There are always two sides to every story but rarely does the audience get to experience them both at the same time such as the novel gameplay hook central to the Medium. An enthralling psychological horror adventure that splits your focus between a gloomy real-world setting and a haunting parallel spirit world with actions performed in one having a measurable impact on the other.
There we go it’s a stylish and clever technique that’s used to consistently engaging effect allowing for some stimulating puzzle design and exhilarating moments of reality hopping cat and mouse with a truly memorable monster.
We quickly warmed to the self-deprecating charm of the Medium split-screen scream queen Mary Anne she’s a spirit guide who has lured to an abandoned resort in the polish hinterland hoping to uncover the origin of her clairvoyant abilities and her consistently observations delivered by actress Kelly Burke.
Determining the extent of the evil atrocities that went down within the hotel’s walls and identifying the perpetrators soon becomes the main focus one that we took great morbid delight in as we pieced together each sinister scrap of evidence along its blood-soaked breadcrumb trail because we want you to feel everything at predetermined points along the main story path.
The screen will split to reveal the spirit world side by side with the material one and you’ll suddenly be controlling two versions of Marianne at the same time. It’s an incredibly striking contrast with the environments on both sides of the divide exceptionally well-realized but it’s the spirit world that is particularly to explore with your general surroundings resembling a nightmarish landscape.
The likes of which aren’t normally seen anywhere outside of a heavy metal album cover instead of opening doors you have to slash through sheets of human skin with a blade made of bones it doesn’t get much more metal than that was disturbingly satisfying displaying both realities at the same time isn’t just done for a stylish effect. There’s a practical purpose too during these times Marianne can trigger an out-of-body experience relinquishing control of her earthly self for a short period of time to send her spiritual form to areas otherwise unreachable within the mortal realm.
It’s like taking a plunge into nothingness in fact the complementary use of mortal and spiritual abilities is paramount to solving the bulk of the Medium’s puzzles which while never stumping me enough to halt the surging story momentum still required a substantial amount of lateral thought that extends to either side of the split.
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