Who doesn’t love a classic witch story? From spooky witches to cute fun lovable ones, there is a witch for every type a person. But one, in particular, puts all of her sisters to shame. Lurking in the depths of a forest claimed and drenched in her wickedness, comes the Blair Witch. No sane being will ever escape her clutches!
Story: In this story to be told under the Blair Witch, you play as Ellis Lynch, a former police officer. Ellis has decided to join a search party to find a missing boy in the deeply haunting woods of the Blair Witch. Accompanying you on your perilous journey is Bullet, your loyal and daring canine companion and teammate. Together you both venture on a path of unrelenting horrors. Will you ever make it out? Or will the forest of the witch lay claim to yet another soul?
Gameplay: Controlling Ellis throughout the game proves to be an engaging experience. Come to find out Ellis suffers from PTSD. This means that you become susceptible to deeply felt anxiety attacks and hallucinations, especially if you become separated from Bullet for too long. On top of that lovely feature, you are also plagued by the witch herself throughout the game.
Bullet is a huge key factor in this game. There are many interactions you can have with your loyal teammate and simply put, without him, you have no chance of surviving. You are given a wheel of choices when Bullet is near. Almost at any given time (when he is near), you can choose to have him seek, give him a loving pet, stay close to you, stay in one spot and to my surprise, you can even reprimand him. If Bullet ever disappears out of your eyesight, you are able to call him to you and the game will indicate in which direction he is coming from. This is a very handy tool when you’re lost in a forest! Bullet also comes with the ability to fit into places you cannot reach and track down scents presented to him. Being the best pup in the world also includes alerting you to the dangers that constantly surround you. So make sure you always keep a keen eye on him! Also, take heed with how you treat Bullet, it will affect your game.
Ellis himself is equipped with a few different tools to help you navigate and endure your terror-filled adventure. These tools include a cell phone, walkie-talkie, flashlight, and video camera (gained later on). Your phone has a fair amount of elements to it, so it wouldn’t hurt to fiddle around with it. The video camera turns out to be a special tool that has the ability to alter your reality and can pick up things that are unseen to the naked eye.
Pros: There is a lot to love about this game. The atmosphere is daunting, fear invoking and always changing. As you begin to adjust to your surroundings and predicament, you are suddenly thrown into a whole different set of frights. This forces you to always be on your toes but even then, it will catch you when least you expect it to.
Blair Witch makes you feel anxiety. It allows you to experience the unforgiving nature of PTSD. This game puts a fair amount of effort to make sure you feel and experience what Ellis is going through. As his anxiety triggers, you can feel the tightness in his chest and lack of air flowing through his lungs with his heart pounding. You see his vision blur, fade, and pulse. Panic shakes you to your core as you look for anything to alleviate his horrid state. As if things weren’t dreadful enough, you are also forced through triggering memories and hallucinations.
Bullet adds considerably to the overall experience of the game. This pup is your life source and the game leaves it up to you with how you bond, treat him and use his abilities. This allows for a multitude of different playstyles along with tugging at those good old heartstrings. In short, Bullet is your digital emotional support pet. Thankfully he won’t wake you up at 2 am insisting on being fed!
Lastly, this game is more than it appears to be. You are presented with countless options in-game innocently thinking it’s just a part of getting through it, when in fact, you had a choice. Blair Witch is heavily based on choices but presents itself to you in a way to conceal alternate options. It appears that not only Ellis is being played by the witch here!
Cons: There are a few things that keep this game from being perfect, but hey no one is perfect, not even the witch herself!
There are a couple of bugs in the game, including a specific one that has not only affected me but others that have played as well.
The last setting before the endgame goes on a touch too long. I thoroughly enjoy the mental torment, but there is a thing as being too much and not in a good way. This is a small con since it gives you an honest feel of being trapped.
Finally, I do wish there were more endings. There are basically two endings, each with a couple of small variants. Although, I have to say, that I do very much enjoy the endings with one of the endings being a tedious challenge, so this is a con as well as a pro.
The Verdict: Blair Witch is, for the most part, straightforward with some puzzles sprinkled in here in there, all the while attempting to cope and live on through demented horrors, lore, and your own personal demons. There are only a few drawbacks, but this game overall is definitely worth a playthrough!
Score: 4 out of 5