Game release: “The Witness” (PC, PS4)

Puzzle-exploration game The Witness has been in production for a very long time, but it’s finally here, and it sure looks to deliver on open-world adventuring.

For those who don’t know Jonathan Blow, he did a pretty good puzzle-platformer called Braid that was both head-scratchingly difficult, but beautiful in its presentation, while it also told a mature story about how one deals with relationships. While The Witness isn’t solely done by him, but with the help of other designers, the look, feel and gameplay are certainly a further development of the main idea of giving players a hard time to solve all the puzzles.

Usually one is held by both hands in today’s gaming, with endless tutorials and explanations. The Witness simply throws the player into a strange world, an island that is amazing to look at and that hoards many secrets to uncover and puzzles to solve. Those familiar with Myst might see the connection (especially with Eric A. Anderson of Cyan Worlds being involved), but those who also had problems with that game might still find something interesting here.

From the first looks of it, puzzles seem to be connected throughout the island, which can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because one can fully immerse oneself in the environment, a curse because it means walking or rowing around by boat without having a clue what to do. But then again, as Blow stated there should be enough ways to tackle these conundrums without the linearity found in so many adventure games.

Story-wise little is known other than the player waking up on the island, making it all the more mysterious and intriguing to play. It looks already amazing and if the music and sound design are anything to go by, this could be something very special, although the current price for a digital only release is rather steep and it certainly isn’t for everyone. The game will be available on mobile and other platforms as well, although it’s not clear when that will be.

Buy the game for PC on
Steam

Buy the game for PS4 on
the PSN store

Official Website

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About nufafitc

Being an avid gamer, cinemaniac, and bookworm in addition to other things the internet and new media present, I'm also very much into DIY music, rock and pop in particular. Writing short or longer pieces about anything that interests me has always made me happy. As both an editor for German website "Adventure-Treff" and UK website "Future Sack", I like to write reviews and news about recent developments in the movies, games and book industry.
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6 Responses to Game release: “The Witness” (PC, PS4)

  1. Kim 1001Up says:

    I’ve now put almost 20 hours into The Witness… and love and hate it in equal measure!

    • nufafitc says:

      That’s quite a long playtime, and it sounds… appealing and not appealing at the same time ;). Would you say one can enjoy it if one didn’t like the Myst series?

      • Kim 1001Up says:

        There are some similaries to Myst, particularly with regard to atmosphere, but I’d say The Witness was harder! There’s very little hand-holding which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the player isn’t really given much help at all – I’m not going to deny that there have been several moments where curses have been shouted at the screen… 😉

      • nufafitc says:

        Oh my, maybe I’ll pass on this one then. I found Myst too obscure and having no hints can be a dealbreaker. I mean I’m used to some weird logical puzzles, but this sounds not like a lot of fun, even if I love the graphics. Maybe I’ll put it on the “very late to play” list :).

      • Kim 1001Up says:

        Myst had a storyline to pull you through the game, but in all the hours I’ve played The Witness so far I’ve seen hardly any real narrative – I’m hoping the ending is worth all these puzzles! Maybe pick it up in the Steam sale at Christmas. 🙂

      • nufafitc says:

        Or maybe play a game with a story ;)? I guess Jonathan Blow overdid it a bit this time with no hand holding and figuring things out. I found Braid extremely difficult at times, but at least there was structure and a narrative. I think for me an adventure game has to have an engaging or at least a story one can make up as one goes along, like “Journey”. Thanks for your insights, have to check out your final review then ;).

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