GAMESCOM 2019: BLOOBER TEAM
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee & Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on August 26, 2019
I remember when the movie The Blair Witch was released back in 1999. I thought it was one of the most scary things I ever saw. People were freaked out about it and every one was asking themselves if it was real or not. So, when we got the invitation to check out the upcoming game Blair Witch by Bloober Team, I gladly accepted, even though I was scared to death just thinking about it...
Personally I am a big fan of movie, so it is no surprise that I am looking forward to a video game about The Blair Witch. I already saw a trailer and while watching it, I discovered that you will have a dog companion beside you during this adventure (and yes you can pet it). I just have to play it, so I was very lucky to book an appointment with the Bloober Team and see what this game is all about.
Barbara Kcuik is the writer of the game and with a radiant smile she told us about the development of the game we were about to play. Bloober Team wanted to create a game that was inspired by the movie, but not simply copy the by now well-known story. And they added some neat features, which, and I quote "wouldn't work in a movie, but do work well in video games". This demo actually took us to moments in five different chapters of the full game. The start is very relaxed. You take the role of an over-the-hill detective named Ellis and for an as of yet unknown reason, you choose to join the search party for a little boy that went missing. At the edge of the forest you're trying to find out which way the search team went, because they already started searching without you.
But the further this adventure takes you into the forest, the stranger things get. If you know what's good for you, you'll pay close attention to your dog at all times. He can point you in the right direction, collect important items for you and, most importantly, sense danger. At some point I was walking through the forest during night time. It was dark all over the place. Suddenly, my dog started growling and barking because it sensed danger ahead. Brave as I am, I immediately started waving my flashlight in every direction like there was no tomorrow. So yes, it's good that the dog will bark if it senses something dangerous, but it also made me wave my flashlight around like a madman (or mad woman in my case).
The Blair Witch will definitely get you sitting on the edge of your seat and Barbara also told me they can't do that without using jump scares. Now don't start crying in a corner, because the people at Bloober Team also realized that a good horror story is more than just that. A very cool feature in the game is the use of a video camera. Instead of just presenting the entire game through the viewfinder of said camera, you can use it to solve environmental puzzles. Throughout the game you can find tapes which you can watch which your handheld camera. This is actually a way to solve puzzles, because if you stop it at the right moment, events that happened in the video will influence your environment as well. If someone opened a door in the video, the door will also be open in reality, giving you a way to proceed through the game. All you have to do is pause the video tape at the right moment.
I have to apologize to Barbara, because she wanted to help me a couple of times, but every time she gently tapped my shoulder, I almost jumped through the roof! Needless to say, the team did a really good job in creating a scary game, true to the legacy of the movie and I can't wait to play the full game. This will actually not be a long wait, because the game is scheduled for release on August 30, 2019 for PC (Steam) and Xbox One.
GAMESCOM 2019: BLOOBER TEAM
Bloober Team website