The Witcher Reviews

Two reviews with identical and positive ratings for The Witcher have recently surfaced. First is G4 X-Play, giving it a 4/5.
The game is also unapologetically mature, and I don't just mean the sex. Yeah, if you buy the import version there's some nudity and yeah, it's pretty goofy. The overall tone of the game is dreary. murky. You'll be wallowing in the dark, less than noble side of mankind and it's not always a nice place to be. Thankfully, the narrative is handled in an appropriately sober manner. The only misstep is the English translation which is often too stilted and nonsensical. This occasionally leads to a fair bit of confusion during key point in the game's story.

Oh, and there's gameplay, too.

Speaking of (game,) there's an honest to goodness game here. You might have heard that The Witcher was developed using Bioware's Aurora Engine, the same engine used to create the original Neverwinter Nights. Don't let that scare you away. The engine has been so severely tweaked and modified that it's unrecognizable.

The D20 system has been gutted in favor of a completely unique role-playing system. Combat is handled in real-time with a minor twitch element that's useful for chaining attacks. That in conjunction with different combat stances and magic spells actually gives the combat system a lot of variety should you seek it. In keeping with The Witcher lore, this isn't a game about massive loot. Weapon types are few and far between. Instead players are encouraged to mix up potions and the like to augment their already impressive list of skills.

It's the skill system that's the most fun. Spread across a variety of different categories, as players accumulate points, they are free to spend them anyway they see fit. You can boost Geralt's magical ability or perhaps concentrate on his swordplay. Points not only increase raw stats, but give Geralt special moves and abilities which become invaluable as you start facing bigger and badder foes.
GamePlanet NZ tags it a must have and agrees to the 4/5.
WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T approach The Witcher assuming you've played anything quite like it before. It's not so much a game, as a theatrical production. From the very beginning you're immersed in an epic storyline that is both believable and profoundly compelling - little wonder as it is lifted from the world of The Witcher created by bestselling Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The lead character, Geralt, has lost his memory when the story unfolds, however slowly begins to realise his ability as a supernatural demon-slayer, all whilst overcoming varied side-quests in a foreboding and often downright creepy landscape. The storyline twists and turns, guided by your own decisions, the effects of which are not always immediately obvious. This game tackles some fairly weighty subjects and complex themes without skipping a beat, and as you move deeper into the back-story you begin to really claim an affinity with the main characters. There's a solid forty to fifty hours in completing the game, and at least three possible endings, so if you're of the addictive type you have been warned.