Review Copy Provided
Blair Witch is a game inspired by the lore around the 1999 cult classic film The Blair Witch Project, a film which revolves around a group of teenagers going into the woods of Burkittsville to learn more about local legends and folklore. The game on the other hand revolves around a single person, Ellis, who is a tag-a-long during a missing person’s case for a young boy.
Taking a leaf out of the books of some of the more recent horror games, Blair Witch could best be considered a walking simulator, you don’t get to do much aside from walk around and take in the environment and the story. You enter the woods armed with nothing but a torch, a phone and a radio and with your dog, Bullet, for company. To start with, things are going pretty smoothly and you’re having a slow little jaunt around the woods, picking up little fragments of clues or bits of rubbish here and there but that all changes when you find your first key piece of evidence and present it to Bullet to pick up a scent trail.
This is when the game takes a serious turning point and becomes less about the missing boy and more about Ellis trying to cope with the effects of his PTSD, Bullet provides him with some comfort and when he’s around things begin to cool up for Ellis as he regains his composure but it’s just the tip of the iceberg for all of the game’s weirdness and it doesn’t take long for it to completely go south. As I mentioned above, the majority of the game will be spent just walking around and picking up clues but there are some puzzle solving elements to help break things up a bit though it does add more to the strange nature of the forest. Fairly soon you’ll find an old campsite with a camera left behind which gives you some insight into what’s going on in the world aside from what your character witnesses personally, what’s strange about this camera though is when you find a tape with a red label and you watch the contents, you can use it to manipulate the time in the area where the recording takes place. So if there’s an item you need to have Bullet pick up a scent from, it might appear after you pause that section of the tape or a door that was once locked for Ellis might now open when it does so on the recording. It’s an interesting element but it’s a little under utilised, they could have used it to help you solve puzzles but instead all you really need to do is find where it was filmed and figure out where you need to pause it.
There are some tense moments in the game when you have to go through the pitch black and nothing about the environment makes sense, such as heading in a straight line and winding up back where you started or when the time in the area seems to shift around leaving you scratching your head about what’s going on. A large part of what makes Blair Witch so confusing is the fact that Ellis, being a sufferer of PTSD, is regularly hallucinating and it may seem like you’re somewhere entirely different at certain points in the game.
There is combat of some form in Blair Witch since there are shadow enemies that lurk around in the treeline that are sensitive to the light and you have to shine it at them to break away from their attacks, they can be difficult to see though so you have to keep an eye on where Bullet is looking if you hope to survive an encounter with them. While you can fight them, it is possible to get through the game without killing any of them if you choose to. As well as that, something else you can do in the game is play old games on your Nokia-esque mobile phone, or you can go through your phone book to read messages and call the people in your phone book, this is something that you can do at multiple points in the game and it may affect the ending you have depending on the people you call. You can also interact with Bullet, you can’t play with him in the sense that you can have him fetch something but you can feed him treats and ask him to find things for you and if for whatever reason you want to, you can also scold him but be careful with it because the way you treat him can have some impact on the end of the game.
Blair Witch is an okay game, better for those that enjoy the experience just by being along for the ride than those who like a little more action in their horror games, if you’re the kind of player who enjoys games like Outlast or Layers of Fear then you should have a good deal of enjoyment with this one. Personally I prefer to do more than just wander around in the horror games I play and admittedly there are some moments that made me jump and the story is quite interesting although it can be a little confusing when you try to wrap your head around what’s actually going on but there’s not enough to it to make me call it a fun game. Having said that though, it’s really best played if you just sit back and see what happens.
You can visit this link if you want to find out more about Blair Witch, if you want to buy the game you can find the store links for it below;