Little Peter has disappeared. The ten-year-old is suspected to be in the forest and a local police force is on the lookout. Strange occurrences are not uncommon in this corner of Maryland, legend has it that a witch has numerous children on her conscience, and of the students who wandered into the undergrowth two years ago, only a camcorder with disturbing recordings remained.
The latter misfortune is the plot of the cult horror film The Blair Witch Project, which caused goosebumps in the cinemas at the end of the 90s and established the found footage concept for horror films.
Previous knowledge is not necessary to fully enjoy the game of the same name on the Switch, because it tells its own story. Last year the title was released for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
On the trail of the hat
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/430x/2020/07/Blair_Witch_Switch_Review-2–buffed.jpg" alt = "In the forest, Elliot and Bullet not only find references to Peter, but also
Video tapes, wooden sculptures and even strange ruins.”/>
Source: PC Games
Back to Peter: You represent the policeman Ellis, who apparently also has a few private problems in tow in addition to his loyal dog Bullet. Ellis makes his own decision to support the search, but only as a rearguard, since the others are already combing through the bushes somewhere in the middle of the forest. After all: Thanks to Bullets Riecher, Ellis finds Peterchen's hat and the two pick up the track. After falling through the undergrowth and the onset of night, the horror takes its course. Who slept in this tent? Where do the rusted car and the ruins come from in the middle of the forest? Where exactly are we, where is Peter, and are we really alone in the hallway?
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/430x/2020/07/Blair_Witch_Switch_Review-3–buffed.jpg" alt = "With the camcorder we watch short video clips. We can reel
and pause and change the environment in light puzzles.”/>
Source: PC Games
The game about Blair Witch (buy now for 27.28 €) At around five and a half hours in length, it is more than twice as long as the classic film, but thanks to its different ends it has replay value. The action adventure relies playfully on various mechanics established in the genre instead of treading new paths like the film template. Horror gourmets are familiar, for example using the flashlight when encountering mysterious appearances, collecting clues, sneaking passages and exploring dark surroundings. After all, the game proves a bit of courage by integrating a camcorder that has an impact on reality when playing back the tapes it finds. For example, objects suddenly appear in the place that could previously be seen in a clip in the same place. You can see that Blair Witch was playing in the 90s on Elliot's cell phone, which probably reminds older semesters of her unconditional Nokia. Praiseworthy that Elliot's story and problems play a role in the story, you can find out more in flashbacks. All in all, Blair Witch is certainly not a new horror revelation, but solid genre fare with some atmospheric situations and one or two shock moments.
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/430x/2020/07/Blair_Witch_Switch_Review-4–buffed.jpg" alt = "In the game, Elliot doesn't just talk to himself and to Bullet, he stands also
by radio and by mobile phone with other people in direct contact.”/>
Source: PC Games
Blair Witch did without overly striking bloodbaths in favor of a depressing mood. Elliot's dog bullet is not only a tool, but also successfully awakens protective instincts. Thanks to his nose we find clues, he defends us and he is happy when we stroke him or give him treats. Stroking is a good keyword: The synchronization of Blair Witch is in English, texts including subtitles have been translated into German. The translation of the command wheel that appears when interacting with Bullet has made a mistake: If we choose the action with the strange title "pet", Elliot caresses his partner with a cold muzzle – the English word "pet" can mean both, in the game, of course, we mean the verb and not the noun. Bullet occasionally has problems finding their way and slides through bushes, when chasing the four-legged friend it is annoying that Elliot can usually not take the same path because a large part of the undergrowth is surrounded by invisible walls. Impatient natures might react rather annoyed than fearful, but the tension increases during the game and sections like this become less common.
Unsurprisingly, there are technical cuts in the switch version compared to the other versions. Textures are mushy, objects pop into the picture, bullet is less fluffy and everything looks very blurry from a distance. The latter is the least annoying because it somehow matches the atmosphere. Overall, you can also play Blair Witch on the Switch without any problems – if you are of legal age and are into horror.
Short, atmospheric horror game with nice but not groundbreaking ideas
The puzzle mechanism with the camcorder nicely integrates an element of the film template, but the head nuts are not difficult, because there would have been more. Incidentally, I can only recommend increasing the sensitivity of the sticks when looking around, this helps at certain moments. I really liked how the Rumble feature was used: It was easier to locate the location of Bullet because the controller vibrates where the four-legged companion is barking. Blair Witch is certainly not a milestone of the genre in terms of either the story or the game mechanics. But it's been a while since I saw the last horror game, so I felt like it got goosebumps again. And that's what the Switch adventure delivered. If you have a choice between this version and the other editions, then you should prefer this. The game then just looks a good deal better.
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Test on Blair Witch for Switch: Neat horror fun, but not free from quirks (1) (Source: PC Games)
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