At E3 2019, Microsoft scared the bejeezus out of gamers everywhere with the announcement and gameplay reveal of Blair Witch, a new first-person, story-driven psychological horror game based on the movies.
At a news-filled keynote on Sunday at E3 2019, Microsoft revealed the trailer for Blair Witch, a survival horror video game that appears to use a unique gameplay device involving a VHS camcorder. (It wouldn’t be Blair Witch if it didn’t.) There is also a cute companion German shepherd who better not die.
Twenty years after 1999’s The Blair Witch Project, it’s time to return to Black Hills Forest. Here’s everything we know so far about Blair Witch.
When Is the Blair Witch Release Date? And on What Consoles?
The game is coming a lot sooner than you think: Blair Witch will be released on August 30 this year for Xbox One and PC (Steam). The date is just over a month past the twentieth anniversary of the original film’s release on July 14, 1999.
What Is the Game All About?
Blair Witch is a new entry to the saga that brings horror fans back to the infamous Black Hills Forest. Developed by Polish studio Blooper Team, the game takes place in September 1996 as players control Ellis, “a former police officer with a troubled past” who investigates the disappearance of a boy.
Along with Ellis is a loyal German shepherd and a VHS camcorder, which echoes the movies. It is unknown exactly how the camera works as a tool in the game, but it seems Ellis discovers footage of himself exploring the woods that are taped by a mysterious observer.
As the game’s official statement teases, “What starts as an ordinary investigation soon turns into an endless nightmare as you confront your fears and the Blair Witch, a mysterious force that haunts the woods.”
Where Can I Watch the Game’s Trailer?
You can watch it in the embed below.
How Is It Like the Blair Witch Movies?
Besides the fact that it’s a first-person narrative game, the setting itself — Black Hills Forest — will distort itself in the same disorienting way the hapless protagonists of the films experienced the cursed grounds.
On the official website, the developers explain: “Navigate your way through a cursed forest that wraps and distorts both time and space.”
Fans will recall this specific instance happening in the end of the 2016 film, which (spoilers!) revealed a sort of “time loop” that trapped the characters.
How Is It “Psychological”?
It is unknown how the game will pull this off, but Blooper Team promises that Blair Witch will tailor itself to the individual playing the game. As the official website teases, “How you react to danger and behave under pressure will ultimately teach you more about yourself.”
Wait, I’m Young. WTF Is Blair Witch?
For older millennials, we might still remember the tagline: “In October of 1994 three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland, while shooting a documentary. A year later their footage was found.”
That was the tagline to the hit 1999 horror film, The Blair Witch Project. Directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, the film followed a group of teenagers lost in a Maryland forrest as they investigate a local legend known as the “Blair Witch.” In 2016, a sequel directed by Adam Wingard and set in the modern day, titled Blair Witch, was released in theaters.
The original film was a major hit that grossed a whopping $250 million against a meager budget of $60,000, making it one of the most successful independent films of all time. Its biggest legacy is how it introduced the genre of found footage movies to a mainstream audience, which paved the way for films like Cloverfield (2008) and Paranormal Activity (2009).
Blair Witch will be released on Xbox and PC on August 30.