The Medium is a new puzzle-solving adventure game from Bloober Team that combines surreal art and horrifying visages to create a rather compelling horror game. The story follows Marianne as she uses her abilities to take on the Maw, a mysterious sinister entity. The story will take the player down various mind-bending paths, and you can alter and twist the narrative to your advantage with the main character’s powers. With those powers, come some limitations. Here’s a handy guide to some of the basics of navigating and surviving the world of The Medium.
A big part of the game is the Dual Reality system. As Marianne encounters various spirits and hostiles, she will have to contend with various different forms of our reality. This system is the core of the game and involves having one foot in both worlds. so to speak.
About two-thirds of your time in the game is focused on taking on a single reality. Sometimes though, the Medium abilities will split your focus across both of the two realities. There’s the Maw’s reality and then our physical reality, and some of your actions and abilities can be used to influence one or both realities. Here’s the video about Dual Realities from the developers.
As you move through the game you will notice that your various abilities make use of Spirit. Let’s talk about that.
How to use and refill your Spirit Energy in The Medium
Marianne has a few core abilities that you will make frequent use of—Spirit Blast and Spirit Shield—and they will both become vital as you progress through the game.
To power these abilities, you need Spirit Energy. You can refill your Spirit Energy meter by finding Spirit Wells. These will be scattered throughout the game world and offer a small font of energy to use. Find the beams of white light, then press the interaction button to refill your bar. By default, that’s the A button on Xbox. When you’re done absorbing energy, Marianne’s arm will glow with a pale white hue, that’s your cue that she’s filled up.
The Spirit Blast is a pretty powerful attack that can be used to fight off certain enemies. Some puzzles will also make use of it. Hold down the Trigger until you see half of your bar reserved, then release the trigger to unleash the blast.
As for when to use it, you will often find power cells and generators inside the Spirit Realm, for some puzzles you need to restart them. To do that, charge up and unleash a Spirit Blast. Other times, you will be caught in the clutches of the Maw, and since it takes up half your Spirit Energy to blast them, you will not want to be caught by them often. If you do get caught, charge up a Spirit Blast to break free. If you don’t, it’s game over.
You have one other ability to make use of, the Spirit Shield. This ability can allow Marianne to move through moth swarms and other hazards in the Spirit world. To engage it, hold down the right bumper button. This will drain your mete as you hold it, so be careful. You can use the shield to avoid getting hurt by the swarms, which can easily kill you.
But those aren’t the only tools you have, you might also have to engage in some stealth from time to time.
How to hold your breath in The Medium
When you’re being chased by the Maw in the spirit world, you’re in real trouble. You do have a saving grace in the real world because the monster is blind. Your best option is to avoid getting caught, and you will do that by holding your breath and sneaking past it when encountered.
To hold your breath in The Medium, hold down the right thumbstick on your Xbox controller, also known as R3. Marianne will cover her mouth and you can move on. It doesn’t look like there’s a limit to how long you can hold your breath either. Marianne can hold her breath a really long time it seems. There’s one other thing to watch out for though.
Since the Maw can hear your footsteps, you need to move slowly. If the Maw is close, crouch and stop moving. Keep yourself planted out of its way while holding your breath to try and wait it out. If it moves on, you can then move past it. Continue holding your breath though, as it might still hear you.
Once the coast is clear, you’re free to continue the game.