Players will often find themselves straddling two worlds.
Bloober Team’s The Medium is shaping up to be their most ambitious game to date, and the central hook that’s going to set the game apart from others in the genre and from Bloober’s own past efforts is its dual reality gameplay, which will see players navigating the spirit world and the real world simultaneously at certain points in the game.
We recently had the chance to shoot some of our questions about the game at the developer, and we learned quite a bit about the upcoming horror title in the process. One of the things that producer Jacek Zieba told us was that The Medium will be about 8-10 hours long, which to me seems like the perfect length for a horror title.
When quizzed about the dual reality mechanic and how it will function in the game, Zieba told us that it is used as much for storytelling purposes as it is for gameplay, and that about 33% of the game will make use of the mechanic- which means it won’t be a constant, dynamic thing that players will be able to use whenever they want.
“The main belief of the game is duality and providing different points of view, starting from story to gameplay ending, which is why dual reality gameplay is one of the foundations of The Medium,” Zieba told GamingBolt. “The game does not appear with dual reality gameplay all the time as players can expect to play in it about 33% of the game, while the rest of the game takes place within a single reality, either in the real world or in the spiritual world.”
“This is to constantly surprise players in which world they are currently in, and it also aims to pose new challenges – how can players use the world to their advantage?” he added. “At some points in the game, the player will be able to move from the real world to the spiritual world in specifically designated places. It will not be possible to switch between worlds at any time in the game since the whole game is designed in that new gameplay mechanics can be discovered within their own realities as well as with each other during dual reality gameplay.”
Zieba went on to explain that showcasing two realities simultaneously is Bloober Team’s “primary philosophy designed to further enhance the story”, but that it will come into play on the gameplay and atmosphere front as well. “The dual reality mechanic also promotes gameplay and exploration, as well as taking in the atmosphere itself,” he said. “In one world, we can be in a seemingly safe location, but players will be in two worlds at once, so we never really know if something is lurking in the other reality.”
In the same interview, Zieba also spoke to us about how the likes of Silent Hill and Resident Evil served as inspirations for The Medium’s development team in terms of things such as atmosphere and fixed camera angles, with the latter being a first in a Bloober-developed horror title. Read more on that through here.
The Medium launches for the Xbox Series X/S and PC on January 28, 2021. A PS5 version is not currently planned.