Next week, The Medium will be released on Xbox Series X/S and PC, and will be available on GamePass. The Medium is a single-player horror game with psychological elements by Bloober Team. Leading up to the game’s launch, Bloober Team released a live-action trailer that shows a glimpse of the many environments you will explore.
Live Action Trailer
The trailer shows a woman lying in a dark and desolate room, but that changes when that room transforms into the spiritual realm.. It is one of the many environments we are welcomed to in the trailer and just a glimpse of what we can expect from the game itself.
Also showcased in the live-action trailer is a cast of mysterious characters we will most likely come into contact with in the game. We don’t know the origin story of how any of this happened, and it could definitely be told to us in the game, but there is a lot to unpack about this new world that Bloober Team.
The trailer that showcased these characters and the amazing world was created alongside Platige Image, director Paweł Maślona, and Oscar nominee Tomasz Bagiński. They were able to bring us into this world that we have yet to explore ourselves.
With incredible set design, special effects, and editing, we were able to see the woman transport into the unknown world. We saw a giant creature, buildings and environments being torn apart, and flashbacks to what seems to be the woman but as a child. This game has a lot to explore and this trailer did not hold back in giving you a glimpse into the world.
We aren’t sure what the relationship is between the younger girl and the woman we see in the trailer. My best guess is the child is a younger version of the main character and what she is experiencing is the product of childhood trauma and nightmares. This game is going to have a strong narrative that could be deeper than we imagined, if my assumptions are correct.
One of the best aspects of having such several rich environments and a horror story where we don’t necessarily know the origins is the potential to learn more about how these characters got to where they are and possibly go into a deeper explanation of how the two worlds can meld. It’s possible that there are more people like her. The world could be a figment of her imagination, or one world that everybody can connect to.
Opportunity for TV
The world we will be exploring in The Medium is a character in itself, and it’s possible we won’t be seeing even half of its potential in the game next week. With video game properties being adapted for television and film, The Medium should be considered to make that jump as well.
The Medium is Microsoft’s chance to start off the Series X/S console generation with a great first party game, and it could also become something much bigger. Whether or not The Medium becomes a franchise and gets future installments, the world created should be able to cross entertainment mediums and let people who don’t play video games be entranced by these environments.
Microsoft previously tried the video game merged with the live-action tie-ins in the Xbox One generation with Quantum Break. In-between each game chapter, there would be a live-action episode helping set up what would come next in the game. It was an ambitious effort during a phase of Microsoft that wanted to dip its feet in the television industry. While Quantum Break was able to sell well for an Xbox exclusive, the way it incorporated the live-action sections wasn’t received that well.
Putting Quantum Break to the side, Microsoft has not found much success with this sort of venture.
In 2006, there was a failed attempt at a Halo movie. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn was released in 2012 as a web series leading up to the release of Halo 4. The web series was fairly successful, winning multiple Streamy Awards. Microsoft tried to replicate that in 2014 with Halo: Nightfall. We can’t forget about the Halo television series being executive produced by Steven Spielberg that will be released on Showtime. We have not seen anything about that show and we still don’t know when it will be released.
How to Make a Good Video Game Adaption
Television isn’t the only medium to which video games have made the jump. In the past decade alone, we’ve had several movies based on our favorite games, such as Assassin’s Creed, Ratchet and Clank, and more recently, Monster Hunter.
Each of these movies failed to live up to the expectations people set for them. Whether it was a terrible adaptation of a story we’ve already played, a cash grab to bank off the success of the franchises, or they are just plain bad, movies haven’t had the best success in this venture.
But we are in 2021 now and there are several streaming services that are looking for the ‘next big thing’ for their wide audiences. The Medium could be the answer for any of those services. The Witcher has been successful for Netflix and inspired the streaming service to add more video game adaptations like a Resident Evil television show and a movie based on The Division.
One of the key things that Bloober Team can do to make sure its property is being brought to the silver screen in an accurate way is to have the writers and director of the game be producers on the new show in a similar way to how Neil Druckmann is working on the HBO television adaptation of The Last of Us. They know the story better than anybody they will hire and will make sure the story makes sense for the universe they’ve already built.
Since this trailer was created by an Oscar nominee alongside talented people in their craft, it already has the first step in showing these video game worlds in a live-action setting. The trailer put us through a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts without giving us any detail about the story or anything else. Imagine this two-minute trailer stretched out to 48 minutes exploring these worlds, all while telling an incredible story about this woman who can navigate two versions of the same location. If they are able to have Bagiński write the series and have the director of the game overlook the production of the show, this show can have incredible potential.
The future of The Medium does depend on how the game performs critically and with the fans. Due to this game being on GamePass for Xbox and PC, more people are able to play it, whether they are a fan of the genre or not. I personally don’t enjoy horror games, but because of Xbox Series X/S and GamePass, I’m going to give this game a chance in hopes it broadens my gaming horizons.