Blair Witch: Volume II - La légende de Coffin Rock
|a game by
|Human Head Studios
|9.0/10 - 2 votes
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|Horror Games, Old School Games, Cult Classic Games, Witch Games, Blair Witch Series
So, another Blair Witch horror/adventure reaches our PCs, and with one still to come, it has to be said that things are already beginning to get a little stale.
Coffin Rock is not a bad game, though. The omnipresent puzzle solving of the first one has been toned down somewhat, in favour of a more swashbuckling approach. So, instead of merely snuffling about looking for clues, you're pretty much required to shoot or slash just about anything that moves.
This fairly linear slant is not to the detriment of the plot though, and in true Blair Witch fashion there are surprises aplenty...
One of the most innovative elements to the story is the series of flashbacks our main hero, Lazarus, keeps having. These come in the form of vague memories he has of being a soldier during the American Civil War. The theory is that by playing through them, you get to find out how Lazarus ended up in the Burkitsville woods in the first place. However, despite its fast-action approach, Coffin Rock doesn't always flow.
Numerous cut-scenes with painfully long dialogues insist on breaking up the momentum just as things start to hot up. More worryingly, the cut-scenes seem to happen at highly inappropriate times. Why, for example, would Lazarus have a flashback to running around the forest shooting soldiers at the precise moment he meets with what appears to be the Blair Witch? A quick deja vu particularly nasty boozed-up one-night-stand would possibly work. But shooting soldiers? Definitely not.
When you do manage to get into the thick of it, you'll find this is not an easy game, either. The Civil War section throws hordes of soldiers at you, and while they're not necessarily experts in figuring out when they're outnumbered, they're fairly quick with the trigger finger. Other formidable enemies include Twig Monsters as well as Devil Dogs and an army of ghosts from Lazarus' mysterious past.
Voices From The Grave
When it comes to atmosphere, Coffin Rock doesn't fail. The mood is permanently eerie. Evil Exorcist type voices swirl through Lazarus' head, and the background sounds are (like Rustic Pan) taken directly from the original film. The graphics in Coffin Rock are also fantastic - in fact, they're probably even better than the aforementioned Parr. That said, the overall tension doesn't quite reach the level of the first game. Maybe that's because developer Human Head hasn't quite got the same mastery of the Nocturne engine as the original Nocturne developer Terminal Reality. Then again, maybe it's because we're just a little tired of the whole Blair Witch thing.
Whatever the reason, the fact remains that while fun, engaging and cheap, Coffin Rock offers very little that you wouldn't have already experienced in either Nocturne or Rustin Parr.