The Witcher

As with most of the games I play, I started The Witcher long after it came out. It ended up being more of a blessing than usual as there were some terrible bugs. With the exception of some occasional crashes, the major crash bugs, five minute loading screens, annoying DRM and censorship for the American release were more or less remedied by the time I started.

What I liked:

  • The world is very dark, very mature. Kidnapping, rape, incest and murder are not uncommon.
  • The combo system of timed clicks works well. It allows the the player to pull off some very complicated moves without the need of learning difficult button combos found in other games.
  • One of my favorite parts was the dual sword system along with the strong, fast and group fighting styles. It took some time to get the hang of switching weapon and fighting styles in the middle of battle but very rewarding after I did so.
  • Spells were setup to be a nice addition to sword play, instead of replacing it. I also enjoyed the ability to charge my spells which added strategy to some fights.
  • Decisions affect the game long after there are made, stopping the player from just reloading a save to see both outcomes.

What I didn’t:

  • The story starts with one of my peeves: the protagonist has amnesia.
  • There are a couple of timed quests with little indication that there is a time limit and not just an NPC saying “you must hurry.”
  • It is all too easy to miss quests or items that really affect gameplay later in game. In one instance, if Geralt fails to go back into a cave for a second time at the very beginning of the game, the player will not be able to get the very best silver sword in the game. The game is also laid out into chapters, and one cannot go back once it has been completed.

In summary, The Witcher was a very enjoyable game. I can’t wait to play The Witcher 2, which is likely to be nearing the end of development now as they already accept preorders on Steam.

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