One of the best features of subscription services like Xbox Game Pass is the ability to find really solid short games that gamers might not have been inclined to purchase otherwise. However, since most subscription services rotate their catalogs frequently, it can be difficult to keep up with all the short games that have potential. For horror fans with a Game Pass subscription, The way is a relatively short psychological horror title heavily inspired by characters like resident Evil and silent Hill it’s definitely worth checking out before it leaves the service later this month. Fortunately, Mediums A relatively short runtime means players can experience this game in full before its February 15 release.
The way was a day one addition to Game Pass last year. While a horror game inspired by resident Evil and silent Hill may seem exaggerated, many find that The way adds its own dimension and uniqueness to this genre. However, even if it’s not the most original concept, it is a concept well done; The way has the typical elements you’d expect in a psychological horror game alongside gripping and dark visuals. Set in late 90s Poland, the story and gameplay of The way was well received by many fans of the genre, while other gamers felt it couldn’t compare to the monumental franchises of silent Hill and Resident Evil. Again, though, it underscores why Xbox Game Pass subscribers should check out the game while they have the chance, as many might be pleasantly surprised to find that the game looks fresh and quirky despite its predecessors.
Development and implementation
The way was developed by Bloober Team, a Polish developer. Bloober Team had already made a name for themselves in horror by coming out Observer, layers of fear, and The Blair Witch Project. However, The way marks a somewhat different take on Bloober Team as a first-person third-person game, mimicking the fixed camera angles of previous horror games.
Apparently, the concept of the game has been around since 2012 and the development team was waiting to get access to the proper technology to start creating the game. that the gameplay was developed more recently. The game’s music features Akira Yamaoka and Mary Elizabeth McGuinn, both renowned for their work on silent Hill Games.
During this period, the Bloober team was aware of the popularity of established media in Eastern Bloc countries, such as shows like Chernobyl, dark, and his own previous game, Observer. With this in mind, the decision to set The way in Poland makes sense. However, the game’s setting in the late 90s, after Poland’s transition to democratic government, proves to be one of the game’s most unique features. The Soviet Union is not well known to most of the world, the development team has gone to great lengths to bring this story to players without alienating a wider audience.
Story and gameplay
The way follows Marianne, who is, as her name suggests, a medium. Following the death of her stepfather, Marianne receives a mysterious phone call from Thomas, who knows about her powers. From there, Marianne embarks on a quest to find Thomas while battling malevolent spirits and solving mystical puzzles. The game of The way is relatively easy to pick up and should particularly appeal to those who enjoy puzzle games. Like silent Hill and Resident Evil, the setting and enemies set the tone for the game, which takes players on a journey that explores Poland’s history in a psychological thriller.
The comparison with the aforementioned games only exists in Mediums influences and structure, but the story, setting and visuals are all Mediums own. As with most psychological thrillers, the story really clicks with some players and not so much with others. The way doesn’t take a lot of time, and it doesn’t come at any additional cost to Game Pass subscribers, so it’s definitely worth checking it out, even if just to experience the unique setting and pleasing visuals by themselves- same.
The way is available now on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
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The Medium is a beautiful next-gen horror game with a haunting game world anchored by puzzles and old-school survival-horror style exploration.
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