The Medium – A Good Start to Xbox Series X?
The Medium is a brand-new Xbox Series X/S exclusive game, and as it is one of the first, there are many questions as to whether it lives up to the expectations set by the standard of the Xbox Series X/S and its phenomenal quality. We are going to look through some of the main points of The Medium, and see if they are to the best possible quality.
The main selling point of this game is the story which it provides. Being made as a psychological horror game, the story of this game is not that scary. There are some dark themes within the story, but nothing that is truly terrifying. Although it does not play too deeply into the horror aspect, the story is still quite good with some great memorable moments, told through either the great collectibles littered throughout the game and the overall story.
The information and story told through the collectibles are very strong, with the collectibles being one of the strong points of the game. With many to discover and enjoy, the collectibles help you learn more about events within the game, or about characters you learn of throughout the game. All of which, play into the overarching story, which is good thanks to the performance of the characters and interesting plot. All of this helps build a really interesting world. Which is very impressive for a new game series. So, significant praise has to go to the Bloober team for the great world building.
On the subject of characters, there is not a massive number of characters, but the characters that were present played a strong role. With the performance of Kelly Burke as Marriane (the main character) and Troy Baker as The Maw (the main antagonist), being stand outs in the story. The character of Marriane is quite interesting, being a medium that can tap into the spirit world to help trapped spirits leave the world. This character is quite interesting, discovering more and more about her past, and other characters, as the story develops. The Maw is a very strong character, being very dark and mysterious, that hunts you throughout the game. Delivering some strong moments at different points, trying to take you as you go along. The encounters with The Maw, are definitely some of the highlights of the game, being very enjoyable to experience.
Another major point of this game is the gameplay. And like the game, the gameplay is very medium and average. The main point of this game is the main protagonist being able to interact with two worlds, the normal world and the spirit world. The spirit world is definitely a very dark place, having some powerful visuals and dark moments. This feature is used quite a lot throughout the story, allowing you to control the character two times at once (for each world). These two worlds interact with each other, with your actions affecting events in each world. Being able to have out of body experiences, that allow you to focus on the spirit world. Although this feature is very fascinating at first and provides some cool moments, it does somewhat get repetitive having to use this feature repeatedly for puzzles and walking around.
From what I have experienced, there does not seem to be any massive issues. The main issue I have seen is the frame rate dropping at different points. Though these are only short-term and do not seem to prevent you from progressing, it is a little bit annoying, but nothing serious.
The overall gameplay of this game is not too exciting. With the main source of gameplay being puzzles and exploration. Which are not to thrilling, especially as you get further into the game. With the puzzles mainly involving the switching between worlds mechanics, as a result, they become very repetitive. Which does not help the fact that the puzzles are not very difficult to complete, being very simplistic and straight forward. And when you are not doing puzzles, you will often find yourself just walking to your next objective. Although the story and different visuals and themes do help improve the exploration experience, although it is not to a giant affect.
The last two points on gameplay are around the camera and extra content. To make it short, the story is this the only thing included in this game. No extra game modes or activities. On the camera angle, it is not the best that’s for sure. At some points, the camera provided some great scenery and experiences. But more than often, I found myself being a bit disorientated by the camera. As the cameras are set, there are numerous sudden camera changes, with some angles being tedious.
Despite all of the negatives about gameplay, it is still decent. The exploration is fine and isn’t dreadful, the puzzles all work and suit the game somewhat. Although these could all have been improved. But as this game is new and the first of the series, it is great to see the creators making something unique.
Something that definitely has to be praised is the music within the game. The soundtrack made is amazing, and fits the game extremely well. Giving off very eerie and exciting sounds that makes the experience far more enjoyable. Whenever a dark moment or you enter a creepy area, the music that accompanies it really helps build that area and make an astonishing environment, that has already been made so great by the story told.
Being available on Xbox Game Pass, this is a game that you should definitely try out. Xbox Game Pass grants access to hundreds of different games and this is one that I recommend trying if you want a good story. Although it doesn’t provide the spookiness that you expect from a psychological horror game, it still has a good story that most people would enjoy. Although the gameplay doesn’t quite meet that standard, it is bearable and easy to understand. So overall, The Medium is a decent game. Not extraordinarily good or an absolute masterpiece, but it works just fine.