The Blair Witch Project (video games)

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The Blair Witch video games are a trilogy of Survival Horror action-adventure games (for Windows-based PCs), spun off from the backstory of the hit horror The Blair Witch Project. All three games use the Nocturne Engine and were published by Gathering of Developers, although each game was developed by a different team.

Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr[edit]

Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr

Developer(s) Terminal Reality
Publisher(s) Gathering of Developers
Distributor(s) Take 2
Engine Nocturne Engine
Platform(s) Windows PC
Release date(s) 3 October 2000 (US release)
Genre(s) Action-adventure game Survival Horror
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution CD-ROM

While Volume 1 is intended to take place within the fictional universe of the Blair Witch Project, the game is technically also a sequel to Nocturne, the game for which the trilogy's engine was originally developed. Elspeth "Doc" Holliday was a minor character in Nocturne, with several other characters from that game also appearing, including Master Khen Rigzin, Coronel Hapscomb, General Biggs, an unnamed secretary, Svetlana Lupescu, and The Stranger appearing at the start of the game. The Stranger reappears later in the game, on the fourth day, as the player's partner. Some enemies from Nocturne such as bat-like creatures and a werewolf also appear in the beginning of the game in the training session.

The story takes place in the year 1941, and with the exception of the opening section in the Spookhouse HQ, the game takes place over four days. Research scientist Elspeth "Doc" Holliday is dispatched to the town of Burkittsville by the Spookhouse, a fictional classified government agency charged with investigating paranormal occurrences.

It is reported that during the early 1940s, a hermit named Rustin Parr abducted seven children from Burkittsville and, apparently without motive, murdered all but one in his basement. He forced the surviving child, Kyle Brody, to stand in a corner and listen to the screams of the children being tortured and murdered. Afterwards Rustin Parr left his house in the forest, walked into town, and said to a local shopkeeper, "I'm finally finished."

The player must guide Holliday through her investigations, to see if there is any truth to Parr's claims that he was under the influence of otherworldly forces when he committed the murders. The investigation includes conversing with inhabitants of the town and analysing clues. Action sequences occur intermittently in the woods where the legendary Blair Witch is rumored to live, as well as in nightmare sequences in which the inhabitants of the town seem to become Daemites (demonic zombies). The story of Rustin Parr, minus the involvement of Holliday, was described briefly in The Blair Witch Project, and more fully in the pseudo-documentary Curse of the Blair Witch, which accompanied the DVD release of the film.

The main antagonist of the series is not actually the Blair Witch, but a demon called Hecaitomix. It is explained through the game and the series that this demon controlled and possessed others, like Elly Kedward, and (through Kyle Brody) influenced Rustin Parr.

The game contains references from David Lynch's Twin Peaks. There are several references in the game, most notably a Dale Cooper facsimile making a cameo appearance in the Burketsville Diner, directly using quotes from the television show ("Damn fine cup of coffee... and Hot!"). His name is given as "Hale" only when chatting to him while the town sheriff is present.

Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock[edit]

Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock
Developer(s) Human Head Studios
Publisher(s) Gathering of Developers
Distributor(s) Take 2
Engine Nocturne Engine
Platform(s) Windows PC
Release date(s) 25 October 2000 (US release)
Genre(s) Action-adventure gameSurvival Horror
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution CD-ROM

The second installment of the game is based on a story that was related briefly in the first game and the original movie. It is the tale of a Union soldier during the American Civil War, who is mortally wounded in battle and left for dead. As he slips into unconsciousness, he hears a mysterious voice say, "Your time is not up yet, soldier. I have need of you yet!". Sure enough, his time is not up - a young girl called Robin Weaver finds him and helps him back to the isolated house where she lives with her grandmother, Bess.

While he heals, he has a number of hallucinations and a near-death experience, in which he learns, but does not fully comprehend, that Robin is in danger. When he awakes, it is discovered that he is suffering from amnesia, and cannot remember who he is. The only clue to his past is the uniform he wears. Since he cannot remember his name, Robin's grandmother, a devout Christian, temporarily names him Lazarus.

