The Witcher Review

Article Index

Eschalon: Book II

Publisher:Atari
Developer:CD Projekt RED
Release Date:2007-10-30
Genre:
  • Action,Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Isometric,Third-Person
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay
And so, after over four years of waiting, The Witcher has finally stormed retail shelves. Given the fact that I just recently posted an extensive hands-on preview, I'm not going to talk a whole lot about the game's mechanics again. What I will do is give an update on my experiences with the game in the dozens of hours I've played since that article was written. The Witcher is quite long and broad in scope (even by RPG standards), so I wanted to make sure I was able to tell you exactly what type of game you should expect. Therefore, I've been spending almost all of my free time with it, having just finished the game this morning after clocking in well over 60 hours.

While The Witcher kicks off with the somewhat overused "hero with amnesia" bit, you'll quickly realize that Geralt is not your typical hero and that the world you're traveling through is considerably different than what you've seen in previous role-playing games. Temeria is a land plagued with serious social issues and political conflicts, which (for better or worse) makes it a far more believable place than the usual high fantasy settings we've seen in other games. As Geralt, you'll spend a lot more time working with battered prostitutes, power-hungry political figures, and a womanizing bard than, say, a friendly farmer who's tired of wolves killing his livestock. Your primary goals are to recover the witchers' stolen secrets and to seek out another witcher named Berengar, though you'll soon discover that there's a plethora of other contracts, quests, and other loose ends to take care of along the way. Rest assured, you'll never run out of things to do, as you'll usually have access to at least a few different quests at any given time.

As you progress through the game, you'll encounter both trustworthy and seedy characters, many of whom are figureheads for various far-reaching organizations, such as the Salamandra, Scoia'tael, Temerian intelligence service, and Order of the Flaming Rose. At pivotal points of the game, these very same characters will present Geralt with tough decisions with no obvious answer. These decisions usually deal with Geralt's humanity (or lack thereof) toward others or his stance toward an opposing organization. Should you slay the guard captain stricken with lycanthropy or let him continue preying upon Vizima's criminals and other degenerates? Should you "free" the blue-eyed lass from her alleged vampiric keepers, as her brother requests, or keep an open mind to what might really be going on? Do you ally yourself with the Order of the Flaming Rose, take a stance with the non-humans, or pursue a neutral role? The results of such decisions aren't typically made known until much further into the game, so each one requires careful thought. Regardless of which routes you choose, The Witcher's storyline hosts a considerable number of plot twists and angles that will have you speculating all the way up until the final moments of the game.

Without a doubt, The Witcher is a mature-themed game. In addition to dealing with some tough real world issues, sex, violence, and foul language are in abundance. Typically, this adds a considerable amount of realism to the game, but there are times when it does go a little over the top. Most of these instances are for the sake of a little comedy relief, but I couldn't help but shake my head when Princess Adda demanded to see Geralt's "sword" or when the monster-slaying protagonist told the Lady of the Lake that she has a nice ass. If you don't give in to Geralt's apparent promiscuity, however, these moments are few and far between and don't detract from the overall experience.
Nox Archaist - Making Of Book Pre-orders Open
Nox Archaist - Making Of Book Pre-orders Open

Late last year, 6502 Workshop released their Ultima-inspired retro RPG Nox Archaist.


Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness Update #50 - Coming to GOG
Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness Update #50 - Coming to GOG

The latest Kickstarter update for GrapeOcean Technologies' Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness


Mechajammer Update #33 - Gameplay Preview
Mechajammer Update #33 - Gameplay Preview

Whalenought Studios are currently putting some finishing touches on the next backer


Path of Exile: Expedition - What's Next?
Path of Exile: Expedition - What's Next?

With the Expedition expansion for Path of Exile now live, Grinding Gear


Vagrus: The Riven Realms Update - The Famous and the Furtive
Vagrus: The Riven Realms Update - The Famous and the Furtive

Lost Pilgrims Studio intends to launch their post-apocalyptic fantasy RPG Vagrus: The


Wartales Combat Q&A
Wartales Combat Q&A

We already had a chance to familiarize ourselves with the lore behind


Rick Francis Interview - Matt Chat
Rick Francis Interview - Matt Chat

A few weeks back, Matt Barton checked out a curious Neverwinter Nights


Crowfall Reviews
Crowfall Reviews

ArtCraft Entertainment released their "Throne War" MMORPG Crowfall earlier this month, promising


The Ascent Gameplay Deep Dive
The Ascent Gameplay Deep Dive

Neon Giant and Curve Digital's cyberpunk action-RPG The Ascent is scheduled to


The Waylanders - Alpha 0.33 Available
The Waylanders - Alpha 0.33 Available

The latest early access update for Gato Salvaje's Dragon Age-inspired time-travel CRPG


Path of Exile: Expedition Now Live
Path of Exile: Expedition Now Live

The Expedition expansion and challenge league for Path of Exile is now


King's Bounty II Katharine Character Trailer
King's Bounty II Katharine Character Trailer

With 1C Entertainment's King's Bounty II scheduled to go live in about


Baldur's Gate III Hotfix #12 Now Live
Baldur's Gate III Hotfix #12 Now Live

Having recently released their fifth major early access update for Baldur's Gate


Gamedec Lore Update - Everyday Life In the 22nd Century, Part 3
Gamedec Lore Update - Everyday Life In the 22nd Century, Part 3

Anshar Studios brings us this new lore-rich update for their upcoming cyberpunk


Axis & Allies 1942 Online - Tablet Version Announced
Axis & Allies 1942 Online - Tablet Version Announced

Axis & Allies 1942 Online, Beamdog's digital adaptation of a popular World