The Witness is a game that is really hard to describe, because any real description would spoil what the game is about. But I’m up for a challenge!
The Witness is a first-person puzzle games that takes place on a deserted island. It is your objective to figure out what is going on, by solving the many puzzles on this island. The puzzles mostly come in the form of maze puzzles. They start off really simple: figure out a way to get from the start point to the end point. However the difficulty quickly rises as you progress through the game.
As you progress, you find out more and more about what has happened on this island. The puzzles you face also get more and more difficult. What’s more is don’t get instructions on how to solve the puzzles. You have to figure that out by yourself. It’s somewhat hard to descibe without spoiling some of the puzzle elements for you. Think of it like you are given a maze, but there are hidden requirements that you need to figure out for a solution to actually be “accepted”.
Figuring out what the requrements are is quite difficult. You will have to look at visual cues, audio recordings, etc. Sometimes, if they’re nice enough, you may get a step-by-step puzzle set. It starts off with a really simple puzzle, and slowly builds up in complexity allowing you to figure out what the rules for satisfiying the puzzle are.
The one thing that really struck me about the game is how gorgeous it was. The game was so colourful and very pleasing to the eye, despite the semi-voxel look it had. The island itself it very beautiful and is an open world. There are no loading screens as you enter and leave different zones in the island, which gave the game a different feel. The game felt a lot more fluid and free, something which further added to the aesthetic that you were completely alone on the island.
Of course, given this, there are also no death elements in the game. You can’t die because you fall off a cliff (the game simply won’t let you fall off said cliff). There is no drowning, hidden laser beams or monsters that jump out of nowhere to kill you. You truly are alone on the island, and the lack of death elements in the game allows you to focus on exploration and makes the game extremely relaxing. I think the removal of death elements in the game is what makes the game so great. It allows you to focus on learning and discovery and unlocks the freedom and curiosity without punishing the player for trying out new things.
Overall, I really enjoyed this game. The puzzles are really tough. I mean, they become really hard, very quickly, something that I enjoyed a lot. I also really liked the aesthetic and the whole exploration part of the game. The serene, beautiful island that you are on, along with the zen-like feel of the game, easily makes this game one of the best games I have ever played.