So The Medium is here and it’s a fucking snoozefest, but I’m really interested in finishing it because I like it. So how can a boring game be good? I don’t know, but here’s what I think of it so far.
The Medium is available on the Xbox Series X/S and PC platforms. This game is giving every piece of hardware out there problems with the performance and I think I’m one of the lucky ones that have played it with little to no performance hit. A report released that states that a 3080 can’t run this game at 1080 60 fps and I believe it.
This game isn’t the most visually stunning game that’s ever released. That title still belongs to Metro Exodus. The reason why this game is pushing high tier PCs and the Series X and S consoles to the limit is because of the dual rendering that happens periodically in the game. It’s an impressive mechanic that allows you to see both the real and spirit worlds at the same time at the cost of your performance.
I was running this game in full max settings at 1440p averaging 60 fps on a 1080… until my first split-screen encounter. Then my fps tanked to about 35ish. So I capped my FPS at 30 (which is something I rarely do), but I really wanted to keep the visual fidelity of the game and it’s like I’m playing it on a Series X to be completely honest with you. As a matter of fact, I would say that my performance is a little better than a Series X for the simple fact that my resolution doesn’t drop to 900p during demanding sequences.
Now there’s no way my PC is stronger than a Series X. The Series X is far, far stronger than my mid powered PC, but in this particular case, I prefer the performance that PC is giving me over the mixed results of the Series X. The Medium could use some quality of life patches to make it more playable on every platform though. There’s no reason why a 3080 should struggle to run this in 1080p.
The game itself outside of my performance is… pretty boring, actually. There is almost nothing to do in this game outside of running down multiple hallways and solving simple puzzles. Oh and hiding from a big bad monster that pops up from time to time. The reason why I played for so long today is that the story is actually very interesting and it’s giving me that Silent Hill fix that I’ve been wanting for so long.
The Medium’s atmosphere is right up there with Control and Silent Hill for me. It’s more of a creepy atmospheric game than an outright horror game that depends on jump scares. I prefer the former in my horror games. I also love the sound design here. It’s top-notch and I highly recommend playing this game with a good pair of headphones. I’m using my Seinnheiser GSP 370 headset and the game sounds absolutely incredible. I can hear every creak, moan, childish laugh, monstrous roar, and everything in between in perfect clarity. I just wish the game was a little more… exciting.
I’m just walking through hallways solving small puzzles while avoiding the big, bad monster. Thankfully, the story is really interesting because I would’ve uninstalled this game a long time ago if it wasn’t. It’s carrying the game for me. I can easily overlook a game having boring gameplay if the rest of it is good and so far the rest of The Medium is good.
It’s not a groundbreaking horror game and I can’t recommend rushing out to buy (if you can) a Series X for this game because it’s not a system seller, but if you already have one and if you have Game Pass then it’s a no brainer. Play this game. If you don’t have Game Pass and you’re thinking of dropping $60 on it. Don’t. Buy something else. Go buy one of the Resident Evil Remakes for half the price.
I feel bad for writing that last paragraph because I’m genuinely enjoying The Medium. It’s a really atmospheric game and the story is very interesting so far. The tank controls and lack of gameplay really bring it down though. Tank controls were cool back in 2002. Not in 2021. I will admit that the fixed camera is really cool when it’s not preventing me from progressing forward. Playing this game just reminds me how much I enjoyed those old Resident Evil and Silent Hill games from yesteryear, but I also appreciate how horror games have moved away from that old control scheme.
I am disappointed in The Medium? A little. I was never very hyped for this game to begin with and since the story is so interesting it’s made up for the lack of gameplay and superlinear level design. If you have Game Pass it’s worth checking out for sure.
Want more opinion pieces like this? Then consider subscribing to Pete’s Corner. It really helps me out.
I’m Omar. I’m the founder of drakulus.com and the new founder of Petescorner.net. I cover every type of game genre there is and I’m using all of the skills I learned over the last 7 years working on Drakulus to make Pete’s Corner the best it can be. My favorite types of games are strategy, RPGs, and Shooters. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy other types of genres. Those are just my top 3. You can expect my brutally honest opinion on what I think of games in long reviews, editorial pieces, and game news coverage.