Blair Witch Game Review: Does It Live Up To The Hype?

Blair Witch Gameplay

New to the Xbox Game Pass this week is the Blair Witch game. Now I first became aware of this game when I saw it showcased at E3 & I was instantly intrigued. As a self-proclaimed wimp, a year or two ago I wouldn't have touched this game with a bargepole. However, after thoroughly enjoying the likes of Resident Evil BioHazard and Layers Of Fear I was excited to give this new horror offering a bash. Did it live up to expectations? Honestly, not really. I think because I was so hyped about the game I somewhat expected a bit too much from it. Don't get me wrong the game's story was great. However, the fact that my gameplay was riddled with bugs played a massive part in me feeling more frustration as opposed to enjoyment when it came to the Blair Witch game.

What is the Blair Witch Game even about?

If you're not familiar with the game, it's a first-person survival horror. You take on the role of Ellis, a cop suffering from PTSD after making a massive mistake during his time as a soldier. The story centres around you entering Black Hills Forest in search of Peter Shannon, a missing kid. However, it soon becomes apparent that you're on your own and the search party is long ahead. Oh, and did I mention that you've got a Doggo with you? That's right, you've also got Bullet with you, a cute as heck German Sheppard who is there to aid in gameplay. I'm not going to go into the story of the game as I don't want to spoil it for anyone. What I will say though is that the story itself is something I enjoyed.

I'll also say that during gameplay you have very little to help you in terms of combat. You've got no weapons, although your flashlight does somewhat double up as a monster fighting off weapon. But honestly? The lack of weapons is fine as the game isn't about confrontation, it's more about avoiding it. Not only that but the tools you're given to help you work relatively well. As well as a flashlight you start with a radio and an old phone.

Blair Witch includes some pretty cool gimmicks

Bored during gameplay? Why not have a game of snake on your phone? Because you sure as hell can do that if you want. Another fun thing to do when you've got signal? Constantly ring Donny the pizza guy until he blows his lid at you for wasting his time, you'll even earn an achievement for this. Very soon in the game, you'll also obtain a camera in which you insert collectable tapes that you find to bend time and change things in-game which is cool.

The game's saving grace is for sure Bullet the doggo

As useful as your flashlight, radio and old school phone are, your most useful resource in easing gameplay is for sure Bullet your pooch. This handy doggo can search areas for you and helps you by revealing the direction of things you can't see when you're being attacked. Oh and did I mention, you can pet him!? AND get an achievement for it! Seriously I found this both wholesome and distracting. Did Bullet just walk half a metre? What a good boy! That deserves some petting! I found the first hour of gameplay pretty much taken over by me praising my four-legged helper for anything and everything. Yes, I'm that lame. But in all seriousness, Bullet was probably the greatest thing about the Blair Witch Game. The way in which you can interact and use him to assist is genius. Bullet just gives the game a nice element. 

The Blair Witch? More like Blair Glitch! This horror game is riddled with bugs

Sadly aside from Bullet, the rest of the game failed to wow me. This largely was down to the fact that the game is pretty much riddled with bugs. Some of my favourite (sense the sarcasm) bugs included: Randomly not being able to move for absolutely no reason at all. Having to constantly duck through 99% of doorways where there was no visible obstruction. Bullet being frozen to the spot, meaning I had no choice but to restart. Oh and my absolute favourite, the final tape just straight up not showing causing me to restart the chapter twice to be able to proceed with my gameplay. At one point, I wanted to throw the towel in because of the bugs but I took the "I've started so I'll finish the approach."

The game doesn't spoon-feed you which is great until you're firmly stuck

Another thing that frustrated me was the lack of prompts during the game. Now I get figuring things out for yourself and not having the game spoon feed you. However, one thing I struggled with was navigation and heading the right way. With no map, you're left to mentally make your own map and way through the game. Rightly so, this is Blair Witch we are talking about. However, at Chapter 7 everything started to look the damn same. I spent half an hour going around in circles as I struggled to visually notice any differences in the paths that I was walking down.

Cranking up the brightness of the game did nothing to aid in this issue and what started as an intriguing exploration turned into a frustrating, annoying, swear word inducing experience. With no in-game prompts at all, I admitted defeat and turned to my other half, a somewhat God when it comes to video games. Plus he notices way more details than me. However, even he found the task an unenjoyable assignment. In the end, I ended up on and off consulting an online guide throughout the rest of my gameplay after almost throwing my controller out of the window in pure gamer rage frustration.

Blair Witch is a mediocre game that isn't THAT scary or suspenseful

Aside from the issues I've already pointed out, I did enjoy the story of the game. However, as far as horror games go, I didn't find the game THAT scary. Sure there were a few times that I jumped (Three to be precise if we are counting) but I never really felt on edge whilst playing. I think this is because with the game you pretty much know when something is going to happen. Unlike Resident Evil 7, Blair Witch doesn't catch you off guard. The musical score pretty much screams "Something is going to happen NOW!" Not just that but you can go for what feels like a long ass time without anything "scary" or jumpy happening at all. If I'm honest I just didn't feel the suspense of the game.

All in all, I hate to say it but I feel like Blair Witch is a pretty mediocre game. I mean it's not terrible by any means. Although it certainly hasn't lived up to the hype or my expectations. Sure the story was decent, the addition of Bullet was super enjoyable and the gimmicky Nokia 3310 style phone gave me a bit of a chuckle & five minutes of messing around. However, I can't help but feeling a little "meh" about the game. Is it worth checking out? Sure,  if you have the Game Pass, it's on there free to download after all. Although if I'd paid £24.99 I think I'd be left feeling like an act of daylight robbery had been committed.

Have you played this game? What did you think of it?
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