Have you ever been frightened by something but so intrigued at the same time that you had to find out more about it? Well, that is exactly what The Medium brings to the table. I went into this game with no prior knowledge, just some screen shots and the description from the Steam game store. All I knew was that it’s a horror game and I went into this game fully prepared to be terrified. I even asked my wife to play it with me just so I wasn’t as scared (I don’t like the horror genre). My wife and I were prepared to scream but we slowly found out that although this game can send chills down your spine, it’s not the kind of horror game that would make you jump out of your skin (and trust me you want to keep your skin during this game).
Instead of being scared we were intrigued by the amazing artwork and storyline that this game has to offer. At the start of the game we were both very confused but we pushed on, slowly learning more and more about the backstory of Marianne, an orphan with powers of a Medium. As you make your way through the game you are led to a forest in search of a mystery and what also seems to be the next chapter in Marianne’s life
This forest is where you first see the true beauty of this games design. As we wondered around enjoying the views, we stubbled upon our destination: a creepy, ghostly looking hotel that you know no good can come out of. This is when the horror really starts to kick in. The hotel is full of all sorts of rooms to explore and puzzles waiting to be solved.
Once you manage to find the entrance, you are welcomed by a little girl named Sadness. Sadness is your hotel guide in a sense and as you follow her through this hotel you are forced to transfer between the spirt world and the real world. This feature in the game is called dual sense, an actual split screen (as if you were playing Halo 2 with your friend at your house in 2005). In this mode you get to experience the game in two different ways. I feel that this feature is both original and genius.
Any game that can come up with something different will always get me interested and on top of that, this game includes a compelling story where you don’t want to stop playing until you have solved the mystery.
As you are led through this haunting hotel, you catch yourself wondering when the actual scary stuff is going to happen and then all of a sudden after a harmless act of developing a photo (one of my favorite little quirky tasks in the game) you run into Maw. Now even though I am not a fan of the name and want to call him Meow (probably my inner self trying to make him seem less scary), I can tell you I’m terrified of Maw as a whole. From what I’ve put together, this demon of a beast is about 8 feet tall with wings and demon horns on his head oh, and did I mention he wants to wear your skin like a coat? (Terrifying, right?)
Once you meet the one and only Maw you will be forced to run and hide from him for the rest of the game with only short breaks here and there as you figure out puzzles to open doors and send other spirts within the hotel to the afterlife. This continues until you finally put all the pieces of your mystery together. Now I won’t put any spoilers here because I truly want you to experience this game for yourself but lets just say, you never would have seen it coming.
This game has so many amazing features that I have nothing but praise for it as a whole. When it comes to the graphics and art I was blown away. I truly felt that I was at a abandon hotel with a crazy skin wearing demon. One feature that truly pulled me in is the lighting. The further along in the game I was, the darker it got. The emersion was incredible. Overall gameplay was very smooth and organic. I never had any issues with glitches or anything like that. I did run into some instances where we kept getting stuck because we needed one more item to trigger the puzzle and it was very hard to find. Even though there is a feature to help highlight items when you’re close, we learned that you have to be very close in order for it to work properly. The sound was impeccable, not just with the music but voice acting as well. Whoever voiced Maw actually made me think he wanted to wear my skin. I mean, this monster was crazy and also so sad, it almost hurt your soul until he tried to kill you of course. I found the story to be very strong but I felt that it was a little slow to progress and kept you in the dark with a lot of things that could have been very helpful earlier in the game. Overall, I loved the game, and for someone who is not a fan of the horror genre, I think that is saying a lot.
After all we went through in this game I have decided to give The Medium a star rating of 4 out of 5 Stars.
I just wanted to say thank you if you made it all the way down to the bottom of the page. This is my first official game review and even though it is not your normal run of the mill cookie cutter review I am very proud of it and this site as a whole. I hope you enjoyed my content and am excited to keep producing more for you every day.