When looking at the latest released games there’s no way around The Witness. Watching some gameplay footage and only reading positive things about it, I decided to jump on the hype train. Is it really that good?
The best way to describe this game is puzzle and exploration. Sounds simple, but I can assure you it isn’t. When first starting the game you are immediately dropped on an island without any prologue or explanation of what’s going on. Following the corridor you’ll end up at a locked door with a panel attached to it. Time to solve your first puzzle.
Puzzles in fact start very simple, but the further you get in the game the more and harder you’ll have to think. Yes, in this game you will have to use your brain. And apparently that’s something that I’m not even used to do anymore when playing …
“you will have to learn how to read and apply the game’s syntax”
One of the first puzzles already had me feeling like a complete idiot. WTF!? A couple of minutes later, after giving my brain some work, I thought I had found the solution … or didn’t I? The next puzzle in line proved my theory was wrong and I had to rethink everything. In The Witness you don’t just solve some riddles, you will have to learn how to read and apply the game’s syntax. It’s like learning a new language. Bring a notebook and a pen along the ride, you’ll need it!
Now, the game is much more then just that. Solving puzzles activates cables spread along the island. These cables are connected with other panels and open up new puzzles to complete, making you explore more off the beautiful looking vista’s. Other puzzles activate beams of light opening up other parts of the island. And I have a feeling this is only the beginning …
Graphics and sound wise the game does an outstanding job. The images are crisp and clear and the sceneries show a beautiful color palette. Top notch design! The world also serves another purpose, but that’s something you’ll need to find out by yourself. One thing that may seem weird is that there is absolutely no music. This only adds to the mystique of the island and I feel this was chosen by design. Walking around hearing only the wind blow while the sand is crushing beneath your feet only adds to the experience. Less is more!
Another thing for owners of a PlayStation Vita is that this game is extremely enjoyable via Remote Play. For the few people out there who like to continue their journey on for instance the toilet, you can! Just don’t forget you’ll eventually need to get out of your porcelain throne room.
“The Witness is a more subtle game that even extends itself outside its virtual reality”
I’m aware I’m only saying positive things about this game, but beware though. If you’re more of an action minded player who likes to be blown away by adrenaline packed gameplay this is not the game for you. The Witness is a more subtle game that even extends itself outside its virtual reality. Thinking constantly about how to solve the next riddle I’m stuck on and bringing pictures to work to ask help from my colleagues is an experience I have not often encountered. It’s unique in its kind. If you are up to it, be prepared to spend a lot of time in this beautiful and mind boggling place.