Marcelo Jabulas | @mjabulas – Survival horror games never go out of style, just like horror movies. “The Medium” premiered at the end of January for PC and Xbox Series X / S to unlock the chest of despair in the next generation of consoles.
The game tells the story of Marianne, a young woman with psychic abilities. The plot takes place in Poland in 1999. A decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Poland is going through the same transition as Germany. And scenes from the communist period are part of the set.
Marianne constantly dreams of the scene of a girl being shot at the edge of a pond. The plot begins with the visit of the young woman in the apartment of Jack, her adoptive father. She needs a tie to wear for the funeral.
Visiting the house helps the player to get used to the controls and the logic of the game. It is worth noting that they worked in a funeral home, which makes the presence of death constant in the story.
Mediumistic contacts are activated when she encounters an element that puts her in contact with the supernatural. At this point, the screen splits and the player must control the character in both environments to complete the challenges.
The game has polished graphics, with a level of detail that seeks to explore all the firepower of the new Xbox. The lighting quality of the scenes is even astonishing, due to the level of realism.
On the other hand, some secondary elements, such as parked cars, appear with a less refined texture. But these are not issues that impoverish the game.
A special feature is that the game has a camera with still frames, which resemble the first three episodes of “Resident Evil” and the grandfather of the Survival Horror games, “Alone in the Dark”.
This style reinforces the dramatic load and, in a way, pays homage to the horror classics. The fact that you can’t rotate the camera makes the game extremely painful, which is great.
The game is full of references to Survival Horror series, such as “Silent Hill” and other productions. Even Marienne’s ability to roam the underworld is an element of the Konami classic, as are more recent productions like “The Evil Within”.
Other references appear throughout the plot, such as the copy of “1984” in the bathroom of Jack’s apartment, just at the start of the campaign. Newspaper clippings, talking about foreign policy, also help contextualize the character of the plot.
In fact, the research of each scenario is a constant in the game. There is always an element to analyze or to collect. It turns out that Marianne snoops in hostile places most of the time.
The tension of the game increases when supernatural phenomena begin to occur. This is when the jiripoca sinks for good, especially when the player does not have a 12 gauge in their hands.
“The Medium” is an ode to horror games. Marianne’s story, as well as her ability to move between worlds, is something that touches the psychological. It’s a disturbing game that reminded me of my first impressions of “The Evil Witchin”, “Outlast” and “Resident Evil 7”.
It is a game to be played in the dark, with windows closed and headphones so that the player does not miss any desperate noise. Tip # 1: play with layers.