Noob Reviews: Blair Witch
This review will be based on Xbox One gameplay. Although I have attempted to avoid spoilers, there may be some included to help explain specific points.
What is Blair Witch?
Blair Witch is a psychological survival horror game with action-adventure aspects that sees the phenomenal movie franchise brought over into the realms of gaming. Initially released in 2019, Blair Witch is a first-person game that will require you to take on the role of protagonist Ellis, who along with his faithful companion Bullet, is searching for a missing nine-year-old boy by the name of Peter.
Unfortunately for Ellis and Bullet, what starts out as a simple search and rescue attempt - aiding the local sheriff’s department. Soon takes a nefarious turn as Ellis begins to uncover a series of tapes that not only show the events of the boy’s kidnapping but have mystical powers that allow him to rewind, fast-forward and pause time to solve puzzles throughout the world. Whilst at the same time, Ellis must also use his torch to fight shadowy creatures from an unknown realm determined to end his search for the boy in the most gruesome ways possible.
One of the most creative aspects of the game is the way it works in the found footage sub-genre from the movies and has an array of collectables you can find throughout the world that offers additional insight and story development. All of it just lying about ready to be discovered by the daring. Or overlooked by the cowardly.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- Official launch trailer linked from Xbox’s YouTube channel -
What genre is the game?
Blair Witch is classed as both a survival horror game and action-adventure.
Who created the Blair Witch game adaptation?
Blair Witch was developed by a team known as Bloober Team and published by Lionsgate Games.
How long is the game?
As always the time will depend entirely on if people just want to play the game or get a 100% completion rate, but on average, the game will take between six to eight hours to complete.
My personal playthrough took seven hours, and I only missed three achievements, one of which was the known alternative ending. And when researching, I found that the other two appear to tie into secret endings that activate when specific actions are performed during the main playthrough.
When was the game released? And what platform(s) is it available on?
Blair Witch was released on PC and Xbox One in August 2019. PlayStation 4 in December of the same year. And eventually made its way to Nintendo Switch in June 2020. Whether or not a good thing or absolute terrifying nightmare, there is also an Oculus Quest adaptation which came out October this year (2020) that allows you to play Blair Witch in VR.
What is the game's RRP?
Blair Witch's regular retail price is around the £24.99 mark, depending on retailer and platform. And when checking, also ranged between $23.99 - $25.99 on US stores.
What do you think of Blair Witch?
Blair Witch, as with Maid of Sker, was a game I was dared to play by chat on Twitch and was so glad I actually did. As a standalone game, the game is fantastic with an exciting story, challenging stealth and varied puzzles. However, some of the main issues I found with the game were:
There were a few bugs with movement, audio and cutscenes.
At times there is little to no guidance to what you are meant to do. Coupled with no map or compass, leaves you wandering around aimlessly.
Although based on the Blair Witch franchise, there is little no mention of the witch until right at the end of the game.
The last point was a real shame as even though you can tell what certain things are if you have seen the films, such as the wooden totems you find throughout the world. For a first-timer coming into the Blair Witch franchise via the game, they have no back story or full explanation which is a real shame and somewhat of a wasted opportunity. Based on this as a Blair Witch game as opposed to a title x game, it is a bit of a letdown.
Overall though if you take the game with a pinch of salt, and play it as a survival horror as intended, it is thrilling. The combat with the shadow creatures can be really tense and nerve-wracking at times. Ellis has been through some extreme events during his past military service and suffers from PTSD. Which can cause him to panic in the game if he is too far away from Bullet for too long, who serves as his emotional support companion. And the way the story unfolds via the cassettes and mysterious text messages and phone calls on your mobile - is really well structured and paced.
What overall rating would you give Blair Witch?
Specific function(s): Puzzle Elements 🍌🍌🍌🍌
I would rate Blair Witch as a solid 4 out of 5 bananas.
Although Blair Witch by name, the game is very loosely based on the franchise, but it still manages to make itself a fantastic survival horror. The combat and puzzles are both varied and challenging. The exploration, especially in nearly pitch-black environments, really sets the atmosphere. And the way the game plays out, with a beautiful soundtrack and great animations (for the most part) really adds to the immersion. Blair Witch is definitely one I would recommend to both action-adventure and horror game fans alike to give a try if you have not done so already.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. I hope you enjoyed it. Admittedly, everyone has a different opinion, and all I can do is encourage you to try out this game for yourself and see what you think. For now, though, have a fantastic day and happy gaming whatever you decide to play.