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Blair Witch Volume 1 - Rustin Parr (PC)

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"This is the first in the Blair Witch series of games, developed by Terminal Reality and published by G.O.D. The game is based on the film of the same name in that it revolves around the child murderer Rustin Parr. It is also an unofficial sequel of sorts to Nocturne casting you in the role of Elspeth "Doc" Holliday."

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    8 Reviews
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      15.12.2009 18:54
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      Don't even bother

      Great and hugely influential though the film The Blair Witch Project might be, that doesn't mean that I'm going to let a tawdry video game adaptation off the hook as a result. This, the beginning of a trilogy, doesn't exactly set a good precedent for the others, but in retrospect, depressingly, it is probably the best of the bunch.

      The premise revolves around the murderer, Rustin Parr, who is mentioned in the films as the person who murdered hundreds of kids in a secluded area of Burkitsville, Maryland in the 1900s. You are investigating the legend of Parr, and along the way, are assailed by numerous grotesque monsters, while combining this with heavy puzzle solving elements. While the game benefits from a creepy mood, that's about as far as my praise for it will go.

      The main problem is that the gameplay isn't as interesting or as fun as the plot; thankfully the game has a feature that takes note of any important finds (as, believe me, you will spend long periods of time away from this game), but the main problem is that the puzzle and action elements just don't mesh that well. After sitting through an infuriatingly long training mode that cannot be skipped, you'll get a game that is hindered by some of the most elementary of gaming problems, such as dodgy camera angles and an auto aim system that has you aiming all over the place, usually miles away from where the enemy is!

      Although it has mood and atmosphere, this can't compensate for an otherwise poorly devised game that's got unforgivably bad gameplay and mechanics that should have been ironed out in product testing.

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      18.01.2002 23:03
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      I really enjoyed the Blair witch project films so when I spotted the game in my local electronics boutique I was over the moon, so I went ahead and bought it, I wasn’t disappointed. Rustin Parr is the first in a series of three games that delve into the unanswered questions surrounding the myth of the Blair witch. The game is set in 1941, and you play the role of a government special investigator called Doc Holliday and you have to battle against the ancient evil that drove a hermit named Rustin Parr into abducting and murdering seven children in the town of Burkittsville in Maryland. On your travels you will interact with terror stricken towns folk, investigate deep hidden legends and strange rituals, and seek to unravel a twisted mystery that still haunts the whole town. It is quite easy to move around once you get used to the controls and the graphics are very good. The recommended spec is: WINDOWS:95/98,NT with service pack 3 CPU:PentiumMMX,Celeron,Pentium2,or Athlon at 233 MHZ or higher VIDEO:OPENGL compatible video card with at least 4md video memory SOUND:any directX compatible card DISK SPACE:850 MB CD-ROM:x4

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        12.12.2000 03:57
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        The question, when these games were first announced, was how? How can you make a game about three students getting lost in some woods? It doesn't make for some action packed gameplay. The answer was to go back in time. Volume 1 is the earliest of the three games in which you take the role of Elspeth Holliday, an investigator for Spookhouse, who has been asked to investigate the killings of Rustin Parr in the town of Burkitsville. Thus begins a happy four days of asking questions, uncovering secrets and going into the woods. This is an adventure game but it has its limits. There are not that many puzzles to solve and you only really need to pester the inhabitants of Burkitsville to get anywhere. It doesn't take long to get some action and soon enough you are shooting zombies, 'shadow creatures', dogs and some weird stick figures. (Although it seems weird because we saw no such things in the woods when we saw Heather and Co) So how does it do? Well it’s okay but not overly spectacular. The graphics are exceptional in places, and the Nocturne engine couldn’t be used in a better game, the lighting effects are used to make for some jumpy moments moving through the woods. However some of the faces of characters could have done with some improving. The sound is where it really shines. You'll hear many things in the woods and you wont be quite sure where they will be it's a haunting experience. Also on a side note some of the voice acting is actually very well done. The combat and general movement is what lets this game down in a bad way. It’s just too clumsy. You cant open doors with a weapon in hand, you can easily end up running into a tree (resulting the something killing you) and aiming at creatures can (sometimes) be at fault. The game can get a bit repetitive, go into woods, look around etc, but it never gets truly boring. People who liked the Bla
        ir Witch movie will love this game because of the extra information on the Blair Witch 'myth'. All in all it’s not a bad game and, for £19.99, although it is shorter than most games, the quality is still there. If you liked the BWP play it, if you didn’t then wait till it gets a bit cheaper.

