A Quick Look at the New Blair Witch Demo
At Gamescom, we were treated to new gameplay of the upcoming Blair Witch Game. In it we see lots of features that are exciting, and some that are less so.
Let’s start with your dog Bullet. It appears that Bullet has a lot more functionality in the game than just being cute. He is your first line of defense against those that lurk in the dark. Paying attention to his body language and barks are vital to survival. The way you treat him can affect his behavior later on in the game and having him close by is important to keeping you sane. Holding left bumper (on Xbox) will bring up a command wheel for Bullet: you can get him to seek for nearby items, stay where he is, stay close to you, pet him, or reprimand him. He is also helpful during combat as he will point to nearby foes - stray too far away from him and he will be vulnerable, however. From this demo, I think that Bullet is looking like an interesting feature in the game and I am glad he has more function than just tagging along. The thought of him being hurt or worse fills me with dread, and I know that during my playthrough I will be doing everything in my power to keep him safe.
We already know that this game is set in the same Universe as the Blair Witch movie. It is two years after the students have gone missing. Peter Shannon, 9, has wandered into the woods and didn’t come back. That’s where we come in. We play as Ellis, a mysterious police officer that has a traumatic past. I’m guessing that the further we progress with the story – the more we will learn about our past. When we arrive at the forest a group of officers have already gone in, I’m sure we will run into them at some point. As soon as you enter the woods it gets very dark. Extremely dark. Perhaps even too dark? For me, I like to see the things that are scaring me so I can actually get scared but who knows – the dev might have had their brightness all the way down.
This is one feature that I was hoping I wouldn’t talk about when it came to this game. In my head, Blair Witch would be more of a stealth, exploration game rather than a beat-em-up. I’m exaggerating, but I just don’t see how adding a wave of “monsters” is going to add to the title positively. Obviously, I won’t find out until I play it for myself, but I don’t have high hopes. From what I saw in the demo, it’s a lot like Heavy Rain. You shine away demons with your torch. Mechanics like that just really aren’t my cup of tea. I get way more spooked when you are forced to run and hide.
We learnt a lot from this demo, gameplay wise. There are lots of different features that I think could be interesting. The video recorder has a unique mechanic when it comes to finding red tapes around the forest. By playing the video and stopping it at key points you can manipulate the surroundings in the real world. There is also lots of lore to be found in the form of letters, pictures and dog-tags. I think this will end up being a game where you can really sink some hours in - just by exploring.
Blair Witch is released on the 30th of August on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.