Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr Review
developer: Terminal Reality
genre: Action Adventure
Pentium II or Athlon, 32MB RAM, 850MB HDD
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Sep 30, 00
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Instead, the developers have gotten it all wrong. Well not all of it, the storyline is enthralling enough, and it kinda made me kill a few more ghosts to get to that next scripted sequence, but the actual playing part is where it all falls apart. The Blair Witch Vol. 1 is about as open-ended and offering a sense of non-linearity as your average porn movie. How? Well, we all know what happens next when a blond chic-prison warden walks into the cell occupied by a naive young prostitute. There's just one way that scene could end. The best way to describe the rigid layout of the scripted sequences and the plot development is to think of Deus Ex, and then think of the exact opposite.
There is no strict order in which you need to talk to the NPCs in Blair Witch Vol. 1, but there is a specific order in which important game events are triggered, and it's so plain obvious it hurts. Only a complete adventure rookie would get stuck in this game. Unless you have to perform the "analyze the voice by adjusting bass and treble" puzzle, which is, in lack of a better term - moronic! Sadly, apart from the combined element of crappy camera angles and maze-like woods this has been the toughest challenge in the game. The rest of the investigation went smoothly and I had no troubles figuring out my next move (for God's sake, "Doc" Holliday has "things to do" written in her notebook), until I ran across a boss or two. This is where the completely anti-climatic combat element sets in. Since I consider myself an avid FPS player as well, it is my sad duty to reinstate some of my previous statements regarding the combat sequences. Nocturne engine isn't fit to be an action-oriented engine. It hardly fits in the action adventure category. It is ideal for classic adventure games, like Gabriel Knight. Oh, why didn't they make GKIII using the Nocturne engine? That would've been something!
As it stands, although the game has a fairly interesting storyline based on a very popular license, and the visual appearance that would put Veronica Zemanova to shame (hmm, I'm not so sure about this last part), it suffers from a serious lack of identity. It's not an action game, it's not a classic adventure game, and it's not an action adventure. It's a horror game all right, but the gameplay doesn't fit into any of the aforementioned categories. There are virtually no object puzzles, and no devious ways of working the crime scene, while the hostile town sheriff isn't looking. You'll simply have to wait for another scripted sequence that is triggered by a rather simple task of talking to a NPC, or going to a specific location. On the other hand, the action part is just a nuisance you have to deal with before another part of the intriguing storyline is revealed. It's hard for me to understand how a game with such a riveting storyline, and gorgeous graphics could turn out so wrong...
Stranger things have happened though.
Moody, scary at times; lights, shadows, story...
You can't use the flashlight and manipulate objects at the same time. Although you're holding the flashlight with just one hand. Who knows, maybe "Doc" suffered a stroke? The rest is in the review.
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