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        06.12.2000 03:03
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        Unless you lived under a rock last year you know that Blair Witch was a big, and unexpected, box office blockbuster. A sequel is just out and with it a series of three games based around the legends the movies are based on. Each game in the series was developed by a different developer using the Nocturne game engine, volume 1 from Terminal Reality is the subject of this review. You play the part of Doctor Elspeth Holliday, a researcher and sometimes field agent for the Spookhouse, a top secret group of witch hunters, vampire slayers and investigators of the supernatural. Sort of a 1930's era X-Files team. Your mission is to investigate the ritualistic murder of seven children in the town of Burkittsville, home to the legends of the Blair Witch, and eliminate the evil behind them. There are almost two modes of play in Rustin Parr... puzzle solving and combat. These tend not to be combined very much. You hunt for clues and talk to people, solving puzzles mostly in town, and run around trying to kill and not be killed mostly in the woods. I found this really impacted game pacing in a negative way, I'd have enjoyed the combat more if it was sprinkled throughout a little better rather than being so focused that it broke up the pace of play entirely. The game is played from a third person perspective. You control Doc Holliday as she moves throughout the world. If you point at something that can be interacted with it will highlight very subtly and you then click to use, pick up, or what have you the object. Assuming you don't have a weapon drawn that is... then clicking fires away. Movement is done via the keyboard, and direction is handled with the mouse. The game interface is elegantly simple... so simple that it has an impact on play in a negative way at times. The best example of this is that you can't switch to a particular weapon at will... you have to cycle through the options. When a monster is bashing on you this
        is annoying to say the least and crucial too since many monsters can only be effected with a single weapon. The other trouble with the combat system is aiming... I found it often awkward since camera angles can switch in combat and you have to both line up your shots and deal with the mouse snap auto aiming which had me over adjusting too often and wasting precious ammunition. So much for combat... except to say I thought there was too much and it was often a bit too hard even on the normal setting. I didn't try the hard setting. As for the adventure aspect of the game it is pretty much entirely linear. You'll be given tasks in your checklist as you talk to people or find items in the game. How you tick these off and when you can move from the town to the woods are gated by you accomplishing specific tasks. That wasn't too annoying... but sometimes the tasks themselves were. As an example there is a sound analysis puzzle that is essentially trial and error with a lot of possible settings rather than being logical. That wasn't good. But the worst bit of the game was the endless wandering in the woods. You cover the same mazelike paths with switching camera angles so much you get used to them eventually... but you end up having to switch back and forth on the map too much. To make matters infinitely worse the paths change on you... purposely making you lost as a feature of the plot. Yuck. On the plus side, the plot was solid and there were things I really didn't expect around every corner... it is engaging in this way. The trouble with the game is slogging through the mechanics to get at the information about the legends and unfold the plot. Sure the game looks good, sounds good, and sometimes scares you but mostly it just annoys you as you fight your way through game mechanics that do more to detract than enhance the experience. And really, with some changes to the level design, combat frequency and a few other
        things this really could have been a fun game, especially at the budget price. If you are a big fan of the movie(s) and want to try a game that explores more of the legends surrounding them, then Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr might be worth the effort. But for adventure fans there is too much aggravation and not enough good things here to get excited about. Graphics, Sounds, etc. The improved Nocturne game engine sure does look great! The visuals are excellent throughout in the 3D world. Animation is generally first rate as well. My only real complaint is that the talking heads don't always start and stop in synchronization with the dialog. Voice acting is also wonderful, all of the characters are believable and the dialog well read. The main character is especially good, with a just right light English accent to match her name. Ambient sounds are often suitably spooky in the game's darker sections and playing at night with the lights low I was scared out of my seat by thunderclaps and had the feeling I was being followed in the woods at times. Great! The game had no real bugs and ran perfectly on my test machine, but was not without a few minor sniggles. Some of the subtitles don't match the spoken dialog and there are more than a few typographical errors included as well. The only real issue is that the game does desire a load of horsepower, perhaps limiting its appeal to what might be its most appreciative audience... casual game players who are fans of the movie. Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr perfectly illustrates the fact that you can do almost everything right and still end up with a poor game. Technically brilliant, visually stunning, sonically wonderful, but game play just isn't good enough to keep you interested. Here's hoping Blair Witch Volume 2 doesn't suffer from similar design problems.

