"Where am I? Who the hell am I? What's going on?
Is this some sort of weird prison? An experiment?
If so, then I am the damned lab rat. Not sure what I think about that idea.
But something tells me, that the only way off of this island, is solve these blasted puzzles.
Maybe just maybe they'll help me remember just who the heck I am anyway.
I only hope I like the answers..."
The above sums up the premise of the game. The Witness is a mystery within a mystery.
As said the guy (or is it a woman?) has no idea as to who they are, where the Island is or why they are there.
What you are presented with is a series of logic puzzles that get more and more complex as the game progresses and the tale unfolds. It's a sandbox affair, you are open to explore more or less where you want to go once past the opening section.
And it all seems pleasant enough, there are no menacing shadows (at least to start with) and no monsters with slavering jaws to jump out at you. In fact that perhaps, is the most unsettling thing about the island, the absence of life besides yourself. And then there are the strange petrified people lying around the place or are they statues?
But you'll soon realise that the island is a lot bigger than you would expect. Take your time because it will take time to explore the island fully. But it's possible to complete this without doing every single puzzle, but the completists amongst you may well find that this is the ultimate goal.
Like Everyone's Gone to the Rapture it will take some time to unravel the mystery (no spoilers, sorry but that's how we roll around here) and some puzzles take some working out. It won't hold your hand but it won't club you over the head either with too sharp a learning curve.
Puzzles range from a sort of join the dots/complete a maze to others involving objects and getting them to interact with each other. Think of (for those of you who remember it) a 3-D first person version of the Adventure Game (only minus Dragons and Aspidistras!). It is not a point and click style adventure, which have made a come back as of late (see Silence review, when that gets published or Her Majesty's Spiffing) but controlled by the sticks and direction pad.
It sure is but not in a survival horror style, it just has it's own sense of mystery and suspense. It has a minimalistic soundtrack, no bird song, no music to speak of though you will hear water running etc but it all adds to the tension.
Bold and colourful and nicely rendered. Something about this game sort of reminds me of No Man's Sky in it's style and that's not an insult in my mind. It's crisp and clear and pleasing to my eye at least.
An engaging title that will encourage you to think outside the box and look at it from some very obtuse angles. It won't take too long to complete but you won't breeze through it either. No DLC that I have heard about so far but there's enough to keep you occupied.
Thought provoking, challenging and above all else entertaining in it's own way.
Thanks X Box for the code and the brain ache! Good stuff, well worth a look if you enjoyed Rapture.