Empty Island

Empty Island

This is one of those days where Bel is struggling to exist in the world.  As a result I am not exactly sure how cogent of a post you are going to get out of me.  In theory I went to bed early last night, but in practice that does not seem to have actually helped.  In fact this morning I feel more sluggish than I have in a long time.  So I wobbled through the house, fixed a cup of coffee… and then immediately fell into an internet hole as my brain tried to do literally anything it could do to keep from writing a post this morning.  As a result it is like 30 minutes past the normal time I sit down and begin writing, and I am still finding I don’t have a whole hell of a lot to talk about.  Last night I did two things… Invasion and Witness.  I feel like I have talked about the Invasion to an extremely length, and there isn’t really much there to discuss… especially since it goes away in a very few days.  There are issues right now with players leaving after phase 2, in order to reset the event back to phase 1.  This is making phase 3 a little hellish, but all in all it still provides a silly amount of experience, and I am still attempting to get the Horde Warlock up as far as I can make it before the event runs out.  I also have the AggroChat show devoted to The Witness this week, so I am playing it in spurts as well.  I am not really sure what exactly I can say about it other than that.

The game is extremely beautiful, and I like the world it is set in.  Much like Overwatch however I just wish it was a different game.  Ultimately I went into this game expecting Myst, and it is definitely not that.  I am realizing that the reason why I enjoyed those games is that the puzzles felt like I was uncovering a story.  In Myst you were essentially chasing Atrus and unraveling what happened to the different ages and what exactly was happening with Sirrus and Achenar.  In 7th Guest and 11th Hour you were solving mysteries and the puzzles lead to giving you clues about what was going on in both of those games.  Witness on the other hand seems to just be puzzles for the sake of being puzzles, and the truth is after solving thirty five or so last night… I am already bored with it.  The biggest problem is…  what I thought would be some story payoff for the puzzle solving just turned out to reward me with a super pretentious video of James Burke from 1978.  I guess that is the problem I am having with this game… it exists to be itself.  There just doesn’t seem to be a point, or at least any glimmer of a point has yet to reveal itself.  Which is I guess a bit sad given how generally good the game is at teaching you how it wants you to solve the puzzles.  There is just enough friction there to make the moment it all clicks to be enjoyable…  but it also doesn’t feel like it is leading to anything.

The other problem I am having is that the game seems to want me to visit locations in a certain order, but does nothing to actually restrict my movement.  As a result I wound up at a puzzle long before I was supposed to be there.  There were a series of screens designed to teach me the lessons I needed to know to unlock said puzzle, but I didn’t find them until I had already completed the puzzle that used those elements.  So I feel like this is a game where my general desire to get off of the main path… is going to cause me a significant amount of trouble.  Right now I am not a huge fan, but I am going to continue playing to see if that changes.

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