Robin's grandmother, with the soldier now in her debt, informs him that Robin has disappeared into the woods and begs him to find her. She is convinced that "the woods have her". The soldier regards this as paranoia, and thinks that Robin has simply gone to play in the woods and is late in returning. Bess is insistent, however, and the soldier reluctantly agrees to help in the search for Robin.

As the game progresses, Lazarus recalls elements of his past, by means of flashback game sequences, which slowly explain how the current events come to be.

Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale[edit]

Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale
Developer(s) Ritual Entertainment
Publisher(s) Gathering of Developers
Distributor(s) Take 2
Engine Nocturne Engine
Platform(s) Windows PC
Release date(s) 21 November 2000 (US release)
Genre(s) Action-adventure gameSurvival Horror
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution CD-ROM

The final episode of the trilogy is an original story that was not mentioned in the film, although it was briefly referred to in the first two games. It is basically an origin story, telling of how the Blair Witch legend came to be, set in 1785, in the early days of the Blair Township (later renamed Burkittsville). The story's main character is Jonathan Prye, a former priest who left the clergy during a crisis of faith. Prye, now a witch-hunter, is called to Blair to investigate events related to the disappearance of a woman called Elly Kedward a few weeks earlier.

Elly Kedward was accused of witchcraft after it was found she had been drawing blood from the local children and performing pagan rituals. She was tried, convicted and sentenced to be banished from the town. Instead, the locals tied her to a wheelbarrow, dragged her into the nearby woods and left her to freeze to death. Kedward disappeared from the wheelbarrow to which she was tied, and was never seen again.

A few days later, children from the township began to disappear, and the terrified villagers began to flee — with only the local magistrate, Jonah, and the township's chaplain, Father Hale Goodfellow, remaining behind. Father Goodfellow is convinced that a supernatural force is at work; Jonah, a skeptic, refuses to believe this, assuming Kedward is behind the kidnappings and is still at large near the town.

There are also two people who are locked in a jail in the town: Hirrum Heathtow is a drunk, and Elizabeth Styler is a supposed witch who was arrested when she was found in Elly's house, reciting strange phrases.

The player must guide Prye through his investigation, to discover what happened to Elly Kedward.

Reception[edit]

Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 71.58%[1]
Metacritic 73/100[2]
Review scores
Publication Score
Adventure Gamers 2/5 stars[3]
AllGame 3.5/5 stars[4]
Eurogamer 9/10[5]
Game Informer 6.75/10[6]
GamePro 4/5 stars[7]
Game Revolution B[8]
GameSpot 7.1/10[9]
GameSpy 92%[10]
GameZone 8.3/10[11]
IGN 6.8/10[12]
PC Gamer US 70%[13]
Maxim 8/10[14]

On Metacritic, a site which aggregates normalized review scores, Volume 1 has the highest average score of the trilogy with 73 out of 100.[2] GameRankings also gave it 71.58%.[1] GameSpot awarded the game a 7.1 out of 10, praising its atmosphere but calling its combat "mediocre".[9] Eurogamer also highlights the game's atmosphere but said this about the game's length:

"Sadly, there is one big crux as far as Rustin Parr goes, and that's longevity. Like a film or book with a twist in the tail and an engrossing story-line, you can happily read it again and the odd bit here or there will make more sense, but you'll never get quite the same level of enjoyment out of it as you did before. Add to this the fact that Rustin Parr is over in what seems like an instant and you have cause for some alarm."[5]

ActionTrip was more critical of the game and awarded it a 5.9 out of 10. Cited are its "bad controls", "godawful camera angles" and its re-purposing of a classic adventure game engine for a more action-oriented game. On the positive side of things, the author approved of the game's story and mood.[15]

Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 56.42%[16]
Metacritic 56/100[17]
Review scores
Publication Score
ActionTrip 3.3/10[18]
Eurogamer 6/10[19]
GamePro 3.5/5 stars[20]
Game Revolution D[21]
GameSpot 6.7/10[22]
GameSpy 70%[23]
GameZone 8/10[24]
IGN 6.7/10[25]
PC Gamer US 48%[26]

