The Witcher Review

GamingHeaven is pretty damned impressed by The Witcher, adding another positive review of the RPG to the mix. This time, it picks up an 87/100:
As you level up (gaining experience from both combat and quests) you'll get the chance to invest skill points into hundreds of available skills. These range from stronger attacks in various stances over the ability to knock down opponents to more pacifistic skills such as herbalism or potion brewing. You also unlock stronger versions of the spells you know this way, or rather unlock additional effects of these spells such as increased range, lower power consumption or increased duration. At first you won't be relying on signs (spells) much, but later on they'll mean the difference between life and death (unless you are heavily specialized in melee combat).

I've mentioned herbalism a few lines back so this would be a good time to have a closer look at that. Witchers are well known as excellent fighters, but they are also reputed for their heavy potion reliance and to some extent alchemical knowledge. While this aspect of the game isn't really necessary at the easiest difficulty setting it becomes pretty important on the normal difficulty and is a necessity on the hard one. Brewing potions is rather easy once you have the recipe you only click on it and if you have all the necessary components (gathered from local plants or bought from merchants) the potion will be made. Well, actually it's not really that easy. To brew potions you need to rest for some time and since this is only possible at fireplaces and camps you can forget brewing potions in the middle of dungeons. Also, some of the best recipes require some very rare components and usually don't last that long when consumed. So what are the possible effects of the potions you make/buy/loot? Regeneration, night sight, faster reflexes (going as far as making the whole game a slow-motion experience) and extra damage are just some of the possible concoction effects you'll experience.

Drinking potions has a side effect however, namely toxicity. The more you drink the lower your statistics are, so using potions is a double edged sword which can all too quickly be turned against you. Resting lowers toxicity, but it also cancels the effects of the potions, so you can't wriggle around the problem.
Spotted on Blue's News.