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Blair Witch PCVR - awesome game but extremely gpu demanding!

RuneSR2
Level 15

The Rift exclusive PCVR version of Blair Witch arrived last month, but having to pay $30 for a game I wasn't sure I'd like did put me off for some time. Bought it yesterday though - the trailer looks great:

 

 

Get the game here:

 

https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/2701623223220912/?ranking_trace=1943584525923090_27016232232...

 

Furthermore I wasn't sure if this was some beefed up Quest-port with tons of low-poly objects. Turns out the game does look nice. Saw some convincing reviews in the Oculus Store, to quote a few:

 

"Ive playes the quest 2 version and loved itì, the only downside vs the flat pc version was the graphics, but now this game nearly matches the flat pc version."

 

1.JPG

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Some say the PCVR version (top) matches the 2D version (below), but that does not *dry cough!* come cheap, lol 

 

"Besides terrific graphics, excellent sound, perfectly unsettling music, and of course a really eerie atmosphere, this game especially excels story wise."

 

BW_E32019_white-tree.jpg

Great lighting - I believe there're volumetric lights in the game

 

"the graphics have really impressed me. There are tons of graphical options, as well as sound, game and movement. I did have to tinker with the movement options for awhile, to find a setting that works for me. I would recommend using continuous motion, and setting your degree of turning to continuous. Also make sure to change your rotation speed to max."

 

BW_Road.JPG

Most textures look nice/great - some even kinda awesome, but you don't get Alyx texture quality in this game

 

Also the recommended gpu was a GTX 1080. That's Asgard's Wrath level, not even Alyx goes that high. Smelled like real PCVR to me - or close enough. 

 

There was this warning making my hardware Spider Sense tingle, lol:

 

"the game has poor performance. [...] I wanted to get the most out of the visuals of the game. But on 2060s and 9600k, it's better not to go into the settings at all."

 

BW_E32019_sheed.jpg

Gotta love those lights! 😍

 

The above warning was probably written from a user not using high levels of super sampling. Having to use the lowest setting to get acceptable fps with an RTX 2060 is kinda a red flag. Or a green flag using the brute force of the RTX 3090, lol. 

 

BW_GameplayTrailer_Train_1080p.JPG

Sadly that phone got some really low-res textures, maybe a leftover from the Quest version, who knows...

 

Even if some may think Oculus only makes low-end Quest games, nothing could be more wrong. No one but Oculus has made truly high-end PCVR games, like Stormland, Asgard's Wrath, Lone Echo and especially Medal of Honor: Above & Beyond (recommending a RTX 2080 at launch). Turns out Blair Witch may be the most gpu demanding game I've ever played - but I'm forcing 17 mill pixels per image using Rift CV1 ss 2.0 - my tech-focused "review":

 

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Not sure I've got any other game forcing me down to 36 fps using ss 2.0, then again suddenly the name "Seeking Dawn" springs to mind 😂 Blair Witch is a 10.6GB download - same as the install size. Quest version is only 3.7GB. 

 

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Image from the PCVR version (top) showing great graphics - the 2D version is shown below, but I saw similar lighting in the PCVR version

The main problem with this game may be a severe lack of optimization making the game more or less unplayable for most/many users. I can get solid 90 fps using low settings, but then the game looks awful. Medium setting goes to 45 fps and sometimes/often 90 fps - and High goes from like 30 to 90 fps, but mostly 45 fps and often below 45 fps. So pick your poison. I don't mind some low fps in this game here'n there - it does look great, especially the dog:

 

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The dog looks quite good - especially looks nearly real in the game's menu room

 

Also note that Blair Witch isn't just some fast indie game, it first arrived in 2D and has gotten many great reviews:

 

 

I'll try to Revive it tonight, but I fear the worst 😬 😂

 

Btw, new games rarely show the old Touch controllers anymore, but usually just show Rift-S controllers. This game shows both the old original Touch controllers and supports temporal antialiasing (TAA). TAA looks really bad and blurry with lcd hmds. I have the feeling the PCVR version has been in development for a looong time... 

 

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Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

12 REPLIES 12

RuneSR2
Level 15

Btw, looks like my RTX 3090 is doing a nice job, lol - I just read this - seems not all like the game and especially the performance 🤓

 

" [...] The game was horrible and boring. It also ran TERRIBLY while looking like a ps2 game and before someone tells me my specs suck...

