A screenshot of The Medium.

Media comment

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What is it? The third-person stealth/puzzle-solving horror game of the old-fashioned spirit of Resident Evil.
Estimated payment: 50 USD/40 GBP
Developer: Blob team
Publisher: Blob team
Comment time: Ryzen 7 3700X, RTX 2060 Super, 16 GB RAM, SSD
multiplayer game? No
Association: Official website

One day we will all die, so I won’t waste your time: The Medium is one of the best third-person horror games I have ever played. Bloober Team is the studio behind the Blair Witch and Layers of Fear series. With Marianne’s fantasy story, it completely surpasses those less ambitious games. Marianne is a young woman who can see and communicate with the soul. It lacks technical polish, and it makes up for it with chilling sets and well-thought-out plot development.

Medium plays like an old-school Resident Evil game, minus the guns. You navigate Marianne around crumbling, abandoned hotels and claustrophobic Cold War bunkers from a fixed camera angle. This can be cumbersome, but it is an effective design choice. Like the game that inspired it, The Medium is very good at making you feel like you are being watched all the time, and this danger may lurch out of sight at any time.

(Image source: Bloober team)

What you have to do is simple: most parts involve finding hidden objects, solving puzzles, or sneaking past your most powerless and terrifying enemy. The added gimmick is that Marianne can sometimes see the spiritual world, which is handled by dividing the screen in half. All inputs have the same effect on Marian’s real-world and spiritual world versions, but things get complicated due to small differences in terrain or enemies that only exist in one world. Bloober definitely did not push this idea to the limit. Most of the puzzles are fairly simple, just a few “Aha!” moments like portals that make me think I did something very smart. But there are no obstacles to make the pace quite brisk, which goes well with the type of story being told.

Ghost story

That story is undoubtedly a star. The rhythm and plot of “Media” are beautifully designed, with multidimensional characters and complex but uncomplicated supernatural mysteries waiting for you to uncover. I have a few theories about what happened in the haunted Niwa resort, but the real answer is ultimately more elegant and poignant than I thought-but the solution did not come from the left, M. Yesha Malan style.

Throughout the process, The Medium asked what makes a person evil and what is the difference between those who are born sadists and those who have been turned into monsters by the cycle of violence-although it does not apologize to anyone. In the process of unraveling these themes, it explores domestic abuse and even genocide, but these concepts are not presented for free just to shock value. This is the sharpest text I have seen in video games in a long time.

(Image source: Bloober team)

All this was supported by the spectacular voice actors. From the brave but troubled Marian to the mysterious Avenger Thomas, to the extremely disturbing villain brought to life by Troy Baker, each character is shaped with extraordinary emotional depth and authenticity. Especially the core struggle facing Thomas is a heartbreaking story, telling a person in an impossible situation, all the ups and downs hit my heart. In a world where there is no right answer, it is easy to find common ground with a character trying to do the right thing.

Composers Arkadiusz Reikowski and Akira Yamaoka (“Silent Hill” series) support exploration with unforgettable melancholic scores, and then bring strong, disturbing tracks as we escape from life-this is something you will notice and appreciate music. Thanks to some of the best location audio and layered atmosphere I have heard in the game, every dilapidated corridor and ghostly Polish forest feels alive: lifelike echoes bounce off the concrete tunnel, an endless creature hunting you down Pace back and forth between the left and right channels.

It also looks amazing. The overgrown post-Soviet ruins and the creepy yellow spiritual world in the real world serve as a mirror of its surrealism. Texture, color balance, and lighting evoke a series of emotions: intrigue, anxiety, and sheer horror.

(Image source: Bloober team)

From the roof to the paving stones, Niwa Resort has layers of small details, including crumpled old Polish magazines accurate to the 1990s. When Marianne split between the worlds, the walls of human flesh and ghost moths were juxtaposed with the ordinary of the abandoned classroom on the other side of the screen. It feels like you will never be truly safe-when the split screen effect disappears and you are just looking at the classroom, how do you know what is happening on the other side?

Character models are an area that lacks details, especially in contrast to how beautiful everything else looks. They stand out with a doll-like appearance and rigid animation. They are not always connected to the objects they interact with.

There are also performance issues. Although I can usually maintain a good 45-60 fps on my RTX 2060 Super, there will be a lot of glitches when you enter the spiritual world for the first time or transition between gameplay and cutscenes. This makes some key moments take a bite, like a monster jumping out to you for the first time.

The RTX effects look amazing, but they brought me down to a baseline close to 30-35 fps, and it dropped in the mid-1920s. When the performance drops too low, the “RTX On” setting dynamically disables certain effects, which is nice, but it can cause strange phenomena, such as the water between RTX and non-RTX shadows flickering in an ear-piercing manner. The “Forced Open” option will prevent this, but it makes certain areas with complex point lighting, especially in the spiritual world, unable to play slideshows. So these two settings are not completely ideal.

On another PC equipped with RTX 2070 Super, we managed a frame rate of 40 to 60 seconds at 1440p and set RTX On and DLSS to high quality, but if R​​TX is increased to the highest setting, occasionally Slides will also appear.

(Image source: Bloober team)

Despite some technical weaknesses and simple, unchallenging invisibility and puzzle solving, I am totally in love with The Medium. This work is at its best in the genre with its elaborate mystery, exploring difficult and often heartbreaking related themes, and in the process of reaching satisfactory but not exciting conclusions . First-class actors perform complex and unforgettable heroes and monsters along the way. The soundtrack, sound design and art are all gorgeous, forming an unforgettable and cohesive whole. Medium will be with me for a long time.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.