chlomo's Blair Witch (PC) review

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  • chlomo has written a total of 15 reviews. The last one was for Hollow

You Can Do Better

Blair Witch as a series hasn't had the smoothest run, I can't talk about the previous games but the last two films, the remake and the sequel were both pretty messy and it feels like this game is sort of the same. When I learnt that the Blair Witch game was being made by Bloober team... my fears were pretty much confirmed. I don't dislike Bloober teams games but their approach to horror games is very similar since they created Layers Of Fear. I've played all their games except Layers Of Fear 2 and it's mostly been the same experience with different themes.

Blair Witch is about Ellis and his service dog Bullet searching for a missing child in the infamous Black Hills in Burkittsville, Maryland when things get weird. Ellis has PTSD being a former service veteran and relies heavily on Bullet to get through a lot of the scenarios that crop up during the game. If he seperates from Bullet his vision gets fuzzy, but from my experience besides the single scripted sequence, Bullet just stuck to you like glue.

The basic gameplay is much akin to a walking simulator as most of the game is just you experiencing things, the few puzzles that are in the game are somewhat confusing. Ellis finds a camcorder that for some unknown reason... rewinds time. You can rewind the camera and reverse reality to a point where a tree hasn't fallen or something to that effect, it's used to solve many puzzles in the game. It's never really explained and it's just one of a few things that breaks consistency.

So to go back to Bloober teams approach to horror, it's just surreal, weird events most of which are graphically impressive and must require a lot of imagination to plan out, but it's... not that scary. Weird events are weird, but these don't scare me personally because of the environment they're used in, Bloober Team forgot to build atmosphere, just being in the woods at night doesn't make me automatically on edge. The strange events in Lost In Vivo or Silent Hill work because of the excellent atmosphere those games provide. It's this lack of foundation that makes Bloober Teams approach to cosmic horror feel purely superficial in this game, in my opinion the lack of consistency gives the player so little reality to grab onto that it turns into a big mess of weird things and a story that doesn't make any sense or leave much of an impact. The weird events become tiring after a while as it drags out some sections for so long piling on nauseating effects and making you walk through the same valley or through the witch house for up to 30 minutes whilst bringing up every part of Ellis' past. It's boring.

It has it's moments and throws in a few jumpscares, the forest enemies you defeat with a torch were frightening the first time you see them but they're easily defeated and doing so gives you the bad ending? -_-

Bloober team feel like they've been on a steady decline since Layers Of Fear and Blair Witch feels like a new low with more time put into the effects budget than the story writing or gameplay design.

Personally, I reckon if you've played other Bloober Team games, you've experienced most of this already.

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