Back on the content grind. Alright y’all, let’s talk about Blair Witch. Bloober Team’s latest offering to the eldritch gods who mandate at least one good horror game a year, Blair Witch is a pretty faithful continuation of the spooky mythology surrounding the Black Hills Forest and Burkittsville, Maryland. You follow a man, Ellis, as he and his dog search for a missing child. Spooky things ensue, some of them real and some of them the figment of Ellis’s traumatized imagination.

I can sense y’all already starting to get bored so let me cut to the chase: I’m not as big into this game as I was Layers of Fear or Observer, it’s nowhere near as good as Remedy’s Control, and it’s a lot tamer than a game like Outlast, but here’s why I can see myself continuing: we have a dog as previously mentioned, his name is Bullet, he is very soft, and I love him more than I have loved anyone in my entire life.

There are mechanics in this horror game that I rather like. The flashlight only dies temporarily and doesn’t require us to scavenge every inch of this forest for batteries. It’s also our weapon, basically taking an entire mechanic from Alan Wake but – listen, it’s fine. We get a camera that can… do stuff to time and space (saying anymore would be spoilers), and that’s pretty neat. And we have a walkie-talkie and a cell phone which we can and do use regularly.

The best mechanics in the game, however, are the ones reserved for Bullet. You can call him back to you if he runs off too far. You can have him heel to stay close to you. You can tell him to search and fetch. But most importantly, YOU! CAN! PET! THE! DOG! (there’s also a “reprimand” command but first of all how FUCKING dare you)

I have fallen into precisely the trap I feared I would fall into. I am rooting for this dog’s whole-ass victory against the Forest, against the Blair Witch, against all the rotten forces at work here. I don’t really think I like Ellis, he’s kind of an asshole, but as Bullet’s friend I at least want him to live so someone can give Bullet those good good pets for me, a person who has a dog who loves them very much and would like some pets too. In fact, I think I’m gonna go pet my dog in solidarity with Bullet.


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One thought on “First Impressions: Blair Witch is a Dog Petting Simulator With Jumpscares

  1. I do love a faithful dog in games, but they do frustrate me a lot when they survive in movies against impossible odds such as the dog in Independence Day. So I guess my question for you, does this doggo deserve to live or does he have the mythical plot armour of many other dogs?

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