure this is one of a kind, but if it’s not, then it’s a rare thing to come across.
It makes puzzles a bit more interesting as well.
Reading the storyline pulled me in, and despite it being psychological horror, I’m very happy I took a chance with it, as there were limited jump scares, and had a linear path.
Are there achievements?
- 39 of them!
Is The Medium a good game?
The answer is obviously going to vary depending on the person and their taste in games. However, I can say for certain if you like to be scared, you’ll only get one real scare from this game. If you like slow-burn story-driven games set within the genre of psychological horror and cater more to environmental narratives (an off-branch of walking simulators, if you will), then you’ll like this game.
If you want action, look elsewhere.
Is the Medium scary?
Although it’s labeled psychological horror, it’s not exactly scary (and this is coming from someone who’s scared of the slightest sound effects).
There’s one true jump scare, and after that, the scare factor comes from not being seen by the Maw and running away from him when the time comes to do so.
What platforms is The Medium on?
- Xbox Series X/S, noted on our page: Xbox Series X and S Games Starting With M
The Medium Gameplay
The Medium takes place in Poland, during the 1990s, and basically starts off at the point where your father has already died and you have to arrange him for the funeral. From here you can tell what kind of game it’ll play as and kind of get a reminiscent feel if you’ve played the Resident Evil games, with the fixed camera angles.
Later, you’ll also notice some environmental areas that could remind you of the RE games as well.
You can treat this game somewhat like a walking simulator, but I would call it more of the respectable term of environmental narrative.
While you are walking around, you’re doing more with looking at things and reading or listening than you are actually walking around to take in the sights of your surroundings, like you would in Fugue in Void or ABZU (despite you swimming and not actually walking in the latter).
So while you’re wandering around, you’re going to be piecing together a story by observing objects.
Aside from that aspect of the game, there’s a certain creature in the spirit world you’re going to not want to mess with called the Maw. Some of the scenes he’s in you’ll be running or hiding from him to avoid dying in and having it all end in him. There aren’t a lot of them really.
But yeah…it’s a lot of critical thinking on what lead to the phone call at the start of the game.
The Medium Navigation
While there isn’t too much exploration to the game, I still believe you should find as much as you can in the area that you’re in. But once you’ve checked everything out, there’s nothing to do but progress forward. And if all you want to do is progress forward, then you just need to find the trigger–typically an object.
So really, the navigation is quite linear.
There’s only one location you could get lost in, but even then, you can just end up going in a circle. As someone who gets lost…I failed at getting lost.
The camera has fixed angles so while you’re walking it may shift to another angle, which has always irritated me in games. Like if I’m walking right and all of a sudden I’m walking forward while still holding the stick right, it’s jarring, and when I try to correct it the character kind of helicopters because she doesn’t know what to do with herself.
Sometimes the camera angles don’t allow good visuals either, and you might end up accidentally dying from it.
The Medium Soundtrack
The sound really makes the game, with the vibe it’s giving off in specific areas. Whether it’s an area where you’re being stalked by an enemy or the sound effects of a creepy forest that’s really not that creepy at all because it’s just a forest.
The Medium Graphics
The graphics aren’t bad at all, but there are some stilted areas during cutscenes where frame rate drops may occur. The only graphical problem on my end was running through a hall and not knowing there was a turn on the end and running straight into a path of moths.
And apparently moths don’t eat clothing, they eat you.
I’m not too happy with the end of the game, but, if it set itself up for a possible second game, then I’m okay with it. Otherwise…I’m left trying to figure out what really happened and why it had to end like that.
If you haven’t played it, obviously, I’m being vague on purpose.
But in all honesty, there’s not much meat to The Medium. If you’re looking for action, you shouldn’t purchase this game. There are very few chase scenes and only one major jump scare, which still confuses me as to why it was there. But if you like story-based games and trying to figure things out as they happen, then you might like it.