The Witcher:
The Love Thread

By Shamus
on Aug 20, 2008
Filed under:
Game Reviews

I’m still getting chided by Witcher fans for dumping on the game. What’s frustrating isn’t that they like the game when I don’t, it’s that their position seems to be: You’re not a real reviewer. Your opinion doesn’t matter, you’re all wrong, etc. etc. Here you’ve got a chance to sell this game to fellow gamers, and instead you just dismiss my opinion without offering anything of your own.

Here is what I suggest: Rather than creating yet another defensive comment as to why my opinion is invalid or wrong, why don’t you spend those words telling us what you liked about The Witcher? What worked? What was fun? What sets this game apart from other RPGs? How was the plot? The ending? The characters? The combat? The dialog? Who was your favorite character? Did any plot twists catch you by surprise? How does this game compare to the RPG classics? (I’ll leave picking the “classics” as an exercise to the reader.) How many times did you go through the game? What took you by surprise? What about those moral choices in the game – how did those affect your perception of the world? What was fun or amusing about the mini-games? What features or conventions from The Witcher do you hope other games adopt?

I’m serious here. I can understand you want other people to enjoy the game the way you did. This is something with which I fully sympathize. But you gotta give them more motivation than “Shamus is wrong, don’t listen to him.”

So let’s hear it. Give your Witcher Love below.

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201838 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.

From the Archives:

  1. SimeSublime says:

    Quite simply, the setting evolution was brilliant. The game starts with a dark and foreboding atmosphere, and the social pressure between the humans and non-humans grows noticeably thicker as the plot progresses, culminating in out and out chaos. You can really feel the fear and distrust in the citizens, and see how it colours all their decisions.
    The other excellent part of the game was the final villain. Trying not to give away anything, but he was one of the most relatable final bosses I’ve seen. I not only found his motivations to be understandable, I found them completely justified. I was a bit dissapointed there wasn’t an option to change sides. Sadly, that’s the problem with an established character rather then an avatar of yourself. Geralt and I could never get along. But even that downside seemed to add to the environment.

  2. Fosse says:

    If I manage to come up with the time to do this (the time I’m wasting right now doesn’t quite count. I should be doing other things) then I’ll be back.

    In the meantime, I’ll point interested readers to a review that mostly reflects my opinions on the game. http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=165

    He doesn’t agree with Shamus much. Thinks Geralt is really great, or example. But it’s the talk about the game experience that makes this (or any) review worth reading.

  3. Matt K says:

    Personally, the only reason I even considered getting the game is because from what I heard the game presents you with options where there is no obvious right or wrong answer. This is so rare in RPGs today (in fact Fallout 3 will supposedly make damn sure you know if you picked the good or evil outcome before you even make the choice) that I decided to try the demo.

  4. Gildan Bladeborn says:

    http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/article?articleid=71&ref=0&id=66
    The above link isn’t so much a review of The Witcher as it is a review of all the other reviews about The Witcher, and why so many reviewers gave it a 8/10, but went on about how much fun they had and gave it an editor’s choice or something to boot.

    I’ll just point out that there’s a detective sequence in Act 2 that presents you with an ever shifting list of suspects (who all initially seem quite guilty), and depending on how your investigations proceed you can end up alienating suspects, accusing innocent people and clearing others (only to learn later they were in fact complicit but not actually guilty), and the game will let you do the entire thing wrong, to the point where you attack and kill a supposedly “guilty” party , without breaking the narrative. Solving the crime is all the more rewarding because it’s not just the “I did all the main story quests” fare most RPGs would provide for the core storyline in a chapter.

    Plus there are moments when you have to choose between letting terrorists escape to save the people they just tossed into a crypt full of hungry ghouls, or letting those innocents die so you can stop their killers. That is one of the least ambiguous moral choices The Witcher presents you with.

  5. PixelSocks says:

    I guess this isn’t really Witcher love, but I suspect it relates to all the flack you’ve been catching.

    I’ve heard it said that that the many people interested in reading video game reviews are primarily interested in satisfying their confirmation bias.

    You can imagine how this might happen: one day you sit down in front of Google, looking for Witcher media or something to satisfy that fanboy itch. Somewhere during the search, you happen across Twenty Sided. You’ve already read a bunch of favorable reviews, but you figure that one more can’t hurt. Suddenly there’s this guy you don’t really know who looks like he’s bashing a game you love. It annoys you enough to retaliate.

    The problem is that this Shamus guy hasn’t really said anything incorrect, but he’s violated your expectations by expressing a contrary opinion. So the injury you’ve suffered is personal. Your browsing experience is less comfortable than it was a minute ago, and so you retaliate in kind. You post a disparaging emotional remark, and the internet gets just a little dumber in the tit for tat.

    All this happens in less time than it takes to tell–it’s a normal part of human cognition– so it’s nice to see that you’ve encouraged people to think about their opinions and articulate them.

  6. Cthulhu says:

    The atmosphere in the game was amazing, as was the music. Of course, it would have been infinitely better if not for the immersion-breaking doors.

