The Medium is a funny ol' thing, mainly down to the fact that it blends photorealistic visuals with a type of gameplay that's anything other than modern and innovative. In spite of this, the almost retro-like world that it hosts does manage to radiate truly immersive and atmospheric settings that are both unnerving and laden with bone-shattering curiosities. It's because of this that Bloober Team has in its possession something that's worth holding onto—an IP that's unique in countless ways and oozing with utmost potential.
Anyway, if you did play through The Medium and still felt somewhat short-changed by the end of its relatively short campaign, then the good news is that there are, in fact, plenty of alternatives that ring all the same bells and tick all the same boxes. To put it straight, if you're still on the hunt for a horror story that keeps a firm eye on all things paranormal, then you'll definitely want to give these following five games a shot.
5. Beyond: Two Souls
It may not be as dark and as warped as The Medium, but Beyond: Two Souls definitely dips into all the same paranormal-obsessed nodes, and what's more, it makes both the living and the dead entirely playable, too. It's also heavily reliant on its storytelling abilities, as it threads together a six-hour narrative that never actually lets up on the action or theatrics. And so, if it's a story-driven third-person adventure game you're after, then Quantic Dreams' award-winning episodic drama definitely shouldn't fly south of your radar.
Beyond: Two Souls casts you as Jodie, a teenage girl who, prior to being adopted as a scientist's (played by Willem Dafoe) experiment, spent her earliest days learning how to live alongside an entity named Aiden. Morally conflicted and without any real guidance, you must navigate the judgemental world and learn to not only live for yourself, but juggle a second reality that ties you directly to the land of the dead. True to Quantic Dreams' butterfly effect blueprint, every decision you make directly influences the conclusion and the lives of others you meet. No pressure.
4. Alone in the Dark
Alone in the Dark is often regarded as one of the all-fathers of classic horror, and rightfully so. Atmospherically, it hits the nail on the head, and it brings with it a soundtrack that's both unsettlingly daunting and downright horrifying. What's more, it delivers a gut-punching story that's both unpredictable and crammed with deeply disturbing twists on popular horror tropes.
Alone in the Dark hurls you into the spirit-riddled realm of Shadow Island, a world in which ancient tablets power the blood of disturbingly sadistic monsters. As either Edward or Aline, you will venture forth and solve the riddle that engulfs the island and keeps its inhabitants locked in a constant state of fear. Is it scary? Given its age, you'd be pleasantly surprised.
3. Silent Hill: Homecoming
Silent Hill: Homecoming is probably the closest thing you'll get to traversing Christophe Gans' fog-imbued world, as seen in the cult-classic 2006 movie adaptation. And while it isn't quite up to par with Capcom's earliest works with the famed horror IP, it was nevertheless built to stand the test of time as one of the series' best up-to-date entries in the timeline. And what's more, it does the movie justice by bundling in just about every enemy, landmark, and trope from the entire franchise.
Homecoming follows Alex Shepherd, a Special Forces soldier who returns home after being overseas on tour duty. Upon return, Alex discovers his mother in a catatonic state, claiming that his father and brother have gone missing. In a desperate attempt to find his kin, Alex blindly rolls upon Silent Hill, a rabbit hole that leads to a bottomless purgatory that's neither friendly nor predictable. Stranded, defenseless, and without a helping hand to guide you through the fog, you begin your journey on the hallowed grounds of the iconic town.
2. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter leans more towards being a mystery game that blends classic walking simulator prosthetics with a deeply disturbing and extremely atmospheric setting. Its premise, much like The Medium, revolves around loitering between two realms—the living, and the dead—both of which tell vastly different tales from different time periods. It's your responsibility, as a paranormal investigator, to unravel the thread of mysteries that correlate with one burning question: what happened to the Carter family?
In The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, you are tasked with exploring an open world that's void of any life and yet swamped by countless mysteries. Using your paranormal expertise, you must follow the footsteps of the former Red Creek Valley citizens and assemble a timeline detailing what happened, all the while trying to understand who on earth Ethan Carter is, and why he summoned you to the isolated borough.
1. Layers of Fear 2
If you're hell-bent on spooling through another of Bloober Team's award-winning psychological horrors, then you'll find some level of comfort in Layers of Fear. Specifically, Layers of Fear 2, a standalone sequel that channels various elements as seen in The Medium for the sake of building its dual realities and thread of ghostly apparitions.
Layers of Fear 2 casts you as an actor aboard an abandoned ship. Your goal, while working to overcome an unforgiving curse that renders you paranoid and slipping between two realities, is to locate your muse—the spark with which you'll come to use to make art in the eyes of the director. Finding said muse, however, doesn't come with its usual pleasantries, as you'll come to learn as you slip into one of the most psychedelic dreams of your gaming career.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there any games similar to The Medium that you'd recommend playing? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.