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The Witcher (PC)

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6 Reviews

Manufacturer: Atari / Genre: Role-playing

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    6 Reviews
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      15.04.2013 12:26
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      Tediously repetative CPRG

      The Witcher is a Polish computer role playing game based on the character created in a series of short stories written by the Polish author Andrzej Sapowski. The protagonist of both story and CPRG is Geralt of Rivia. A mutant that looks suspiciously like either Elric of Melnibone or Drizzt Do'Urden. The idea is he looks this way due to his body being altered by chemical concoctions designed to make him better at his day job. Killing monsters.

      Such people are known as Witchers. Geralt is widely known as the best of them. Shunned by human society, they are nonetheless highly sought after for their specialised skills in a medieval European style setting. Views can be top-down or over the shoulder. You have three fighting styles that you switch to, depending on the situation. Fast, heavy and group.

      Fast or heavy depends on what you're fighting. More agile enemies are best fought with the former, heaver, hulking beasties with the latter. Group is, I hope, self-explanatory. You have two swords, one of steel and one of silver. Some supernatural enemies cannot be harmed with steel.

      Potion, oil and poison making is a large part of the game. Often you will prepare specific concoctions in advance of setting out on a set quest. The storyline itself is nothing special. I found it clichéd and repetitive. The graphics are ok, but nothing special and the very limited combat quickly pales. I didn't like Diablo, and this often feels just like that game, though the loot system is based less around arms and armour, and more ingredients and money.

      There is a morality system in play, with consequences that are never immediately apparent, and this is the best element of the game for me. It is not enough to offset against the weaknesses in character and plot, of which Geralt in particular is blander than a meal consisting of white bread and tepid water. There is an attempt to spice things up with seduction opportunities on some female NPCs. These typically have degrees of nudity. I'm not twelve, though.

      It's not often that I lose interest in a CPRG and stop playing it. The Witcher is one that falls into this category. In summary, if plot is unimportant to you, and you enjoy point, click and slash combat, you may well enjoy it. Available for about a tenner, the sequel is considered far better. I've not played it as I was so disappointed with this one.

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        10.04.2010 20:32
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        Fantastic RPG

        All the monster slaying, magic and womanising that any bedroom warrior can handle, and that's womanising without any of that unnecessary baby dilemma thanks to the Witchers special infertility perk.
        This truly is a great game, brilliant graphics for an RPG, good combat system, great story, many quests and side quests, hours of gameplay and an awesome update tree with loads of upgrades. There are lots of choices to be made in this game that all affect the outcome which is another reason to get it as this brings with it a high replay value, (I am currently on my third play-through). Saying all this though, the load times can become very tedious especially on slower systems, but that problem has been fixed in the enhanced edition, along with new dialogue and an improved inventory screen. If you are thinking of purchasing this title I would definitely look into buying the enhanced edition which will only cost you a few pounds more but the vastly reduced loading times alone are worth the slightly bigger dent in your wallet.

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        12.06.2009 12:25
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        Deep plot driven RPG that combines real time action and level based development.

        The Witcher, based on the popular short novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, was first released in 2007 by little know Polish game publisher Red Studio. It was widely known to have broken game mechanics and be full of random irritating bugs, thing was it was also an absolutely cracking RPG.

        Roll on the enhanced edition released in Europe in March 2009, whereby several gigabytes of patch fixed umpteen game mechanics, added a ton of new animations, a load of new content and made sure every second person didn't look exactly the same.

        The game itself is an RPG with considerable scope, combining real time action with levelled progression. You take on the role of Geralt one of the few remaining Witchers, an order of professional monster slayers. The plot is thick and completely non-linear, progressing in line with moral choices you make in interacting with NPCs. Different choices have any number of outcomes so it is wise to choose carefully (and save regularly).

        Although not having the same scope as a free roaming MMO the size of the game and the genuine effect you can have on the world is impressive. The moral aspect is incredibly well done; characters are deep and suitably duplicit meaning that there are a lot of hard choices to make.

        There is a lot of depth here; I lost count of the random side quests I discovered. Unusually (and refreshingly) many of those quests had off shoots of their own that felt genuinely worthwhile, adding to the narrative without (usually!) affecting the main story's progression.

        If I have any complaints they would be minor, some of the monsters character models are somewhat repetitious and simply not being able to walk off even a low ledge feels strange in a modern game, indicating that some of the mechanics still aren't quite right. They also haven't quite managed to crack the notorious real time vs. levelled combat system dynamic either, although they have given it a damn good stab (a far better one than Fallout IMO).

        One other point is that there are significant adult themes, including a lot of sex, so although that might be a selling point for some this really isn't one for the kids.

        I really recommend this game, all in it's a class act and at least an 8 out of 10 on my incredibly arbitrary rating system. One extra tip is that if you can find an old copy of the game, the enhanced edition patch is available to download free from Red Studio's site, I didn't tell you that though (go and get it!).

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        • More +
          07.04.2009 15:31
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          Great game I recommend you give it a try.

