Marianne’s eyes turned toward the street of her home, which she had known from her childhood but this time she had not known, for it was different from before, full of bleakness and lifeless after being drenched by the rain pouring down on Poland in abundance at this time of year; She only saw in this rain a way to comfort her after her father Jack passed away as if he was sad for her grief.
Marianne awoke from her stupor and began to prepare her father for his last trip, not believing what had happened and not knowing what she would do next, especially since Jack was everything to her. It is her haven that forgotten her orphaned, but what now? Marianne muttered in melancholy.
Her train of thought was interrupted by a terrifying sound, followed by continuous flashes of room lamps as if they were trembling from something coming unusually composed by Marianne.
“Not now. Leave me alone,” Marianne said angrily.
The voices directed her towards Jack’s office, whose features had changed so much from reality to become bleak, tainted by the most negative feelings you may see in your life, represented in the form of a world devoid of any life or color, surrounded by skulls and death from everywhere. Parallel to reality and being a medium, she was not surprised when she found herself here. Her problem was in the timing.
Jack’s office phone suddenly rang, and Marianne hesitantly answered a distant voice warning her of an impending danger after he revealed to her the truth of his claim when he revealed her identity and abilities, and then invited her to come to a resort called Niwa to get answers to all her questions on a journey where Marianne will discover the secrets of her actual past and an adventure that will change her life our hero.”
The mystery of The Medium began from the first moment we started playing. That exciting atmosphere that we can liken to the calm before the storm was the first to stick us on the chair for seven continuous hours until we could finish the game in one sitting…!
Dear readers welcome to a new review today; we decided to dive into the world of the first exclusive from the Xbox team in 2021: The Medium game, which fascinated us on several levels and documented the first official Xbox steps towards strengthening its fleet of exclusives that it intends to present during the current year to confirm that the team Al-Akhdar will not joke this year and will give everything it has to compete with its rivals’ exclusives.
About The Medium
The Medium game is a psychological horror game, developed by the Bloober Team, which brought us titles such as Blair Witch recently, the Layers of Fear series, and Observer System Redux. The Medium was released as an exclusive game for Xbox platforms in general and its new generation, especially with its availability on the PC.
The two sides of the same coin!
We can summarize the idea of The Medium game in the phrase “two sides of the same coin,” where the events of our game take place in two parallel worlds at the same time: the natural world in which we live and the world of spirits or the parallel world that exists alongside our world, but we do not see it nor can we interact with it, but it may affect What you do in one of them on the other by dependence, which is the element that the Bloober Team excelled in here and was able to provide an exciting psychological experience that held our breath until its last moments, in addition to being a mixture that we had not seen in a game before, so in terms of coming up with the same idea and implementing it, there is no doubt on that fact.
An excellent story until the last minute
The Medium may seem monotonous in its first hour. Still, as we delve into the story’s purpose, plot, character motivations, and some light Plot Twists, we find me in front of a beautiful Bloober Team psychological masterpiece and a solid mark to be reckoned with for Xbox.
The story revolves around a young girl named Marianne who has extraordinary abilities that enable her to navigate and exist in two worlds at the same time, one of which is the reality we live in and the other that we can classify as a mirror of our world in the form and conditions of other bleak conditions marred by death, a parallel world that Marianne can reach.
Marianne is called the medium or The Medium. This is because she can guide stray souls to their final resting place, or she can be a host for any soul that wants to reach the natural world in one way or another. That is why it is considered a mediator, crossing or bridge between the two worlds, hence the game’s name.
The beautiful thing about it, and another point among many that will count for the development team today, is the meaning of the parallel world, or what exactly does it represent? And it is somewhat an answer to you as a player to derive it, and the game does not provide to you directly. The idea is that each of us, according to the concept of the game, has two souls or two characters whose features are determined according to their feelings and the situations they were exposed to. One of the souls is present in our natural world. The other is embodied in Monsters’ lonely and deadly world, formed according to the characters and their nature. Whoever was exposed to difficult situations in his life and developed feelings of hatred and hatred will reflect on Noah’s soul, which will exist on the other side, and vice versa.
In a more straightforward sense, it highlights the distinct artistic point and the message that The Medium is trying to convey is that the parallel world is nothing but a mirror that reflects our character, our personalities, and what we feel. Indeed, but mostly they will be feelings of loneliness, torment, oppression, bullying, hatred, envy, fear, hatred, and others embodied in the forms of monsters in a world that we do not coexist or have contact with.
