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Blair Witch game: Release date, trailer, and everything we know so far

The nature of the Blair Witch franchise has all the makings of a good horror game. Just imagine it: You’re out in the dark woods, camera in hand, and creepy, terrifying things lurk in the shadows. With unexplained happenings, occultist themes, and its  found footage style makes it ripe for the picking. So when the Blair Witch game trailer dropped at E3 2019, it was a very welcome surprise. Especially since it’s in good hands. Bloober, the developers behind the chillingly brilliant Layers of Fear, are bringing us this first-person survival horror inspired by the cult classic Blair Witch Project from 1999. The new original story of the game takes place two years after the student filmmakers took off into the Black Hills forest to make a documentary about the fabled Blair Witch. So brace yourself for some occult scares as we take you through everything we know so far about the upcoming Blair Witch game, from the release date to the story, and more. 

The Blair Witch game release date is later this year, on Xbox One and PC

The unveiling during Microsoft’s presentation happily told us we won’t have to wait very long to get our hands on this fright fest. Blair Witch is coming to Xbox One and PC on  August 30, 2019, and it will be available to play on the Xbox Game Pass at launch too. 

The Blair Witch game is a first-person survival horror

Bloober describes Blair Witch as a first-person psychological horror game that studies your reactions to danger and stress. Being out in a unsettling forest filled with nightmarish oddities, and searching through abandoned, ram-shackle buildings in the darkness would be stressful for anyone. With plenty of eerie, disquieting scenes on display in the trailer, this is not the kind of place you want to be in. It immediately brings to mind a mix between the torch-wielding Alan Wake, and the camera mechanic in Outlast. We don’t know whether you constantly record everything you see, but the camera definitely comes into play. It is Blair Witch, after all. Layers of Fear is one of the best examples of how to do physiological horror right, so we’re excited to see just how the studio plays around with this concept in the Blair Witch universe. 

The Blair Witch game is a new tale set in the film universe

The reveal trailer gave us a lot of ground to go in regard to the story and setting of the game. Set in September in 1996 - two years after the events of the original film -  you play as an ex-policeman called Ellis who goes searching for a missing kid by the name of Peter Shannon. Traversing through the dark Black Hills forest with an era appropriate camcorder and torch in hand, you set off to search for any trace of the boy. But of course, as we well know, there’s something strange going on in those woods. Black magic and occultist activities certainly aren't going to make things very pleasant. Lots of terrifying figures pop up throughout, and it ends with the signature Blair Witch symbol emerging in the trees. It looks very promising, and the first-person style and dark setting are sure to make for plenty of scares. Bloober have created an entirely original story set in the Blair Witch universe, so it’ll be interesting to see just what they draw from the cult classic. 

The Blair Witch game dog is called Bullet 

You know what you need when you’re facing a living nightmare in some dark, creepy woods with occult ties? A dog companion to see you through. Even though we wouldn’t wish this horrific experience on anyone - because dogs are too good for this world - keeping your doggo friend safe is the best kind of motivation you could ever have. His name is bullet, and we must protect him. It’s dangerous out there. 

Heather Wald

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.