          This game is very impressive, the game is absolutely huge and the amount of things you can do is insane. The choices you make change the whole game, I spend half the time playing the game doing quests for a whole village of people. Towards the end of it I had to make a choice, and It was such a hard choice. I ended up killing the whole village (the peple who gave me all the quests up until this point!) in order to save one woman haha. I was not sure which option to pick but for some reason I trusted the one woman more than the rest of them.

          To my surprise I was shocked when I picked to save her that the rest of them would turn on me, I quickly reacted when they attacked me and wiped them all out. After the fight I was like "whoa! what the hell, as if you can just wipe out important NPS like this!" I looked around and the whole village was dead. The things you can do in this game are really impressive.

          There is however one big downfall, and I am not sure if it is due to how powerful your PC is, but I do not think it matters, I believe it's the way the game was coded itself but I could be wrong, the reason I believe this is due to the following:

          On my pc on max settings the load times are extremely long even when just going into a small house, I thought maybe this is my PC but I put them on lowest settings, and it was virtually the same load times. I have heard about it taking a while to load for other people but none the less the game is worth waiting for it to load. It is really fun and I look forward to the console versions that are coming out soon.

          Who knows maybe the enchanced edition will have faster load times, buy it either way regardless of load times.

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          06.03.2009 20:18
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          A great role playing game with a good story and fun to play

          The Witcher is a role playing game for the PC and was released in 2007. The game is only playable single player and has only been released for the PC at the moment.

          The Witcher whilst based in the world from the books by Andrzej Sapkowski is not based on the stories it is set after the books although a lot of the characters from the book are in the game, so if you have not read the books it will not harm your enjoyment of the game just give you a bit of back ground knowledge if you have.

          The game is set in a medieval type world and you play as Geralt of Riva who is a witcher, who has unnatural abilities. The game starts with you saving daughter of King Foltest from a curse which transforms her into a monster.

          This starting gives you a quick insight into the game before the main game starts five years later after you have been found unconscious in a field and taken to the stronghold Kaer Morhen. You have lost your memory and the game proceeds with you trying to find out what happened to you whilst you get mixed up in a power struggle.

          The game is separated into five main acts each set in different areas and needing you to complete different missions, although the game is non-linear and you can complete each mission different ways. You get to interact with many different characters both foes and friends and each choice and action you make changes the course of the game, not every choice is either good or bad, and what you decides to do changes how other characters interact with you.

          You can carry up to two main weapons, choose from up to six different combat styles, and you can also carry several different potions which can do anything from increase your health or help you see in the dark, you can learn how to make more complex ones as the game goes on. As in most role playing games you can upgrade your character from attributes, combat skills and magical powers.

          Controls/Graphics

          The controls are pretty easy to use most of it is controlled by the mouse. You can play the game either over the shoulder or top down if you wish. The graphics are very good with a high level of detail, the main problem of the game is the cut scenes which although are very well written and look good and help to forward the plot the voice acting is pretty poor but as this game was originally made in Poland you can easily overlook this.


          Difficulty

          The game itself is not really that hard to complete as a bit of practice and you will be able to improve your character so you can take on any enemy although it might take awhile for you to get to that level.

          Value for Money

          A very good game that is well written with a good plot and good graphics, the game is fun to play and is the game is pretty big and takes quite awhile to complete. There is also three different endings available so once you have completed the game you can easily play it again to try and get a different ending.

          Additional Information


          Although the game has only been released for the PC at the moment . a version for the console is planned titled The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf to be released at the end of 2009.

          Also unlike other games when you install the game if your computer is not able to meet the requirements of the game you can not play it, so you have to download a patch to be able to bypass this.

          System Requirements

          System Requirements Windows XP (with SP2) / Vista
          2.4GHz Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon 64 +2800 or equivalent
          1GB RAM (XP) / 1536MB (Vista)
          128MB nVidia GeForce 6600, ATI Radeon 9800 or equivalent (DirectX 9 compatible with Vertex Shader/ Pixel Shader 2.0 support)
          8.5GB HDD Space
          Sound Card (DirectX 9.0c compatible)
          Speakers or headphones
          DVD-ROM Drive

          Difficulty - 7 out of 10
          Game play - 9 out of 10
          Graphics - 9 out of 10
          Story - 9 out of 10
          Value - 9 out of 10
          Overall 9 out of 10

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          11.04.2008 16:40
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          Fantastic.

          "Heed my words, for here comes the age of the sword and the axe, the age of the wolfish storm.

          Here comes the Time of the White Cold and White Light, the Time of Madness and Contempt, Tedd Deiradh, the Time of Ending.

          And the world will die away slow, frozen in ice and covered with snow..."



          Don't try to deny it; there's always been a part of you that wants to jack in your job at the office, don a shirt and some leather armour, strap swords across your back and go on a monster-slaying, womanising rampage, without shaving or indeed washing for weeks at a time. Unfortunately today's society frowns on such behaviour, so as a fairly good substitute I would recommend The Witcher.

          I've said it before, and I'll say it again; games with good stories are few and far between. It seems far more profitable to produce yet another mindless blasting game every six months than to actually take time and effort in making something decent. But to their credit, BioWare, CD Projekt and Atari have gone against the grain, and the result is stunning.

