The Witness PlayStation 4

The Witness Image
Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 63 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 300 Ratings

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  • Summary: You awaken, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that challenge and surprise you. You can't remember who you are, and you don't remember how you came to be here, but there's one thing you can do: explore the island in hope of discovering clues, regaining your memory, and somehowYou awaken, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that challenge and surprise you. You can't remember who you are, and you don't remember how you came to be here, but there's one thing you can do: explore the island in hope of discovering clues, regaining your memory, and somehow finding your way home. The Witness is a single-player game in an open world with dozens of locations to explore and over 500 puzzles to solve. This game respects you as an intelligent player and it treats your time as precious. There's no filler; each of those puzzles brings its own new idea into the mix. Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 63
  2. Negative: 2 out of 63
  1. Feb 4, 2016
    100
    The Witness gathers an incredible amount of puzzles scattered in an open world that many times surpasses the boundaries of the video game. Even though it's not as climatic as its predecessor, it respects the player as an intelligent being.
  2. Jan 25, 2016
    100
    For the most part, its themes weave themselves beautifully throughout the gorgeous world and wide variety of puzzles, but even when it breaks subtlety in favor of a more heavy-handed approach to exposition, it never detracts from the truly fulfilling moments The Witness offers in terms of solving its physical puzzles and unlocking its deepest mysteries.
  3. Jan 26, 2016
    100
    Some fans of Blow’s earlier work seem to have been hoping that the mazes they saw in the trailers are just a veneer for a deeper, mind-blowing experience, but really the world and whatever narrative you can find in it are dressing for an incredibly impressive collection of puzzles. Whether or not you find a deeper meaning at the end, the journey will have been worth it. After all, only those who actually enjoy solving the puzzles will make it that far, and even after 41 hours and 358 solved puzzles I’m eager to go back for more.
  4. Jan 26, 2016
    90
    An amazingly intense and brilliant experience. The sheer intelligence of the puzzles created by Blow and his team is staggering, and the beauty of the island impressive by itself. For puzzle game fans The Witness is a masterpiece: a perfectly logical game, but also one that is not scared to be hard, and for once does not treat the player like an idiot. Just play it, it's worth every penny.
  5. Feb 3, 2016
    90
    If you have any interest in logic puzzles and want to explore a pretty interesting world, the Witness is a must own.
  6. Jan 26, 2016
    85
    It's a simple and ingenious open world puzzle game with great art design. It's both fascinating and challenging.
  7. Jan 25, 2016
    40
    It's easy to fall in love with The Witness, and even easier to have your heart broken by the callous indifference of Jonathan Blow's beautiful island. A healthy challenge is good for any game, but the puzzles on display here offer few inroads to understanding for those who can't think exactly like their creator.

