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The Witness


Wools
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Is this one a timed exclusive? My urge to possess a PS4 is gradually increasing.

It seems to be coming out on PC simultaneously, so no.

The 80+ hours make me worry it could be similar to Fez and Talos Principle, in that the game gives you loads of possible avenues of progress, but you feel a little underwhelmed by some of the paths you take. Great as those games were, they could've used a little more focus. None of the ideas in Braid overstayed their welcome, although perhaps that was by necessity.

I can't really believe they made their own engine for this. It looks great. Presumably goes a long way to explain why it's taken so long to get here though. No royalties and complete ownership of the IP means Blow will have an incredible flexibility with what he does in the future, assuming the game does well. He'll basically just have to pay his small staff, and I would've thought even Braid's sales might cover that still (especially if he decides to port it to mobiles, the new consoles, or even Chrome NaCl). If he fancied it, he could even let his company become an incubator for other indies by licensing tech, sharing expertise and offering financing / distribution. You know, like Mojang and Polytron sort of looked like they were going to do for a bit.

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He's already said it will be coming to iOS I think. And the 80hrs will be for completionists it seems. Implying the end screen could be achieved a lot quicker. It's just such a pretty place, that I can't wait to move there for a while. And I love how the puzzle solving method moves off the screens and into the environment.

Now imagine it in VR... On the Rift, and with the touch controllers so you can physically solve the puzzles etc. JB has hinted at VR in the past, though a journo from Ars technica has poo-pooed that after playing the game. We'll see, I guess.

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I feel like The Witness has kind of lost its moment. It seemed like a fresh idea back when Blow announced it (and we were all much younger), but now in the age of the indie "walking simulator", a game where you walk around an environment devoid of life and try to work out what's going on seems pretty well worn.

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But this has over 600 puzzles apparently, and knowing that Blow is behind it I'm sure that there's a bit more to them than simply drawing lines. I don't think that's really comparable to the walking simulators where literally all you do is walk around and listen to bits of story.

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I feel like The Witness has kind of lost its moment. It seemed like a fresh idea back when Blow announced it (and we were all much younger), but now in the age of the indie "walking simulator", a game where you walk around an environment devoid of life and try to work out what's going on seems pretty well worn.

It's a puzzle game, not a walking simulator. That's literally all the game has ever been advertised as.

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It's a puzzle game, not a walking simulator. That's literally all the game has ever been advertised as.

It's been advertised as a large-ish area devoid of people that you explore from a first-person perspective and try to work out what's going on and solve puzzles in. That is practically the definition of a walking simulator, though the puzzles are kind of optional. And for those wanting other examples: Gone Home, Everyone's Going To The Rapture, The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter, The Talos Principle, Ether One, etc etc. All those games have done similar things.

I'm not saying that this won't be a good game. I'm definitely interested in it. But way back in 2009 (!) when this was announced, it seemed like a pretty fresh idea. Now it's an idea that we're rather familiar with.

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I imagined it would be more like Myst than any of those walking simulators. I don't think you can lump something like Gone Home, where the gameplay is comprised entirely of walking around looking at things to trigger bits of story, in with a game like The Talos Principle where there are actually complex puzzles to solve. I loathed Braid - it played like the kind of melancholy, middle-class, girlfriend-obsessed tripe someone off rllmuk would make - but I'm quite looking forward to this.

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To be honest I feel equally worried about Fallout 4. With all these walking simulators that are advertised as a largish area devoid of people that you explore from a first person perspective and try to work out what's going on and shoot people in, that's practically the definition of a walking simulator, though the shooting is kind of optional.

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The video looked clean from a graphical perspective although the bloom was Zelda HD levels of overdone. What it showed in terms of game play looked boring to me but I'm not into these wuzzlers. For the time it's been in development there didn't seem like anything special on show. Team wuzzler will need to evaluate the gameplay and report on whether the years of development were worth it.

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