The Medium - Game Infinite Impressions Review
The Medium is another example in my growing opinion that I question Microsoft’s decision to keep making games. They’ve very publically decided that they need to keep buying studios to have more first party games. While the strategy of having a bunch of first quality party titles is definitely “conventional wisdom” for a console maker, and what clearly works for Nintendo and Playstation. They ride high on their quality first party titles. For some reason Microsoft seems to really struggle here. They keep releasing games that just fall short. While I enjoyed Gears 5, other titles like Grounded, State of Decay 2, and others are just massive disappointments to me. Now, the Medium, the first next-gen Series X exclusive is here and it is so bland and boring.
I’m playing this game and wondering why this is “next gen only” on console as it feels like anything that could play on an Xbox One, even though I did play it on PC. I absolutely hated the choice of camera perspective. This game absolutely needed traditional third person camera angles, instead of the old school fixed camera angles. Fixed camera angles are a camera perspective that makes a game feel far away and lower effort. It is reminiscent of how fixed camera angles were more Popular on the original xbox/PS2 or PS3/360 era games. The perspective is less immersive, and feels the opposite of “next gen”. I feel like next-gen games should take perspective to the next level, like games with perspective options, or closer more intimate camera angles that show detail. This old, obsolete, far away camera angle hides details and feels last-last gen.
I wondered the entire time if the camera angle was chosen to hide the lack of detail and quality by moving the camera back. Even on a high end PC, the detail of the world and characters felt lacking. The main character seems less detailed than other protagonists we’ve seem lately in other games. I’ve played other cinematic narrative games like Until Dawn, Life is Strange, Detroit Become Human, Beyond Two Souls, and while those make you want to explore the detailed world, this world feels lifeless and bland.
Camera angles and low detail aren’t my only criticisms of the game. The narrative is also lacking. The game just drops you in, with little context, as you oh my god so slowly walk around everywhere. The entire time you are asking, “Why Am I here? Where am I going? Why Am I going there? Who cares?” You just slow walk across empty creepy locations solving boring puzzles in your attempt to make It from A to B. It fails to be scary. It fails to be fun. It fails to be a good puzzle game. It lacks the most important part to be a “narrative driven game”, the story.
This game reminds me a lot of inferior version of Control. I was vocal on my confusion on the positive reviews of Control. Control was beloved by critics, but I absolutely did not like it. While I didn’t like Control, I at least can point to it having combat. Medium has a inferior creepy atmosphere and lacks combat. It’s like a poorly done haunted hospital simulator that they forgot to add enemies or evem jump scares.
I’ve labled this as a impressions review because I’m struggling to push myself to finish the game, but I’ve played enough to know it’s not worth the GamePass empowered free download.