Twenty years after the release of the original film, the Krakow studio Bloober Team decided to make a game continuation of the Blair witch story, proposing a new development of the old legend in its fresh project – Blair Witch.
In 1996, a child disappears in the Black Hills forest, and local residents, with the support of the police, comb the neighborhoods that have long gained notoriety. They are joined by a former soldier, a police officer Ellis, suffering from post-traumatic syndrome.
In search of a child, he is accompanied by a faithful dog Bullet, who performs another important function – preserves the elusive mind of the protagonist.
Having split up with the main detachment, Ellis sank deeper into the thicket, meeting strange snippets of messages from the past, wooden idols and the fruits of his own hallucinations. The authors actively use successful tricks from the Layers of the Fear universe, immersing the player in the waters of the approaching madness.
However, the main mechanics here speak in favor of working on bugs – the project monitors the actions of the players and adjusts to their behavior style, extending an invisible helping hand in the right places. And where Layers of Fear disappointed us, Blair Witch smooths corners.
For example, at the very beginning, you can wander for a long time through a forest littered with deadwood and broken trees, and then the dog’s artificial intelligence will be released to help you, which will lead you out of the wooden maze.
Closer to the final, you will come across a stealth section where you need to bypass dangerous creatures using the screen of a digital camera, but if you die too often, a voice on the radio will lead you through the puzzle, giving precise directions of movement.
Something similar exists in other places where Blair Witch in case of failure to escape from monsters at the next boot can reduce the distance and gently slip the finish line.
Features and Graphics
At the same time, the curtsies towards the player are made so carefully that the average user, most likely, simply will not notice them, considering that he was able to overcome the difficult section on his own.
The main game mechanics of Blair Witch are built on important points of interaction. Using the dog, you must find key objects that will allow Bullet to take a trail and move to the next story fragment. Often these objects are hidden by a small puzzle or require a more thorough study of the environment. As you complete the quests, you will find collection photos of past victims of the Witch, as well as special bonus quests that do not affect the main plot.
Ellis has a cell phone at which he can talk with his girlfriend, read hint messages and listen to the answering machine. Other sections of the old Nokia allow you to play a couple of retro games and check the settings.
In addition to the phone, you have at your disposal a three-band police walkie-talkie, which is directly related to communicating with other characters and finding a child. Among other items – a set of dog food, notes collected on the ground, and other elements of the ENT, which can be useful in solving problems.
The flashlight included in the kit allows you to inspect dark corners and is indispensable in the evening. In addition, the light of the lantern acts as the main weapon against the small species of otherworldly entities. Watching the dog, you need to direct the beam at the fast and invisible creatures, protecting your territory. Usually, such fights last for several minutes and serve as an important point before further advancement in the story.
And finally, you have a digital camera at your disposal, which in the first half of the game is used to view special tapes with a recording of the past, which directly affects the present. These sections, more like puzzles, are quite common in the plot.
For example, you want to enter the house, but the door is closed. It is enough to rewind the record, where on the screen the door remains open, and it will open in the real world.
The same goes for key items needed to complete. Did the maniac drop the knife? Stop the tape at this point and pick up the knife.
Combining time rewinding, hallucinations, and action inserts, the authors achieve an incredible immersion in the world of wildlife, where danger lurks behind every crunch of a branch or the squeak of a wounded beast.
By the force of influence, Blair Witch can be compared with the classics of the horror genre.
Graphically, Blair Witch offers one of the most detailed forests in modern games, where the whole environment reaches an incredible level of photorealism and atmosphere through the competent use of special effects and filters.
The companion Ellis, the Bullet dog is well designed right up to the texture of the coat and has incredibly lively behavior.
I read the comments of colleagues and the community that the Xbox One version suffers from problems with bugs and stuck in the textures of the AI, but on the PC in my walkthrough, there was nothing like that.
Blair Witch is one of the most unexpected games in the horror genre, which perfectly combines the oppressive atmosphere, interesting characters, multi-dimensional plot and beautiful graphics on the PC. Sections with stealth and chases are a bit tiring, but due to the smart system of adjusting the gameplay for the player, you practically do not experience negative experiences. If you were looking for the best horror of this year after Resident Evil 2, then you found it.