PC gamers can head to the Epic Games Store every week for a rotating selection of free titles. The site has previously given away copies of Grand Theft Auto V, Civilization VI, and plenty more but this week's selection has taken a twisted turn.
The gaming platform recently updated its offerings to include a smorgasbord of scary and Halloween-themed titles to celebrate the month of October. That included an interactive psychological thrill ride inspired by one of the most iconic supernatural horror films.
Blair Witch (2019) is now available for free on the Epic Games Store until November 5 at 11:00 Eastern. Anyone with an Epic Game Store account (which is also free) can permanently claim a digital copy of the survival-horror title if you act quickly. Blair Witch will remain in your Epic Games library even after November 5, but only if you redeem it before this week's offer expires.
Developer Bloober Team, who will soon release the next-generation horror title The Medium, took the cinematic lore of the 1999s film The Blair Witch Project and reinvented it as a first-person, interactive adventure.
Instead of setting off with a team of documentary makers like in the movie, the game puts players in the shoes of a single protagonist named Ellis Lynch. The former police officer and military veteran joins the search for a missing boy in the Black Hills forest in Maryland with his trusted German Shepard companion, Bullet.
The roughly five- to seven-hour plot plays out in a semi-open world where players need to hunt for clues that lead them to various campsites, caverns, and abandoned structures that slowly reveal the supernatural forces that reside in the Black Hills.
Blair Witch masterfully keeps these paranormal entities as malevolent presences meant to disturb players at every turn, instead of making them Slender Man-like monsters that jump out of bushes to scare Ellis.
These moments of suspense are made all the more horrifying through Ellis' eyes since the protagonist suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Bloober Team attempted to simulate the panic attacks that the condition causes its victims through dialog and visual distortions, which was met with mixed reviews.
If the psychological horror doesn't disturb you, then the somewhat insensitive treatment of PTSD just might.
Blair Witch sets itself apart from other survival-horror titles like Outlast and the Amnesia series by forcing players to either stealth past or confront their fears in-game. Anyone looking for a fresh take on the genre should act quickly before the Epic's deal vanishes for good.
Blair Witch is available for free for PC on the Epic Games Store until November 5 at 11 a.m. Eastern.