Over the past few years, I have come across numerous horror games and to be very honest, most of them don’t really scare you at all. I know, making a horror game isn’t particularly an easy job, as we (gamers) have already gotten used to the most common factors that are being employed by many of the horror games to create the sense of spooky-ness and dread.
Even when it comes to the movies, we can see the same factors coming into play, be it the sudden jump scares, the silence and dread that creeps up on you slowly, and then the gore being excessively used to the point that it begins to disgust you.
But is Blair Witch any different than most of the horror games out there? Let’s find out:
Based on the 1999s project Blair Witch has got one of the best stories, that unlike most, actually makes sense. The story revolves around Ellis, a former veteran, and policeman struggling with the traumas of his past, trying to find redemption for all the misdeeds and troubles that he has caused to his wife and friends.
Ellis’ quest for redemption begins when he decides to take over the search operation of a young boy being lost in the haunted forest of Maryland. He gathers up whatever information that he can about the boy and teams up with his dog, Bullet, to venture off into the dark forest.
I couldn’t help but notice how the game uses flashbacks and memories of Ellis’ past that show how bad of a person he was and why is it important for him to find the boy on his own. Even though it creates a sense of hatred towards the main character for what he has done but we still have to live in his shoes and help him find redemption and I think that really creates a bond between the players and the main character (even though, I feel really bad for Bullet to be dragged into all this).
Is it Really Scary?
The legend has it that back in the late 90s, the forest of Burkittsville, Maryland was haunted by Blair Witch, and later the whole story was amplified by a film based on that. The game manages to convey the fictional story in the best possible way. As for the horror part of the game, I don’t think it really is the scariest game of all, venturing all alone in the dark forest without any human contact whatsoever creates a sense of dread that creeps you out, sure.
The sudden changes in the environment and Bullets’ reaction to the hidden monsters in the trees also scare the hell out of you sometimes but I think we have played a lot of horror games to get used to all that stuff.
But that’s not why you should play this game. Blair Witch has some of the best puzzles and the way the player interacts with the environment using a camcorder that has the power to make changes to the environment is pure genius. The way developers introduce the concept of multidimensions in the same timeline when the search team tries to find Ellis is amazing!