  7. Heph says:

    Hmm..
    The bad:
    – immersion breaking load times
    – slow start (you don’t even get your silver weapon ’till somewhere in the beginning of act 2!)
    – tutorial that still adds bits after 4 hours of play
    – the way sex is played out
    – seemingly generic semi-medieval backdrop
    – no customisation of protagonist personality and looks

    The good:
    – once it’s started off, great story
    – believable villains
    – no lawful stupid
    – incredibly deep backstory
    – diverse enemies (not that you’ll notice in the first two acts or so)
    – ambiguous moral choices
    – lots of sex vs no sex vs staying true to one woman have different story implications – thought that card game was just good fun? It’ll bite you in the ass!
    – no good vs evil but rather rights of different groups trying to make the best out of it – again, realism
    – beautiful visuals (if you have the computer to run it…and mine isn’t all that strong, not meeting recommended, so it sort of depends on specific bits, other people’vehad loads of trouble. YMMV)
    – a great journal that actually catalogues anything you might need in sensible ways (it’s complex, but you CAN find everything back again. Plot recaps, enemy weaknesses, recipes, character names, progress for each quest, whatnot…it’s all there, and all easily accessible)
    – crafting and alchemy that make sense
    – some cool minigames (drinking, boxing, gambling,…)
    – interesting NPCs that aren’t shallow throw-away “the bartd” or “the dwarf” characters
    – the fighting style system…Well, I suppose it’s a mix. It’s good, not purely invisible dice rolls, wild button mashing or twitch gaming, it mostly requires thought and preparation. I liekd it, lots of people hate it, at least it’s somewhat *different*
    – quite a lot of character customisation in skills and abilities

    By the way:
    a) I’m deliberately skimping on the bad in favour of the good. That’s the point of this post. If you want to read about (some of) the bad points of th Witcher, reread the previous posts by Shamus, he said it better anyway.
    b) I might add some more.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to completely subvert the intention of this post with my comment, but I’d like to point out that some of the things pointed out above as positives are seemingly from some version of the game I never played, namely “realistic characters” (two women who don’t seem to get it through their skulls that you can’t start a family with them because you’re sterile, your blood is toxic, you fight monsters that come within inches of killing you on a daily basis, you go out whoring even more often than you go out monster-slaying, etc. also “the dwarf” and “the bard” whom you go out drinking with at this point in the game) one-click combat that gets the job done — nothing more, nothing less– and hunting for shit in a way that makes no sense. Granted I can figure that if you don’t know the process for extracting a root without damaging it you might not get anything useful out of tearing it apart, but how difficult is it to find the skull of a demon wolf?

    That said, I loved the Witcher when I played it but I am certainly going to wait for the “Enhanced” (read: finished) edition before I actually throw down cash for it. The loading times, the 500 visually identical NPCs, and the lack of optimization damn near killed the experience for me.

    People just need to step back, take a breath, and realize that other people with tastes similar to yours can in fact play the exact same game and get a completely different experience out of it, and despise the things that you love. Stop getting so damn defensive.

  9. Captain Kail says:

    I enjoyed the Witcher so much more than other RPGs I’ve played because I had such a different experience with it. I’ve always preferred Western RPGs to JRGs, and I think this game has knocked down KOTOR and Oblivion for the top spot on my RPG favorites.

    For one thing, this is one of the few games I’ve played where I really agonized over the character choices I had to make. Do I save these people? Do I help them? Do I want equality for the non-humans or do I protect the lives of humans? At first I was a neutral Witcher, but I was dragged to the side of the Scoi’atel.

    I started out having a slight preference for the Order of the Flaming Rose, but as the game progressed, I grew more and more sympathetic to the Scoi’atel and grew more and more resentful of the Flaming Rose. When I got to a plot twist near the end, I felt such justification for everything I’d done for the Scoi’atel, including the many humans I had to kill to get so far.

    And speaking of plots and twists, I truly enjoyed the game’s story. I loved the gritty setting. It was like the Lord of the Rings in a huge, miserable ghetto. The atmosphere was fantastic, from the dark halls of Kaer Morhen to the grinding poverty of Vizima to the lovely Murky Waters. I grew so fond of Murky Waters that when I got to the

    SPOILER!!

    end of part 4, when the Order and the Scoi’atel were clashing in the town, I was sad to see it all falling apart.

    The twist at the end of the game when you found out who the villain truly was also gave me a long moment of pause.

    I also enjoyed the alchemy of The Witcher. I never cared for it in Oblivion, but in this game it was fun and not only useful, but neccessary to succeed. Before going into an important battle I would agonize over which potions to use.

    And in conclusion: OMG that ending cinematic was EPIC. Shamus, if you have no intention of finishing the game and don’t care what happens to the rest of the plot, then I suggest you get a Bink player @

    http://www.radgametools.com/

    and go into your Witcher files and watch the ending cinematic with it. Assuming you enjoy gratuitous violence.

    (And I don’t mind that you dislike The Witcher. I never had any love for WoW, so I think this makes us even =P )

  10. pl says:

    I know that this thread isn’t really the place for it, but as your most recent Witcher-related post, I guess it’s probably the best I can do.

    I’m surprised that I didn’t see you talking about the DRM present in The Witcher (at least on the blog, it’s not like I follow you….except on the internet).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Witcher_(video_game)#TAGES_issues

    Aside from being DRM, and, thus, disrespectful of your paying customers, it’s also breaks your game in new and innovative ways.

  11. Steve S says:

    Well now, that is a very good way to respond to your critics, and I’m going to have to break my long-time lurker status here just to do exactly what you ask.

    I must admit my initial response from when you started dissing The Witcher was ‘flame the ignorant bastard’, but as you say, that’s none too constructive, so I will attempt to describe why this was by far and away the GOTY of 2007.

