By CCN Markets: Horror is a genre divided by hardcore enthusiasts and generalists. When one side is pleased, the other is thoroughly dissatisfied. Blair Witch looks poised to prove that accurate by mashing all of the viral horror game trends of the last several years into one heap of not-scary. Mental deterioration a-la Amnesia looks like the only really dread-inducing part of an otherwise lukewarm title.
Animal companion reduces stress and helps you locate solutions. The lovable and loyal pupper who accompanies you on your journey into the depths of insanity seems likely to also alert you to impending threats. Certain map elements require your dog to locate items and perform other small tasks. The poor guy is bound to a guy who is losing his mind and taking him along for the ride.
Blair Witch highlights some elements of mental illness, such as internal vocalization. The game also presents symbolism and hidden text only visible using the camcorder’s perspective. Chasing a rather Slenderman-esque demon (witch) through the woods with only your flashlight to defend yourself sounds all too familiar at this stage.
In 1999, The Blair Witch Project attempted to specialize in perpetually-building dread. This game seems to be a well-meaning attempt to make up for that lacking star-quality through modern, viral methods, but it looks a little too… generalized? to find success within the modern horror scene. We have all seen Slenderman and P.T before, simply remixing those elements doesn’t make them scary again.
Blair Witch, scheduled to launch on August 30, 2019, seems to be lacking the horrifying “X-Factor” which blends horror elements into a terrifying concoction which keeps players awake at night. With Outlast, it was the absolute reliance on your camera to survive inside a twisted mental institution.
With Manhunt, it was a unique blend of security camera footage, criminal presence, and requirement of stealth. For Amnesia, reliance on oil to preserve sanity, JU-ON: The Grudge placed your life in the batteries.
Each of these presents a unique struggle to activate your survival instincts: a quality which Blair Witch has yet to display, despite the recent GamesCom appearance.