The Witcher Reviews

Three new games site rate the Witcher between good and great, citing a few plusses and a few minuses. First up is NZGamer, who isn't really all that impressed by a game that's good, but "glitchy and with a goofy translation". They give it a 7.5.
In game, this is handled by. clicking on things. In an interface that's similar to classic ARPG Diablo 2, albeit in genuine 3D, to attack a monster one must simply click on it. However, it's there that similarities with that ten year old game go out the window. Geralt has a number of fighting styles up his sleeve (such as strong, fast and group) which you'll need to select from if you're to most efficiently dispatch the bad guys you encounter. In addition, spamming click is not only unnecessary, it's actually a bad idea instead, you're incentivized to wait until the icon changes into a flaming sword. Clicking it at precisely that point will cause Geralt to continue his attack with a devastating combo.

If those mechanics sound like a lot to think about, stress not pressing space bar at any point will pause the action, allowing you to adjust your stance, fiddle with your inventory or simply take stock and perhaps reassess your tactics (i.e. run away).

In theory, these mechanics provide an inventive twist on the classic RPG standard, giving the player something more interesting to do than wonder what the guy he's beating on is going to drop or perhaps consider popping a potion at some point. In practice, however, things aren't quite so rosy. The combat is unresponsive so you find yourself click spamming anyway, hoping desperately that Geralt will actually do something. When you're fighting a boss dude in a laboratory, you'll know about 10 seconds before he's going to teleport away from you because Geralt will inexplicably stop attacking him, electing to just stand there and wobble his sword camply in his general direction.
GamePro is more impressed, giving it a 4.5/5 and editor's award. They'd love to see the game ported to console.
I recommend playing the game with a novel handy, or better yet, your favorite handheld console. The load times are atrocious, and you will spend upwards of five minutes or more loading between screens, and this includes opening a door and stepping into a room. Because of the loading issues, ambushed combat can be a pain, since your opponents have already begun to take their whacks before you have even loaded into the fight.

As far as I can tell, this is the only downside to this game, but in an action-RPG it's a pretty glaring fault. I wouldn't go so far as to say it makes the game unplayable, but the loading issues definitely keep this from being the perfect game it could have been.

I would love to see this title moved to a console, where the controls could be streamlined and hopefully the load times reduced. As it stands, The Witcher is an extremely fun game with the nasty habit of succumbing to narcolepsy at the most inappropriate moments.
Sci Fi Weekly loves the game's style and gives it an A+.
Early in The Witcher you'll approach a torchlit crossroads and a group of men crowding and threatening to rape a young woman. If you choose to save her, then escort her to her grandmother's house, she invites you to meet her at the local mill at sunset "and bring a bottle of wine." Arrive on time with the proper libation and proper social graces and you'll trigger one of the game's naughtier bits, which, while scenically PG-13, makes no attempt to pretend that what you're seeing isn't sex. Say something vulgar, on the other hand (and most of the time you can), and you'll get the boot. None of which would be notable in a book or a film, of course, but in a game, this episode (and many more like it) stands out contrasted with a history of nonsensically violent but more or less sexually sanitary experiences.

The tenability of easy dichotomies like "good" and "evil" is itself at issue in The Witcher, and nothing is as it seems in Polish developer CD Projekt's inspired translation of Sapkowski's beautifully turbulent, oftentimes amoral universe. Friends can be (and probably are) backstabbing cult members. Guards and thugs alike turns out to be aggressive sexual predators (sex as a theme in general is something the game embraces, instead of prudishly whitewashing this most elemental of biological imperatives). Witches sell poisonous suicide solutions and craft voodoo dolls to compel siblings to kill each other. Barmaids and plenty more besides will sleep with you for booze, money, gifts, and occasionally just temporary infatuation. Pious religious fanatics turn out to be repugnant misogynists. Mages who can't control their powers become half-insane, slobbering oracles. And for all the wonderfully "un-Tolkien-y" alghouls and echinops and graveirs and bloedzuigers you'll grapple with, the most hideous monsters in the game aren't the ones with six or a dozen consonants crowding a single vowel, but other humans, like you.
The only thing worth grousing about at all is the game's roughness. Load times are pretty steep for all the in-and-out you'll do going door to door and area to area. Sometimes the game's nonlinearity works against it by screwing up sequencing such that you'll get a quest to do X from someone, then trigger event Y without so much as vacating the premises because you already did X. Other times it's just the way events unfold. The first major battle occurs after a cutscene but doesn't let you save, forcing you to walk through a bunch of dialogue and load screens every single time you die, which, given that particular battle's difficulty, is pretty sloppy.

That said, I'd probably play The Witcher with twice as many glitches. It's that unmissable.