Here’s what you should know about Bloober Team’s ambitious horror title.
With games such as Observer, Layers of Fear, and Blair Witch under their belt, Bloober Team have garnered a solid reputation for themselves as developers of great horror titles. That by itself would have been enough to get people excited for their next project, but The Medium is looking like it’s going to be rather special.
Being described by Bloober as their most ambitious game ever, there’s a lot that it’s doing that can, with the proper execution, turn it into a truly memorable horror experience. And as we get closer to its December launch, in this feature, we’ll be talking about all those things and more, as we go over a few of the most crucial details you should know about The Medium. Without further ado then, let’s get started.
Set in Krakow, Poland in the late 1990s, The Medium will see players stepping into the shoes of a woman named Marianne, who is, well, a medium. Haunted by terrifying visions, Marianne travels to an abandoned hotel. Here, she must use her abilities as a medium and travel between the real world and the spirit world as she works to uncover the mysteries behind a tragedy. In true Bloober Team fashion, The Medium is promising a “mature and morally ambiguous” story, and even though the developers have been pretty tight-lipped about the game’s narrative so far, we’re excited to see what they will do with this intriguing premise.
This right here is the biggest selling point of The Medium– its Dual Reality gameplay system, which is supposedly so new and unique that Bloober Team have even gone ahead and patented it. At various points in the game, Marianne will be traversing both the real world and the spirit world simultaneously. Players will move across both worlds at the same time, solving puzzles and exploring different environments.
MORE DUAL REALITY DETAILS
What’s really interesting about the Dual Reality system is the fact that the two realities are actually going to interact with each other in various ways, which means doing something in one world can affect the other one. In the spirit world, Marianne will also have access to some special abilities, which you will have to make use of to solve puzzles and combat threats. These abilities won’t be endlessly useable though, and will have to be recharged at specific energy spots.
Every horror story needs a central mysterious entity to drive the story (and scare you out of your wits), and in The Medium, that role is going to be played by The Maw. As with the story itself, there isn’t much that we know about this creature, or thing, or whatever you want to call it. One trailer of the game tells us that it “comes from shame, from helplessness, from rage” and that it… eats people? It’s hunting Marianne, apparently, so we’re going to be coming up against it a few times. Oh, and it’s voice by Troy Baker.
Bloober Team have developed four psychological horror games in the past few years, and every single one of them has been a first person experience. The Medium is going to shake things up, instead telling its story and framing gameplay through a third person camera. In fact, during gameplay, it will make use of semi-fixed camera angles that will hearken back to the early days of franchises such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill.
Speaking of which…
SILENT HILL INSPIRATIONS
The Medium takes a lot of cues from Silent Hill, and not just with the fixed camera style. The game’s developers, in fact, have openly said that Silent Hill serves as a major inspiration for it in many ways, especially with the tone and atmosphere that it tries to create. Of course, it’s hard for anyone to make a psychological horror game and not be influenced by Konami’s horror franchise – such is its legacy – but we’re curious to see what The Medium will do with that influence.
This is another way The Medium is taking cues from Silent Hill. If you’ve seen any of its trailers so far, you’ll have noticed music that seems very reminiscent of the classic horror franchise, and there’s a very specific reason for that. Akira Yamaoka, composer of the Silent Hill franchise, has co-composed music for The Medium with frequent Bloober Team collaborator Arkadiusz Reikowski, with the former being responsible for music in the spirit world and the latter for the music in the real world.
Bloober Team have said that The Medium’s Dual Reality gameplay could only have been possible on next-gen hardware, but there’s going to be other next-gen features beyond that to look forward to as well. On the visuals front, for instance, The Medium is confirmed to feature support for ray-tracing on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
PERFORMANCE AND RESOLUTION
Higher frame rates and resolutions are something we’re hoping to see more and more of in games as we enter next gen, and expectations from The Medium, as one of the only next-gen exclusives releasing in the near future, are high. So what can we look forward to? On the Xbox Series X, the game will run at a 4K resolution at 30 frames per second. Bloober Team haven’t said what the resolution and frame rate in the game’s Xbox Series S version will be, but if the game isn’t targeting 60 FPS, we would at least expect 1440p visuals on the weaker console.
The months leading up to the launch of next-gen consoles have seen various major publishers raising the prices of their games to $70. Bloober Team, however, are not going down that road. In fact, The Medium is not even going to cost $60, which is the current standard price, and will instead be priced at $50.
What kind of a rig are you going to need if you plan on playing The Medium on PC? On minimum settings, you’ll need an 8 GB RAM, either an i5-6600 or a Ryzen 5 2500X, and either a GeForce GTX 1060 or a Radeon R9 390X. Meanwhile, on recommended settings, you’ll need a 16 GB RAM, either an i5-9600 or a Ryzen 7 3700X, and either a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti or a Radeon RX Vega 56. If you want to play the game in 4K though, the GPU requirements are going to be a bit more demanding, and you’ll need either a GeForce RTX 2070 or a Radeon RX 5700 XT.
The Medium is already going to launch at a relatively lower price, as we mentioned earlier, but there’s going to be even cheaper ways to get access to the game. You guessed it- Bloober Team have confirmed that when their horror title launches on December 10, it’ll simultaneously become available via Xbox Game Pass as well.