The medium is a puzzle based adventure game with a horror based story revolving around an abandonned national resort uncovering the mysteries of what happened in the past after you recieve a phonecall from a mysterious individual who claims to understand why we’re having visions of a mysterious girl being shot in our dreams.
You take the roll of a psychic who experiences the world through both living and dead worlds intertwined together, and often get sucked into the realm of the dead to commune with spirits who haven’t moved on from this world attempting to help them to pass on, but you are constrained with physical impedements in both worlds together, and this is how the puzzles in the game work as you often enter the spirit realm to search for a source of spirit energy in order to activate switches in the physical realm.
There are a lot of storyline elements to discover as you play through from finding the hidden postcards and letters as well as sensing and activating memories of the past embedded in objects which help to unravel the story of what happened during an incident at the resort which forced it’s premature closure. Many of these are optional and scattered throughout the world
As you progress through the game you will begin to uncover more ways to interact with the world using your powers in previously undiscovered ways discovering elements like a clock which actively changes time in the death realm as well as further developments to the psychic powers like being able to seperate from your physical form entirely and traversing into the realm of the dead through portals in mirrors discovering area’s previously unaccessable or perceivable in the physical realm
While the storyline is very interesting and tells a compelling narrative to uncover along the way you will notice that the gameplay will often lock you into a small area where you have to essentially hunt the spirit well and activate the objective in order to progress or find and compile the memories in order to activate the spirit well in order to have the energy to pass through the moth barriers which will prevent your progress. This does seem like it missed the opportunity to expand on the time altering mechanic which is introduced because this could have been great to have many anchor points going forward to make puzzles more complex but they remain basic throughout and the only time another anchor is used is to spin a room which is just a time consuming way of blocking a door rather than anything adding to the puzzling elements of the game.
If you are expecting this to be like resident evil or silent hill you will also be dissapointed as throughout the world of the game you will face little opposition as most of the world is empty and abandonned other than the occasional times sadness will talk to you in a cutscene or when the singular demon which hunts you pursues you throughout the world as you have to avoid the pans labarynth inspired blind demon that begins to chase you throughout the entire game determined to inhabit your body as a flesh suit.
This doesn’t mean that there weren’t opportunities for the game to have other demons throughout the world as they establish that other demons do exist in the game world, and there could have been other minor enemies to avoid and perhaps take down with powers as you make your way through the hallways, and even major demons exist and could have been availale in boss form to take down in the world, but as soon as they’re introduced through flashbacks to memories where you play as the protagonists father uncovering memories in the past the demons are sent immediately onto the afterlife and banished from the realm, and a lot of effort was made to give them interesting features like a giant child eater who has tentacles coming from the ground which could have been some form of evasion battle to reach the center to send on, and another is a wolflike beast who again immediately is sent on the instant it is itroduced which could have been used in the forrest exploration area to have some form of distraction through use of baits or something in order to be a threat in the world, and I am sure could have been turned into a clever boss battle
Although there were ways this could have added more to the gameplay and the experience the storyline is a compelling journey, and the dual world mechanics and the ways they expand on this and the powers are done cleverly and make a unique gameplay experience, I personally would have liked more challenging puzzles but I can appreciate the fact they have made them very approachable so anyone can play through and enjoy the game, the only real issue I must say is when at two instances the way to progress involved navigating to area’s seemingly off camera and in the first instance at least you’re following ghost footprints using your medium senses but in the second comes when you are first being chased down by the demon in the shadow realm and come to a dead end where all paths are blocked off by moths and you have to just know to take the left moth blockage and run into that (where this would normally kill you) with no spirit energy for a shield and run through this until the camera changes and you find safety from the demon.
This demon will continue to pursue you throughout the entire game adding sections where you either have to run or hold your breath and wait for your opportunity to sneak past without it noticing you frequently throughout the game, and it’s also understandable why they focus on this demon alone due to the storyline, but I feel the fact that other demons are within the world some sense of danger from the other demons and some interactions with them could have been implemented.
I do want to talk about the ending at this point which will be spoilers so bear this in mind if reading further, but the game does end on a rather open ended cliffhanger which can contradict much of what the game already established that demons continue to exist after their host is dead so the fact that the sister wants you to shoot her to stop the demon doesn’t make sense based purely on this fact and especially as it’s gained powers beyond her physical form so already more powerful than any other demons in the world, and the other choice the protagonist has to end her own life so the demon cannot take her body also doesn’t make sense as an option as the demon would still continue to haunt the lands and as established from her dad the spirit side of her may continue to exist despite the living realm’s body death also, although in an after credits scene they do leave room for a sequel where the dad comes back from the never previously found spirit wall perhaps to continue the story and find his way to this point also to maybe intervene and save the day (or more than likely find out what happened to the medium and where she went after leaving lily by the lake perhaps inhabited by the demon and trying to save her)
I enjoyed the game and it is a very cinematic experience using visuals and lighting very effectively to create an immersive horror experience, and they do establish a number of fun elements which they could definitely bring into more fleshed out forms in a sequel which is definitely hinted at heavily with the ending cliffhanger, and I would definitely enjoy some more challenging puzzles involving the spirit realm and the powers at hand, and I know many would also enjoy having other demons throughout the world to combat, which could have perhaps escaped from the spirit wall hole into the world as an excuse for why there’s suddenly many demons who may have previously been scared away by the main all powerful demon of this game.
I would definitely recommend you play the game for yourself and enjoy the story yourself and explore the powers of the medium and I look forward to how they expand on this in a sequel, and I hope they add more elements involving time anchors which change the physical realm to make mroe complex puzzles as well as potentially adding further powers the father knows and discovering more as a result of his separate death realm identity which carries it’s own persona and maybe having new discoveries of his own to make having been seperated from his life for seemingly many years.
Get The medium for yourself on Greenmangaming now at https://www.greenmangaming.com/games/the-medium-pc/?tap_a=1964-996bbb&tap_s=4707-cadadd
Also available on steam at The Medium on Steam (steampowered.com)