Are you looking for the next great PS4 adventure? Try The Witness, a unique and complex masterpiece of a game that will keep you enthralled for hours. If you’re good at mazes and puzzles, you’ll appreciate the 2D mazes that appear throughout this brand-new PS4 game. Find out if this atmospheric mystery is the right challenge for you.
Solving the Mazes
The Witness has about 700 puzzles to solve. Usually, these take the form of mazes on panels, which you have to complete by drawing lines, just as you would with a maze on paper. However, the experience of solving these mazes is much more satisfying, with a pleasing tactile element. You’ll feel the controller responding as you smoothly draw the lines to work your way out of the maze. The first mazes are deceptively simple, but as you move through the game, more obstacles and rules make each puzzle increasingly difficult. Each one is tough, but satisfying to complete.
Exploring the Island
Every maze or puzzle in some way relates to the primary goal of the game, which is to direct light beams at the island’s biggest mountain. You’ll find yourself trekking back and forth around the island, working to do everything in the right way at the right moment. Are you stumped? Take a ride in a boat around the edges of the island. Need some space from the puzzle-solving? It’s time to explore the area more thoroughly. There’s always a way to sidestep the problem temporarily or do something else until you’re ready to solve it.
Watching and Listening
There’s a unique, almost cartoon-like look to the game’s graphics. From the statues to the scenery, every element of the design has a purpose, as you’ll discover as you explore. The island is empty, and the graphics give you a distinct sense of that space and silence. You really feel as though you are walking alone through a beautiful, mystical island.
Keep your eyes open, and you’ll find secret audio logs throughout the landscape. These logs offer up quotations from island residents, scientists, and thinkers; and each one yields clues or prompts you toward new ways of viewing the puzzles and the entire island, along with its core mystery.
It will probably take you a few dozen hours to finish The Witness. You can complete the game without solving every last puzzle; if you do choose to complete all the puzzles and solve all the mysteries, the game may take two or three times as long. Avoid looking at too many reviews and blogs about The Witness, or you may encounter spoilers that ruin the fun. Part of the game’s allure is its ability to create intense Aha! moments when players realize something important that opens up new possibilities.
For gamers who like fast-paced games with lots of combat and action, The Witness may not be the right fit. But for a gamer who loves to delve deep into mysteries, challenge his own way of thinking, and conquer a multi-layered puzzle, The Witness is a fulfilling and memorable choice.