The Medium, in some ways, seems like an interactive pitch doc Bloober Crew made for Konami to be able to get the greenlight for a Silent Hill sport. The two entities are collaborating on something and all indicators (together with a VideoGamesChronicle report) are pointing to it truly being one other entry within the dormant horror sequence. However The Medium (which was simply ported to PlayStation 5) isn’t proof the Polish staff ought to be given the keys to Konami’s franchise. As an alternative, it’s simply one other instance of why Bloober shouldn’t deal with Silent Hill and why it most likely can’t, barring some main adjustments to the staff and its philosophy.
The Medium, at the start, just isn’t scary. Zdzisław Beksiński-inspired environments may be beautiful to take a look at in all of their crusty, hellish glory and the first rate soundtrack, half of which was helmed by well-known Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka, is ominous, however neither can overcome absolutely the vacuum of terror within the sport. These instruments aren’t successfully used to create dread as protagonist Marianne is simply left to wander empty ranges and do menial duties with the extent of rigidity discovered within the pillows aisle at Goal.
Silent Hill, in its many iterations, is a foreboding place that’s spooky from high to backside. Thick fog creates a layer of thriller. Disturbing creatures roam its bloodied streets and rusted halls. No crevice or nook feels protected, regardless of their mundanity. Whereas technically archaic within the earlier titles, the creative path of the sequence, even in just a few of the weaker ones, usually does its job in making the player really feel uneasy at virtually all occasions.
It’s unhealthy sufficient that The Medium doesn’t have a scary setting, nevertheless it’s even worse that it depends on predictable and ineffective bounce scares as an alternative. It’s an beginner shortcut meant to jolt the player out of their micronap attributable to the utter lack of gameplay, which is the larger situation in virtually all of Bloober’s video games, particularly The Medium. It’s a glorified strolling simulator below the guise of a typical horror sport. Strolling simulators are a worthy style, however The Medium falls aside due to its cussed adherence to it as this style that works towards what a great horror sport is meant to do: make the player really feel unsafe.
With a few exceptions, The Medium doesn’t have any enemies. And for the reason that sport doesn’t have common foes, there’s no fight to talk of neither is there any kind of stealthy or gadget-based different to preventing. Gamers will virtually at all times really feel utterly comfy as they traverse via rooms they don’t have to look via as a result of there are not any objects like ammo or a first-aid package that they should search for.
Missing fight or methods to cope with enemies causes ripples which might be notably devastating to horror video games. It’s boring to slowly saunter via practically obstacle-free environments in virtually any style, however particularly in horror the place hazard is so essential to the strain it thrives on. There’s no strain as a result of gamers know nothing harmful will occur as a result of there’s no mechanical approach for the sport to help such hazard. The gameplay right here has virtually all the hazard of watching a cutscene; the player is aware of they aren’t in peril both approach. Operating away from the one primary enemy in The Medium just isn’t solely telegraphed forward of time, but in addition insultingly easy and, subsequently, not scary both. Its scant puzzles are additionally mind-numbingly simple.
Though the standard of Silent Hill video games differ drastically, virtually all of them have unhealthy fight. It’s wonky, stiff, and never at all times efficient. However simply its presence signifies that there are enemies round, ensuing within the stress and fixed dread the sequence is thought for. Looking for provides to remain alive can be a key a part of that gameplay loop because it forces gamers to take dangers to be able to scrounge collectively sufficient assets to maintain limping alongside.
The Medium’s narrative presentation and general story is without doubt one of the greatest causes Bloober ought to keep distant from Silent Hill. Marianne is a bland protagonist that speaks an excessive amount of throughout gameplay in an try to break what little ambiance the sport has, however the narrative issues are a lot deeper than a plain Jane.
Whereas it initially begins as a easy story of Marianne attempting to study extra about her powers, it veers into glib territory by opening up threads about assault, psychological well being, trauma, and extra. Video games ought to be allowed to deal with darker material, however The Medium spectacularly mishandles these matters by haphazardly throwing them round. There are quite a lot of examples of Bloober’s carelessness (notably in Thomas’ sections, which YouTuber bobvids thoroughly explains on Twitter), however it’s most blatant within the sport’s ending the place Marianne’s sister Lily begs for loss of life as a result of she will be able to’t cease the monster she created in any other case.
The monster named The Maw, who’s weirdly voiced by Troy Baker, is the plain exterior manifestation of Lily’s trauma. Lily begging for loss of life as a result of there is no such thing as a different approach irresponsibly skips over the psychological well being allegory as a result of it posits that these with psychological well being struggles can not get higher. Dying is the one resolution and inevitable. Marianne can even kill herself on the finish to cease the beast and who truly will get shot is left ambiguous, however the textual content of the scene is wildly cheesy. Bloober’s different titles have additionally had remarkably unhealthy takes on psychological well being that pin the victims as hopeless, nevertheless it’s at its most blatant and cynical right here.
Silent Hill’s nuanced depictions of darker themes distinction closely with Bloober’s woefully insufficient storytelling. Silent Hill 3’s capacity to indicate horror via the precise lens of a teenage woman is effectively completed, however is commonly overshadowed by the successes of its predecessor, Silent Hill 2. Silent Hill 2’s rumination on guilt is masterful and partly why the sport remains to be so extremely regarded virtually twenty years later. Even a number of the much less well-regarded entries have extra tact than The Medium.
Bloober isn’t damned to creating a mediocre Silent Hill sport because it’s potential that the staff assembles to create a worthy (or worthy sufficient) successor. However the odds are stacked towards it as The Medium just isn’t even the one Bloober sport that reveals that the staff is ill-prepared to undertake Silent Hill. Layers of Concern, Observer, and Blair Witch are all rotten with repetitive and predictable bounce scares, practically absent gameplay mechanics, and poorly advised tales with anemic scripts that, in quite a lot of circumstances, are riddled with problematic parts. The Polish developer has repeatedly proven that it doesn’t have what it takes for Silent Hill, however The Medium is simply the latest and most obtrusive instance of that.
https://www.comingsoon.net/video games/options/1193242-the-medium-bloober-silent-hill-probably-cant-handle | The Medium Is Extra Proof That Bloober Most likely Can’t Deal with Silent Hill