Though the premise behind Blair Witch Volume 3 - being a witch-hunter who hunts the titular witch - may seem intriguing, the game itself fails to deliver on all accounts.
Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale is an action-adventure game that's heavy on action and light on adventure. In the game, you play as a character named Jonathan Prye - an 18th-century witch hunter who uses flintlock pistols, muskets, and powerful magic artifacts to hunt evil spirits. Unfortunately, Prye's adventures aren't anywhere near as exciting as they might sound because of the game's poor control, its awkward camera angles, and its simplistic and repetitive story. That is to say, Blair Witch Volume 3's story and adventure-game elements are so weak that they're negligible; it instead relies heavily on action and combat - and thanks to the game's various problems, these action sequences can be extremely frustrating.
Blair Witch Volume 3 is powered by the Nocturne engine - the same graphics engine that powered both the previous Blair Witch games as well as last year's horror-themed game of the same name. And as in the previous games, in Blair Witch Volume 3, the Nocturne engine shows its age. Volume 3 has the same drab, plain look as the previous two games, and it even recycles some of the previous games' scenery. Volume 3 is filled with dimly-lit areas that rely heavily on the Nocturne engine's notable ability to render real-time shadows and lighting - presumably for atmosphere - but a few flitting shadows hardly compensate for the game's blocky polygonal characters or for its other visual problems.
Volume 3 is plagued with many of the same camera and control problems as the original Nocturne. In many areas of the game, you'll find that your view changes multiple times, and nearly always without warning. Unfortunately, other than these often excessively frequent and seemingly arbitrary changes, the game's camera is fixed - you can't take control of it or manipulate it to get a better view of the action, despite that many of the default views are themselves awkward and occasionally difficult to navigate. Instead, you'll find yourself at the mercy of the game's camera, which will change views whenever it decides to - and each time it does, it pauses the game briefly. And these jarring pauses make navigating certain areas frustrating and make the game's already problematic action sequences even more so.
Unlike the previous two games, Volume 3 is focused mainly on action sequences - in other words, drawing your pistol, rifle, or magic weapon and fighting enemies. Unfortunately, the awkward camera angles do little to help the game's poor control scheme, which lets you turn far more quickly than you can move forward or sideways. This isn't much of a problem in the earlier parts of the game, since, like the previous games, Volume 3 has an auto-aim feature that will let you automatically draw a bead on your enemies - it's not the least bit challenging or entertaining but not terribly frustrating either. However, some of the more difficult fights against tougher monsters require you to move about while trying to aim, which can be exceptionally frustrating because of the controls, the clumsy camera angles, and the jarring scene transitions.
There's not a lot of variety in the action. You'll begin the game with a pistol and an iron cross for close combat, and later you'll acquire a rifle, a fiery cross, a staff that calls lightning bolts from the sky, and other magic weapons and spells. None of these weapons is especially satisfying to use. Throughout the game, you'll fight a few interesting creatures, like demons and winged spirits - but you'll spend much of your time killing the game's ubiquitous, stupid, and slow-moving zombies. Unfortunately, you can't just avoid fighting these boring enemies, since you need to kill them to pick up the health and ammunition power-up items they inexplicably leave behind.
Otherwise, there's very little to Blair Witch Volume 3. There are hardly any real puzzles to speak of; instead, the game's adventure elements consist largely of talking to a character, then either running through the zombie-infested Blair woods to fetch an item or to speak to another character. The game's voice acting is passable at best, and character interactions with the overbearing and world-weary Prye are mostly shallow and long-winded; it's often painfully clear that they serve only a few real purposes - either to give you your next weapon or to give you tasks to perform. These tasks might have been less tedious if either they or the characters that assign them were more interesting. As it is, most of the interaction consists of excessively lengthy, insubstantial dialogue.
Though the premise behind Blair Witch Volume 3 - being a witch-hunter who hunts the titular witch - may seem intriguing, the game itself fails to deliver on all accounts. Its precious few adventure-game elements are paper-thin. Instead, the game relies heavily on poorly executed action sequences - and neither these nor the game's ambient and forgettable music are the least bit exciting or creepy. Volume 3 is actually longer than either of the two previous games. But the game is longer - and far less enjoyable - because you'll spend more time shooting zombies or reloading your last saved game to try to finish off a difficult foe than you did in the previous games. So if you must get one of the three Blair Witch games, do yourself a favor and don't get this one.