The Witcher Reviews

The official site is pointing to another list of The Witcher reviews, including a lot of international ones.

YouGamers is impressed by the quality and maturity with an 8.7.
CDProjekt wisely chose to not jump on the DirectX 10 bandwagon for The Witcher; instead they took a rusty old BioWare engine and hammered it into a solid DirectX 9 beauty. To be honest, I'm somewhat confused about it being the Aurora engine: it plays like it's Odyssey from KOTOR and looks like Eclipse from the forthcoming Dragon Age. Either CDProjekt are total coding gurus (just look at the differences between Neverwinter Nights and this game!) or BioWare gave them a serious helping hand, using The Witcher as a test bed for their own, future, ideas.

No matter - what it lacks in technical flag-waving, it more than makes up for it in artistic style and detail. Yes, there's post-processing, day and night cycles, and shaders (it's all there if you want it) but The Witcher just oozes elements of classic design and a strong understanding of what draws a player into a game. Let's take some examples: it rains. Big deal, so what; it rains in puzzle games now. But here, the world and its people react to the rain - they run for cover, bunching together under bridges, and then moan about the weather to people that they're otherwise ignored.
Games Radar lauds it with a 9.
The game's structure is a series of chapters, with some quests spanning and evolving across a number of acts, and of course a fair number of side-quests that require you to go somewhere and slice up a specified number of monsters and bring back evidence of the massacre to secure a reward.

In this area, perhaps there is little that is startlingly original, but that doesn't detract from the essential fun of visiting new areas, slaying new monsters or meeting new characters. Yes it can get repetitive going from one area of the city to another to complete a mission, but then so was Grand Theft Auto, and so was Oblivion. As with these games, the world of The Witcher is one you always feel a part of and that alone compels you to explore every corner.

Much has been made of the game's combat system, which allows you to chain together attacks, so long as you time your mouse-clicks correctly. In fact, at higher experience levels you can link together enough leaps and devastating blows to secure an honorary degree from the Jedi Academy. In practise, whilst the combat isn't quite as dumb as your usual action-based RPG, it's no Street Fighter II. But the combat is an enjoyable diversion from the main course of weaving your way through 40-plus hours of cracking storyline.
The online version of the GI article (rating: 8, second opinion: 8.25) has some complaints.
The Witcher's traditional structure is a bit of a weak spot, but it falters more in its overwrought attempts to convince you that you're in an unconventional fantasy world. You are supposed to feel that Geralt is burdened with decisions that are morally ambiguous, like whether to defend his employer's medicine crates or let elves take them to treat their ill. It's nice to get away from the standard good versus evil mechanic, but The Witcher's method often forces you to select the lesser of two evils; it feels like nothing you choose matters since you can't effect any kind of desirable outcome. Players should be rewarded in some way for their choices, not given a lesson on the inevitability of failure.
Finally, reputable Russian site gives it a 9 and RPGWatch offers a translation of its conclusion.
Despite all the technical and the "omg, it's loading again" issues The Witcher is an awesome and in many aspects a fresh gaming experience. A thrilling story is complemented with a fascinating combat system that doesn't turn boring througout the game and remains challenging till the very end. Mature world background and the necessity to make real moral choices without all that candy-fantasy stuff is simply refreshing. We have great characters an extremely charismatic main hero and a captivating storyline here. What else can one desire? Nice graphics? Visuals defintely please one's eyes. Great soundtrack? Here you have it, Adam Skorupa and Pawej Blaszczak created a real masterpiece, the music is simply awesome. October 2007 is sure a blessed by the RPG "god" time. It's amusing how a regulary "buried" genre can revive within two projects in a month. First, the Mask of Betrayer, than the Witcher. We just hope that the positive trend continues.