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          22.11.2000 19:06

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          Based on the Nocturne engine this was developed by Terminal Reality and is a good adaptation of the film. You play a young reporter who must investigate the mystery and the game is split into 3 chapters that are very closely linked to the original. The Nocturne engine works well and the graphics reamin as hot. The sound effects are awesome and this really has some neat little add ins for instance the ghostly children and the sound of laughter and crying. As well as this you really get hooked into the storyline and as you delve deeper into the mystery you jump a lot by the sudden craches of lightning and the fiends that jump out in frount of you. The cut scenes as with all this type of game are excellant and especially good when you compare them to the films themes for instance the cellar insident. I recomend this game for anyone who like the resident evil, alone in the dark and most importantly nocturne genres as it contains lots of action and scary moments. A good all around game that should make your heart pump, bring on the next.

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          20.11.2000 17:35
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          It 's amazing how quickly people cash in on a successful movie now days. Some games are directly linked into the whole marketing ploy of the film industry. With a lot of tie in games being developed at the same time the movie is being edited and processed. With the arrival of the Tomb Raider movie the process may have been reserved but the many tentacles of Hollywood have now firmly got their grip on the computer games industry. Which maded the arrival of a series of games based on the Blair Witch Project all that more unexpected, especially since the original Blair Witch film was made outside the normal Hollywood/ Big Business system. Well someone thought it was a good idea to cash out the film's box office success. That someone was a GOD (Gathering of Developers) a motley gang of several small games producing companies united together in a single cause. So we have a game that is based on a film on a successful film, (which is normally a sure sight of mediocrity) and a coalition of small producers with a mixed history of producing anything half-decent. So unsurprisingly my initial reaction was "Here we go another substandard film cash in". However after seeing a rave review of 'Blair Witch: The Rustin Parr Investigation' (to give it is full-bodied title) in PC Zone I was willing to be impressed. The main issue being "excellent someone has finally made a decent game using the graphically stunning Nocturne Engine". The plot of the game is typically wafer thin. Set roughly 70 years before the film, the game attempts to add more background to the Blair Witch myth (or should that be marketing ploy). You control a Female investigator from the Spook house team (first seen in Nocturne) sent out to investigate the bizarre occurrences around the Rustin Parr murders. This mainly involves wandering around the woods aimlessly shouting and randomly gabbling (this sadly untrue but what have made a interesting side attraction
          to the core of the game and would have been more in line with the film). However for you nature lovers out there the game is still heavily wood-o-centric. Game play wise Rustin Parr plays in a similar way to the Resident Evil series of games. Using the sometimes annoying fixed camera/ static background style of that series of games. Word of advice if you cannot stand this style of game, then Rustin Parr is a game to avoid. It does nothing to improve on that style of game play and on some occasions even makes a bigger hash of it. At certain points in the game it becomes more frustrating than trying to playing any of the Resident Evil games whilst being drunk on cheap cider and wearing boxing gloves. Graphically the Nocturne engine is superb; shadows and light sourcing are exquisitely mapped adding a high level of detail and atmosphere to the game. The torch you carry illuminates your path gorgeously, cloaks and clothes flap in the air and the character models look and move in a realistic manner. The only criticism being that some of the close up character graphics lack detail and look extremely 2D. When you see the facial detail created for the characters in games like the older Quake 3 or the recent Alone in the Dark 4, you've got to wonder what GOD was up to. The game play it's self is not too bad to begin with. You are gently taught to the mechanics of the game via a training mission. Which is a fairly decent affair apart from some slightly dubious vocal acting. The game then slow evolves from you wondering around the town of Burkitsville talking to the local inhabitants to fighting supernatural foes in the woods surrounding the town. As this is when the game begins to come alive and also die at the same time. Whilst in the woods the atmosphere builds to a genuinely nerve wracking level as strange sounds and ghostly images start to appear. It's only when you start to fight these creatures that the game starts to fa
