Later, a child’s ball bounces off the stairs behind you, and that’s when you meet Sadness, the aforementioned creepy little girl. She is missing an arm and a mask on her face, and the Spirit World clearly hasn’t been kind to her. She just wants to play, but Marianne asks her to help find Thomas first. It requires a trip upstairs, which Sadness can do in the spirit world, but Marianne cannot in the real world due to the steps that have been taken.While I wouldn’t call the next piece a puzzle sequence, in itself this is a situation that needs to be resolved. You have to fuel the elevator, and that means triggering an out-of-body experience so that you can only occupy the spirit world. However, you can only do this for a short time before your body literally disintegrates, but once you have absorbed spiritual energy, you can come back into your body, detonate that energy in the fuse box. and continue up.
In another section of the hotel, you are stuck on the other side of a mirror and you need a key; something related to a cat. This leads to the lost faceless soul that cannot rest. His name is Bernard, and you will need to say his name and give him back his face to allow him to leave purgatory. Naturally, her face is in a room swarming with moths, but another charge of spiritual energy can scorch the bugs and clear the way. Face restored, soul at rest, and it reveals the cat toy needed to escape this realm of the mirror.Finally, I saw an encounter with an invisible and seemingly winged monster that seemed to feed off your fear. It was the most Alan Wake-like moment I’ve witnessed, thanks to the flashlight on Marianne’s chest flashing faster as the creature gets closer. You’ll need to hold your breath and hide from the beast, both when trying to escape a confrontation inside and later when it blocks your way in an outside space.
If the rest of the game looks like my demo, The Medium will be bursting with tension and vibe and hopefully a little more difficult to solve puzzles. To that end, the developers say you’ll spend about a third of the campaign each in the real world, spirit world, and split-screen dual world storyline. And remember the Xbox series has also lined up Scorn as an exclusive horror game for 2021, so let’s hope The Medium starts the Xbox year off with a spooky start.
Ryan McCaffrey is the editor of IGN’s Previews. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, grab it Unlocked, and send him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.