    I’m honestly surprised you don’t like it – I think it’s fair to say that you’re a proper hardcore fantasy nerd (hell, I found this site via the hilarious cartoon combination of D&D + LOTR – you don’t get more geeky than that!) and you like games with a bit of depth and intelligence, and nigh on everything else you’ve written here about CRPGs I can totally relate to. Which is why I found your opinion so incongruous I guess.

    Perhaps this is just another symptom of the more snarky, cynical Shamus that you’ve openly admitted to of late, but reading back through your Witcher posts I can honestly say that you’re much more harsh on this than you were on Hellgate, and if you think that’s a better game then, well…

    Anyway, to my defence:

    Re. the alleged sexism; for starters there’s actually a quite involved (and mostly unrequited) semi-love affair with a genuinely interesting female character, far more so than any of the lightweight, tacked-on ‘romance’ options that Bioware & the like go for.

    If you ignore all the pointless random shagging the two main options for proper relationships are very well developed, and provide an excellent moment when you have to choose between them. Which involves a lot more plot-wise than just which virtual lady has the better virtual breasts. Though that did maybe affect the decision slightly;)

    And that’s just one of many very difficult choices – the time when you make the decision to kill a ‘monster’ or not basically determines whether you get access to a stupidly good new ability. And what appears to be the ‘good’ choice gets you nothing – I can’t think of a single game where there wasn’t a roughly equal reward for taking the dark/light path like that, or indeed where dark & light were ever so murky.

    Oh, and there’s a sequence where you have a ‘quest’ to organize a drunken party that serves no purpose other than character development. This involves, amongst other things, finding the right kind of booze for your chosen guests (there’s a lot of booze in this game), and a hilarious sequence involving same with an over-protective grandmother. While drunk. And the drunk effect on your movement & visuals is just awesome!

    Getting into about act 3 you actually start to feel like some of the NPCs in this game are your friends, and, even though there’s never any kind of typical RPG ‘party’ going on you care deeply about what happens to them. They’re with you too throughout the whole increasingly manic storyline. Which, unlike so many games, you actually feel like a bit of a powerless bystander in, rather than the superhuman hero around which everything revolves.

    On a similar theme, there’s also the only vaguely realistic portrayal of a ‘bard’ type character I’ve ever seen in a CRPG as one of those aforementioned friends – no silly fighting skills, no magic, just charm & music & poetry and a great balance of comic relief and genuinely moving moments.

    Then there’s what SimeSublime said about the ending. Again, not giving too much away, it’s seriously messed up, and in a good way. Suffice to say it (possibly) involves some kind of time travel, a young kid you cared about, and a certain amulet. And, if you think about it enough, brings into question everything you had chosen to do before.

    Sword fighting – OK, you can’t really be a mage or a thief (my usual choice), but Geralt absolutely kicks ass with his swords. That’s what he does, and he does it really well!

    The combat animation is spectacular, and once you get the high-level abilities he’s a virtual human blending machine, dishing out destruction left, right & centre – it’s great fun to watch, and there’s just enough interactivity with the (much-maligned) timed clicking business that you still feel like you’re in control. And that’s without mentioning the ludicrous array of OTT finishing moves you can do…

    Finally, it’s fricking gorgeous looking; seriously – the art direction in this game is like nothing else I’ve ever seen. OK, WOW comes close, but that’s on a bit of an out-of-date engine these days, and, by my ‘breathtaking in-game sunrise moment’ standard, Witcher wins hands-down. Along with the music – I have the soundtrack on my iPod now it’s that good, so completely atmospheric & fitting.

    And after all all that, I haven’t even mentioned the fact that the developers are soon to re-release the whole thing re-done with better graphics, improved interface and re-recorded voice-overs (that was the biggest problem, no doubt) + a whole lot more FOR FREE. This kind of behaviour absolutely needs to be encouraged!

    I hope that’s enough ‘Witcher love’ for you…

  12. Heph says:

    Steve S:
    I’m honestly surprised you don’t like it – I think it’s fair to say that you’re a proper hardcore fantasy nerd (hell, I found this site via the hilarious cartoon combination of D&D LOTR – you don’t get more geeky than that!) and you like games with a bit of depth and intelligence, and nigh on everything else you’ve written here about CRPGs I can totally relate to. Which is why I found your opinion so incongruous I guess.

    This.

    @Anonymous:
    First off, you apparently didn’t pay for it. Well done. Go pirate some more. o_O I’m still i nthe camp that says the moment you pirate, you lose any and all say about a game’s quality. Tough.
    Secondly: the two women and the whoring. We’ve been over this a hundred times. It’s just plain not true. If that’s what happend to you, you know what that means? That *you* chose to go out whoring and stringing both along. it’s perfectly possible to play the game and not have sex with anyone and have no love interest at all. Manwhore ;-).
    Third, hunting for stuff in a wya that doesn’t make sense? Yes, admittedly, you do go chasing a demon’s skull or a ghoul’s liver occassionally…But, in a compelte reversal of most games, once you know how to extract them properly, practically every (say, 70% or so) of a type of creature will carry their type of ingredient. It seems plausible that you can only get a decent skull off a demon 70% of the time – the rest of the time, you split it in half or some such. It sure beats WoW where about 1 in every 100 has claws or a liver.
    Fifth, the combat…Well, I didn’t say it was brilliant. I said it was different from most. Compared to Oblivion, Morrowind or *even* KotOR (and I love the LotOR system), the combat is less one-click-till-it’s-dead. Maybe you didn’t quite get the hang of using the right combinations?
    Lastly, the whoel point of this post is to defend the game. So, defensive seems useful. Making, frankly, BS statements about the game won’t help. Most of Shamus’ problems I can either understand or fully agree with, but really, are you jsut trolling here to get us riled up, or what?

