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Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock Review

GAME INFO
publisher: Gathering
developer: Human Head Studios
genre: Action Adventure

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
Pentium II or Athlon, 32MB RAM, 850MB HDD
ESRB rating: M
homepage:
blairwitch.godgames.com/

release date: Oct 05, 00
» All About Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock on ActionTrip


November 10, 2000

I actually dreamt about the Blair Witch the other night. Man, I'm the poor bastard here at Action Trip that was ordered to play through the entire Blair Witch series, and I'm telling you, the whole thing is starting to get to me... It's like I'm lost in this maze of stupid Blair Witch games and I can't get out! They gave me the assignment 'cause they knew I thought the original movie was crap, and that the sequel is certain to surpass it in the level of sheer crappiness (what an idiotic sense of humor I say), but what they didn't tell me was that I won't be reviewing games. Instead, I'd be reviewing interactive demos that portray a myriad of Burkettsville related legends using the Nocturne engine.

Wait, I have a proposition. Instead of cutting down all them trees in the Amazon forest, why not just cut down the damn woods in central Maryland, and put an end to this whole Blair Witch charade? Yeah, just shred through the whole damn forest, and build luxury villas or something. Then buy pit bulls to guard the residences, and if one of them devilish Blair Witch's dogs show up, just whistle, and let Rambo and Rocky (dogs' names, fool) tear their unholy guts out!

Yeah, this horror game's got me screamin': why me, God?! For all the wrong reasons... It's not scary, far from it... It's even less scary than Vol. 1, and it certainly isn't as pretty. It's just so uninventive, shallow and downright haunted that I can't even bring myself to write half of the things I was regularly shouting while I was playing it. At one point though, because of this stupid bug that is as stupid as any other bug out there, but far more frustrating, I even thought about kicking my beloved monitor. Fortunately, I came to my senses after drinking a bottle of Tequila and continuing to play the game drunk, like a 60-year-old manically depressive seadog. I had to jump straight to this bug before I burry the game some more, 'cause it's one of those wicked, haunted bugs that creeps in disguised as an in-game puzzle, and then tortures you for a couple of hours before you realize that the game won't let you finish a key action that propels the plot forward if you hit the escape key during an ongoing in-game cut scene. Great... Unfortunately, these nerve-wrecking bugs seem to be a common occurrence in Human Head Studios' games. I also had the genuine pleasure of reviewing their excellent Viking game, Rune, which was able to compensate some of the code glitches with outstanding game design and great gameplay, but Blair Witch Vol. 2 just has no excuse whatsoever.

So, what is so horrible about the Vol. 2 game that made me write such ghastly things about a game powered by a nice engine, and utilizing the luxury of a marketable license? Well if you've read my Vol. 1 review you should know by now my position on the Nocturne engine. It's a great looking piece of code, but it's just not fit for action games! The controls are terribly sluggish, and the camera makes you dizzy. There's just no way you could fire up a DM game with this technology. On the other hand, the Nocturne engine does boast some great lighting/shadow atmospheric effects, and some genuinely decent models. Alas, Vol. 2 didn't even get this part right, which I thought was a given. The environments look bleached, simple and unimaginative and the models don't look anywhere near the quality of Vol. 1. Our hero Lazarus, well, he looks like he's seen a ghost! I mean all right, the guy came back from the dead, but unless my monitor has the RGB settings all screwed up, he also looks - blue?! For crying out loud, somebody in the game must've noticed he looks like an alien from the Galaxy X with a Clint Eastwood voice over. It's like:

NPC1: Lazarus, will you join our search party? (Whispering to the other search party members) Psst... guys... his skin is blue, but let's not upset him too much. Try not to mention that to him. They say he had a near death experience a while ago...

LAZARUS: Well (Imagine Clint Eastwood talking) I reckon I won't be tagging along with you gentlemen. I'm off to look for that little girl by myself.

NPC2: Yeah, sure Lazarus... You might think about eating a few apples or some horsemeat. They say it's good for the skin... ugh... I mean blood.

LAZARUS: Hmm...

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HIGHS
Er, that flashback idea is kinda neat;

LOWS
Ugh, shallow, lacking any gameplay. Made me wanna kill somebody.

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