Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Witcher

With the upcomming release of "The Witcher 2" (A.K.A "The Second Coming" to us PC dwelling RPG fanatics) I thought I'd try my hand at the original which was, and still is, one of the most harshly critiqued and overtly lauded games of the past decade.

The game does not start well, I'll be the first to admit that, dropping you into the world with the stereotypical "LOL AMNEESIA" plot that game developers seem to be so very fond of. To boost, you're struck with a series of cutscenes that can't be paused and seem to skip if you look at them to harshly, dropping you into the middle of combat, which is never a good thing when it comes to pacing the story.

From here you fend off a giant praying mantis or a character that wouldn't look amiss in the SA, thus ends the tutorial and thus begins the fetch quests; though, unlike most other WRPGs with fetch quests, most of your rewards are shameless bootycalls.

One of the most important things to remember about The Witcher is that it is HEAVILY story driven, rooted deep in European and Slavic mythology and based on a best selling line of books, compounded by a very punishing choice system; unlike any other system, one could not call it a morality system, every decision benefits one group of people and harms another and the best bit is that decisions you make may not affect the story for HOURS to come, no sissyboy quicksave and loading for you, take your crummy decisions like a man.

Game Play
 What can I say aside from the obvious; gameplay, excluding the dialogue and choice system, is stale and repetitive, a boring romp through point and click fantasy game #4056, redeemed by a truly unique and amazing storyline.
I'd have to give The Witcher a 6/10 for just cutting the grade.

The graphics, for the day, were quite good; though the engine strained in any situation where there was any more than 2 flies on screen; this was supported by a fabulous art style that changed from area to area, it didn't stagnate like in Oblivion.
For graphics, and a sensible yet interesting art style, I'm giving it an 8/10.

Again, this is an area that just didn't shine, sound effects were lackluster and the entire experience wasn't memorable; I just can't give this game any higher than a 4/10 for sound.

Replay Value
Again, this is a shining spot; in a game with such an involving and dynamic storyline one is bound to find many different ways to play the game. Every playthrough will reveal a new quest, a new moral issue, a new friend and often allow you to see the story from everyone's angle.
In this game it is emphasised that no one person is evil, this game allows you to see the story from every perspective; for this I'm going to give The Witcher an 9/10 for replay.

Gameplay: 6/10
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 4/10
Replay Value: 9/10
Overall: 6.75/10