The Medium is a third-person psychological horror game that tells the story of Marianne, a psychic who can live in two realities at the same time: our world and the world of the spirits. The Medium’s trademark feature is a mechanic we call “Dual-Reality” gameplay that you can experience today on Xbox Series X|S, PC, and with Xbox Game Pass.
At certain points in the game, you play in the material world and the spirit world at the exact same time, controlling both avatars simultaneously. It’s both a storytelling and gameplay mechanic, which drives both the main theme of the game as well as exploration and puzzle-solving. When you are in dual reality, the screen is split either vertically or horizontally. Since both worlds are rendered simultaneously, we needed powerful hardware, such as the Xbox Series X|S consoles, to fully realize the potential of the dual reality. However, we still get questions why the game needs a next-gen platform even though split screen has been with us for a long time.
The short answer is: what we do with dual reality is much different than multiplayer split screen. The long answer… well, read on.
Most other games that support split-screen displays two different instances of the same location. In The Medium, the real and the spirit worlds look completely different and use their own sets of graphical assets, such as models or textures. This is much more demanding in terms of memory, storage, and the rendering cost.
Additionally, such effects as motion blur or ambient occlusion need to be calculated and rendered twice. All in all, the game requires a significant amount of VRAM and fast storage, much faster than what was used in the previous generation of hardware. Although it might look similar in screenshots or trailers, technically speaking the game’s dual reality simply works differently and is much more demanding power-wise than “ordinary” split-screen.
We’ve been working on The Medium and the idea of dual reality for a couple of years and it’s a big moment for us to finally let the game and its innovative mechanic into the hands of the players. Before you enter the dark corridors of the abandoned Niwa Hotel, I can only add… enjoy the mystery!
The Medium is available now on Xbox Series X|S, PC, and with Xbox Game Pass.
Bloober Team S.A.