張貼於：05 月 19 日
A Grain of Truth
When you hear stories passed down of a game called The Witcher, tales of a classic RPG from a bygone era, perhaps in one of them contains a "grain of truth."
On the release of the final game in this trilogy (5/19/15), I decided to finally sit down and write about my tale to you. A tale of one gamer's journey into the world of The Witcher 1
, a uniquely, captivating Fantasy cRPG from 2007. What was I was doing at the time, so long ago? Shooting Reapers dead and becoming a Warden; that is until a friend told me about a little known game to me that I might enjoy which went something like, "So I know you like classic games, you should check this out! Its an RPG game about a Monster Hunter named Geralt of Rivia and its awesome!"
Could it be true, was it "awesome"?
Well lets take a gander...
I feel like I'm in a Medieval Simulator... but there are elves and magic?
The first Witcher game came as a bit of a surprise back in 2007 with other big-name titles coming out around the same time period. It was released, by now, well known Polish developer group CD Projekt that thought there just wasn't enough, good grim-dark Medieval Fantasy games based on a series of novels, that first became popular in Poland, and that needed to be corrected immediately!
As many may know by now (or not), the game is based on the excellent book series by Adrezej Sapkowski in which you play as Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter for hire, known as a "Witchers
" or "Wiedźmin
" - whom are basically Medieval Warrior Monks, from an alternate 1200s Scandinavian-like land, cool right? - "but what do the books have to do with the game" you ask? I'll get to that at the end, but firstly what to expect out of this review: My honest take on the game (The Enhanced Version
) and what you can expect, either as someone brand new to this series or those more accustomed to the later games.
- An engaging, mystery story-line, that'll make you want to know more about "Who is Geralt?" and the world of the Witcher
- Interesting side-quests, besides the Monster Hunting variety
- Choices that actually matter in sometimes subtle and also big ways (multiple variations on Game Ending)
- Outstanding soundtrack by Paweł Błaszczak & Adam Skorupa that absolutely FITS the stark Medieval setting perfectly (seriously "River of Life" brought a tear to my eye!) and the action music will get you in the mood for combat!
- Classic take on RPG-tropes with some familiar elements to level (Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Intelligence) with a uniquely in-universe twist by leveling the types of Magic Witchers use and leveling combat styles (Strong, Fast, Group)
- Unique Combat / Semi-Active Combo Sword mini-game/system (best way to describe it)
- One all encompassing menu that lets you easily switch from your items, character screen, journal, and so on
- The coolest Alchemy mechanics I've seen in a video game (You can experiment and make potions in a way that seems semi-realistic, even making unknown ones if you mix the right ingredients!)
- Saving is your Friend, DO IT! The game does still have crashing issues (I was able to resolve this with a "4GB" patch - but you will have to search that on your own)
- The camera during dialogue can sometimes go off-center and suddenly you'll be speaking to someone's chest (Why is Geralt staring at Dandelion's Bardly chest?)
- The game may not get along with Steam Overlay (You may need to turn it off in your Steam settings)
While there are many strengths such as the story, there are some things to consider...
- Combat can be deeply entertaining or overwhelming or potentially frustrating. As you may have heard from word of mouth or other reviews, the combat is not to everyone's liking. You are either going to like it or not; imagine a game like KOTOR or Elder Scrolls where you are standing in place hitting the enemy, but now in addition you'll complete combos for increasingly more insane damage and acrobatics, by clicking your mouse when prompted; additionally you have magic to use; you have two types of swords for use on certain targets ; PLUS "Combat Stances" that determine your likelihood to hit whatever type of target you are facing (a "fast" or "slow/strong" opponent) - In truth, the combination of all these were overwhelming at first, but fascinating to me at the same time as there is really not much else like it in other games. Over time I mastered the combat with practice so it can require patience. I recommend watching videos or playing a friend's copy as there is no demo.
- This isn't a "make your own character kind" of RPG; you are Geralt of Rivia whom has his own history already laid out in the previous novels, but you can choose your stats and how you build him into a Medieval Monster Hunting Badass, and you can choose how to approach parts of the storyline
- While the story generally tells you where to go and who to speak to next; there are other parts not so obvious and require you to really think and explore as traditional, classic RPG's tend to do; There are some excellent guides[www.gamefaqs.com] out there though and there's certainly nothing wrong with that if you feel overwhelmed on any part of the game.
- The graphics are based on the Bioware Aurora engine and was very nice for its day in 2007 comparatively with other big-name titles from that time - Certainly a dated look compared to games NOW, so if you absolutely must play bleeding-edge technology, this game is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you do play older titles or often find yourself buying classic games on Steam or GOG, then this game may become that unknown gem as it did for me.
For a game based on an established series of novels and comics, with its own set of characters and setting, this is one of the best book-to-video game Third Person RPG's I have ever seen. In that way, it is definitely unique and manages to bring to life the world of the Witcher. While the game isn't without its own set of flaws, the great story writing, pleasant music, and unique style have certainly made it a classic... as the tale goes.
Other Information FAQ - Potential SpoilersHow is this game different from the second or third game in the series?
The combat in the first game is one of the main differences here compared to the rest of the trilogy - it is very much "classic" based and stat-driven (dexterity determining if you get hit or not for instance as you stand in place) compared to the much for "active" action-style gameplay of the other titles. In addition, in the Witcher 1, Geralt is mainly the one narrating his journal; the Alchemy in Witcher 1 was a bit deeper and seemingly for complex, since it lets you experiment more.So you keep mentioning these books, do I need to read those to understand the game?
No, not necessarily - the game provides enough reading into the various characters and background information. You will however know much, much
more by reading them and gain a clearer understanding of the fictional world that Geralt resides in and his relation to the characters. The Witcher Saga is one of only a few favorite Medieval Fantasy series for me that I did not start reading until after playing the first game - its right up there with Tolkien or Game of Thrones. I highly recommend them if you enjoy reading. Basically it goes like this - The Witcher Saga books are like The Original Trilogy of Star Wars, while the games are the "Extended Universe" that are a continuation of the story.