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| The Witcher Review, The Polish RPG that could. (6 comments )|
by: McStu (113) | Posted in cluster AMD Contest Group
Posted 67 months ago ( edited 67 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
Bleak skies, starving poor, freedom-fighter dwarves and elves, mutants, rapists, murderers, cannibals and red headed monsters, - welcome to the world of The Witcher.
|» MEDIA (4)|
witcher screenshot 1
witcher screenshot 2
Though perhaps not as publicly known or hyped as the latest "cutting-edge" games such as Crysis and Halo 3 - The Witcher is an extraordinary game in it's own right and may be the escape from recent poorly made RPGs that starving role-playing fans have been waiting for.
This is not to say that TW (from now on!) is an escape from the harsh realities of the real world - the game is based on the not-so-recent-for-europe-but-recent-for-us(whew) fantasy books
written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski where you play the role of Geralt, the mutant Witcher custom made to fight monsters in a world where the monsters aren't necessarily anything but human.
Throughout the game you'll meet many less than savoury people, but this is where the games key feature comes into play: choices and consequences. Will you allow the old man that thinks elf meat is tastier than cow to live? Or will you slit his throat? Any sane person would choose the latter but some choices aren't as clean cut as good and evil, some often enter a very grey area where the choice you make may have dire consequences further down the line despite how right you think it was when you made it. In this TW allows for some extensive replayability and leaves you feeling that the choices you make actually matter.
Speaking of throat slitting onto the combat - while not as fluid as the likes of Dark Messiah - it does have its own charms, whether it's the easy casting of spells or the well implemented combo system, it comes out looking and playing beautifully mainly due to the use of 'Motion Capture Technology', which allows animations to be both very realistic and spectacular to behold.
In regards to beauty, while not as top of the line as Crysis with its volumetric farts and soft shadowed grains of sand TW can hold it's own by having a world that feels lived in, where tavern floors are smeared in mud from dirty boots and rats scurry across the streets at night, couple this with high detail environments and solid textures it won't leave you disappointed.
But this doesn't mean that the game runs and looks good for everyone, those with less than brand new computers may suffer from slow frame rates and stutters which leads me to the gripes of the game.
These aren't 'game-breakers' but they do leave you feeling it's a less than perfect game. To start, the load times while not pain enducingly long, are frequent, you may start twiddling your thumbs (perhaps painfully...) The foremost gripe though is the less than stellar translation to English (from Polish) along with the sometimes poor voice acting which creates some rather random-sounding conversations at times.
In conclusion the game -while slightly flawed- is a thoroughly enjoyable experience which I'd highly recommend to any RPG'er or even casual gamer to try.
|6 User Comment(s) • 5 root comment(s)|
| RedRay (462) Nov 27, 2007 - 10:15 am | Edited on Nov 27, 2007 - 10:18 am|
|My thoughts on the game.|
PRO: great atmosphere, graphics are astounding given the game was built on the Aurora (NWN 1) engine and still compet*tive vs. state of the art t*tles, supports SLI, supports 64bit Vista, a goodly number of side quests.
CON: not an open world like Oblivion, instead follows the area-based system of NWN1/2. While somewhat restricting, this usually allows for much more differentiated combat at the higher levels. But Witcher does not have this. In fact some of the monsters you find at the second to last area are exactly the same (Drowned Dead) that you fight at the second from the beginning area. The reason for this lack of progression is the action oriented combat system. As much of your combat efficiency comes from gained expertise with the keyboard/mouse rather than through RPG stat progression, you are essentially fully leveled up early in the game, i.e. once you have familiarity with the combat mechnanics. Thus you have the worst of both worlds: no open world and still bland combat (the worst aspect of Oblivion).
NEITHER PRO NOR CON: Moderate demands on system resources, some file loading interruptions but not severe, character animations (how many times can you see the flippant hand gesture!).
Overall I give the game a score of 8. Good, especially for its uniqueness, but not a lot of replayability given the repet*tive combat.
My thoughts on the review: captures the easily noticable ways this game differentiates itself from the crowd. But misses the deeper issues, in particular the fact that there is no RPG strategy to the gameplay. Then again I haven't seen these issues raised in ANY of the online reviews, so it's hard to single out this review for criticism - yet the faults are so evident IF you have played through the entire game that one wonders if many reviewers simply didn't, instead gourging themselves of Halo 3, Crysis, Mass Effect, etc.
Overall I give the review a score of 7.
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