The Medium will feature dual-reality gameplay, with two worlds rendered simultaneously

By Heidi Nicholas,
Today's Xbox 20/20 showcase revealed a unique feature of Bloober Team's upcoming horror game, The Medium: dual-reality gameplay, with two worlds rendered simultaneously.

"It all starts with a dead girl, a forest, the moon, scent of pines, and then... the gunshot," says the trailer's narrator. "Every story has two sides… a regular, rational one, but also a darker and deeper truth. Not unlike a nightmare. I can see both. Worse, I can live them."

The dual-reality gameplay allows for two weolds to be rendered simultaneously. Wojciech Piejko, lead game designer for The Medium, says both worlds "can be rendered, displayed, interacted with, and explored at the same time... made possible only through the power that cutting-edge next-gen hardware brings, The Medium renders two fully-fledged and visually distinct worlds simultaneously with no visible loading times. At different points in the game, players will find themselves playing in either of the worlds, or within both at the same time, with the game purposefully designed in this way to ensure variety and surprise." Piejko adds that "this technology provides players a unique way to play, and a whole new experience and perspective. A seemingly impossible to find escape in the real world, or an unsolvable puzzle, can be unveiled in the spirit world via Marianne’s medium powers. And with different controller inputs mapped to each world, exploration and puzzle-solving can be simultaneous when needed."

The game is about Marianne, "a woman haunted by visions that lead her to an abandoned hotel in Krakow, the site of a terrible tragedy years ago. Marianne is a medium and is therefore able to interact with both our world and the spirit world in order to solve the mysteries of this place." In the spirit world, Marianne has different abilities than those she has in the physical world, such as Out of Body, which Marianne can use "to leave her physical self and explore places only accessible as a spirit." Out of Body will damage Marianne if used too much, however; "much like a deep-sea diver, if players remain out of her body too long, Marianne’s real-world self will feel the potentially fatal ramifications."

Bloober Team says this dual-world concept "in all honesty was impossible before this current gen of hardware. Only with newer tech built into the Xbox Series X and in PCs are we able to fully render two distinct worlds at the same time." Piejko adds that every Bloober Team game "has a central theme that drives its creative and technological design. In The Medium, we focused on how your perspective changes your perception, and that when you change your point of view, you discover new truths far different to what you had originally perceived."

The Medium launches this holiday for Xbox Series X, Windows PC and Xbox Game Pass.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've been a staff writer for TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies since 2019. I love open-worlders, RPGs, and fantasy games, am obsessed with tea, and forever loyal to The Witcher 3 and Red Dead 2.