The Witness Image
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 589 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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The Witness Announcement Trailer (PS4)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Mar 22, 2016
    100
    The most beautiful IQ test under the sun? The Witness is much more than that. Celebration of human intelligence and lament to the fate that results from it. [Issue # 261]
  2. Jan 25, 2016
    100
    The Witness feels like the fulfillment of that dynamic, a way of ingeniously hiding locks and keys and entire modes of inquiry in plain sight. Blow’s triumph lies in his insight into the thresholds of human perspective, how information travels and agglomerates, and how, given the right frame of mind, any of us might move mountains.
  3. Feb 4, 2016
    93
    This is one of those genuinely special experiences that, at least in the case of Blow’s track record, only come along once a generation. Be sure not to miss out on this instant classic.
  4. Feb 11, 2016
    85
    This world is made to challenge the player and make the player feel proud. That works well on this island full of puzzles, which uses riddles to form an interesting story.
  5. Mar 7, 2016
    80
    The Witness is a unique, complex and brilliantly designed puzzle that won't resonate with every player. It offers over thirty hours of highly cerebral gameplay that will delight every fan of "intelligent" games, yet is open enough to let more casual players explore its landscapes.
  6. Jan 25, 2016
    80
    I'm not upset about how inaccessible so much of The Witness felt for me. I feel sad, because I think The Witness is an experience a lot of people are going to enjoy figuring out, whereas I'm going to need more hints to get through it.
  7. Feb 2, 2016
    60
    The Witness is an excellent trainer of a wit and logical thinking. Just don’t expect anything more from this game. Puzzles miss any ideas, they are served without a feeling and -oddly enough- quite illogically.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 121
  2. Negative: 27 out of 121
  1. Jun 12, 2020
    10
    The Witness is not a game for everyone, it has an unhealthy obsession for player discovery, but that makes it the best puzzle game I have everThe Witness is not a game for everyone, it has an unhealthy obsession for player discovery, but that makes it the best puzzle game I have ever played.

    Pros: Best puzzle game I have ever played
    Cons: High barrier to entry, sound based puzzles

    The laser focused design of this game is admirable. There was such detail put into every aspect of the world. It was stated that there were three distinct groups of puzzles in the world, by the developer. First is the base puzzles, the panels that unlock the first ending, the second are spoilers for the best discovery this game has to offer, and the third are the visual perspective puzzles around the world of the witness. These are the only types that do not show completion. Solving each of these types of puzzles are rewarding and difficult, but each time there is an addictive dopamine rush with the discovery that comes with completing a panel.

    The puzzles in this game are among the hardest in any game I have played. Completing all of them is a task of epic proportion, which most players won't complete. The few who do are in for a treat as only then does the narrative rear it's head. The narrative has some surprisingly deep philosophical and theological roots, and works more as an exploration of themes through player action more than any of the audio logs do in the world. The main theme is human discovery as stated earlier, and where the narrative lands on that large topic is poignant.

    This game is not meant to be played by most people. It's design is so focused that it excludes players, the same way that a technically demanding game would.Because of this the players that do engage with it do so on a deeper level. I had to play this game three separate times before being able to finish it. I think that there is nothing that this game could have improved on.
    Expand
  2. Feb 11, 2016
    10
    Take a look at the user score distribution, for it is very telling. I am not at all surprised that (at the time of writing) 67 people didn'tTake a look at the user score distribution, for it is very telling. I am not at all surprised that (at the time of writing) 67 people didn't have the patience or brain functionality to understand the game. I am, however, surprised at how many people felt qualified to hop on Metacritic and formulate a representative and truthful review having fully admitted to only playing a few minutes of the game in said aforementioned review. This phenomenon is both mind blowing and discouraging. If you are on the fence on this one, I do hope reason guides your decision, and that you give the game the time of day. I mean, Blow blew like $6 Million and 7 years of his life on this thing... the guy that created Braid... it obviously doesn't suck. Just hang in there for half a minute and you'll enjoy this environment. It is quite literally the most beautiful place I have ever been. Expand
  3. Jan 26, 2016
    10
    If you like puzzle games and are up for a challenge, The Witness is your game. A beautiful island full of hundreds of little puzzles awaitsIf you like puzzle games and are up for a challenge, The Witness is your game. A beautiful island full of hundreds of little puzzles awaits you. And although all puzzles look pretty similar, if you see them on screenshots, there is a lot of variation. Also, while there is no traditional story, there are little story pieces to be discovered, scattered around the world. The Witness may not be a game for everyone, but it most certainly is one for me. ;) Expand
  4. Nov 11, 2016
    9
    It's one of the best games I played this year. But first thing you need to know is that it's not for everyone. Everything you find hereIt's one of the best games I played this year. But first thing you need to know is that it's not for everyone. Everything you find here involves puzzles and creative thinking, if it's not what you like in games, than this game propably is not for you. For the fans of puzzle games, it's certainly a must-have game. With this being said, I never liked puzzle games, but this one changed my mind. Also, I definitely recommend finishing this game with 100%. Expand
  5. Oct 30, 2019
    7
    You like line puzzles? This game has line puzzles. Lots of line puzzles. They will test your ability to wordlessly glean the logical rules toYou like line puzzles? This game has line puzzles. Lots of line puzzles. They will test your ability to wordlessly glean the logical rules to solve them, and some use sound instead of visuals. Those who are in any way colour-blind or tone-deaf will not enjoy this game at all.
    There is no real narrative to this game. There is some over-arching philosophical wank that comes off as painfully pretentious. The religious and metaphysical padding (that you can completely ignore, thankfully) start off interesting, but quickly become an unhinged rambling and tedious mess as you uncover more and more.
    The island is colourful, diverse, and fun to explore. There's a touch of Myst and Portal here, along with Talos Principle - minus the humour and appealing lure of the forbidden.
    Once again, there are A LOT of line puzzles. Just don't expect much else of any real worth.
    Expand
  6. Dec 22, 2020
    5
    Maybe I'm just not smart enough to properly appreciate games like this, but after the initial few hours, which admittedly, were fun, I ranMaybe I'm just not smart enough to properly appreciate games like this, but after the initial few hours, which admittedly, were fun, I ran into several brick walls and I closed the game and never came back. I just don't enjoy staring at the same screen for 20 minutes, grinding my gears trying to work out the solution to what feels like pretty arbitrary maze puzzles, only to get rewarded with: More maze puzzles.

    I just don't have that kind of patience and I also want more from a video game. Yes, the island is beautiful, but there's not much in terms of story or context (or even music), and, from what I've read, that doesn't really change when you progress further into the game. It's all intrigue and no pay-off.
    Expand
  7. May 16, 2017
    0
    Cute and funny
    Repetative, but sometimes immersive
    Amazing gameplay and awesome effect of mistery Puzzles are the best i've ever seen in
    Cute and funny
    Repetative, but sometimes immersive
    Amazing gameplay and awesome effect of mistery
    Puzzles are the best i've ever seen in games, would recoomend this game to everyone, it is 10 points

    10/1000
    Expand

See all 121 User Reviews

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