Andrii Vintsevych’s Witch Hunt managed to graduate from Early Access recently and launch in full on September 3rd. The game marks another success story in the long line of Early Access titles that come out every so often on Steam. The one-man development team has managed to capture a niche audience with what many have described as a creepy and atmospheric horror game where you take on the role of a witch hunter using limited supplies in order to track down and rid the woods of Bellville.
The game starts with your character at a small cabin in the woods. You’ll have access to some gear and a limited amount of ammo. You’ll begin to scour through the fog-ridden forests in search of enemies. The hook for the game is that it takes place during the 18th century, so you’re stuck using a lot of weaponry from that era, including flintlock pistols and muskets. This also means that the combat and tactical requirements to pace your shots, and reload in a timely manner become all the more imperative.
As you progress through the non-linear atmosphere you’ll encounter increasingly difficult enemies and will need to upgrade your gear accordingly to deal with the ever-increasing threat of certain evil.
You can see what the gameplay is like with the launch trailer below.
So the core of the game is that it’s non-linear, and there’s no definitive way to progress. Players can pick and choose how they embrace the hunt and where they choose to hunt on the map. Once they complete the kills they can return to the village, purchase upgrades, or acquire new skills.
The lure for Witch Hunt is that it has no hand-holding. You aren’t led around by navpoints or markers, or giant arrows on the screen pointing in which direction for you to go. Instead, you’re left up to your own devices to unfold the gameplay and progress through the map.
As you earn coin to barter with, you can then upgrade your skills to hunt more challenging creatures.
Some gamers noted that the gameplay loops are kind of boring, and that once you complete one hunt you’ve kind of done them all. Others enjoyed the more horror-themed gameplay pace and the tense atmosphere created while you hunt down various forms of evil.
If you’re interested in Witch Hunt you can check the game out over on the Steam store, where it’s currently available for $9.99.