  13. Danath says:

    I enjoyed the story line of the game, I liked Geralt as a character, especially as it develops over the game, but for me, the part of the game I REALLY loved was the decision making, it really comes together and affects things later in the game, I didnt realize just how it would until I ran into my first consequence for fighting the monster in the games tutorial instead of helping save the lab.

    The sex thing I did find a bit juvenile, but I chose not to engage in it for the most part, I did a couple of times admittedly by accident, but I realized it was my own fault (going way out of my way to get some random peasant her favorite flower). There is plenty of sexism in the game, although this didnt particularly bother me, I took it in stride as part of the game, the jarring part for me was in fact the slightly excessive swearing from the random thugs in the pub.

    I did not like the side games like bar fighting or gambling, I only did it for money to buy books really. So that was a big negative, but in terms of character and story, other than a few flops in the dialogue, I found it immersive and interesting, I also had no idea I could actually piss off a character into NOT talking to me simply by trying to get more information.

    Combat, I loved it, im really very tired of diablo games or shoot em up games where I end up mashing buttons, it was different, and it looked better as you got more skill points into your weapons, as it unlocked different moves in your combos.

    The had decided to upgrade my computer a while after the game came out, and I can play the game at high settings, it looks AMAZING, but the load times… oh god the load times, that was a killer for me, it really was, as well as other technical glitches, theyve gotten better with each patch… but my biggest hope is enhanced edition will for the most part fix these issues, as they are my biggest problem with the game.

    Decision making and the story line are far and away the best parts of the game, Shamus’s simplifying the story in his earlier review however is rather spot on, in an extremely minimalist way, but playing the game (if your immersed and enjoying the character) the story really stands out as interesting, deep, and never stutters no matter what actions you take, something I rather enjoyed (and something that bugged me about Jade Empire).

    In summary, the graphics are amazing if you can run them at high levels, the story line is amazing, even if the dialogue is a bit jilted (far more apparent early on), combat is different, while still being fun, and decision making is fantastic. Not enough different models for characters and several problems due to poor optmization of the code, but they are fixing this every patch, so I give them credit there, and no DRM whatsoever is in this game other than having the CD in the drive.

    I cant really say more as im just being redundent to a couple of earlier posts, but I will echo one comment, for the most part I agree with almost everything in all the other articles ive read, and I honestly expected him to enjoy the game as it seemed to include many elements that he had complained about before, seeing his INCREDIBLE hatred for the game completely baffled me, I cant dictate his opinion, he didnt like it and thats how it is, but I was still rather surprised that one of the main faults for the game is character customization.

  14. Sharpie says:

    Pretty much the best thing for me was how they SOLD the world. I believed it, even if it was interrupted by 10 second load screens.

    I thought the quality of the voice-acting was top notch, and the game looked gorgeous, even at the minimum settings I needed to run it.

    Oh, the choice system was brilliant. I never played far enough into it to get the full impact, but what I did see beat out the “save or burn the farmer” farce hands down.

  15. Kevin says:

    I really enjoyed reading Shamus’ rags on the Witcher!

  16. studd beefpile says:

    The decisions you make in the first act can dramatically affect your options in the 5th, and do so without being completely ham fisted. The central moral choice is compelling. The Religious zealots are genuinely interested in preserving order in a fragile society and while the non humans are definitely oppressed, their movement seems much more interested in tearing things down than building a better world.

    The biggest reason I liked the game though is it made me actually care about those decisions. The last time that happened for me was was Torment.

  17. Mart says:

    You don’t have to please the irrational fanboys, Shamus. You are entitled to your own opinion, just as everybody else.

    At least you presented your findings in a nice and coherent manner, explaining in detail what didn’t work for you in the game, instead of simply saying “The Witcher sucks!”. You didn’t force yours down others’ throats.

    Some people just can’t take criticism of something they love. Which is ironic to me, because if you like something, you will always want it to improve, and to improve, you need to find the flaws, ie. criticize it!

    Can’t we all just amicably agree to disagree?

  18. Tom Davidson says:

    You don’t have to please the irrational fanboys, Shamus. You are entitled to your own opinion, just as everybody else.

    I have to ask — who on this thread or any of the previous Witcher threads appears to you to be an irrational fanboy? The defense of the game that I’ve seen here has been among the most sensible, patient, and well-argued of any that I’ve seen (although that’s perhaps damning with faint praise). This may be a side effect of multiple deletions that we aren’t seeing — but if it’s not, I think accusing people of irrational fanboyism is considerably ruder and less defensible than any of the examples we’ve seen of “fanboyism” here.

  19. Shamus says:

    This thread makes me very happy. Thanks for giving me a different perspective on the game. I know I could just go and read a professional review, but I frankly don’t trust those things. It means a lot more hearing this come from you guys instead of a dull score-generating checklist-style review.

  20. Dr. Strangelove says:

    What consistently amazes me is the generally poor quality of modern games. I only got into PC gaming about three years ago, and my computer could only handle older games like Starcraft, System Shock, Planescape: Torment etc. When I upgraded, I thought “Right, now onto just-as-good games with shinier graphics and better physics” but what I got – invariably – were above-average games with ridiculously shiny graphics that made my new PC chug along like it is a 30s paddle steamer.

