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The Medium is an otherworldly Polish thriller from the makers of Observer

After jumpscares and cyberpunk affairs, perhaps it’s time to go home. Announced earlier today, Bloober Team’s latest is The Medium, a supernatural spook ’em concerned with parallel worlds, otherworldly perspectives, and an abandoned hotel in the developers’ home town of Krakow, Poland. I’ll assume their commute doesn’t feature nearly as much blood or ghostly ill-doings, mind.

With perhaps the exception of Gieger-esque spunkfest Scorn, The Medium was one of the stranger trailers announced during today’s Xbox Series X showcase.

Using what appears to be infanticide to kickstart some supernatural shenanigans is a fraught angle, for sure. As The Medium’s leading medium Marianne, you’re caught between the worlds of the living and the dead, granting a unique perspective on the game’s plot, with unique vulnerability to both worlds’ terrors. Assuming the framing is handled with tact, though, it’s a solid set-up for a more modern horror story than Bloober’s previous affairs.

The bleak spirit world, as Alice’s notes kindly reminded me here, also bear a wonderfully uncanny resemblance to Polish artists Zdzisław Beksiński‘s lonely hellscapes – bleak, sepia-tinted expanses of dust and bone and contorted figures.

The Observer and Layers Of Fear devs claim The Medium is their “most ambitious game ever”. To that end, they’ve taken aboard Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka to work with their own Arkadiusz Reikowski in selling The Medium’s otherwordly urban soundscape. Observer was a “masterclass in Cyberpunk horror”, reckoned Adam Smith (RPS in peace) in his review, so it’ll pay to see how Bloober carries that into a more contemporary horror flick.

Bloober reckon they’ll have more details on the way in the coming weeks and months, with The Medium currently eyeing a release around “Holiday 2020”.

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Natalie Clayton

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