 

Ryzen 5800x (gold example)
2080 ti ftw3 ultra +170 core +1000 mem
32 gigs DDR4 3600 mhz dual channel
2 gen 4 m.2 SSD's
4 gen 3 SATA3 SSD's
ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Formula motherboard
Custom loop liquid cooling setup"

 

I guess you really need an extremely fast gpu for this game. Also the PCVR version should be built on the PC version:

 

" [...] this is a full port of the original game for VR [...] Bloober (=the main developer) says it’s added improvements to the PC version, and not just on the visual front. A new backpack has been added to the game and your dog companion, Bullet, even has improved AI. There are, of course, a number of graphics tweaks including better models, lighting and improved draw distance."

 

Source: https://uploadvr.com/blair-witch-vr-oculus-rift/

 

Who cares about Crysis anymore, but can your rig run Blair Witch PCVR with High settings? 🤔

RuneSR2_0-1628270742304.png

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

RuneSR2
Level 15

Just tested the game with the Index, and Revive works perfectly. Actually detects Knuckles like Rift-S controllers, lol. Using the highest settings the game was solid 90 fps in 90 Hz using Index res 100% - but motion smoothing kicked in using res 200%. So the game works perfectly using the Index (=same performance as Rift CV1 ss 2.0), but still it doesn't. 

 

After thoroughly testing the game, I'm fully convinced this is another old CV1 game, like Medal of Honor AB and Asgard's Wrath, and for some reasons Blair Witch PCVR got severely delayed. Because Blair Witch looks totally like garbage using lcd hmds like the Index. Well maybe not the first level, but even using Index res 200% there're too many jaggies. Already in chapter 2 you encounter cliffs and rocks with surfaces that are strangely discolored - sorta shimmering - simply looks totally wrong. Maybe many will not notice it much and just think the devs did a poor job designing the game, but devs did not. Now try the Rift CV1 - and it's totally like magic - now everything looks right and totally awesome! The light looks perfect, rock surfaces look awesome - and there're no jaggies. Plants look much better too. And when the night comes, everything looks perfectly black too. 

 

My ratings:

Index res 200% with max graphics settings: 5/10 (ugly garbage graphics)

Rift CV1 ss 2.0 with max graphics settings: 9/10 (looks jaw-droppingly awesome most places)

 

If I only had the Index, even if performance is same as Rift CV1, I would have refunded the game. With the Rift CV1, Blair Witch is a keeper and one of the most impressive games I own. 

 

Also check out the dog in the menu room - looks incredibly gorgeous with the CV1 ss 2.0 and TAA, but looks really bad with lcd, especially the fur and hairs, sigh. 

 

I haven't seen this CV1 advantage as pronounced for long, but surely there are games like Gnomes & Goblins, Ark Park and Robinson: The Journey, where lcd does not just look wrong, but totally destroys immersion. And now I'll add Blair Witch to this game category too. Might also include Stormland, Defector, Gloomy Eyes and the old original PCVR version on Affected the Manor (the awesome 4GB high-poly version with great textures, before that game was Questified and destroyed down to 1.2GB). 

 

I do have the advantage of being able to switch between hmds in seconds - making it extremely easy to observe the strikingly differences. I guess most who have sold their CV1s no longer have a clue how games really looked with the CV1.

 

Btw, performance is fine in this game with the RTX 3090, but I wouldn't want to use a much slower card. For those using slower cards, just reduce super sampling and you'll probably be fine. 

For now the game feels more like an adventure game, which I'm fully enjoying. Really feels like walking in a forest among trees and cliffs, looking for clues to a lost kid, tomorrow this is the game I look forward to play again the most! Also having a dog with you greatly reduces the feeling of loneliness, and might reduce the frightening atmosphere, especially for those not too keen on VR horror - like me 😉

 

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Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

RuneSR2
Level 15

To me the 1999 Blair Witch movie was a great disappointment, extremely low budget, nothing happened, just one giant tease:

 

 

Luckily the Blair Witch PCVR version delivers almost everything the movie didn't. First out all the story searching for a 9-year old kid is great (one of my sons are also 9 years old today, so I can relate, lol) - and then the immersion is second to none, so much better than the movie.

