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SummaryA very creepy Survival Horror style romp through the Blair Witch Mythology.
The GoodI admit that I was one of the first people to dismiss this title when I first heard of it. "A game based on the Blair Witch Project? So what are we going to do? Run around some woods yelling at each other then suddenly disappear? Boring! Luckily the designers thought the exact same thing and so, with the film makers support and the back story they wrote for the film, three different companies have created 3 games based on the mythology of the film. This first volume by Terminal Reality deals with the hermit Rustin Parr who you may remember being mentioned in the movie as the man who murdered 7 children in his basement while keeping an eighth in the corner. BW1 uses the Nocturne engine (also by Terminal Reality) playing almost identically to the game of the same name and since it's set in the same time frame, it even features characters from Nocturne as the protagonists which is a nice touch. BW1 is very puzzle intensive for a game of this type which I personally loved. There's still quite a bit of combat but most of the game involves talking to people and deducing codes and puzzles. The story which is only hinted at in the film is expanded on very well and even manages to make the film more enjoyable as many things are alluded to. Visually the game looks just as good as Nocturne did which seeing as Nocturne was ahead of its time means BW1 holds up quite well. Sound is effectively used throughout with weird noises and jumpy music at just the right moments. "So?" I hear you say... "Since the film was a horror and all.... is it scary?" I'm very glad to say YES! There are a number of sections that are quite eerie. The strange sounds in the forest are apparent and a sequence early on in the game where you awake in the night is utterly terrifying! Definitely play it with the lights off for extra effect.
The BadThere are a few bits where you have to travel through the forest killing monsters which seem to cheapen an otherwise excellent title. It's also not an overly long game but you should still get a good 8 hours out of it so it's comparable in size to Resident Evil 3 for example. The speed that the game runs at is at times inexcusable. One occasion that comes to mind was towards the end when there were a number of characters on screen at once and the game slowed to a crawl on an 800mhz P3 with over 384 meg ram! Well in excess of the requirements. The game also has a nasty tendancy to crash sometimes at random and as of the time of writing there is no patch for this.