Developer Bloober Team has been steadily honing its craft for compelling psychological horror games since the release of 2016’s Layers of Fear. The studio followed up this release with the remarkable cyberpunk horror game Observer in 2017, and then both Layers of Fear 2 and a survival horror game set in the Blair Witch franchise in 2019. While these games were cut from a similar cloth of first-person atmospheric horror, Bloober Team’s next game, The Medium, is a more cinematic turn for the developer–one that has been in the works since 2013. Releasing on PC and Xbox Series X|S as a console exclusive on January 28, The Medium is a story-driven horror experience that tells its narrative across twin parallel realities that come together in a bizarre yet still alluring fashion.
We recently had the chance to get an early look at The Medium ahead of its release and spoke with producer Jacek Zieba and lead game designer Wojciech Piejko about Bloober Team’s long-gestating project. In The Medium, you play as Marianne, a psychic who has a powerful connection to the spirit world that acts as a dark mirror to our own. After learning about a tragic murder at a now-abandoned hotel, she travels to the derelict site to uncover dark secrets that reveal the truth of what happened and how her own supernatural powers are involved in the overarching mystery.
Moving away from the first-person perspective of Layers of Fear and Blair Witch, The Medium is a third-person game that uses a combination of fixed camera angles akin to survival horror classics. The game also incorporates split-screen gameplay mechanics to show off Marianne’s exploration of the real world and the spirit realm. While exploring, Marianne can use her powers to interact with normal objects to uncover past connections with the long-deceased. While it looks to be a major departure from what Bloober Team has worked on, The Medium still retains that same sense of isolation and tense horror, focusing on a lone protagonist using their wits and quick-thinking to solve puzzles and overcome foes.