Blair Witch Volume 2: Coffin Rock was met with mixed reception upon release. GameRankings gave it a score of 56.42%,[16] while Metacritic gave it 56 out of 100.[17]

Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 59.10%[27]
Metacritic 55/100[28]
Review scores
Publication Score
ActionTrip 5.5/10[29]
AllGame 2/5 stars[30]
Eurogamer 3/10[31]
Game Revolution C−[32]
GameSpot 4/10[33]
GameSpy 69%[34]
IGN 6.8/10[35]
PC Gamer US 37%[36]

Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale was also met with mixed reception upon release. GameRankings gave it a score of 59.10%,[27] while Metacritic gave it 55 out of 100.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Blair Witch Volume I: Rustin Parr for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Fournier, Heidi (20 May 2002). "Blair Witch Volume 1". Adventure Gamers. Archived from the original on 17 September 2002. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Chung, Terry. "Blair Witch Vol. 1: Rustin Parr - Review". Allgame. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Bramwell, Tom (1 October 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 1 : Rustin Parr Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Brogger, Kristian (December 2000). "Blair Witch Volume One: Rustin Parr". Game Informer (92): 135. Archived from the original on 14 November 2004. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Brian Wright (10 October 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr Review for PC on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on 7 February 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  8. ^ White, A.A. (September 2000). "Blair Witch Volume One: Rustin Parr Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Dulin, Ron (27 September 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Buecheler, Christopher "shaithis" (25 September 2000). "Blair Witch Volume One: Rustin Parr". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 21 September 2004. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  11. ^ Lambert, Jason (17 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr Review - PC". GameZone. Archived from the original on 17 March 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  12. ^ Lopez, Vincent (17 October 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr". IGN. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr". PC Gamer. 2001. 
  14. ^ Porter, Alex (27 September 2000). "The Blair Witch Project [sic] Volume 1: Rustin Parr". Maxim. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  15. ^ Jojic, Uros "2Lions" (26 October 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr Review". ActionTrip. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Blair Witch Volume II: The Legend of Coffin Rock for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock Critic Reviews for PC". Metacritic. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  18. ^ Jojic, Uros "2Lions" (10 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock Review". ActionTrip. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Bramwell, Tom (16 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock". Eurogamer. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  20. ^ Brian Wright (31 October 2000). "Blair Witch 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock Review for PC on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on 13 March 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  21. ^ White, A.A. (November 2000). "Blair Witch Project Volume 2: Legend of Coffin Rock[sic] Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  22. ^ Park, Andrew (2 November 2000). "Blair Witch 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  23. ^ Williams, Bryn (9 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 23 September 2004. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  24. ^ Lambert, Jason (21 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock 1886 [sic] Review - PC". GameZone. Archived from the original on 21 February 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  25. ^ Lopez, Vincent (31 October 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock". IGN. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  26. ^ "Blair Witch 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock". PC Gamer: 88. February 2001. 
  27. ^ a b "Blair Witch Volume III: The Elly Kedward Tale for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  28. ^ a b "Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale Critic Reviews for PC". Metacritic. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  29. ^ Jojic, Uros "2Lions" (9 December 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale Review". ActionTrip. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  30. ^ Tresca, Michael. "Blair Witch Vol. 3: The Elly Kedward Tale - Review". Allgame. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  31. ^ Bramwell, Tom (10 February 2001). "Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  32. ^ White, A.A. (November 2000). "Blair Witch Vol. 3: The Elly Kedward Tale Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  33. ^ Park, Andrew (22 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  34. ^ McConnaughy, Tim (9 November 2000). "Blair Witch 3". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 12 January 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  35. ^ Lopez, Vincent (28 November 2000). "Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale". IGN. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  36. ^ Williamson, Colin (April 2001). "Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale". PC Gamer: 90. Archived from the original on 11 March 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]