Games of the Year

The Medium

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https://store.steampowered.com/app/1576350/


THE MEDIUM - DELUXE EDITION

THE MEDIUM - DELUXE EDITIONThe Deluxe Edition includes:

  • The Medium (game)
  • Original Soundtrack (digital) - co-composed by legendary Japanese composer Akira Yamaoka of the Silent Hill fame, and Arkadiusz Reikowski - a Hollywood Music in Media Awards nominee best known for Blair Witch, Layers of Fear, and Observer.
  • The Art of The Medium - an official digital album that will lead you through the game’s unsettling physical world and ominous spirit world, inspired by the art of Zdzisław Beksiński, a Polish dystopian surrealist internationally recognized for his distinctive and strikingly haunting style.


About the Game

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..



The Medium is a third-person psychological horror game that features patented dual-reality gameplay and an original soundtrack co-composed by Arkadiusz Reikowski and Akira Yamaoka.



Wield unique psychic abilities reserved for those with the gift. Travel between the realities or explore them both at the very same time. Use the Out of Body experience to investigate places where your real-world self can’t go. Create energy shields and deliver powerful spirit blasts to survive the spirit world and its otherworldly dangers.






Delve deep into a mature and morally ambiguous story, where nothing is what it seems and everything has another side. As a medium you see, hear and experience more than others, and with every new perspective you will change your perception on what happened at the Niwa resort.






Never-seen-before and officially patented gameplay that plays out across two worlds displayed at the same time. Explore the physical world and the spirit world simultaneously, and use the interactions between them to solve dual-reality puzzles, unlock new paths, and awaken memories of past events.






The Medium’s spirit world is a dark mirror reflection of our reality, a grim and unsettling place where our unpunished deeds, evil urges, and vile secrets manifest themselves and can take on a form. This world has been invented and designed under the inspiration of Zdzisław Beksiński’s paintings, Polish dystopian surrealist internationally recognized for his distinctive and strikingly ominous style.






Immerse yourself in the disturbing and oppressive atmosphere of the game thanks to the original ‘dual’ soundtrack co-created by Akira Yamaoka and Arkadiusz Reikowski. Yamaoka-san is a legendary Japanese composer best known for his work on the Silent Hill series; Reikowski is a Hollywood Music in Media Awards nominee who worked on such acclaimed horror games as Blair Witch, Layers of Fear, and Observer. Now they join their creative forces for the music and songs of The Medium.


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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam


MY RATING:
✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘ ✘ ✘
7 / 10


A life in two worlds
We experience the beginning of the story through a vision that runs in a continuous loop in Marianne's head, in which a little girl is shot at a lake.
But Marianne can neither remember nor does she know who the victim is and, above all, what the murder is all about.
Marianne, who is a medium and works in the funeral home of her foster father Jack, is responsible for guiding the souls of the deceased safely to the realm of the dead.

Unfortunately, Jack recently had to enlist the services of Marianne as well, so the only person she has told about her gift has left the living realm.
Shortly thereafter, Marianne receives a mysterious call from a certain Thomas asking her to come to the Niwa Hotel complex as he claims to have answers for her as well as the explanation of her supernatural abilities. So Marianne embarks on a search for clues in the past...
And we experience a journey into the past with the game in many ways.
On the one hand, the story takes place in Poland in the late 1990s, in which various events are dealt with and processed that are much further back. On the other hand, the game is very reminiscent of the Silent Hill series due to the narrative gameplay and the lack of combat mechanics, as well as the soundtrack by Akira Yamaoka.
And of course this Niwa Hotel is not a party hotel on a South Sea island, but a gloomy and deserted place in the middle of a dark forest and what initially looks like a relatively simple search for Thomas and answers quickly develops into a gripping story.
A special gift
Marianne's special gift as a medium is to look into the spiritual parallel world and to interact with the environment there.
She also has the ability to feel, see and hear more in the present than other people. As a result, she is able to receive echoes from the past or to reconstruct so-called memory points by touching and examining objects.
Due to the expanded perception, she is also able to highlight objects or detect hidden objects. Furthermore, she has the ability in the spirit world to erect a protective barrier against swarms of moths or to emit a burst of energy if she has the necessary power reserves, which she can only charge at special energy points.
But is she alone with her gift, or does the Mysterious Caller also have this gift?
The two realities as an innovative game element

