Get Up, Come On, Get Down With The Witness

As you might have guessed from all the riotous jokes on Twitter about finding the laser gun in The Witness [official site], about losing the boss battle with the ice wizard on level three, asking how to craft a diamond pickaxe, about unlocking the warp drive, and about the ghost, J. Blo & co’s puzzler came out last night. We’ll be telling you Wot We Think in a bit, but for now here’s a reminder that hey, it is out!

It’s up on Steam for £29.99/$39.99/€36.99, or the Humble Store has it one pound cheaper and DRM-free too. That’s it. It’s out. I ain’t saying nothing else. Half the things I’ve read about it say “DON’T READ THIS BEFORE PLAYING IT” so I’m passing on their shutting-up. Instead, here are a selection of hilarious jokes you may wish to crack on social media to the delight, amusement, admiration, and lust of all.

“No spoilers but: who else spotted STRAIGHT AWAY that ‘The Witness’ is an anagram of ‘Sheen Twist’?”

“Argh! I’m so stuck on this one maze – it’s just a touch too high to rocketjump out of.”

“Has anyone else noticed that if you turn around really quickly, you’ll catch a glimpse of J. Blo lurking in the treeline?”

“The Witness Q: anyone else find the mariachi costume is bugged and doesn’t unlock in New Game+ mode?”

“Really enjoying The Witness but all the Eastenders references are uncomfortably forced imho.”

“Wow! Just finished The Witness! That final song? Epic! Total legend!”

Take ’em. They’re yours. Your cyberchums will declare you a ‘laff riot’!

57 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    haowan says:

    Too chicken for a bottle of pee joke I see.

  2. Kemuel says:

    WITNESS!!!

  3. Xzi says:

    Interesting, hadn’t heard anything about this game before. Trailer tells me it’s maybe a modern-day Myst kinda?

    • Josh W says:

      Basically, myst with a desire to be less about banging your head against a brick wall of inexplicable symbols, by implementing modern, portal style learning curves and “talos principle” style non-linear advancement by wandering about.

      • Cronstintein says:

        I’m usually pretty reluctant to get into a puzzle or adventure game because of my propensity for getting stuck. But the open-world type design seems SO GOOD for this type of game. Also from what I’ve seen, the progression of simple tutorial puzzles and then using-what-you-know puzzles them seems well implemented.

    • njury says:

      According to the Steam reviews it is nothing of the sort. There is puzzles, and that’s that. No secret, no mystery and no rewards. Just the same puzzles, getting harder, over and over. Havent tried it yet, but reading those reviews it’s definitely not what I was hoping.

      • Xan says:

        And these reviews are wrong.

        Some people accuse the game of being a fancy menu for selecting grid puzzles.

        Well, this is not true! Some early mechanics may suggest that, but soon environment comes into play as puzzle elements in a big way. And then there’s a big revelation that makes you look at the world differently!

        As to plot/no plot.. I believe it’s open to interpretation just like Braid; but there are definitely many, many clues around. Steam says I clocked in 18 hours, and I still haven’t reached the endgame, but it starts to make a little sense. It’s like, 18 hours in, I’m not sure there is a plot, but I can’t discount that possibility. It’s subtle, and I find the world has some story to it.

  4. Gwilym says:

    Witless

  5. Syt says:

    I just wanted to say that this is one of my favorite article headers I’ve seen on RPS. Well done. Very well done.

  6. GernauMorat says:

    Just a note on performance: I get nearly a 100 fps difference between high and medium settings. Also, there are currently no graphics options other than high/medium/low, although you can fiddle with the ini.

    • Josh W says:

      100fps difference? Unless one of them is negative that sounds pretty good!

  7. Premium User Badge

    Godwhacker says:

    Joan As Policewoman’s tie-in single is a classic link to m.youtube.com

  8. Oridan says:

    “Get Up, Come On, Get Down With The Witness”

    You should get an award for this.

    • DanMan says:

      I don’t know. I found this a little bit… disturbing.

      /me giggles frenetically

  9. Jac says:

    Witness the fitness. Can just imagine jon blow bopping his head with this on loop as he releases the game into the wild. It would be a year until he stopped doing this.

    link to youtu.be

    Game is awesome though. Looking forward to reading some rps thoughts on it.

  10. aergistal says:

    In my case Croteam’s The Talos Principle and the Road to Gehenna DLC raised the bar very high for puzzle games in every aspect.

    I want to like the Witness but I get a meh feeling so far. Not a big fan of the art style and the fact that there’s no Linux version and/or demo doesn’t help either.

    • Xantonze says:

      Every game is a demo on Steam, since you can ask for a refund if you played less than 2 hours.

