Survival horror titles tend to fall into one of two categories nowadays. On the one hand, there are the more action-heavy titles like Resident Evil 7, where at some point in the game the protagonist stops being hunted and starts doing the hunting. On the other hand, you have games like Bloober Team’s upcoming title The Medium
, where the studio essentially gives the player nothing but an apple and a map and says “good luck!” before shoving you out into the world. To that end, the developer has recently confirmed that The Medium won’t feature any weapons whatsoever, so here’s hoping that apple is a sturdy one.
In a recent discussion posted in Edge magazine (August 2020, Issue #347), The Medium producer Jacek Zieba revealed that the best horror games are undoubtedly the ones where the player can only hide from the creatures that go bump in the night, not chase after them with an assault rifle and a whole lot of ammo. This mentality is what led to the studio’s decision to keep weapons out of The Medium protagonist Marianne’s hands, providing her only with a “spiritual shield to defend herself against evil entities” along with a “psychic energy blast.” While the former power speaks for itself, the energy blast will be used to alter things in the spirit world and the real world in order to change environments and solve puzzles.
This is by no means the first time Bloober Team has made this decision in one of their games. The studio’s Layers of Fear title did chiefly the same thing, with the protag once again focusing on solving puzzles and avoiding conflict because, y’know, weaponless. Outlast - developed by Red Barrels - does something similar, with both titles being considered to be some of the scariest horror games out there. As such, Bloober Team is certainly making informed choices.
It’s important to note that The Medium may not have been graphically possible on current-gen consoles. Releasing on PC and Xbox Series X later this year, Marianne’s energy blast ability shown off in the game’s trailer seems like it’d be right at home on next-gen platforms. With The Medium releasing in just a few months, it’ll be interesting to see more gameplay featuring Marianne’s powers and how she can utilize them to overcome being weaponless.
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