The idea is that these souls do not depend on their other entity that exists in the real world. That is, as long as they stem from the feelings of a particular person, they can live even if that person dies in the real world, but they cannot leave our world and influence it unless their entity allows them to come out. From her prison to spread corruption on the ground.
An excellent introduction to Marianne and the rest of the characters
Back to Marianne, our heroine can enter that world and interact in it with her pure second person and is the only person who can bring a soul with him to reality if she can own it. She can influence both worlds simultaneously. What she does in a world that will resonate with the other is a feature that is only present in some humans. All of this was presented in the form of excellent flashbacks that reminded us of the Mafia game style a bit, but it’s okay.
After her father, Jack, dies, or so she thought, Marianne gets a call from a person named Thomas, who warns her of great danger and asks her to help him by going to Niwa Resort. Still, the other important reasons for that trip were to unravel the secrets of her past and solve the mystery of the unknown massacre that befell the place years ago. From here, Events follow when our heroine meets a young girl named Sadness from the parallel world who sets out to help her find Thomas the truth. Through semi-predictable Plot Twists and unique twists and turns in the game, and near its end, Marianne finds herself facing a mission in which she must make a tough choice to save humanity and curse that she discovers Secrets from her family emerge with other secondary characters whose motives are logically plotted to fit into the overall storyline.
The Medium ending is excellent.
There may be some burning in that paragraph, but we will try as much as possible not to do that. Among the points that we must touch upon is the beautiful end of The Medium. The secret is that its future is open and bears more than one scene so that the game leaves you room to think and devise any end that may fit its events More and unlike any other game that may disturb the idea of an open ending. Still, from our point of view, the end of The Medium should have ended in exactly the way it ended, a way that made us as a player interact more with the game to understand its meaning. We can put a possible scenario for what could have happened.
But it is not complete because the story of The Medium is too short.
Our problem with The Medium story is that its story does not exceed seven hours of playing. It is just a cinematic experience from A to Z, enjoyable yes, breathtaking yes, but we wish the game would explain itself more in more hours instead of resorting to the idea of spreading the story of the sub-game in the form of Collectibles Scattered in different parts, you will have to collect them to see the complete picture in addition to listening to the echo of things around you, which stores the most prominent situations that you witnessed, i.e., you may find an ordinary phone or a vase, but when you examine it in a certain way, you will find that it retains a specific memory that will represent you on the screen and will help you to know more details about the dimensions of the story.
Perhaps the only advantage of the playing style was the idea of including the Splitscreen system inside The Medium to represent the idea of the two worlds in a practical way, which the game did with distinction, especially in the puzzles section, which required harmony in what we do between the two worlds to make the solution easy and maybe solving a puzzle for a real-world located in the parallel world and vice versa Here, Marianne can move her whole body to the other world to do things that she cannot do in the natural world and thus open up a new possibility or path for herself, and so on.
We consider almost a breakthrough in this type of game is how The Medium was able to render the rendering of two different worlds simultaneously. So with this excellent art form, we are talking about a huge computing power that could formulate the data of two games combined into one fun to come out. So we have this way, and it is already a precedent.
The gameplay, in general, is a significant negative here because it is very poor in the game The Medium. Except in the idea of a section of the playing screen for two images. Otherwise, the gameplay revolves around solving puzzles with a predominant percentage of passing through some obstacles and exploiting the idea of the two worlds to link the solution of the mystery to them at the same time. Meaning that the answer lies in doing something in both worlds and thus the game invested well in that element and put it to good use in solving somewhat satisfying puzzles.
Other than that, it is not outside the scope of using your supernatural abilities to destroy a barrier or protect yourself from the monsters that defeat Marianne. Most notably during the Cutscenes in the first place, meaning that the game did not even give us the pleasure of fighting the bosses in the way we imagined. Which is another problem.
Marianne can draw her strength from some of the power sources scattered throughout the game. Which is a good plus with some stealth which we found very scarce.
Direction, cinematography, drama, and sound effects beyond imagination!
The Medium is 95% based on four factors that we can consider to be the pillars of that game that make up the entire experience. And that put us in a cocoon of breathtaking, mystery. And constant excitement even though the game has no horror scenes and doesn’t lean towards that aspect at all.
The first element is the sound effects, which we cannot give right here. When any action of any kind occurs, the sound effects are present to keep you on your nerves and terrify you. With The Medium, we witnessed the most beautiful sound system that should be circulated in any upcoming horror game.
This is done by suddenly raising the volume to its maximum if Marianne wants to move from her physical body to her spiritual character. For example, to find that the screen vibrates violently, her screams get louder as if you are about to be torn into two characters. And even if she meets monsters or butterflies and
Yes, there are butterflies in that game for a purpose Certain.
