Julkaistu 27. joulukuu.
Though a few years old and definitely not the best looking game in the world, The Witcher brings the fantasy world of Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher novels into the video game world and does it in style. When I first played this game several years ago, I was very turned off by the combat system which uses timed clicks in order to perform increasingly powerful combo attacks against enemies. It feels a lot like a rhythm game when you first start but feels much more natural as you play more.
The Witcher uses its own game systems and rules unlike any other RPG I have played and they not only work very well, but fit the game's lore perfectly. I like that it isn't as complex as a lot of systems such as D&D but still has plenty of depth to work with.
Gameplay is fun with fast-paced combat and plenty of RPG storytelling. The content is well-balanced and the harder sections will require some thought and tactics rather than just plowing right into the fight. Unfortunately some sections of the game will have you running around a lot with little action which can become tedious and may turn some people off. The writing is surprisingly good with many genuinely funny lines and some (unfortunately not all) good voice actors. Characters are interesting and have their own unique personalities.
The game's maps are well designed and leave plenty of room for exploration and side quests while you progress through the story. It doesn't really have any of what I would consider secrets, though you will be rewarded for exploration. One additional feature that I quite like is that the game does not let you collect or utilize alchemy ingredients from plants and monsters unless you first obtain knowledge of them from books or conversations with NPCs. Being as your character has lost all his memory prior to the start of the game, it's a nice touch of realism.
My main gripe about this game is the same as The Witcher 2: combat control responsiveness. Fairly often in combat you will attempt to perform a combo and Geralt will just stand there. You click again and it kills your combo because it worked the first time and it just delayed the attack for no apparent reason. Sometimes you will have to click multiple times for commands to register or it will target a different enemy than the one you clicked on, making Geralt move to another position to attack.
The other main problem I found is the game engine itself, the Aurora Engine. This is the engine that Bioware has used since Neverwinter Nights though they tend to rename it with each major update. Having played most of the games produced on it, I have never been impressed with the performance of any of them and The Witcher isn't any different. In addition, not being able to take advantage of multi-core processors it is heavily CPU-bound on modern gaming PCs and the game's framerate can regularly drop significantly despite its 2007-era graphics. It does still remain playable though.
The Witcher is a very mature game with plenty of (though mostly optional) sexual content. It has been regularly criticized for its callous treatment of sex (it even gives you collectible cards for all the women you sleep with) though I find it makes sense in the context of the lore. It has superb writing, fun gameplay and for me, it beats Dragon Age by a mile in all aspects. I highly recommend the series to any RPG fans.