You can attach a flashlight to your chest at night, so you don't need a hand to hold it. The light at night looks awesome, even the smallest branches cast dynamic shadows on rocks and much more.

 

1.gif

 

The ground looks somewhat tessellated, or at least some sort of bump mapping. And the game is playing some mind-tricks on you - creating puzzles and mazes you need to solve. 

 

Without spoling too much, according to the devs the content and story goes like this:

 

"It’s 1996. A young boy disappears in the Black Hills Forest near Burkittsville, Maryland. As Ellis, a former police officer with a troubled past, you join the search. What starts as an ordinary investigation soon turns into an endless nightmare as you confront your fears and the Blair Witch, a mysterious force that haunts the woods…

 

Blair Witch is a first-person, story-driven psychological horror game based on the cinematic lore of Blair Witch.

 

From the creative minds behind the critically acclaimed Layers of Fear, experience first-hand the toll that fear can take on the mind in an original story inspired by the cinematic lore of Blair Witch.

 

YES, YOU CAN PET THE DOG 

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​You're not going in alone: you have your trusty canine sidekick, Bullet, by your side. You can encourage him with treats, or discipline him for wandering off - but know that how you choose to treat him affects your story."

 

In VR you do bond with Bullet, quite a strange feeling, but kinda feels like I've got my own dog, lol. Can't help petting him now and then - and you can give Bullet a biscuit and control his actions with a whistle. 

 

Btw, for the massive number of tire kickers out there, there's no planned SteamVR release, only the Oculus Store is a sure thing. But maybe the game will later arrive for PSVR:

 

" [...] the game will also be arriving on PSVR later this summer, but no official date for that just yet. No word on a possible SteamVR version yet either."

Source: https://uploadvr.com/blair-witch-vr-oculus-rift/

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

RuneSR2
Level 15

Interestingly, but it really looks like the PCVR version is close to a direct port of the PC version - for example the 2D version has these settings:

 

Blair_Witch_2019_-_Display_menu.png

 

The VR version does not have fps cap, vsync, full screen or HDR, but has the quality setting - and more importantly has nearly all of the advanced settings:

 

Blair_Witch_2019_-_Advanced_graphics_menu.png

The PCVR version has close to all these settings shown from the 2D version, and enabling all does take a great performance toll

 

Can't remember if we got separate translucency in the PCVR version, but devs kept all the other settings. Especially the LPV setting was a bit of a mystery to me, never seen that before in a game, and it may take some toll, it's the Light Propagation Volume setting:

 

https://ericpolman.com/2016/06/28/light-propagation-volumes/

 

 

I didn't find that fps noticeably increased when disabling LPV in Blair Witch VR, actually I've not found a single setting causing a major fps reduction. In Blair Witch it seems more that the sum of many activated settings cause a big fps hit. Therefore it may make more sense to just select a low, medium or high quality setting, and then add the antialiasing you want - and then see if there's any headroom for more res. 

 

Kinda feels like the devs just gave us the full 2D version, which now needs to be rendered for each eye in 90 fps, lol. 

 

PS. One dude wrote on Steam that even the 2D version requires tons of gpu power:

 

"Needing a RTX 2080/GTX 1080TI to run such a linear game at 1080p@60 fps is ridiculous"

 

- so needing truly high-end gpus for the VR version may be expected...

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

RuneSR2
Level 15

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When Quest 2 was introduced, Oculus did state the following:

 

" [...] the Rift Platform isn’t going anywhere. In fact, we've seen significant growth in PC VR via Oculus Link, and the Rift Platform will continue to grow while offering high-end PC VR experiences like Lone Echo II and Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond well into the future."

Source: https://www.oculus.com/blog/facebook-connect-oculus-quest-2-aaa-gaming-partnerships-and-more/

 

Thus Oculus didn't say PCVR is about to stop, but that they'll continue offering high-end PC VR experiences. In many ways Blair Witch PCVR stays incredibly true to that commitment. My best guess is that we're only getting Blair Witch PCVR, because Oculus supported it. Already now there're several complaints on Steam from users wanting a Steam version - and no response from the devs. Not sure we're going to get a Steam version at all. 

