Blair Witch (2019)
Experience first-hand what fear can do to your mind, in a new story-driven psychological horror game inspired by the cinematic lore of Blair Witch. Your darkest fears will awaken in these woods. It’s in 1996. A young boy disappears in the Black Hills Forest near Burkittsville, Maryland. As Ellis, a former police officer with a troubled past, you join the search. What starts as an ordinary investigation soon turns into an endless nightmare as you confront your fears and the Blair Witch, a mysterious force that haunts the woods.
With just your trusty dog Bullet by your side, navigate your way through the cursed forest that warps and distorts both time and space. Stand against the horrors of the Blair Witch in first-person and deal with the decaying sanity of a man burdened by his past. As you delve deeper into the woods, your actions and how you react to danger and behave under pressure will ultimately teach you more about yourself and have dire consequences.
Blair Witch starts out in a semi-open world, two years after the events of the first movie, where you explore the different areas which sometimes lead to abandoned structures or campsites, and little crevices that only your trusty dog, Bullet, can access. Along the way, you will find items such as old polaroid photos, wooden dolls and psychiatrist notes which you store in your backpack.
Some areas can be blocked off by logs or other large objects that can be accessed only by solving a puzzle or collecting items that can open them. You will also need to locate cassette tapes, red and blue ones. The red tape lets you manipulate and rewind time to move objects that have been locked or moved into place. The blue tape tells more about the story itself. All the tapes can be viewed in the camcorder that you must find.
When Ellis arrives at the forest, he takes his flashlight and Walkie-Talkie to begin his search. Soon after entering the forest, he decides that he should call Sheriff Lanning, who is also searching for the missing boy. Ellis tells Lanning that he is joining the search. After talking with Lanning, Ellis takes Bullet and goes into a small area of the forest and finds a hat that Bullet is able to follow Peter’s scent by.
As it gets darker, he and the dog make their way further into the forest to eventually discovers a campsite. Ellis also finds a camcorder on the top of a rock. He picks up the camcorder to check it out but then blacks out. Ellis begins dreaming, recalling past events in his life. Once he awakens, it appears he had fallen asleep inside a tent and it is now pitch black outside.
Suddenly remembering he found a camcorder before he blacked out, he then spots a red tape and begins to watch it. As he watches the red tape it’s revealed to him that he can make certain objects from the tape move in reality. Rewinding the tape all the way and a small toy car appears on the ground before him. Ellis calls Laning again to explain what happened and was told to stay where he was so that they could meet up, but Ellis tells him that he can’t wait for that and hangs up.
Continuing on with their search, his dog comes across a pile of leaves, with branches poking out all around and begins digging it up. He then stops and begins whimpering. Ellis then discovers Lanning’s body and another tape showing how and who murdered him. The story just gets crazier and crazier from that point on, and it becomes apparent that Bullet must stay close to Ellis because it can affect the state of the character.
All in all, I have to say this game was very fun and I can’t really complain about anything, to be honest. The immersion was excellent, the graphic representation of the forest was outstanding. The deep shadowing, textures, light rays and overall coloring were done extremely well. Also, the sound and music design is especially great quality. The protagonists move around in circles, much as they did in the first Blair Witch film so the horror of the scenario is intensified and has a major oppressive effect.
However, I strongly recommend using headphones as everything seems very oppressive, very creepy and dark. I actually caught myself looking around the room because I thought the sounds were coming from within my room, which was cleverly done. There are quite a few cheap jump-scares, and it achieves it’s creepiness fully through the dark and confusing forest and soundscape. The interactions with the dog were awesome, and as my partner, he felt nearly lifelike.
The game’s ending is very dependent on the relationship between you and your dog and accounts for the actions you take. There’s also a possibility of four different game endings, with an additional secret ending that you can unlock.
“We are so thrilled, and honestly a little scared, to bring all players, especially fans of Blair Witch, back into the haunted woods. It is genuinely an honor to be working on such a hair-raising, paradigmatic experience, which defined so many of our lives!” said Piotr Babieno, CEO at Bloober Team.
“The team at Bloober is made up of amazing storytellers. We were excited to give them the opportunity to craft an original narrative set in the iconic woods of Blair Witch,” said Daniel Engelhardt, Senior Vice President of Lionsgate Interactive Ventures & Games. “They’ve taken the evil hiding in the Black Hills Forest to a whole new level. Players should enter at their own risk.”
About the Game:
- Experience an original story based on the legend of Blair Witch from the makers of Layers of Fear.
- Navigate your way through a cursed forest that warps and distorts both time and space.
- Stand against the horrors of the Blair Witch and the decaying sanity of a man burdened by his past.
- How you react to danger and behave under pressure will ultimately teach you more about yourself.
Title: Blair Witch
Genre: Survival Horror, Adventure
Rated: Mature 15+
Release Date: August 30, 2019
Developer: Bloober Team
Game Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Platforms: PS4, XBox One, MS Windows, Steam
Mode(s): Single Player
Reviewed by: Mike Davidson
Our Rating: 4.2 /5
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