The medium, in many ways feels like an interactive pitch document that Bloober Team created for Konami to give the go-ahead for one silent Hill Game. The two entities are working on something together, and all indications (including a VideoGamesChronicle report) suggest that it is indeed another entry in the dormant horror series. but The medium (which has just been ported to PlayStation 5) is no proof that the Polish team should get the keys to Konami’s franchise. Instead, it’s just another example of why Bloober shouldn’t handle this silent Hill and why it’s probably not possible, apart from some major changes to the team and its philosophy.

The medium, in the first place isn’t scary. Environments inspired by Zdzisław Beksiński can be breathtaking in all of their crusty, hellish glory and decent soundtrack, half of which were filmed by famous ones silent Hill Composer Akira Yamaoka is ominous, but none can break the absolute vacuum of terror in the game. These tools are not used effectively to create fear, as the protagonist Marianne only has to wander through empty levels doing lower tasks with the tension in the pillow aisle at Target.

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silent Hill, in its many iterations, is a gritty place that is creepy from top to bottom. Thick fog creates a mysterious layer. Disturbing creatures roam its bloody streets and rusted halls. No crack or corner feels safe despite its everyday occurrence. While technically archaic in the previous titles, the artistic direction of the series, even with some of the weaker ones, often does its job to almost always cause the player some discomfort.

That’s bad enough The medium doesn’t have a scary attitude, but what’s worse is that it relies on predictable and ineffective jump scares instead. It’s an amateur shortcut meant to rip the player out of their micronap caused by the total lack of gameplay, which is the bigger problem in almost all of Bloober’s games, in particular The medium. It’s a glorified walking simulator under the guise of a typical horror game. Walking simulators are a worthy genre, however The medium falls apart because of its stubborn adherence to it as that genre that works against what a good horror game is supposed to do: make players feel insecure.

With a few exceptions The medium has no enemies. And since the game has no regular enemies, there is no combat to speak of, nor any stealth or gadget-based alternative to combat. Players will almost always feel perfectly comfortable walking through rooms that they don’t need to search as they aren’t looking for items like ammunition or a first aid kit to look for.

The medium is further evidence that Bloober probably can't stand Silent Hill

The lack of fighting or ways to deal with enemies creates waves that are especially devastating for horror games. It’s boring to slowly stroll through near-obstacle-free environments in almost every genre, but especially in horror, where danger is so critical to the pressures that make it thrive. There is no pressure because the players know that nothing dangerous is going to happen because there is no mechanical way for the game to support that danger. The gameplay here carries almost all the danger of seeing a cutscene; the player knows that he is in no way in danger. Escape from the one main enemy in The medium is not only telegraphed prematurely, but also insultingly simple and therefore not frightening. Its sparse puzzles are also insanely simple.

Although the quality of silent Hill Games differ drastically, almost all of them having bad fights. It’s shaky, stiff, and not always effective. But just his presence means there are enemies nearby, which leads to the stress and constant fear the series is known for. Finding supplies to stay alive is also an important part of this gameplay loop, as it forces players to take risks in order to scrape together enough resources to keep limping.

The medium is further evidence that Bloober probably can't stand Silent Hill

The medium‘s narrative presentation and overall story is one of the main reasons Bloober should stay away silent Hill. Marianne is a boring protagonist who speaks too much during the game to ruin the game’s low atmosphere, but the narrative problems are much deeper than with a simple Jane.

While it originally begins as a simple story of Marianne trying to learn more about her powers, it gets into superficial territory by opening up topics about assault, mental health, trauma, and more. Games should be allowed to cover darker topics, however The medium wrongly treats these issues in a spectacular way by throwing them around indiscriminately. There are more than a few examples of Bloober’s negligence (especially in Thomas’ sections that YouTuber Bobvids explains in detail on Twitter), but it becomes most obvious at the end of the game, when Marianne’s sister, Lily, begs to die for not the monster can stop she created differently.

The monster named The Maw, spoken of strangely by Troy Baker, is the obvious outward manifestation of Lily’s trauma. Pleading for death because there is no other way, Lily irresponsibly skips the mental health allegory for postulating that people with mental health problems cannot get better. Death is the only solution and is inevitable. Marianne can also end up killing herself to stop the beast, and who actually gets shot remains unclear, but the text of the scene is wildly sticky. Bloober’s other titles also had remarkably poor mental health views that victims describe as hopeless, but it’s most obviously and cynical here.

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silent Hill‘s nuanced depictions of darker subjects contrast starkly with Bloober’s pathetically inadequate storytelling. Silent Hill 3‘s ability to show horror through a teenage girl’s specific lens is well done but is often overshadowed by its predecessor’s successes. Silent Hill 2. Silent Hill 2Brooding over guilt is masterful, and it is also why the game is still so highly regarded almost two decades later. Even some of the less-noticed posts have more flair than The medium.

Bloober is not doomed to be mediocre silent Hill Game as it is possible for the team to sit down to create a worthy (or worthy enough) successor. But the odds are against that The medium isn’t even the only bloober game that shows the team is poorly prepared silent Hill. Layers of fear, observer, and Blair witch are all lazy with repetitive and predictable jump scares, almost absent gameplay mechanics, and poorly told stories with anemic scripts that in more than a few cases are peppered with problematic elements. The Polish developer has shown time and time again that he doesn’t have what it takes silent Hill, but The medium is just the latest and most glaring example of this.