The first true next-gen exclusive for 2021 is The Medium from Bloober Team. It’s a horror game that introduces a brand new twist to gaming as a whole. Players take on the role of the same character in two worlds at the same time, and they need to navigate both worlds, solving puzzles and surviving the horrors within them, without getting stuck in either. The game is exclusive to Xbox Series X/S, and that’s because the actual hardware of the Xbox One wouldn’t be able to handle loading and displaying the two fully-interactive worlds at once. I think that’s a great excuse for a game to be a next-gen exclusive, and I can’t wait to scare myself stupid with it.
The protagonist on this game has the ability to enter the spirit world at certain points. However, she’s still also present in the physical world, at least most of the time. At these points, you’ll be navigating the world and solving puzzles in order to progress and find the next clue in the physical world. It’s possible to leave your body and enter the spirit world for longer, but you need to return before your body disappears and you die. This is made more challenging by the lack of stairs or other objects in the physical world, meaning that you need to adventure into the spirit world to find a solution.
This wouldn’t be a horror game without some enemies to fight, except you can’t fight them. Instead, you’ve got to avoid the enemies and get around them whilst holding your breath. If you’re caught, you’re dead.
I love this new twist on games. Having to manage two worlds at once while they’re both on show is something we’ve never had to do for an entire game before. Some titles, such as Silent Hill 3, have played with this concept, and other games have multiple worlds to solve puzzles in, but they’re not all on display at the same time.
Hopefully, this makes The Medium a true next-gen title that everyone can get on board with. It launches on January 28, and it’s coming to Game Pass too, so every subscriber can play it on day one.