While waiting for Assassin's Creed Hexe, relive the story of the witch Baba Yaga in FPS Blacktail
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While waiting for Assassin’s Creed Hexe, relive the story of the witch Baba Yaga in FPS Blacktail

Game news While waiting for Assassin’s Creed Hexe, relive the story of the witch Baba Yaga in FPS Blacktail

Put yourself in the shoes of one of the most famous witches in Slavic folklore, would you like it? Even better, Blacktail invites you to discover the origins of the famous Baba Yaga through an exploration and action game. I take you on an adventure as magical as it is terrifying.

Baba Yaga, don’t you know? This symbolic figure of Slavic mythology is sometimes represented as a terrier devouring children or an exiled witch to some extent. She made several children shudder and keep stirring Slavic Evenings by the Fireside. Personally, these kinds of legends have always captivated me. Knowing the stories around which different civilizations built their beliefs, traditions and ways of life is simply wonderful. And with this special about Baba Yaga, we touch on a topic that impresses me the most: magic. This is also why at the time of the announcement of the 15th anniversary of the Assassin’s Creed license, the project that caught my eye the most was not at all the one that took us to Japan but the hidden Assassin’s Creed Hexe, which must pre-speak for magic. But I have to be patient because we don’t know anything about this particular Assassin’s Creed, and therefore it’s hard to imagine a launch soon. So inevitably, we rely on what we can. And I set my sights on the first Parasight game, which was revealed at Summer Game Fest 2021: Blacktail. The latter specifically takes us to discover the origins of Baba Yaga through a first-person shooter based on free will and magic. And I’m clearly not the only one interested, because publisher Focus decided to oversee the project. Today we invite you to discover the fruits of this collaboration. How did Baba Yaga become the evil witch that everyone knows? Here is The Parasight’s response.

This is a standalone column on JV:

There’s Wanted, your new column about quirky and fun indie games, and there’s this one. It’s for the games we want you to discover, in a slightly more personal history, like a ticket and with some video excerpts.

My name is Yaga, Baba Yaga

Another day away from my sister, Zora… It’s been days or maybe weeks since she went missing… I’ve lost count from looking for her. Especially since it’s hard to keep your bearings alone in this enchanted forest. The village people don’t like me very much. To them, I am a vile witch who indulges in the magic of black magic… All because of a simple birthmark on my face. To hide it, I put on a mask, hoping that this way people would stop calling me a witch. This is absurd, isn’t it? Handle a bow like no other, this is my only skill and there is nothing magical about it. It must be said that since my exile, I had no other choice. This enchanted forest is my only refuge. But if browsing is fun, it will still be hostile. To survive, I must search for food but also defend myself against the dangerous and mystical creatures that inhabit these places. Inevitably, you became an outstanding archer. I even make my own arrows and some concoctions to get me out of trouble. I feel like a survivor or an explorer. Besides, I often get lost in the surrounding nature, due to searching for branches, flowers, feathers or boboks. When I say I’m losing myself, it’s not a negative thing. I really enjoy exploring every corner of my new home. I gladly fell for it because it is simply charming.

Something emanates from this forest. We feel that it is not really like the others. Inhabited by gnolls, rushmans, and even wasps, it has that folkloric side that makes it stand out from the crowd. A mixture of glamor and rot, shimmering colors and maniacal darkness… Strange isn’t it, that I like it so much? I feel like I’m in the middle of a fairy tale. Alice in Wonderland. And this feeling will not contradict the colorful personalities who inhabit these places. Between the Machiavellian ant queen or the missing Mr. Larva, not forgetting the Bovy Borko mushroom, the Rebelle or even Jack the Eel, they all seem to have emerged from a psychedelic dream, whether due to their personalities or their unusual appearance. And if I wanted sweetness, I could even count on the black cat following me everywhere through this gigantic forest. Always there as soon as I get sustenance near the fire or recharge my batteries in front of the altar, his languid meow sometimes guides me when I don’t really know where to go.

And Zora in all of this? I’m still looking for her… Sometimes I feel like I should know where she is, a weird feeling. And these constant nightmares don’t help. It’s always the same, always the same weird roommate. But yesterday, reality took precedence over nightmares. I found this famous hut… and since then, there has been nothing like before. I feel enlivened by a strange power, like magic. Some parts of the forest are now available to me and I feel that others will be stronger and I will also be stronger. The voice in my head is there to guide me, to teach me how to use all of these new possibilities available to me. But I also feel like she’s trying to bring me closer to the dark side. Her pettiness was never exhausted and I confess that she easily managed to make me fall back into selfishness and hatred of others. But something tells me my actions won’t go unpunished, or at least there will be consequences. Then there are the spirits of the lost children who invite me to follow them. Those children kidnapped by the witch of the woods whom the villagers suspect I am helping. Why did you come to me? Where do they want to take me? All these unanswered questions drive me to unravel this new mystery. Maybe he will lead me on the right path to finally find my sister… who knows…

Explore, craft, evolve

Let’s leave little Yaga aside for a while if you don’t mind telling you a little bit about the gameplay. Blacktail is not a visual novel or a narrative game, the genres favorites of this genre. Therefore, it is difficult to explain her gameplay to you from the point of view of the young witch. Especially since he is surprisingly rich. FifthYou will understand that Blacktail is an exploration-focused game, with both action and survival phases. You can add to the RPG elements a system of consequences based on your choices as well as your actions and a world that unlocks new metroidvania-style skills. Certainly, these mechanics are not necessarily very original, but they articulate very well and make it possible to offer an engaging and balanced experience. Just a somewhat unusual point: No XP system. To develop new abilities, it will be necessary to collect certain resources. Naturally, this makes you want to venture to every corner of the map and it is, as you will understand, very fun to browse.

Despite everything, it’s hard to get a serious idea of ​​such a title with just an hour of gameplay. (A priori, it takes twelve to finish the main story). And for that, I took a look at Metacritic for once. With 6 reviews on PC (the platform the game was called on), it has a good score of 80, which is equal to 16 with us. Note that on the PS5, there are only 4 reviews on record which are less than flattering, bringing the score down to 73. And really, that’s not too surprising. Blacktail is not perfect. The combat system isn’t always very exciting, at least at first. Add to that the strawberry AI And you get a game that quickly reaches its limits in terms of movement. However, its ease of handling, its fluidity and its charmer on all levels managed to make me forget these few flaws. This will probably put some off, but for a first game, it’s far from shameless. Especially since the Poles from The Parasight manage to do the most: Makes you want to dive back into its title to unravel all its mysteries. In that sense, this is indeed a victory worth continuing on.

Blacktail is an exploration and action game that captivates with its hidden world and story. Fans of folk tales, this game has everything to please you, but it may also find favor in the eyes of lovers of exploration and new adventures. Blacktail is already available on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series.

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