See all 64 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 67
  2. Negative: 18 out of 67
  1. Jan 30, 2016
    10
    This gave me not be for everyone. But if you like puzzles, or think you might like puzzles, and appreciate innovative and intricate gameThis gave me not be for everyone. But if you like puzzles, or think you might like puzzles, and appreciate innovative and intricate game design. And want to try something that is truly different from what you've done before, then take a look. To speak for myself: it's my game of the year. Expand
  2. Jan 27, 2016
    10
    The Witness is fantastic. If you liked braid you'll love The Witness. The reason for the polarizing scores is some people don't like puzzleThe Witness is fantastic. If you liked braid you'll love The Witness. The reason for the polarizing scores is some people don't like puzzle games. This game is a puzzle gaming masterpiece! Expect to figure things out yourself without hand holding. Expand
  3. Jan 26, 2016
    10
    The Witness is a puzzle game that essentially revolves around only one type of puzzle. Although there are variations to it, you’ll basicallyThe Witness is a puzzle game that essentially revolves around only one type of puzzle. Although there are variations to it, you’ll basically spend your time going around solving finger maze puzzles. However there is an environmental element to the puzzles where you’ll find solutions in the world around you. That in my opinion is a really clever implementation by Jonathan Blow (the genius who made Braid). But don’t let finger puzzles put you off... play this game, the world of The Witness is absolutely breathtaking and there is a good story behind all the puzzles even though it is quite subtle.
    In my honest opinion this game is better than The Talos Principle and is on par if not better than the original Myst Games. However my biggest concern is the price, 40 dollars is just too much for an indie game with only one mechanic. The game itself however is an absolute joy and possibly one of the games of the year.
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  4. Feb 10, 2016
    9
    The Witness is a very well designed puzzle game. The game design, the art and the engine have all been very polished. It makes for quite aThe Witness is a very well designed puzzle game. The game design, the art and the engine have all been very polished. It makes for quite a unique and engrossing experience. Out of the 10ish sets of puzzles you can encounter, I found a couple less inspired than the others, but another couple stood out for their cleverness.
    I found the best part to be figuring out the rules of the puzzles, a required step for solving them cause the rules are not told trough text, but via a series of little initial puzzles that open each series in a clever way.
    I can't speak about the finale resolution (if any) of the mistery of the island, because I want to complete every puzzle before moving through the final gate. I am getting strong vibes from the immobility, the bright colors that permeate everything, the frozen time and the statues, all of which reminds me of the "Invention of Morel" by Alfonso Bioy Casares. If the final resolution is half as riveting as the one found in that novel, I'll change my score from 9 to 10.
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  5. Feb 4, 2016
    6
    Some of what is done with the puzzles is extremely clever, though you do have to get past the first hour of the game which can be tedious andSome of what is done with the puzzles is extremely clever, though you do have to get past the first hour of the game which can be tedious and confusing. It's nice to play a game that expects you to work out how the rules of the puzzles work before you can then solve the harder puzzles.

    Unfortunately the problem is a lack of editorial - for every good puzzle type or element, there is another whole section which is tedious or frustrating. Frankly the creator needed someone there to tell him not to include every last idea he came up with. Sadly it's the puzzles that could simply have existed on a phone screen that hold the greatest intruigue with what little is done in the environment feeling like a shallow attempt to make the 3D world more relevant.

    This is another main downside for me - although the style and colour of the world are beautiful - the design is not. It's a static, sterile feeling world, reminding me of an American theme park version of a beautiful island deigned by someone who's never actually travelled. There is an artificial boat reck you can take a little ride though. There is an Asian zone, a forest zone and so on. In the end it feels more like some sort of awful theme park prison than anything enjoyable.

    As a last point - it's a real shame more was not done with audio, portal 2 did incredible things with ambient soundscapes and the silence does not help the atamosphere. Foley is, frankly, too realistic for the style (this is not Dogville), and the recordings you find are meaningless and frankly, incredibly pretentious (and this is coming from someone who liked Dogville!).

    I did enjoy it, but if you only play one 70 hour game this year, choose another. I would recommend waiting for a sale and then playing it but by bit. Hopefully the creators will focus more on their craft next time around, and less on their own image as intelligent, artistic 'auteurs'.
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  6. Jan 27, 2016
    4
    You just get the feeling this game is too smug and superior for its own good. Its the video game equivalent of some eastern European oscarYou just get the feeling this game is too smug and superior for its own good. Its the video game equivalent of some eastern European oscar winning art film about a disabled gay refugee overcoming adversity in deepest Siberia or the like. I am sure its a wonderful technical achievement on some level but to be quite honest, its video game and I want a reasonable combination of rewarding and fun, rather than going hunting for it amidst some sterile puzzles. Expand
  7. Feb 1, 2016
    0
    Worth $10 and no more, bored after 3 hours playing, a regular world full with regular puzzles doesnt worth the money those guys are askingWorth $10 and no more, bored after 3 hours playing, a regular world full with regular puzzles doesnt worth the money those guys are asking for, for that money you can buy almost every AAA game at retail. Expand

See all 67 User Reviews

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