The Witcher Reviews

Two more really positive reviews of CD Projekt's The Witcher surface just as 2007 comes to a close. The first review is from, where they've given it a 9.25/10.
The Witcher is one of the first roleplaying games with teeth that we have seen in a long, long time. It is what I would call "angry fantasy". Life is nasty, brutish and short, there are "heroes" such as they are, people who are not quite as mercenary as men like Geralt, the protagonist, but when not killing monsters they're usually found killing or persecuting the nonhumans of the setting. Not even the monsters are black and white, some are intelligent and aware of what they are and their actions but need help to stop it - a Witcher can cure as much as kill someone afflicted by lycanthropy or other such fantasy afflictions. There is no black, there is no white, even the villains are only a particularly darker shade of gray. The Witcher touches on a number of very uncomfortable themes that few other fantasy works have gone near, and that is why I love it. The only reason I cannot give this game the highest rating are the problems with graphics and load times. The game is quite impressive but I fear that, even with the recently released patches, that there are too many problems for a full rating.
The second review is from, who give no rating as usual but are obviously impressed, though noting some flaws.
The sweet-spot of The Witcher's gameplay is in its unique combat styles and the intricate alchemy system. The player, depending on their chosen difficulty, will be required to rely upon both in order to survive against the vast assortment of enemies and monsters he will face in his excursions throughout Vizima, the city and surrounding area in which the game is set. Physical combat is mainly utilized through a choice of swordplay styles, using either steel or silver swords depending on the enemy that is about to kill and/or eat you. Steel is most effective against humans, while silver is the precious metal of choice against monsters. Geralt can actually carry up to four weapons: a steel sword, a silver sword, a short sword (really a dagger, I guess), and a large sword or axe in the fourth slot.

To be honest, I have yet to use anything but the main steel and silver swords in my adventures, and that's primarily because the combat styles revolve around those two weapons. Both steel and silver swords can be wielded in either a "strong", "fast", or "group" style, each working to best effect against specific enemies. In the simplest sense, the "strong" style works best against large, armored opponents, while the "fast" style is more effective against lighter-armored, more agile foes. The "group" style is somewhat self-explanatory . I hope. These styles can be changed on the fly, and the player should be warned that they are not an afterthought - use the wrong style against the enemy and you will lose . and be eaten.