A decent action title that comes off suprisingly well but lacks appropriate ambiance.
Taking us back to the core of the Blair Witch story, The Elly Kedward Tale is set at the time of Elly's (The Blair Witches) conviction. And so begins the combat based third and final volume of the Blair Witch trilogy. The focus on action has cleaned up the combat system a great deal and makes the fighting a lot more entertaining than it ever was before, primarily because an enemy turns slightly red when you are aiming at it so there's never any confusion as to whether a shot will actually hit.
Despite the fact that BW Vol 3 was designed to be an action game, it actually manages to be a lot more adventure-based than the linear slug-a-thon that Vol 2 turned out to be, even though Vol 2 was supposed to be an action-adventure hybrid. Don't get me wrong the adventure aspect is weak but still works quite well with the style that Ritual were after. The return of the diary and objective list is also welcome after the total lack of anything in that vein during Vol 2.
BW3 is a graphical triumph for the Nocturne engine which has been pulled out for one last spin, managing to get the great look of the forest from Vol 2 but without the confusion of which pathways you can actually walk on. This makes the environment enormously more enjoyable to traverse than before and the map helps you keep track of where in the forest you actually are.
The entire experience is marred by the fact that Ritual have stamped this game with their own trademark style. While this in itself wouldn't be a problem, in doing so have robbed the game of the Blair witch feel it deserved. As a result the game isn't the least bit scary and has highly inappropriate music and characartured people. The story itself doesn't really work with the theme either, with the whole experience of turning into different spirits for some simple puzzling reminds me of what happened to the story in Alone in the Dark 3 where it all got a bit stupid.
Once again the game isn't very long falling somewhere between vol 1 and vol 2 so, say around 3 to 4 hours of play time before the end.
The Bottom Line
BW Vol 3 proves to be the middle ground title of the trilogy, besting Vol 2 by a fair distance but falling very short of the brilliant Vol 1. If you only get one of the BW titles then you really must go with Vol 1 but fans of other Ritual games like Sin and FAKK2 will be missing out if they pass this one up.