The "double worlds principle" is extremely important for the puzzles in the game, because at certain points in the game you control Marianne in both worlds at the same time and have to switch back and forth between them in order to progress.
However, this is not possible at will because moments in the course of the story are first scripted and only then do you get the opportunity to do so.
What is special, however, are without a doubt the passages in the game in which you play with the split screen and control Marianne in both worlds at the same time. It is impressive and also exciting to experience both worlds at the same time, since there are always connections that affect one world on the other or there are passages that are blocked in one world but accessible in the other .
Another ability of Marianne proves to be quite useful here. An out-of-body event is triggered by pressing a button, which gives you the opportunity to act independently of the other person in reality and, for example, to examine other areas.
The strengths of the game clearly lie in the atmosphere that the game reveals.
Both the gloomy forest and the hotel complex, the day care center, the swimming pool or the old bunker that will be added later are shown in great detail and are set in scene in a gripping manner by the thoroughly successful light and shadow effects.
Another highlight is the spirit world with its strange constructs, the walls made of corpses or the skin doors. Yes, you read that right, skin doors.
In addition, there are all the other details and the breathtaking sound that also intensify the atmosphere
Despite everything, the game suffers from a rather fundamental problem
Despite the great art and sound design and the appealing scenario, The Medium is never really scary or badly disturbing.
This is clearly a subjective impression, but the monster alone, which I don't want to go into detail about, quickly loses its initial fright because the very few sneak passages and the scripted running paths do not create any tension and the escape passages are more from the already mentioned trial & Error are shaped.
And at this point I would like to mention that the game saves automatically and the save points are relatively fair.
During the escape passages it can happen, at least it happened to me once or twice, that I was in a corner / in a place where the monster grabbed me, I "died" and continued at the same place where the monster grabbed me right away. And so on and so on. At that moment, only loading the last save helped. It was limited and I always started relatively shortly before this escape passage, but it was still a bit annoying and therefore I wanted to mention it.
Towards the end of the game you take control of another character for a while, which I don't want to reveal anything about at this point.
Nevertheless, the passages to be played there are somehow just too long, too boring (designed) and too repetitive.
Basically, I would even say that the last third of the game is more like sticky chewing gum and then you sometimes wish that the end would finally come.
You can schedule around ten hours +/- for the game, depending on how thoroughly you explore the areas and how quickly you find the solutions to the puzzles.
Achievement hunters will also get their money's worth as the game offers relatively easy to get achievements, if you are vigilant.
However, The Medium does not offer any real replay value because there are neither different levels of difficulty nor multiple endings. But it doesn't really have to be, since the game almost achieved what it wants in the end.
The Medium - an atmospheric "horror" adventure highlight with a few caveats
In terms of atmosphere, The Medium is beyond any doubt, convinces most of the time with the great staged game world, menacing soundscape and shines with a vividly told story. Even if the "split screen mechanism" is not necessarily to be regarded as the heart of the game, it is still an absolutely successful change. On the other hand there is the somewhat thin gameplay with a pinch of walking simulator in which you search the game world for objects relatively undemandingly and now and then run away from dangers.
But all in all, The Medium was still an „horror“ adventure worth experiencing for me.
Review date: October 28, 2022
MY PROS AND CONS:
✔ Detailed and atmospheric locations
✔ great light and shadow effects
✔ stunning sound design
✔ great two worlds gameplay
✔ relatively alternating tasks
✔ Good but easy (combination) puzzles
✔ Well balanced difficulty level
✔ comprehensible twists
✔ no annoying jump scares
✔ ambitious story
✔ unusual skills
✘ no replay value
✘ annoying trial & error passages
✘ partly notchy controls
✘ bad sneak passages
✘ repetitive game elements
✘ tough sections
✘ superfluous storylines
✘ Stiff animations
✘ invisible borders
PLAYED WITH: 🎮 📺
⮩ VISIT ME IN MY LITTLE WORLD

