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The Medium Shows Off Its Unique "Dual-Reality" Feature in New Gameplay

There are two wolves (realities) inside you. One is the normal world, and one is the spirit world.

In a new trailer, Bloober Team has shown an in-depth look at the defining feature of their upcoming game, The Medium: its Dual-Reality gameplay.

The Medium is a next-gen psychological horror game that plays out across two realities: our world and the spirit world,” says lead game designer Wojciech Piejko in the gameplay trailer’s opening moments. It’s due to the Xbox Series X’s hardware that you’ll be able to play in both simultaneously, rather than simply switching between the two as you might have in a game modeled around the power of current-generation consoles. It’s an immediately eye-catching concept, especially because it’s not a multiplayer endeavor.

As you can see in the gameplay footage, a slightly unsettling but relatively ordinary environment like the manager’s office turns into foreboding ruins in the spirit world. With Marianne’s Medium Sense, you can discover secrets that require you to alternate between the two realities in order to solve puzzles. At times, Marianne will have to use her Out of Body ability to more freely roam the spirit world so that her body in the real world can continue forward. She also has a rather useful ability called the Spirit Blast, which she can use to fight harmful spirits and power up electrical objects in the real world.

I don’t know if I’d make myself inhabit a terrifying, horrific spiritual world just to have this power, but the idea of charging my phone anywhere is pretty tempting. (Marianne is not shown to do this and I’m sure she uses it on much more important objects, like the passage switch in this trailer.)

However, much of the tension seems to lie in how Marianne is unable to fully control her gifts as a medium and inhabit these two worlds for too long. “Throughout the game, you will get to experience the worlds in various combinations,” says Piejko.

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Although The Medium got plenty of eyes on it at Xbox’s first-party showcase earlier this week, it was first revealed in May. The psychological horror game’s first story trailer begins with shots of Marianne, who is visibly pregnant, getting an ultrasound. This scene of warmth and normalcy is juxtaposed with visions of incredibly dark and ominous environments, some of which we can now tell are likely in the spirit world.

This week’s gameplay trailer seems to imply that either Marianne or her baby is dead — and, perhaps, related to Marianne’s powers as a medium. “It all starts with a dead girl,” Marianne narrates. “Every story has two sides. A regular, rational one. But also a darker and deeper truth. Not unlike a nightmare. I can see both. Worse… I can live them.” Marianne seems to be haunted by a demonic entity’s voice, though who or what that is remains to be seen. In the video description, it is identified as The Maw, “a monster born from an unspeakable tragedy.”

If you want a more cinematic look at The Medium‘s dual-reality feature (though there is some gameplay mixed in, too), you can watch the trailer that premiered during the Xbox showcase below.

A significant reason for the excitement for this game is due to the musical talent involved with the project. The Medium‘s music is composed by Akira Yamaoka, composer of several Silent Hill games, and Arkadiusz Reikowski, composer of the Blair Witch game and Layers of Fear. Reikowski has cited Yamaoka as one of his personal inspirations.

“Well, I hope you’re ready,” tweeted Reikowski after the trailer’s unveiling at the showcase. “The game is going to be awesome and well, stay tuned for the music by me and the master @AkiraYamaoka himself. Can’t be more excited!”

The Medium is slated to release on Xbox Series X and PC. It is available for pre-order and will be released in this year’s holiday season.

About the Author

Natalie Flores

Natalie is Fanbyte's Featured Contributor, with bylines at places like VICE, Polygon, PC Gamer, Paste Magazine, and more.