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Blair Witch, Volume II: The Legend of Coffin Rock (Windows)

61
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Terrence Bosky (5236)
Written on  :  Jan 11, 2002
Rating  :  2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars
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Summary

"It's dreadful, but it's short."- Bernard Black

The Good

After playing the surprisingly good BW:Rustin Parr, I went and bought this game. I played part of it and then let a year pass until I was interested in completing it. The game starts off very well. It incorporates footage from the movie in the opening which explains what Coffin Rock is. In the Blair Witch mythos, Coffin Rock is a location where a missing search party was found, bound together and eviscerated.

The actual game deals with this event. You play as an amnestic Civil War soldier who is recovering from a dreadful wound. An old woman and her granddaughter are nursing you back to health. When the girl goes missing, you offer to help.

There are two parts to the game. Part of the game involves the current time (1880's) and the search for the girl. The other half deals with your group of soldiers in the 1860's and the events leading up to your amnesia. There is a really obvious plot twist here and if the preceding sentences haven't revealed it then let me just say that you character's name is Lazarus. The designers apparently haven't heard about subtlety.

This game uses the Nocturne engine which utilizes camera angles similar to your typical survival horror game. Played in the third person, Coffin Rock is combat driven and has around 5-10 hours of game play.

The Bad

This game deteriorates as soon as you enter the woods. Coffin Rock is combat driven for the most part, but only features three weapons. With poor collision detection, combat looks laughable. While the flashbacks to the past start interesting, they become predictable and are very poorly acted. We can guess early on what the plot twist is, what is more interesting is the present-day storyline.

Far too many monsters! The woods are inhabited by evil dogs, ghosts, and stick men. Often three of each at once. Rustin Parr had a similar problem, but at least used a level of surprise, Coffin Rock has these creatures just standing around waiting for you.

The limitations of the Nocturne engine are very apparent. The engine allows for incredible textures and great details such as fog and character clothing, however the camera angles are terrible because most of the game involves running around in the woods. Even the smallest bush is an obstacle for your character, and several graphical glitches (getting trapped on the far side of a creek) forced me to reload. And game play controls are so terrible that minor obstacles and puzzles become difficult. The Nocturne engine would work best for a story-driven, puzzle-based game in enclosed areas.

The Bottom Line

Coffin Rock is budget-priced software that doesn't try to be anything else. After the excellent Rustin Parr, I was severely disappointed in this game. There is a third game in this series which is supposedly worse than this game. I find that hard to believe. And about the search party, bound and eviscerated, it is nice to know that someone in this game suffers more than the player.