Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr is one of the scariest games you're likely to experience on the PC in the year 2000. Just like the movie The Blair Witch Project, it contains elements that horrify and send chills down your spine. The developer, Terminal Reality, did an excellent job of presenting a creepy experience that you will never forget.
As with any horror game, the goal is to scare your audience and that's what this game does -- it leaves you with a sense that you are not alone, that someone is watching you. Everything about it will have you running scared from the creepy visuals to the spooky sounds. It's best if you play this by yourself late at night with the speakers turned up to get the full effect.
The biggest problem with the game is the control system. At times, it takes what seems forever to re-center yourself after you turn around and also, when you look up or down, you can get disoriented before you realize you aren't looking straight ahead anymore. This can be very frustrating, especially when you are trying to fight off the many undead creatures in the forest.
What undead creatures in the forest, you may ask? The story, unlike the movie, takes place in 1941 and recounts an investigation by field agent Doc Holliday into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of children in the Burkittsville, Maryland area.
As such, gameplay centers on a decidedly different aspect of the legend and presents it in a way that brings combat reminiscent of Resident Evil to mind. The game works well because it scares us psychologically with the mind games being played by the witch and probably didn't need the horror elements that make it nearly a Resident Evil clone.
Another problem is the length of the game. It is very short and should take only about ten hours to finish. As interesting as the puzzles are, they're a snap to solve and don't take an overly long time to solve. For example, one puzzle requires you to decode a ghostly voice, similar to the film The Sixth Sense. If you've seen that movie, then solving the puzzle will be easy.
Had it not been for these problems, Blair Witch Volume I: Rustin Parr could possibly be considered the most terrifying thing on the PC since the Y2K scare. Still, the game, priced at release at $20, is worth the price of admission. As long as you stay out of the woods, what could go wrong?
Graphics: Graphically, it's very solid. The lighting is frightening and, at times, it's so dark you'll need to use your flashlight the entire time. The Nocturne engine makes the game looks fantastic; with old, run-down buildings that give an eerie feel and only gets better when you head into the woods.
Sound: The sound and music is creepy, voice acting is right on track, and the sound effects are simply awesome.
Enjoyment: If you can get past the awful control, the game is fun to play. The story is very interesting and will have you pressing on for more, although the length is a bit disappointing.
Replay Value: Since gameplay doesn't seem to take much more than 10-hours, the only reason to replay is to re-experience the eerie atmospheres presented by the game.
People who downloaded Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr have also downloaded:
Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock, Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale, American McGee's Alice, Alone in the Dark 4: The New Nightmare, Alone in the Dark, Blade of Darkness, Alone in the Dark 3, Alone in the Dark 2
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