    This is what I call the “Cary Grant” effect, not because it actually has anything to do with Cary grant but because I was watching “To Catch a Thief” when I thought it up. Wait, no, there is a link to Cary Grant. Do you remember To Catch a Thief? And if you don’t, go get it out from your Friendly Local Soulless DVD Rental Pit. Remember all the witty repartee, the innuendo, the sparkling script, the charismatic actors?

    Now consider the modern equivalent of “To Catch a Thief”, say “The Italian Job” (itself a remake of a vastly superior older movie). Comparatively, it is shite, but it has much better CGI and action sequences (i.e., some). Part of the reason for this shift of emphasis is that popularity of a film came to be seen as distinct from its quality. I’m sure you see the point that I am trying (not very well) to make.

    Games are certainly tools for game companies to make money, and I believe that fault lies with us – the audience – for allowing quality to become separated from popularity.

  21. MaxEd says:

    I don’t exactly LOVED Witcher, but it took second place in my “Best RPG of the year”, right after Eschalon. What I liked? Setting. I’ve read all the books (in Russian) and I loved them. The game developers took the right patch and didn’t tried to recreate plot of one of the books and I always advocated this way of doing “games-based-on-book”. Don’t let the player much around with main plot – it always turns out linear and/or stupid.

    Combat, while not turn-based, wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t one of “click 100 times to kill monster” thing, but somewhat more intelligent (although my current idol is combat system in Avernum, because it makes for heaps of tactics and doesn’t rely on my reflexes).

    Non-linearity of this game was also an appeal. It wasn’t Arcanum, for sure, but it did something RIGHT for me. Also, there were no obvious Good/Evil things to do (sometimes I hated KOTOR for black&white approach). I took the Neutral path, which fits with image of Witcher from books and always leads to suffering for everybody around him, although there is never “safe and good” course in books, or in game.

    Sex in game never bothered me. It was there, yes, but I never paid much attention to it. For me, it was just some background decoration.

    Load times were long until second patch, and then it worked OK on my PC, which is not very modern (Athlon X2 4200+ with just 1GB RAM then and GeForce6800 128MB).

    Journal with descriptions of monsters was a stroke of genius. I liked reading them very much. If only developers took MORE hints from roguelikes and made it so description gets more detailed with each monster you kill!

    Game interface – that was on VERY bad thing about it. Inventory was a pain, and fonts looked awful on my screen, especially in my beloved Journal.

    Finally, I must admit, I’ve played… Er… Not-exactly-paid-for copy of this game, but I definitely will buy enhanced version which comes out soon – they redone GUI there a bit and there is an option I always longed for: you can set voices and subtitles to different languages. You may not know it, but English translation is REALLY bad. It lost all the flavor of speech from books. I’m gonna play it again, this time with Polish voices and Russian subtitles.

  22. Conlaen says:

    I haven’t picked up the game yet (and I definitely won’t until the Enhanced Version comes out), but I will because of what Matt K and probably others have mentioned, and for what my friends who have played the original version mentioned.

    Supposedly this game has some real honest choices. You make a choice that you think is best, and you will just have to see how it works out. I understand that more then once even when you think you may have made the ‘most reasonable decision’ it might turn out, even a few hours later in the game (so you can’t just say “whoops wrong choice, i’ll just load that” unless you want to replay the last few hours), that you unintentionally utterly destroyed some good people’s lives. This sounds as a shining beacon of light to me after so far almost every single game offering you the choice between, like you stated so nicely yourself Shamus, saving the kitten or eating the kitten. And a lot of games even telling you in the process of the quest that: “Eating the kitten would be a bad, evil and despicable thing to do” (I recently played Fable where this annoyed me to no bounds).

    So yes, as soon as they worked out the excessive loading times and the broken dialogues I have been hearing about so much, I will definitely want to play this game, even if it is just because it is doing something different for a change.

  23. Heph says:

    Ah, another good bit I forgot: the duration. All joking about load times aside, this game easily offers 50 hours of gameplay on a single run-through – and enough diversity and differences storywise to be pretty replayable. For a game that doesn’t really allow free roaming, this is a lot, especially compared to most other modern games.
    Games these days seem to think 6 hours is good value for money, RPGs average maybe 10 or 15 hours. Only games like Oblivion allow you to sink more time in it – but freeroaming. Which is nice, too, but is different from a single player storymode that just lasts that long. Last game I remember with this long a story would be….err, Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines, I think. And that’s shorter still.

  24. Zaxares says:

    First Disclaimer: I don’t deny that the Witcher has its flaws (chief among which are the long loading times and the sub-par voice acting in parts), but since Shamus asked for what I enjoyed about this game, so I’ll devote this post (almost) entirely to them.

    Second Disclaimer: This post contains some minor spoilers, as well as some not-so minor spoilers, although I’ve done my best to steer clear of big plot spoilers.

    Okay, here we go!

    1. The World. I can’t tell you how absolutely refreshing it is to play in the world of the Witcher. Dark, bleak, and filled with cynicism, it’s a far cry from the typical worlds of high fantasy that are usually defined by the forces of Good versus the forces of Evil. In the world of the Witcher, there is no Good and Evil. Like a mirror of our own world, it’s just a place filled with people trying to survive as best they can.