      • jrodman says:

        Demos let you make up your own mind with whatever slice of content the developer feels is right. A 2 hour timer has all the wrong pressures, and mostly relies on you forgetting to refund it or not bothering. It’s not a real demo, though it might work like one for a small sampling of people.

        • invitro says:

          If you’re not with-it enough to remember to get your refund, The Witness is probably not the game for you.

  11. sillythings says:

    So to those who have already played it, is it comparable to Antichamber in how it supposedly does really crazy and smart and mind-blowing things and makes you look at the game world in unique ways? I’ve not really wanted to watch gameplay videos because, yes, spoilers, but at the same time the price tag is high and I haven’t even played The Talos Principle yet.

    • Matt_W says:

      I’ve only played a couple of hours. It’s like Antichamber in that it’s a first person puzzle game. And, to a certain degree Antichamber is about communication its own peculiar puzzle language to the player. The Witness seems to be a much more focused experience though. It’s one type of puzzle, repeated with as many variants as possible. It almost seems to be a discursus on puzzle design and communicating that design to the player. So it’s sort of like Antichamber in that regard. But Antichamber is explicitly about making rules and then breaking them. The Witness is not about that, as far as I can tell.

    • Matt_W says:

      Actually Tycho captures the feeling of The Witness pretty well today:
      link to penny-arcade.com

    • theslap says:

      Miles beyond “Antichamber” in my opinion. “Antichamber” often left me feeling like trial and error is the only solution. “The Witness” offers genuine clues for nearly every puzzle and relishes in the idea that players are always on the brink of solving the puzzle but “not quite yet”.

  12. Plank says:

    All of those maze games have put me off this game. As soon as someone releases a mod to bypass all of those then I’ll buy it.

    • noodlecake says:

      I can’t tell if you’re being ironic or not!

      If you’re not, the maze games are the game.

      • Petethegoat says:

        I think he’s implying he’d like to just wander around the world without having to do puzzles to unlock areas.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Frosty says:

    Super excited for this but a word of caution for people who get motion sickness when playing some games. There’s currently a neogaf thread with a lot of people complaining of motion sickness, some whom have suffered with it for other games but others who have never got it before so you may want to adjust the fov or watch a video and figure out if it might get you.

    • groovychainsaw says:

      There’s a weird ‘blur’ effect added when ‘running’ that, to my feeble eyes looks like double vision – it’s certainly quease-inducing.

      Other than that, the game itself is brilliant, once you get going it’s a lot more than the basic line puzzle would suggest – the whole world starts to get involved. But spoilers :-)

    • kreon says:

      It’s made worse if you use a controller — there’s currently no way to adjust the ‘look speed’ if you aren’t using a mouse and keyboard. Unfortunately, the preset for controllers is nauseatingly slow.

      I’m still looking through the config files to try to see if I can come up with a non-3rd-party solution. The controller feels like a natural fit for the game otherwise.

  14. mllory says:

    Witness is the gift that has been given to us?

  15. gbrading says:

    I look forward to playing it. I’m a great fan of Myst (I know, we still exist) and the setting seems pulled right out of Myst. Looks like an interesting game which I’m sure I’ll play, eventually.

    • theslap says:

      While I’ll still recommend the game to you (mostly because I think it is brilliant), I will say that comparing this game to “Myst” is a bad idea. Jump in head first without any expectations and I’m certain that you’ll see the true brilliance of “The Witness”.

  16. Shazbut says:

    Steam reviews seem to be unfairly judging it for not being a plot-heavy first person adventure game. The trailers never gave me that impression – they gave me the impression of a game full of lots and lots of clever puzzles to be solved by clever people who like puzzles.

    That isn’t me, so I’ll pass.

  17. yogibbear says:

    I’m 13 hrs in and loving it. Supposedly solved 290+5 puzzles. Someone said there’s >600 puzzles… It’s pretty frustrating but awesome all at once. Sometimes you get on a roll, and other times you’re completely dumbfounded and go wander off somewhere else in frustration. Which seems to be actually what the game wants you to do, because the “tutorials” for different mechanics are all over the place and it’s very possible to be attempting a puzzle well before you have even seen the mechanics before. [but the tutorials are definitely in the game and screaming for you to witness them]

  18. theslap says:

    I’m Jon Blow(n) away by the negative reviews on this game. I think many were looking for more story, but I’m loving the ambiguous setting and the fact that if I get stuck I can go elsewhere to find more puzzles I might just understand better. This is a seriously brilliant game. The best I’ve played in years!

  19. El Mariachi says:

    > “The Witness Q: anyone else find the mariachi costume is bugged and doesn’t unlock in New Game+ mode?”

    Well, that’s me done then.

  20. Fenchurch42 says:

    A-WAH-AH-AH-AH-AH!