          ll apart. The movement system becomes cumbersome making combat very hit and miss. The constant angle shifts become a right royal pain throwing your view point and positioning all over the shop. The creatures just steadily move towards you, whilst seemingly being invulnerable to your weapons. Unlike Resident Evil where you feel and see the damage you're doing to your opponents in Rustin Parr they just seem to suddenly stop and disappear (or in some cases get back up again and again). Maybe it's the sadist in me but I like to feel like I'm knocking seven shades out of the bad guys. Then cliché of all game clichés you suddenly meet the large end of level type boss thing. The first one I met was a giant scorpion. Err Excuse me GOD but what have giant scorpions got to do with the Blair Witch. If I was playing Clash of the Titans: The Gareth Hunt Investigation I might have expected this, but come on this is the Blair Witch. Add to this the fact that you have no idea if you are causing damage to said beastie. Add this to the other annoying features (camera angles, movement system, etc) and the game begins to suck more than Linda Lovelace in Deep Throat. To be honest this was as far as I played the game as it was beginning to annoy me more than my haemorrhoids after a day of sitting on cold gravestones (hey it's a hobby that doesn't involve expensive equipment and having friends) The sucker punch for me though is that there is only one save slot for the game, this just stinks of slack programming and also makes the game even more frustrating. Save at the wrong time like me and you will have to replay the game from the start. Jesus might save but GOD sure didn't think that it's worth the effort of programming a multiple save system into Rustin Parr. It was at the second time of saving at the wrong time I thought sod it and removed the game from my PC. Maybe I'm just a buffoon with poor timing and the co-ordination of an amoe
          ba (you can correct me if I'm wrong and amoebas have fantastic co-ordination skills, but I want references to studies please) but this is not how games should operate in these days of massive hard disc space. Very much like the film, the first Blair Witch game is a good idea poorly executed. Instead of shaky cameras we get shaky controls, instead of annoying Americans we get annoying giant scorpions. GOD why did you have to do this to me, I came to this game with an open mind and all you did was betray me with a second rate game based on a second rate movie. Bah it's enough to turn a good atheist into a.....

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            20.11.2000 00:33
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            Released in October of 2000, this game had great potentional. It was based on the mega hit film the Blair Witch Project and had the potentional to do great things. However, the subject matter itself was not one that could be easily turned into a came and as a result, it appears the publishers/ developers have taken the easy way out and made a game that rely could be based on any horror film/game and suffers as a result - you just don't care what happens to your charachter and it quickly bores you. The graphics are functional rather than great, based on the superior (but older) Nocturne engine, and on slower spec'd pc's this game chugs about and is completely unplayable. The actual sound is quite inspired and sends chills up your spine when playing at night, but still, one cannot rate a game purely on sound and so one can rate it on all its points and at that, i can only recommend it once its hitting the bargin bin at £5. Leave it on the shelf.

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              19.11.2000 01:03

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              This game is based on the movie, the Blair Witch Project. And so has the advantage of coming out on the back of a huge movie success. However, the game is easy to play at all, and isn't the most enjoyable of games by any means, the only thing that makes it stand out is the atmosphere created. The creators seem to have played on this a lot, and have done it succesfully. Before you can play the game it asks you to change the colour on your monitor as well as the contrast. You will have a difficult job not to get scared whilst playing this game alone in the dark at midnight. If you liked the film you may well like this game, and you definately will if you enjoy a fright.

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