    Furthermore, it’s a world that truly seems alive. Animals and livestock amble about the landscape, and dash away if you come too close. Townsfolk and villagers go about their daily business, pausing occasionally to chat to each other, carry out tasks like chopping wood or gather berries, and hurry back to their homes to lock themselves in before night falls (and the monsters and undead emerge from their lairs). Thugs, guards and knights pause to watch you suspiciously as you pass, occasionally making some cutting remark or just to sneer in disdain.

    The art direction of the game is absolutely stellar as well; I can truly say that I’ve never seen a more beautiful RPG than the Witcher. It’s even better than Oblivion and Guild Wars. And yet, despite the game’s stunning graphics, it never fails to convey that sense of gritty, dreary realism that pervades the world of the Witcher.

    2. The Characters. Nearly every named character in this game has been fleshed out to a remarkable degree. Without exception, every major or even supporting character has a well-defined personality, long-term goals and distinctive mannerisms that help them stand out as more than just NPCs in a game. Even random townsfolk at times will turn out to have some totally unexpected story to tell.

    Even better, none of the characters fall into the cliche of the ‘Good Guys’ or the ‘Bad Guys’. Everyone in the game has a dark side, or ulterior motives. Sometimes it’s not even their fault! As one example, I present the knight Siegfried of Denesle. He’s smart, polite and humble, one of the most likeable characters I’ve met in the game so far. And yet, he is steadfastly loyal to the Order of the Flaming Rose, a sect of monastic knights who are disturbingly over-zealous in their desire to purge humanity of undesirable elements. I want very much to remain Siegfried’s friend, but as the game progresses, I can see that at some point our paths will part, perhaps to cross again as enemies, despite both our wishes otherwise.

    On the other side of the coin, it’s extremely difficult to judge who, exactly, are the villains of the story. I’ve already mentioned the Order of the Flaming Rose. Their counterpart is the Scioa’Tael, a band of elven and dwarven rebels who, put simply, are TERRORISTS. They rob banks, assault merchant convoys, and from time to time, murder innocent people. And yet, considering that most members of the Scioa’Tael have lived under crushing oppression and face non-stop bigotry and hatred in their daily lives, is it any wonder that they have been pushed to the point where they feel that violence is their only recourse?

    3. The Story. The Witcher has one of the most engaging and fascinating stories in an RPG I’ve ever played, although it’s partially due to the fact that it’s drawing upon an established fictional world for support. There is the central plot of the game, but as the game progresses, you find that the main plot has roots extending into far-reaching corners of the game world. Just like in the real world, politics and economics lurk behind many of the plot points. Nothing in the game happens by chance. There is a distinct sense that there are many factions at play, each trying to manipulate events to get the best possible outcome for their faction. Sadly, I can’t write about some of the more fascinating ones without giving away major spoilers, but trust me on this fact: It feels as if there’s multiple stories all going on at the same time while you play the Witcher.

    4. The Consequences. As the game makes a frequent habit of touting, every decision you make in the Witcher has a consequence, although that consequence may not be felt or discovered until much, much later in the game. Furthermore, your decisions can have quite surprising outcomes, and what may appear to be the best, most ‘Good’ outcome may later turn out to be a disastrous choice affecting somebody that you hadn’t even anticipated would be affected. It’s a far cry from, as somebody else put it, the ‘Save kitten/Eat kitten’ choice presented in many other RPGs.

    Sometimes the decisions are almost agonising. You may be presented with a situation where both parties have justifiable grievances, but you can only choose to support one side. Or you may be in a situation where you have to choose the lesser evil.

    The Witcher really made me THINK before making a lot of decisions, and I can truthfully say that no other game in my entire playing history (not even Planescape: Torment) has ever made me do this.

    I could speak more at length about the game’s actual features; the combat, the minigame, the alchemy system, but it’s getting late and I’m tired. I might expand on this tomorrow, if the threat is still going.

    All in all, the Witcher is one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played, and it’s got my ringing endorsement should any RPG fan ask me if it’s fun.

  25. Otters34 says:

    Wait, cynicism is good? how did that happen?

    Also, how come no-one has mentioned the centaurs?

  26. A.I. says:

    I played the game a little. Didn’t get very far because my computer was a piece of crap vacuum cleaner sitting right next to my ear. But I got a rough idea of the feel of the game.

    It’s an action-RPG, through and through, with extra empahsis on the RPG segments. There were potentially quite a few nice little nifty things you could do, like enter the local tavern fighting match. Although they tried to incorporate barfights with this, it wasn’t a REAL barfight =P

    Much like RPGs of Bioware fame, talking to people, choosing how to reply, and running around takes center-stage most of the time. Which is always good in a RPG in my opinion.

    Now, it may have had something to do with my old ‘Vacuum Cleaner’, but it didn’t have enough to keep me interested for long. For one, the combat wasn’t very interesting as far as I got. It seemed to revolve timing the mouse press to perform the same 3-click combo over and over again for the entire duration of a fight. Maybe the combat got a bit deeper as the game progressed, but I couldn’t see how a game reliant on timing mouse-clicks to the exact same timing could get much deeper in terms of combat.

    I also didn’t really like the fact that I had to balance between soooo many fighting styles. During the tutorial, it seemed like each one of these styles were a ‘prerequisite’ for my survival for each different type of enemy I was facing. If I fought strong brutes, I MUST use this style, if I fought a group of small demons, I MUST use this other style. Or at least, that was the impression the tutorial was giving me.

