The Medium has finally arrived on the Playstation console exclusively to the PS5. Let’s dive deep into how this game fully utilizes the features of the PS5 and if it will be something that will be worth buying. Let’s get to it.
The Medium is a psychological horror thriller with exploration and puzzle elements. You’re playing as Marianne, a medium. She describes herself as someone who can exist in the land of the living and the land of the dead but never really existing in one dimension but both at the same time.
Over the course of the game, she will exhibit abilities like being able to produce an Energy Blast or use an Energy Shield to fend off enemies. She will also reveal that she can do an out of body experience, allowing herself in the spirit world to explore places freely while her real world self goes into a deep slumber.
There are sections in the game where your exploration will be restricted due to obstacles blocking your path. However, the game will also provide you the tools to overcome these obstacles. Like the razor blade that will allow you to cut through a skin wall (creepy I know, it was even creepier cutting through them), traversing through mirrors to transport yourself from and to the real world and the dead world.
I really like the part where you are traversing through the worlds in mirrors. The trophy associated to this has also been aptly named as Through the Looking Glass. The puzzles that you will encounter in this area were very interesting as it involves having to cross back and forth in both dimensions to progress the game.
It’s not all fun and games though as you will encounter enemies that will make your life challenging in the game. One of the enemies you will encounter are the swarm of moths that you can easily kill off with a Spirit Shield. Marianne doesn’t always have Spirit Energy handy though so she will need to find a Spirit Energy source so she can use the Spirit Blast and Spirit Shields.
Marianne will also encounter this tall brooding creature who wants nothing more but to hug her…lethally. Encounters with this creature have you running around ensuring you don’t get captured. There are instances where you’d have to sneak and crouch so they can’t find you. While one encounter happens in the real world and you’d have to hold your breath so as to prevent being found.
I love these encounters because they are tense, frightfully delightful and adrenaline inducing. The feeling of being hunted, having to escape narrow death and successfully getting out of harm’s way is just so satisfying. It really puts you into the driver seat and gives you that authentic experience.
The fixed camera angles in this game gives you that retro feeling from games like Resident Evil. I love and hate it at the same time. I love how it gives you that nostalgia factor on how horror games used to be. That foreboding feeling of not knowing what’s around the corner makes you susceptible to any jump scare (I have been a victim of this one too many times). What I don’t like about it is the fact that it can be problematic during exploration time. Especially when you’re trying to find an item to solve a puzzle. Because some of the items are hidden away from view that you’d have to trigger a certain camera angle to get it.
One thing I also noticed about The Medium is how when you enter into a dialogue or monologue, the button prompts for picking up items or inspecting them gets disabled until your character has stopped talking. Of course, you can always speed up the dialogue by pressing the skip button but I wish there was an option for you to not wait until she stops talking.
I also noticed that some of the button prompts don’t always get triggered until you are at a certain angle. I find this being problematic when you’re having to escape enemies and you needed to open that door quickly. Maybe this is by design but it tends to be very frustrating.
Now let’s talk about how the game was able to utilize the capabilities of the PS5. With the controller’s haptic feedback, the game lets you feel the times that your character is in danger. Or the times where you’d have to fend off the moths. With every rumble letting you know that each moth has met their demise. I also like how each jump scare coincides with the feedback.
The sound design for this game excellent. It works perfectly well with the Pulse 3D Audio. I can hear every whisper, every footstep, the depth and volume of each of the sounds, making it a very immersive game and gives that feeling that you are really in the game experiencing it all. And as I mentioned earlier, the jump scares just feels more authentic and really catches you off guard.
The characters in this game are very memorable. Some of them even have names that you know you will never forget. I’m talking about this dead girl named Sadness. Although her appearance is somewhat creepy, you will eventually get past that and see her for the girl she really is. She’s just someone who is lonely and wanted to reach out to others so that she can have someone to play with. These characters were made in a way that you’d want to talk to them and you’d want to know more about them and that you just want to see them get through this with you.
Overall, The Medium is a superb horror game. It’s a game that fully utilizes the capabilities of the PS5. It’s a game that even the bravest of players will get scared unexpectedly. It’s a nice addition to the ever growing library of the PS5.
The Medium – Review
You know that it’s an amazing game that can also be described as almost perfect.
A very creepy and stunningly beautiful world
Marianne's abilities are interesting
Exploration is fun and engaging
Fixed camera angles makes it difficult to find items
Action buttons being disabled while in dialogue
Action button prompts are sometimes difficult to execute