          How do you make such a decent game? Well, The Witcher did get a bit of a leg-up from Polish fantasy writing legend (don't ask me how to pronounce it) Andrzej Sapkowski whose series of novels following the witcher Geralt are revered apparently on a level with Tolkien in Poland. So that was the story more or less sorted, once it had been adapted to make it playable. Then came the artists, who designed the game world around Sapkowski's writing, the result being stunningly realistic and photogenic surroundings with abundant plants, a day and night cycle and creatures and people to go with them. With such fantastic surroundings it would be a shame to have unrealistic characters and combat; so the next step was to create the movements of all beasts, people and swordfighting with the help of a full complement of actors and swordmasters using motion capture. Put it all together with some excellent voice-acting and actually make the game which is powered by BioWare's Aurora Engine, and there you have it: over eighty hours of fantastic role-playing game.


          THE SWORD OF DESTINY HAS TWO EDGES. YOU ARE ONE.

          The basics of gameplay are very simple; you can either use the click-where-to-move style or the press-buttons-on-keyboard style. When diplomacy fails (i.e. 99% of the time) combat is done by clicking on the enemy - after selecting an appropriate weapon - and then Geralt does the rest. Violently. In order to survive on the higher difficulty settings, and to make it easier to do so on lower difficulty settings it is necessary to make potions using ingredients you either gather or buy - and to learn the weaknesses of your enemies by reading books. Always there is a main thread of story that you must follow to progress, and always there are lots and lots of side-quests to do in order to make money.

          Progression through the game grants you "talents" which are basically points that can be spend upgrading Geralt's swordsmanship, magical ability, toughness or skill at potion making. Carrying the correct potions will save Geralt's life when he is forced into life threatening situations, and there are a wide range to choose from; Cat grants sight in the darkness of crypts, Blizzard improves his reflexes, Swallow increases health regeneration and so on. Be warned however that potions are toxic - too many will kill Geralt or lead to unintended effects.


          THIS IS WITCHER'S WORK...

          This is not a usual fantasy RPG however where morals are everything; in fact one of the major interests of the game is its amorality. Geralt's job is witching: he kills monsters and people pay him for it. Rarely will he agree to work for someone if there is no reward. Furthermore, as you progress there will be numerous instances where you must make a decision which is likely to have dreadful consequences whichever way you choose. With the kingdom of Temeria divided by racism against "non-humans" the country teeters on the brink of civil war. On one side stand the Scoia'tael, elven and dwarven "freedom fighters" (or murderous terrorists?) who demand equal rights through shows of violence. And on the other side stand the Order of the Flaming Rose, fanatical knights who believe all Scoia'tael must be wiped out and no non-human should be trusted. Which side do you choose?

          The plot is deep and complex, requiring a lot of exploration to reveal its true depths; and with a final stunning twist. You won't be disappointed.


          PROBLEMS?

          Ok, it's a brilliant game, but it does have a few weak areas. Firstly there is a lot of combat, which by the end had become a little repetitive despite its dramatic motion-capture realism. I think partly this could be solved by playing on a higher difficulty setting; easy really is too easy, at least once you are used to fighting and potion making.

          The next problem is that the sheer number of side quests detracts slightly from the pace of the main story, and although you don't have to do them they are your main source of income, and without money you will have difficulty acquiring the books, weapon upgrades and so on that are needed to survive, plus the fact that although side quests are on the side, some of them are really quite important to the main quest.

          And finally, at least on my PC, which is admittedly very middle of the road, the load times were fairly large, and in the more populous environments there were a few problems with lag. However, it wasn't really enough to detract from the enjoyment, and a future patch that has been announced should go a long way to fixing this.

          It is also worth noting that the 18 certificate is there for a reason; although I would personally say that there is nothing a 16 year old would be very shocked by, there is plenty of gore, sex, drunkenness, drug taking and other debauchery that some parents might not want their children to see.

          All in all The Witcher is a stunning and beautiful game with a fantastic plot. My advice is to try and remember what you say when you offer people advice during the game; and to play on as high a difficulty setting as you dare to give it a real sense of danger. Oh, and of course to buy the game first.

          For information much more skilfully written than I have managed, or to download the demo, visit the official website here: http://www.thewitcher.com/intro.asp


          MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

          - Windows XP (service pack 2) or Vista
          - 2.4GHz processor
          - 1024Mb RAM (XP) or 1536Mb (Vista)
          - 8.5 Gb on hard disk
          - 128Mb video RAM with DirectX9 vertex shader/pixel shader 2.0 support (NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or ATI Radeon 9800 or better

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        • Product Details

          The Witcher represents the pinnacle of storytelling in role-playing games, shattering the line between good and evil with a world where moral ambiguity reigns. In a beautiful, rich game universe created by artists first, technology second, the player becomes his own hero in an epic, action-packed narrative uniquely defined by his actions. Returning to the roots of the role-playing genre with a fresh and modern approach, The Witcher emphasizes story and character development in a vibrant world, while incorporating tactically-deep real-time combat like no game before it.