 

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Image from the Rift (PCVR) version

 

Btw, the game is extremely enhanced for PCVR, there's close to no resemblance with the Quest version - the following image shows same location as the above, but for the Quest:

 

 

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Some cars and many other objects have been cut from the Quest version, and all vegetation severely trimmed or removed - even Quest owners have complained about the very poor "PS2 graphics"

 

There has been no high-end exclusive Rift game launch in the Oculus Store since we got Medal of Honor: Above & Beyond, and frankly speaking that wasn't an exclusive, even if Oculus paid for the game, because the game was also available on Steam. 

 

For now Blair Witch PCVR is a true extremely high-end PCVR release, and totally exclusive to the Oculus Store. To me it's the best new game available in the Oculus Store since Medal of Honor arrived in Dec 2020.

 

Sadly, Oculus didn't mention the game at all when it launched July 7. Not even a small blog notice. But the devs were active on Twitter:

 

https://twitter.com/blairwitchgame?lang=en

 

Fortunately, RoadToVR, VRFocus, UploadVR and several other websites did support the devs by mentioning the game launch. 

 

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Blair Witch may deliver the most convincing forest in VR - often really feels like walking in a forest!

 

Btw, in more detail, the PCVR version was improved beyond graphics with the following:

 

Improved Dog commands for Bullet:

  • Pet Bullet to make sure he knows he’s a good boy
  • Change up his look with a variety of new collars
  • Give Bullet treats. In the VR edition, he’ll take them right from your hand
  • Bullet can help you track scents through the forest, just give him an object to sniff
  • Enjoy the company of your best buddy and shake his paw any time

Gameplay:

  • Environments have been redesigned for more interactivity
  • Objects to catch, throw, or stack on top of each other
  • A marker to draw on paper and other objects
  • Drawers, doors, gates, and car trunk open at a touch
  • Breaking branches
  • Operation of mechanical elements: handles, buttons, opening locks with a key, padlock codes, etc…
  • New control system
  • New sounds and in-game events to surprise and scare the player.
  • Additional creature encounters

 

More info here:

https://cogconnected.com/2021/07/blair-witch-oculus-rift-edition-trailer/

https://www.gamespress.com/Now-available-on-Oculus-Rift-Blair-Witch-Oculus-Rift-Edition-offers-an

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

RuneSR2
Level 15

Alright, I shall retract my words that this is an Oculus exclusive, or at least it was for 1 month

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The game is now out on Steam - and for PSVR. It's even 15% off on Steam:

 

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1576350/Blair_Witch_VR/

 

Thus the game is cheaper than the $30 I had to bleed in the Oculus Store, and I can't refund after playing for like 6 hours 😒 But I'm pretty sure that this version is close to 100% the same as the Oculus version (screenshots are the same on Steam and in the Oculus Store), and the Oculus version looked really bad using lcd - this is an oled game if there ever was one. It's still not known if the Steam version supports native Oculus drivers. 

 

The PlayStation version looks like low-poly garbage with almost no branches or leaves on the trees, and the amazing dynamic light and shadows simply gone - compared to the awesome PC version. This is the PlayStation VR trailer:

 

 

The PSVR version does look a lot better than the Quest version though, especially the textures, and the poly count does seem much higher than the Quest version too (check the trees and 3D grass). 

 

Btw, note that the Steam version requires a GTX 1080 (same as RTX 2060) as the bare minimum:

 

MINIMUM

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel i5-8600K or equivalent
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1080 or equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 11 GB available space

 

My Spider Sense tells me you'll also need that RTX 3080+ for the Steam version 

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Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

RuneSR2
Level 15

Btw, if some are holding off buying this game due to a fear of VR horror, then don't. This game is much more like a walking simulator with some puzzles. It's by far not a real horror game - maybe much more like a thriller, somewhat like the movie Seven. 

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

Good deal now that it is on Steam I may have to pick this one up.

Rift CV1| Rift S| Quest| Reverb G2| Index| Vive Pro 2

Do let us know how the game performs using the Vive Pro - could be interesting. Reviving the game I don't even always get 90 fps with Index res 100%, but that's with all in-game settings maxed, and measured in chapter 2 (where the forest may be most dense). 

Lcd res 200% gave me tons of jaggies compared to the CV1 ss 2.0 though, I'm still only considering oled for this game, also for sharp TAA. 

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"