The Witness Review
The Witness unfolds on an unnamed island within a vast sea. The island comprises a patchwork pattern of Earth’s biomes, from a snowcapped mountain, to an autumnal forest, to a barren desert. Scattered throughout these habitats are square panels, each covered in mazes of varying complexity. This is the foundation of The Witness’ gameplay–you activate each panel, guide a glowing line through its maze, and continue. Most unlock subsequent puzzles, but some open doors, maneuver platforms, or activate power sources.
What’s remarkable is how The Witness communicates its nuances. Early panels are easy, asking you to guide the line from point A to B on simple grids. After some time, though, new symbols and colours and shapes appear, each conveying their own rules. Some ask you to form silhouettes with your glowing path. Some make you change perspective. Some even require you to break previous rules altogether. And there are never overt instructions as to how these rules work. You learn them through your own intuition and logical reasoning.
It’s also impressive how diverse the puzzles are, and how The Witness manages to keep mazes engaging over the course of 25 plus hours. It’s more impressive when The Witness reveals that its world, and the puzzles therein, aren’t separate; they bleed together. Certain panels seem impossible until environmental clues offer the tell-tale hint. Other panels contain no clues at all, but affect your character’s surroundings in clever ways. The castle at the centre of the island is a shining example–its puzzles spill into the ramparts around them, making you consider the structure in a new light.
Picture courtesy – particlebit.wordpress.com
by techtalks @TechTalks March 17, 2016 4:49 AM UTC