Review by Prosercunus
A Step In The Right Direction.
The Witcher is one of those games that earns its greatness not by hype, but by simply being a great game. In the over-hyped world of Halo 3, Manhunt 2, and Assassins Creed, you always get one or two games like this, that sit in the corner silently and let themselves be judged based on it's merits. I didn't even hear about this game until a month after it's release.
The Witcher looks pretty good. Character models are very life like, but are diminished by the overuse of the same model on various non important characters, even some of the important characters are reused on other important characters, which can take away from the experience. The monsters look great in this game, but again specially named monsters look the same as the normal versions. The landscape and cities look phenomenal, from the bustling city that feels alive, to the outskirts and swamp areas that give you that ominous feeling. Fighting animations look great and death animations are also great, except half the time you don't realize you decapitated someone until after the battle and you see their severed head on the ground. Graphics are very detailed overall.
The Witcher has pretty average sound effects. The music is nothing to write home about and the sudden spike in music intensity as an enemy is approaching is more annoying then engaging. The sound your sword makes as you decimate enemies is pretty good and the voice acting was actually pretty well done compared to so many other role playing games, though some of the talking is reused throughout the game, such as greetings sounding mean even if you are being friendly toward that character because it is a reused clip from a previous unfriendly conversation. Pretty average sound, but good enough not to take away from the game.
The Witcher has an engaging story. This is where The Witcher truly shines, it starts off kind of slowly, but once it gets going you cannot stop until you beat the game. Throughout the game you come across interesting characters with interesting backgrounds. Geralt of Rivia is the character you control throughout the game. Geralt lost his memory to the extent that he does not even remember what kind of personality he has, but finds out information about himself throughout the game. There is really not much to say about the story without giving anything away, only that it sucks you in and does not let you go until you finish the game. Some story elements are not fully coherent which stops me from giving the game a perfect score.
The Witcher has great gameplay. This is the only game where I actually used Alchemy because it was implemented well, the way the developers intertwined combat and alchemy to work well together was well done, and using the right kind of potions and sword techniques make the game something more then a simple point and click. Some things about the gameplay are lackluster, such as the side quests being boring with pretty poor rewards. Your inventory is hard to organize and finding the item you want can be a complete pain in the butt. The gameplay is nothing ground breaking but it works.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: The Witcher (EU, 10/26/07)
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