Bravery rewards the bold, a notion proved tried and true at Sony’s recent Playstation 4 conference. What was assumed by many on looking gamers to be a continuous reel of flashy, action and shooter oriented demos to highlight the visual prowess of the console, made a sudden and far more creative turn than gamers could have imagined. Here we enter The Witness; a 3D puzzle game under development by Jonathan Blow, the very same ingenious mind behind the multiple award-winning Braid in 2008. Sony also announced that The Witness will be a time-exclusive to accompany the Playstation 4 at it’s launch later in the year.
It has been stressed at the conference that The Witness is by far not simply another puzzle game in which players will roam about in a world to flip switches, press buttons and move blocks. Players will take a first person perspective of being on an island where the actual lore and design behind this title are the underlying messages that are encased in each puzzle, a form of non-verbal communication between the world itself and the player seeking to solve it’s many riddles. Since it’s original announcement in 2009 and playable demo followed shortly after in 2010 at the Penny Arcade Expo, Sony showcased a brand new trailer on the main stage to further illustrate the title’s long going progress.
A vastly lush and vibrantly color world plays sandbox to what surely will be the playpen to some of the most brain busting puzzles in modern day gaming. Originally planned for release on the Microsoft Windows, IOS and later the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, Blow came to a realization that these platforms wouldn’t be able to execute what he had in store for this game; a notion heavily supported by what we’ve seen in this trailer.
Blue panels are scattered about this uninhabited island where players will complete mazes by drawing a line from its starting point to finish with various outlooks and elements that make each progressing maze more obscure and original. Completing these mazes will further unlock different portions of the island while others may drastically change the elements around the player entirely, all while conveying a message to the player, a point there “the real magic happens” as Blow stated. There are also audio recordings scattered about that provide different tiers of riddled information when thoroughly examined.
The announcement of The Witness sets the Playstation 4 to present a more diverse launch title offering to gamers than most next generation consoles tend to have, a standout title that has been much needed for some time to truly make any console release seem as fresh as possible. No doubt, E3 just might have some more surprising details to reveal under the hood of this highly original title for the public as we count down the days until the Playstation 4’s official release.