The Medium is one of the most exciting next-gen horror games that'll launch in late 2020. Unveiled during Microsoft's May Xbox Series X showcase and teased again during Microsoft's July presentation, this horror game utilizes next-gen technology in an interesting and unique way: displaying two worlds at once.
If this atmospheric thriller caught your eye, we've rounded up details on The Medium's release date, developer, gameplay, plot, and more. Here's everything we know about Bloober Team's upcoming scare-fest.
When is The Medium's release date?
As is the case with most next-generation games, a specific release date for The Medium has not been shared yet. That said, Bloober Team plans to release the game during the 2020 holiday season, suggesting it will come at or shortly after the launch of Xbox Series X. We now know that Microsoft's next-generation console will come out on November 10, 2020, but the developer Bloober Team has stated that they aren't ready to commit to that date just yet.
"I hope we'll be able to deliver, but at this time everything is unexpected," Bloober Team founder Piotr Babieno told GamesIndustry.biz in September 2020. "We'll know for sure whether or not it will make that November 10 launch as we get closer to that date."
Even though it'll have to compete with other launch titles, its main horror competition will be Observer: System Redux, a remaster from the same developer.
Is there a trailer for The Medium?
Yes, there is! During July's Xbox Game Showcase, a trailer for The Medium was unveiled.
This trailer reveals the "dual-reality" concept that is at the core of The Medium. We see Mary Ann, the game's main character, reflecting on the murder of a young girl. When then see her visit an abandoned building where most of the game seems to take place. The focus of the trailer is very much on the dual worlds gimmick though, which is something that can only really be done on next-generation consoles.
Is The Medium an Xbox exclusive game?
"We spent a lot of years thinking about this game and how can fulfill our dream about it, but we had a problem with the platform," Producer Jacek Zieba explained during an interview with Microsoft in May 2020.
"Then Xbox Series X came up and we thought 'Yeah, this is the perfect match for us' and a lot of doors were open for use to be creative and do the game as we wanted." Basically, keeping the two worlds of The Medium running simultaneously with a stable frame rate and minimal loading would be extremely difficult, if not outright impossible, on current-gen hardware.
This comment also probably rules out versions of The Medium for systems like PS4 and Nintendo Switch, which wouldn't even be able to run it. As for PS5 and Google Stadia versions, they don't appear to be in the cards for the developer right now, but might be possible in the future. If you don't wait to wait though, just go with the Xbox Series X version or see if your PC and run it.
Can I see gameplay from The Medium?
Though you may have missed it, a four-minute uncut gameplay video for The Medium was released on July 24, a day after a gameplay trailer appeared during the Xbox Games Showcase. The video highlights the simultaneous dual reality gameplay, where players will do something in the real world to impact the spirit world or vice versa. Watch it below:
As you can see in the video, much of The Medium is spent exploring and solving puzzles in a style similar to Silent Hill or Resident Evil. Still, the dual reality gimmick should set up some mind-bending scenarios that players will have to work their way through. In the video, we see Marianne mess with a clock in the real world to speed up time within the Spirit World, opening a path that allows Marianne to finish a puzzle and progress.
If the game includes combat, we have not seen that yet, as the July 2020 gameplay video only showcases the one puzzle. There's still time for the developers to show what you'll be doing outside of puzzles before this game and Xbox Series X launch though.
What is the story of The Medium?
While The Medium's trailers are fairly confusing in typical horror-game fashion, the officially released premise does give some insight into what's going on.
"Players will find themselves in the body of Marianne, a medium hounded by visions, living and interacting across two worlds: the real, and the spirit world," it explains. "Nothing is what it seems, everything has another side. As a medium with access to both worlds, you have a wider perspective and can see more clearly that there’s no one simple truth to what others perceive."
Bloober Team's CEO Piotr Babieno delved into the themes a bit more in a press release, saying that The Medium is about how "when you change your point of view, you discover that things are more complicated and nuanced than you initially thought." Ultimately, The Medium appears to be telling a story about perspective in a very literal and horrific way.
Is the composer of Silent Hill working on The Medium?
Silent Hill's influence on The Medium is noticeable from the gameplay all the way to the soundtrack. The musical similarity is intentional though, and Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka is officially attached to the project. "The inclusion of the legendary Akira Yamaoka — best known for his work on the Silent Hill franchise — is a dream come true," composer Arkadiusz Reikowski explained in a press release. "We’ve been inspired by many of the previous games he has worked on and are thrilled to bring a new one to life with The Medium."
Who is developing The Medium?
The developer of The Medium is Bloober Team, a Polish studio that has made a name for themselves within the horror genre. Bloober Team's flagship franchise is Layers of Fear, though you may also know the team for its cyberpunk horror game Observer or its 2019 game adaption of Blair Witch, which was also an Xbox exclusive at launch.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Piotr Babieno explained that "from the first day we talked about [making] horror games, we said we wanted to be the Blumhouse of the games industry." They've mostly lived up to that name, producing five solid horror games including Layers of Fear and Observer since 2016. Going forward, Babieno thinks the team will solely focus on horror games like how Blumhous focuses on horror movies.
The Medium is a brand new franchise for the team, so it will be exciting to see what other innovative things Bloober Team does with it. The dual reality gameplay already seems incredibly ambitious.
The Medium comes to PC and Series X in late 2020.