The Witness (PlayStation 4) review
"What you witness is what you get."
The Witness is a beautiful game. There's something nice about simply wandering around its island setting, which is densely packed and offers much to see and explore in a relatively small space. There's no music to speak of, but the ambient sounds are relaxing and atmospheric. It really is the kind of game world it's nice to just spend time in, to an extent.
So at least there's that.
The Witness is an adventure game gone mad, though. Direct interaction is limited to drawing lines from a starting point to an ending point in a grid or maze. The game's simplest “puzzles” require virtually no thought, just the act of drawing a line with the control stick. Before long, new rules will be introduced, usually explained with simple puzzles that offer little opportunity for differing approaches. A tutorial puzzle about dots might offer two paths to the end, one with a dot (which will end in success) and one without a dot (which will end in failure). This is how The Witness teaches you its many, many rules.
Most mechanics have a single area with many increasingly complex puzzles that focus heavily on that mechanic. This is a good way to really reenforce a rule, until it becomes second nature for the player. These areas are important, because most of the rules are indicated by simple symbols that wouldn't really make much (or any) sense if you were to see them in more complex puzzles before properly being introduced to them.
Staff review by Rhody Tobin (February 04, 2016)
Rhody likes to press the keys on his keyboard. Sometimes the resulting letters form strings of words that kind of make sense when you think about them for a moment. Most times they're just random gibberish that should be ignored. Ball-peen wobble glurk.
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