When you pass through them, your body will undoubtedly shiver because we felt as if we were inside a VR game even though we are not. We felt the touch of butterflies flying like a large army around us. And the sound of their wings flapping is still stuck in our mind, and yes. It came to those small details.
The second element is the cinematic factor that the game puts you in from its beginning to its end. Almost the cutscenes more than the game itself, or so we felt. The way to mix cinematic scenes with the gameplay was excellent. Most importantly, the single scene is already tired of it. As it does not explain the dimensions of the story to you.
Still, we often felt like we were in a movie at the cinema.
The scenes that featured Marianne going through a nervous breakdown and her mind-melting either from overthinking. Or while crossing the spirit world were an excellent example of the quality and importance of the cinematic factor here.
The third element is the output that served the ambiguity and breath-holding factor properly. Starting from the camera angles themselves. Where The Medium follows the isometric pattern and the tracking camera. Meaning that the camera follows the steps of the main character continuously and automatically without the need to use the mouse to do so. As it is isometric and therefore does not give you The whole scene. But hiding parts of the scene.
Appears in the frame only when Marianne passes through it.
In a more correct sense, surprises that will appear suddenly to frighten you without warning and a strong emphasis. On the excitement factor which is a very good point and not ideal because taking that kind of camera angle made Marianne control Difficult in many cases. As when entering or leaving a room and because of the change of staff directly. You may find yourself pressing the W button in order to walk forward in a cadre. Only to be surprised that the next cadre will make Marianne return to her entrance again. If we press the W button, a point that was bothering us but Not constantly.
Finally, the dramatic factor is strongly present here, and this is by sequentially presenting the events. The rhythm increases gradually as you approach the end. The game offers questions or nodes well at the beginning with introductory events. Then the pattern slowly accelerates with reaching the solution and answering all Marianne’s questions at the end.
These four elements formed a style of playing in themselves when the game itself was poor. It could replace it by filling a gap and intense negativity in the playing style.
Graphics, performance, and music
As for the graphics, it’s flawless, the details of the world are subtle, and a lot due to the linearity of the game. The quality of the textures is amazingly noticeable, the general atmosphere is excellent. And we have no objection except for the animations, whether in Marianne’s lips movement. Which was not optimal when she was talking. Even the facial expressions were rigid.
It doesn’t have any emotions, at least enough that it should satisfy us of an action game that is already based on reflexes. Add to that, the mechanics, in general, could have been much better. Still, instead, we felt like we were in control of a robot with no movement flexibility.
The details of the faces are very good, and we should commend the quality of the material, especially the clothes, whose details appeared very, very accurately.
As for the performance, it varied according to the presence of the two worlds on the screen or not. Naturally, the game committed to reaching 60fps with ease if what was being shown was only one world with some hiccups here and there, but it is not apparent.
Still, when the two worlds appear simultaneously, Because of the enormous load, we found the tires fell directly in half, if not less, which is a problem we understand, of course. However, the lack of performance is still present.
The last point is the excellent music that played an essential role in the various scenes. We will tip our hat to the clip choices that fit very well with the general atmosphere of The Medium or with what happens in each scene in particular, whether it is action, sad, mysterious or puzzles, etc.
“The Bloober Team presented its coolest titles for a moment, represented by The Medium. Which set an example in providing the most wonderful cinematic psychological thriller experience. In a period with an innovative idea, execution, directing, sound effects and no coolest. And a general story that attracted us from its beginning to its end. And certainly an experience we would recommend to anyone. Who loves this kind of Games, Xbox is finally entering the exclusive arena strongly. And we think 2021 still has a lot in store for the green factory.”
Story and game idea: 9
Playing style: 7
Graphics and performance: 8.5
Directing, cinematography, and sound effects: 9.5
A thrilling, breathtaking story until the last moments
The idea of linking the game with two worlds and a split-screen is excellent
Good general plot with a perfect introduction of the heroine and the motivations of the secondary characters
The direction and cinematic sense are amazing
The dramatic flavor and sound effects are great and contributed to the exciting experience significantly.
Graphics, detail, and quality are .excellent
The idea of showing two different worlds as two other games at once is genius.
Music served to the overall game atmosphere.
A sublime message that the game carries in its folds
The open ending of the story was more thoughtful and fit the atmosphere of the game
Isometric camera angles
The puzzles are varied, and the idea of linking them to the existence of two worlds served. The meaning of the game.
The story is too short
Sometimes poor performance
Animations are poor, lip movements and facial expressions are inappropriate
Camera angles were disturbing at times
Poor playing style