Home Gaming Here’s a more detailed look at the dual-reality gameplay of The Medium on Xbox Series X

Here’s a more detailed look at the dual-reality gameplay of The Medium on Xbox Series X

3 min read
The Medium (3)

I think it’s safe to say that games are going to look well chuffing good on the Xbox Series, but The Medium may just have one of the more innovative uses for all that fancy new technology and the solid-state drive that it happens to be housed on. It’s spooky, more atmospheric than a tour of the basement where I keep a steady supply of lotions and hoses, and it’s fortunately not related to a rubbish TV series from 2009.

What The Medium is, is a spooky psychological horror game with a neat twist: Dual-reality gameplay. According to developer Bloober Team, this gameplay feature will allow players to interact with both our world and the realm of the spiritual, each layer of reality having an impact on the other as what may seem to be an impassable obstacle in one dimension can be overcome in the other. “The Medium renders two fully-fledged and visually distinct worlds simultaneously with no visible loading times,” Wojciech Piejko, Lead Game Designer, explained on the Xbox Wire blog.

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.

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.

When players explore the Spirit World, they can use Marianne’s psychic powers, such as her Out of Body ability. While this form of astral projection allows for exploration into spaces thought Marianne’s body couldn’t ordinarily access, staying in this form for too long will have “fatal ramifications”. As for the technology allowing a seamless leap between worlds? Piejko reckons that until the Xbox Series X came along, such a feature was severely hamstrung by the technological limitations of the past.

“This technological concept is one that we’ve been looking into for many years at Bloober Team, but one that in all honesty was impossible before this current gen of hardware,” Piejko explained.

The Medium (1)

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. This crucially also enables us to switch instantly between locations – which I hope will be a game-changer for the horror genre.

We’ve been keen to ensure that the game remains thrilling, full of suspense at all times, and unpredictable. As such, Marianne (and players) will not be in control of which world they find themselves – meaning players must be on their toes at any point as we effortlessly transport them to either world, or both at the same time, while playing or during cinematic cut-scenes. The absence of visible loading times makes this a possibility.

Last night’s Xbox Series X showcase had a lot to offer, with a more interesting selection of games that ranged from franchise benchmarks such as Halo Infinite to more experimental titles such as The Medium and Obsidian’s blend of Skyrim with Pillars of Eternity, Avowed. Microsoft is looking to create a more varied library of games for their new system, and so far I’m loving this far more interesting approach to kickstarting a new generation of console hardware.

Last Updated: July 24, 2020


  1. Dude, Are you serious ? Jokes aside, that show was a fail. They showed Stalker 2. That’s all I thought was noteworthy. And I remember Stalker from my PC gaming days. Where was the game play ? I have to be that guy. There was nothing there that stood out as console defining. Halo looked terrible. It looked muted and bland and the pop in was awful.

    I was so disappointed. The Jack Black singing nonsense ? That game looked terrible, if it was supposed to be next gen. Did I see the same show ? At least the stuff Sony showed actually looked Next Gen comparatively speaking, I can’t fathom how people are not seeing this bullshit.

    This Medium game looked good. But so did The Last of Us 2. In-fact, Looking again, the only difference is the dual reality mechanic.


    • Pieter Kruger

      July 24, 2020 at 12:11

      Relax buddy, you got to see new games! I’d rate their presentation about the same as Sonys’ at 8 or 8.5 maybe? So far you’ve seen about the same amount of next gen gameplay from both Sony & MS. It sucks yes, but I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for developers doing all this from home!


    • Pieter Kruger

      July 24, 2020 at 12:11

      I see you are sad, remember, each and every game you saw last night will be day & date on Game Pass!! Cheer up!


  2. D4m@E

    July 24, 2020 at 11:47

    So…it’s Soul Reaver 😛


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