First things first, before we get started on this Blair Witch review: This is a Video Game Review. Blair Witch is based on a film that started as “The Blair Witch Project,” the sequel is “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2,” and the third one is simply “Blair Witch.” I am writing this to avoid any confusion. The Blair Witch game was developed by Bloober Team, and published by Lionsgate Games.
I will try to eliminate as much spoilers from this review as I can possibly can so you can experience the game by yourself. The game is kind-of short. About 5 to 6 hours long, if you play it for the first time. The second time around, you probably will play it through without any issue.
The game starts off a little slow, but it definitely picks up as soon as you get much, much deeper into the woods. In this game, you are a journalist that joined the search for a kid who got lost in the woods. I am being vague here for a reason, because by the end of the game, you will come to a shock revelation.
Though, I really wish the game had a better way of telling you what to do in some instances. You’re confused the first time you play the game. It doesn’t really tell you what you need to do at first, but once you’ve learned the controls, you’ll get the hang of the game. My biggest issue is the prompts. They are kind-of glitchy at times. When you approach items, objects, or vehicles, you either see a circle, or an arrow. The arrow is what you want – it allows you to pick up the item, object or do an action with a door, vehicle, or what have you. Sometimes they don’t trigger, and you’ll need to move around to get the arrow.
On the positive side of things, I really love the innovations of Blair Witch. Your cellphone acts like a “pro-tip” of sorts, as you can see below…
In this instance, I was fighting with the Blair ghost for the first time, and it tells me to move, and why you should not stay at one place. It periodically sends you hints throughout the game. Sometimes to your surprise. You won’t realize it at first, but your camera is actually your best friend. And it’s where the innovations shine the best. I won’t spoil it too much, but the innovation is that once you pick up a new tape, you’re not only supposed to look at the tape for clues, you’re supposed to aim that camera at the location of which the tape is taped. It changes the reality of the location. Later in the game, this reality-changing mechanic intensifies by 20%. By the middle of the game, you will feel like you’re on the set of “Ghost Adventures.” (Take that hint, Bloober Team.)
All these clues, and reality altering moments are actually puzzles that clicks together to form a story as you progress. Sadly, there’s a missed opportunity from my view with regards to the items you pick up or acquire during your journey. Most of the time, the pictures you get are clues to whom you’ll see in the next 5-10 minutes. But, Bloober team could have done a lot more with the notes, pictures, and whatnot. This is an area that Resident Evil does so well. I mean, what’s the point of picking up the dolls that the Blair Witch leaves you each chapter or location…? That’s something I noticed. Yeah, it changes shape, and evolves into something else? But what for…?
As you progress, the atmosphere of Blair Witch gets intense. It does it so well, despite the graphics’ woes. The game’s graphics aren’t Resident-Evil-caliber, but the environments are detailed, and the eerie atmosphere lends a hand to how well it manages to keep you searching. Bloober needs to do a better job of the texture work in the future, if they want to compete with the likes of Resident Evil, Horizon Zero Dawn, and other atmospheric games.
Now, that’s not to say the game sucks, it works in some places. You can see the glaring issues, if you are a reviewer looking for something to hammer at. Like Bullet. The dog follows you around like a stray dog, heh. Bloober Team needs to improve the AI in the next game, because there are times that I tell Bullet to search, it doesn’t happen. I repeat it over and over, it gets tiring. The only time it works perfectly is when we get to Campsite 2/Sawmill. Also, regarding glitches, some glitches are part of the game, to give you a sense of illusion, but even I can spot the real ones. Here’s two examples…
I can overlook this, but there are some glitches in the game that needs fixing. Let’s get back to the positives in the PS4 version. It feels like the game was made for PS4, obviously. You see that controller of yours? It can talk back at you. But in Blair Witch, the developers used it like a walkie talkie. The game plays with your mind, and your mental state in-game using this speaker.
Conclusion: Blair Witch can be a bit of a slow game, but the payoff is well deserved.
Despite the slow pace of the game, despite the actual glitches, and the low quality human or in-human textures (apart from the last hour of the game), the game’s story is the real hero of Blair Witch. The gameplay while not perfect, the story and atmosphere saves the game. I like how the game tries to manipulate you into thinking something else, when in actually, its telling you different. There are highs, and there are lows. Good job on the game. Improve on the issues I mentioned, and you’ll get better at horror as time goes on.