    This is bad because the level up system seemed to be geared for specialization and customization with the way learning certain styles would unlock special abilities, but being told before hand I would require each and every one of the styles to hit each and every one of the different types of enemies I could encounter kinda turned me off of the game even more.

    So my final opinion of the game was that it was an average RPG with a potentially good and complex story, but it fell short on the combat. I kinda sold the game off a while back so I’m unlikely to play the game again.

  27. Zaxares says:

    To Otters34: I’m not sure if this comment was addressed to me, but since I mentioned the word ‘cynicism’ in my post a couple of times, I’ll pick this question up. :)

    Maybe I’m just a jaded, cynical guy at heart, but I’m TIRED of seeing games (especially RPGs) where the good guys win all the time, and everybody lives happily ever after. Now I understand that people usually play games to escape life’s grim realities, but a part of my brain just finds it increasingly difficult to reconcile the storylines of games with the way things turn out in real life. The good guys almost never win in real life, and if they do, it’s often a pyrrhic victory at best.

    Call me a masochist, perhaps, but I relish a game like the Witcher where this reality is played out on a virtual level. It just adds an additional level of spice, as if the game’s developers have truly captured the fundamental spirit of humanity (that is, we’re mostly a bunch of short-sighted, selfish and needlessly violent thugs).

    And… centaurs? I don’t remember seeing any centaurs at all in the game… Unless you mean Cemetaurs? They’re a whole different kettle of fish.

    To A.I.: The game is somewhat misleading with the combat styles. Here’s what I’ve gleaned about the combat styles from my experience:

    1. The Strong Style is best suited to fighting single, heavily armored and powerful opponents, BUT it can also be equally effective against smaller, more agile enemies, provided that your Attack bonus is high enough. Pump your Dexterity attribute with a few talents, or use some Rune Stones on your swords, and you’ll find that you’ll actually be able to use the Strong Style with impunity even against enemies who could normally dodge them.

    2. The Fast Style is best suited to fighting enemies who have a very high Parry or Dodge attribute. I only rely on it if the enemy I’m facing simply can’t be hit using the Strong Style. You can actually feel free to use the Fast Style against strong enemies too; it’s just as effective, only that the Strong Style does way more damage and thus cuts down enemies faster.

    3. The Group Style is actually no better than either of the two previous styles in terms of damage, but it gets more powerful the more opponents there are around you. Therefore, the only time you really need to use it is when you’re mobbed by lots of enemies. And quite frankly, you can usually avoid getting mobbed with a little careful pulling or intelligent use of terrain.

    4. You automatically start with level 1 training in every sword style. This is more than sufficient to tide you over during the initial Chapters until you have enough spare Bronze (and possibly Silver) talents to start experimenting.

    5. Don’t neglect the use of Signs and potions in battle either! They can easily help overcome any ‘weaknesses’ in your swordfighting skills. The Aard Sign, for example, can knockdown or Stun opponents, allowing for an easy 1-hit kill, no matter your lack of training in a sword style. The Yrdren Sign can be used to set deadly traps that you can then lure enemies into. At higher levels, you can massacre whole groups of enemies with your Yrdren Sign and never even have to pull out your sword at all. The Axii Sign can paralyse enemies (again allowing for a 1-hit kill), or even temporarily charm enemies to fight on your side. It’s great fun to sit back and watch your enemies tear each other apart while you sit back and eat wyvern meat.

  28. Faris says:

    @AI

    Well, I kinda like the battle system. Not perfect or really inovative but it’s cool. I like how you can switch to 6 style to deal with different enemies, it make the battle cooler and less monotonous. Combined with cool magic and potion, you can have even more variation of fighting style.

    But first, I like the setting. Not because it’s ‘cynical and dark’ or whatsoever, but because it’s new. I mean, it’s creative and rather unique. The witcher is also like a more well thought and jaded version of the jedi, and more with all that ‘last few witcher’

    The amnesia part (I remember shamus didn’t like it).. Well, Laser guided amnesia is always silly, but I think I can forgive that because this game is like, to start over a book saga. In the last book of the witcher series, I remember Geralt dies.

    The amnesia really won’t make sense to people without knowledge on the book series though.

    And yes, the sex thing is silly.

  29. Otters34 says:

    Zaxares:

    I see, and can understand(but not relate)that feeling.Happy puppies frolicking in the daisy-strewn fields whilst butterflies make nests of rainbows and Human-angels(real angels are said to look downright alien to us)guide laughing, blithe spirits to a happy picnic spread would be rather nice, but as far as entertainment goes, would be nauseatingly dull.However, the trend as of late towards what I have seen called ‘naive cynicism’, where, say, everyone is a cannibal, is even more so.After all, excessive pessimism is just as unrealistic as excessive optimism.It’s like saying that peace and prosperity are not realities but things about which we have certain sentiments, while war and famine are what the world is ‘really like’.

    Reality, as I’ve read, is “…a mingled yarn, good and ill together.”.I think it was C.S. Lewis quoting somebody.

    Also, if the good guys never won, why would we nowadays dislike the idea? If we are, as you’ve said, thugs with myopia, we would have no comprehension of something other than that, and guys like Kratos would be real(not fun).But the mere fact that we have an idea that something like that is bad, as the tone of your ‘myopic thugs’ bit indicates, says volumes.We make poetry man, poetry.

    Also, whaddya mean, those things ain’t centaurs!? I know my centaurs, man!

  30. Otters34 says:

    Whoa! had no idea my mind was THIS disjointed!

