In Real Life

Community Review: The Witness

OK, rough show of hands – who among you has been playing The Witness?

This goddamn game man. This goddamn game.

It’s been a while since I’ve played something like this: a video game that oscillates wildly between making you feel like a genius and making you feel like an utter buffoon. There’s no in between.
If anything, The Witness has been a wake-up call for my truly terrible spatial reasoning. I have a problem friends. I have a real problem.

Here’s how bad it’s gotten: yesterday I drew on my television. I literally drew on my television. I got a blue magic marker and I drew on my TV like a low level Russell Crowe from A Beautiful Mind.
I’ve never played a game that made me draw on my TV before.

I am enjoying The Witness. It’s actually a tremendously beautiful video game the island is beautiful and dense with detail. I’m enjoying the fact that, on some level, the game is teaching you how to play, how to get through the puzzles, but part of me wonders if the openness of it makes things a little less accessible than necessary.

The Witness has a Dark Souls approach. No routes are necessarily blocked, they are blocked by puzzle language. If you haven’t learned the ‘language’ of certain puzzles, then your progress is often blocked. This results in a lot of dead exploration and frustration. I usually like this kind of structure, but I think s little more guidance in the beginning might have been nice.


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