Review from Steam

This game is honestly amazing in my opinion. I found the story to be very interesting, emotional and loved how deep it went into certain topics. The graphics are gorgeous. The scenery in every area was pretty. The voice acting was done very, very well.
The music of course was as beautiful as always by Akira Yamaoka and Mary E McGlynn. Love hearing them together.
Wonderful game that is emotional from beginning to end. Definitely worth playing.
Loved every second of it.
Bloober Team did a great job. 🖤

Review from Steam

This game has one the best stories ever written for a video game.
---{ Graphics }---
☐ You forget what reality is
☑ Beautiful
☐ Good
☐ Decent
☐ Bad
☐ Don‘t look too long at it
☐ MS-DOS
---{ Gameplay }---
☐ Very good
☑ Good
☐ It's just gameplay
☐ Mehh
☐ Watch paint dry instead
☐ Just don't
---{ Audio }---
☑ Eargasm
☐ Very good
☐ Good
☐ Not too bad
☐ Bad
☐ I'm now deaf
---{ Audience }---
☐ Kids
☐ Teens
☑ Adults
☐ Grandma
---{ PC Requirements }---
☐ Check if you can run paint
☐ Potato
☐ Decent
☐ Fast
☐ Rich boi
☑ Ask NASA if they have a spare computer
---{ Difficulty }---
☐ Just press 'W'
☐ Easy
☐ Easy to learn / Hard to master
☑ Significant brain usage
☐ Difficult
☐ Dark Souls
---{ Grind }---
☑ Nothing to grind
☐ Only if u care about leaderboards/ranks
☐ Isn't necessary to progress
☐ Average grind level
☐ Too much grind
☐ You'll need a second life for grinding
---{ Story }---
☐ No Story
☐ Some lore
☐ Average
☐ Good
☐ Lovely
☑ It'll replace your life
---{ Game Time }---
☐ Long enough for a cup of coffee
☐ Short
☑ Average
☐ Long
☐ To infinity and beyond
---{ Price }---
☐ It's free!
☑ Worth the price
☐ If it's on sale
☐ If u have some spare money left
☐ Not recommended
☐ You could also just burn your money
---{ Bugs }---
☐ Never heard of
☑ Minor bugs
☐ Can get annoying
☐ ARK: Survival Evolved
☐ The game itself is a big terrarium for bugs
---{ ? / 10 }---
☐ 1
☐ 2
☐ 3
☐ 4
☐ 5
☐ 6
☐ 7
☐ 8
☑ 9
☐ 10

Review from Steam

This game... this game was standing a lot in my library, but I didn't have enough time... or WILL to start it.
But then... then came the moment to finally begin...
Without any expectations, I came across a masterpiece
From the first moment I started this game I saw that it was something that definitely suited me. The world in the game puts you in the role of Marianne. You slowly encounter her life story and realize that she... she has the powers of a medium.
She is a person who walks on a thin border between this world and the afterlife.
At first, a man calls you to an old, now closed resort used by workers during the communist era. And here, at the very beginning, you are faced with a new, dual mechanics of the game.
You realize that everything is in fact a simultaneous walk between this world and the afterlife. In that aspect, the game itself is brilliant and gives you numerous ways in which you can solve the obstacles you face in either of these two worlds.
In that sense, everything works flawlessly... Unique transitions between this and that world, connecting everything that happens into one whole... Everything goes pretty smoothly and at no point you don't have the feeling that all this is just one GAME.
This is all a story that pulls you, that does not give you peace until you find out all the happenings between this world and the world of demons. And the world of demons... you come to it through an emotional story that is full of upheavals, surprises and difficult moments.
And that's where I'm going to stop ... I don't want this to be a spoiler for anyone. Now I will just say that from a technical point of view, everything works great. The tension that was accompanied by great music (written by Akira Yamaoka, the legend of the Silent Hill series) was accompanied by great graphics and visual solutions that brought something new to the genre.
The dual world will definitely take you to some new adventures in which you will spend many hours... hours in which you will eventually learn the new meaning behind the word Sadness.
Sadness... and perfection
Throughout this experience, you will understand how important FAMILY is, how important all those little things are that we have always taken for granted. We all have to learn to appreciate every moment, because often we are not even aware of how truly valuable they really are.
The game is a real pleasure and therefore I sincerely recommend it to anyone who loves adventure with the addition of horror and paranormal mystery.
The Medium is a great game, well worth of your time and energy.
10/10

Review from Steam

Story: Good.
Gameplay: Walk forth or back, end of gameplay... ( Its just a story game )
Visuals: Alright, far from the standart. Alot of display glitches.
Preformance: Very bad, alot of fps drops.

