Upcoming 'Blair Witch' Horror Game Goes Back to the Found Footage Classic

During Microsoft’s E3 2019 conference, we saw expected things like Gears of War 5 and Halo Infinite, but something really special and strange popped up during prime time: Blair Witch.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/j5wa8d/upcoming-blair-witch-horror-game-goes-back-to-the-found-footage-classic

find 8 pages in this forest or the blair witch will do a jump scare on you

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I liked the first Blair Witch game A LOT.

That was an interesting thing for the time, it was released episodically to retailers not too long after the first movie came out, like a new disk was sent every week or so over a month, and filled in basically every secret/weird thing in the movie.

But the games were cool, they were made by Terminal Reality and on the same engine they used for Nocturne, and they made the investigation agency from Nocturne part of the canon of the Blair Witch stuff. It was a fun coincidence since they have the game take place at the time the agency from Nocturne was around so it’s set right after the murders in the movie had taken place decades ago. The story goes into some relatively crazy territory regarding the meaning of the symbol in the movie and such that goes into like time travel, possession, etc. stuff that was really effective.

Mostly because of the presentation, the game used a lot of simple but effective tricks to mess with you that were awesome for the time like having your map not line up at certain times and doling out information to you non-linearly so like you get audio recordings of stuff that doesn’t quite make sense at the time but then does later when you realize that they’re from years in the future. You can tell Terminal Reality was really into Twin Peaks itself and really nailed the mysterious shit in the woods kind of feel. Great camera angles in the game too, a must for any Resident Evil-like. :smiley:

Anyway I hope this game is rad too because I love that stuff.

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So, for those who haven’t seen the newest movie, there are a few things to know about this game that might make you think, “Wait, this wasn’t in Blair Witch.”

Overall, the new film is fine, but it’s overly reliant on jump scares when the original Blair Witch was all about atmosphere.

The new film deals a lot in time displacement. Basically, the kids in the original Blair Witch weren’t LOST, they were actually stuck in some weird space that wouldn’t allow them to leave. It’s the same in the new movie, only in the film there are a number of other things going on. For one, night time does not end. The gang find themselves with clocks that say something like noon, and it’s still pitch black outside. Also, certain characters leave the space, then return having said they’ve been lost for a week while it has only been a night for our characters. There’s also a small twist in the film where the characters at the beginning find a video on youtube that they THINK is Heather running around in the house, but then the audience realizes in the end of the film that the tape is actually of the newer gang trying to find Heather. The ‘woods’ spat out the tape from the future to lead them into the woods.

This opens a lot of implications for what this new game will play with in terms of tone and storytelling, so I can see the game being a lot more Silent Hill than Blair Witch.

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I didn’t see the new movie but that spoilered part is awesome because it means the previous video game’s stuff is like, Actual Canon and that was always how they planned for this to work.

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Oh shit, they did time displacement stuff in the Rustin Parr games?

Are they on GoG? I’ve always wanted to try them.

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I don’t believe it’s available on anything digitally, but the games were re-released in a single package at a budget price pretty regularly and IIRC included as freebies with DVD release of the two movies fairly regularly back then so it’s probably a case where just getting the actual disks will be pretty easy.

I still have mine, I should see if I can get them working on Windows 10.

What’s the deal with Terminal Reality anyway? Seems like only the Bloodrayne games are around on digital platforms today. Nocturne and the Rustin Parr games are “outdated” today but to me they were really good as far as the static screen Resident Evil style games go.

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So according to the store page, the guys behind Layers of Fear are working on this new game.

Neat!

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Yeah, I’m SUPER into all of this. Especially with the Layers of Fear/Observer devs because I haven’t played either but I’ve heard they’re pretty good?

My favorite part of the Giant Bomb stream was when they had that scene in the trailer, and everyone was all “you can’t do that! You can’t just Blair Witch it!” Then, after a few seconds pause, Vinny (I think) kind of sheepishly, “maybe it’s Blair Witch?”

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I’m very excited about this game! Both the original movie and remake I enjoyed a lot and to see there is a game coming out makes me excited! Especially since it is being developed by the Layers of Fear team and I loved that game! I wasn’t aware there were already Blair Witch games out back in 2000? Maybe I should see if they work with windows 10.

Patrick played through the Rustin Parr game on Giant Bomb back in 2013-2014. It was a lot of fun.

You can find the videos on the site if you have a Premium subscription.

I was always intrigued by the old Blair Witch games. So much about them fits with the strange feeling I had around the whole Blair Witch when I was a kid.

As I was quite young, I was pretty taken in by the whole “it’s really found footage” thing, and so it became bemusing when there was loadsa merch and these games. I still kind of believed it was all real, and I remember racking my brain over… “so, are these video game tie-ins based on the real events, too?”

As I got older and more savvier, they remain kind of fascinating still. Those old polygon sorta graphics that I have that weird nostalgia for… the fact that the Twin Peaks influence extends to (if I recall correctly) Dale Cooper himself inexplicably being a character in the game. Ultimately (now that I have actually seen and enjoyed the film as an adult) I’m interested in how they might relate to that weird mythology – my favourite thing about the film is how, underneath its minimalism, there is this odd feeling of that mythology pulsing beneath every aspect of the film. I’ve never seen anything that captures that exact feeling.

So, that’s why I’m sort of apprehensive with this new game. I still haven’t seen the new film because it just struck me as a bit too polished and horror-y, like it’d dilute the wellspring of strangeness that I associate with the original film (and I guess the immediate tie-ins and sequels, fascinating documents of trying to make a franchise out of something that kind of welcomes it with one hand and totally resists it in another). I’m still always seduced by found footage simply because there’s stuff that BWP did that I don’t think has ever been replicated since, even as the sub-genre has become a cliche in itself.

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