Review from Steam

The Medium is a brilliant and compelling game. You control (from a 3rd person perspective) Marianne - a woman with psychic abilities and an unknown past. The game opens as she buries her stepfather and receives a phone call that compels her to enter an abandoned/decaying government facility. What begins as simple exploration soon shifts into a story of madness, spirits, violence, and family.
The graphics are well done, with indoor and outdoor segments. There is an air of menace that pervades all scenes and you will be constantly looking over your virtual shoulder. The sound track adds to your sense of abandonment and dread, with excellent voice acting that is quite chilling at times.
Gameplay includes some interesting mechanics such as moving out of Marianne's body to the spirit world and using spirit energy for power and protection. Marianne's journey alternates between the physical and spiritual realities and puzzles are often solved by cooperation between these two aspects of her character. Can't get through a locked door? Step outside your physical body and explore the other side. Electricity turned off? Use energy from a 'spirit well' to power up items on the physical plane.
Marianne learns about the past from finding notes, audio 'echoes', and memory fragments. These piece together to tell a story of terrible wrongs in the past and how these events impact the present. All in all, a really good (and at times, horrifying) tale of the supernatural. Plus, Marianne is a strong, gritty woman and I found myself cheering her on.
The game auto-saves regularly and maintains a handful of slots. Thus, you always have the option of loading a past save to restart an area or rewind some of your progress. There are a handful of chase and stealth scenes. For me, the toughest survival scene was the first and the rest were not hard. Your success at surviving (by escaping or sneaking) is required to move the story forward. Other than missing one achievement, there is no penalty for failure... just the ability to try (and try) again. Although the keyboard and mouse are fully supported, I found it impossible to complete these sequences and turned to my controller which greatly improved navigation.
While some achievements are story-related, others are awarded for collectibles. Finding all items in a single play through requires taking the time to fully explore every environment. Hot spots are clearly indicated so you will not need to do any pixel hunting. All achievements can be attained in a single (albeit careful) play through. The story is fairly linear so The Medium has little replay value (unless you are circling back for missed collectibles or just want to do it all over again). Puzzles are generally environmental ... some with inventory 'find and use' and others to remove/repair obstacles (often by strategically working between the physical and spirit planes).
I really liked this game and would highly recommend it to adventurers who can tolerate a wee bit of running and sneaking. For the most part, you will be walking or running through creepy, dank environments in order to discover what happened and how/if Marianne fits into it all.

Review from Steam

The Positives:
-Great story, with a great mistery.
-Love the characters.
-The Soundtrack is a 10/10
-The art direction is like non other.
-Has moments of tension.
-Great atmosphere, camera work, and cinematography
-Great Lore
-Ran smoothly and perfectly
The so-so:
-Some of the puzzles are great, but they become a bit simplistic after a while.
-Expect something more akin to a walking simulator, do so, and you will have a better time with this game.
The Negative:
-While the ending situation is great, it ends way to abruptly. a lot of buildup for no climax.
-While I don't think the game needed combat, there are 3 moments where it seems like a "boss fight" is about to ensue, as soon as you are getting hyped and ready, the game just ends it rapidly in a cutscene.
-There is only one gameplay "stuation" repeated on the game, which might be the only moments of tension. A bit of variety could have been nice.
Overall sentiment: 7.5/10
It's a very good game, with some disapointment mixed in, the ideas, story, characters and athmosphere is great, but lacks the gameplay situations to match it. Still, if you like intriguing stories and a good Silent hill-esque athmosphere, and go with the mindset that this is closer to a walking sim than an action game, then I fully recomend it.

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