  31. Blackbird71 says:

    @13
    “and no DRM whatsoever is in this game other than having the CD in the drive.”

    @10
    “I’m surprised that I didn’t see you talking about the DRM present in The Witcher (at least on the blog, it’s not like I follow you….except on the internet).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Witcher_(video_game)#TAGES_issues

    “TAGES has been found to conflict with disc image drive emulators and react similarly to the presence of SCSI and SATA drivers in the system, resulting in the copy protection system preventing users from running legitimately purchased copies of the game.”

    Could someone please clarify this? I’ve considered getting this game, but not if I won’t be able to play it simply because I have SATA hardware in my computer, or some other ridiculous issue.

  32. Corylea says:

    I’ve played lots of RPG’s, and in my opinion, this is one of the best ones, ever.

    The game is based on a series of stories by a Polish fantasy author, Andrzej Sapkowski, and the makers of the game read and loved the stories, then decided to make a game out of them.

    The love and attention to detail that’s been lavished on this game remind me of what Peter Jackson (the director) did for “The Lord of the Rings.” Although the movie made scads of dollars, his main motivation for making it was a sincere love of the novels, and his attention to detail was positively scary. For example, all of the costumes were finished on the inside, as well as the outside, even though the audience would never see the inside. When asked about this, Jackson said that the actors would see the inside, and it would put them more thoroughly into character. That sort of attention to detail is slightly obsessive, but it made for a fantastic movie.

    Well, the guys who made “The Witcher” love those stories, and although they probably could have sold almost as many copies of the game by cutting corners, they didn’t.

    The game makers hired professional stunt men for all of the fighting and did motion-capture, so as to make the fighting look right. They researched medieval and Renaissance buildings and made cities so realistic-looking that some Swiss game critics asked them which Swiss town it was based on.

    Although there are plenty of the usual RPG activities — combat and magic and mixing of potions and exploring new areas and whatnot — the focus of this game is on the story, and there’s a lot of story. The opening cutscene is the best I’ve ever seen, in any game, anywhere. I played it for my husband, and he was riveted, commenting afterwards that he’d seen a lot of movies that weren’t as well done. This is rather a departure from my usual experience with cutscenes. I love the opening cutscene so much that I play it through almost every time I start up the game — I’ve NEVER done that with any other game.

    Because this game is very much about the story, there are some changes from the usual RPG conventions. Unlike most D&D-based RPG’s, you don’t get to choose your character from the usual assortment of humans, elves, dwarves, hobbits, etc. You are Geralt of Rivia. You’ve been trained since childhood to take care of the world by slaying monsters — a witcher, in this world, is a professional monster-slayer. You’ve been given a variety of substances during the course of your childhood and training that have mutated you, such that you’re no longer entirely human (the yellow eyes with vertical pupils are a dead giveaway. :-) ) Five years ago, you disappeared during the war and were believed killed. Now you’re back, and no one knows where you’ve been all that time, not even you, because you’ve lost your memory.

    Although the main character’s having amnesia is a common literary device, it makes more sense for this game than for most. The hero of the stories is a very experienced man, famous for doing things that no one else could do, and he’s no spring chicken — he appears to be around 40 — yet, as a beginning player in an RPG, you need to start off with relatively low-level skills and build them up over time. How do the game designers make this make any sense at all? Amnesia. It also explains how you learn things so quickly and so well.

    The voice acting in this game is far above average. The main character, Geralt, is very well done, and most of the secondary characters are also quite good. There are one or two clunkers, but overall, it’s much, much better than the average voice acting in a computer game. And there’s a lot of voice acting. Every interaction with another character is audible. People on the streets talk to each other all the time, and you hear snatches of their conversation as you pass by, you don’t just read them floating in the air. And the conversations aren’t all the usual “nice weather today” sort. Sample overheard conversation:

    Woman A: Your husband beats you, and you don’t tell anybody?!
    Woman B: He’s so strong.
    Woman A: Hit him with a frying pan, then tell your brother. Think of your children!
    Woman B: You’re right. I’ll do it.

    My experience with most RPG’s is that the battle is between Good and Evil, and you’d have to be brain-dead not to be able to tell the difference. The morality in “The Witcher” is much less obvious; most of the situations here are not black or white but varying shades of gray. You often have to make choices for Geralt, and those choices are usually between two things where it’s not completely certain who is right or which alternative is worse. You get an ambiguous situation to deal with and have to do the best you can, just like in real life.

    And the consequences of the choices often don’t appear until many hours later, so you can’t save the game, try one option, reload, try the other, and take whichever has the best outcome. You won’t know what the best outcome is for awhile. You may have forgotten all about helping that witch in Act I by the time she shows up again in Act IV.

    This game is rated M, so it does things that other RPG’s, most of which want to hold on to a T rating, can’t do. There’s a journal that automatically keeps track of your quests, and I was startled to see “time to kick some bandit ass” on my list of things to do. :-) I met an old woman who told me that if she were younger, she’d show me what it was to bed a woman. You can get drunk and sometimes need to, in order to get information from various people. The hookers aren’t on the streets just for atmosphere — you can actually hire them, though you mostly won’t need to because you have two girlfriends, either one of which is happy to have sex with you. (Yes, you get a cutscene for this, but no, it’s not explicit.)

    The combat system is unusual and interesting. Potion use is not without cost — each potion has some toxicity associated with it, and when your toxicity reaches maximum, you can’t take any more. No more storing up 50 healing potions before the boss battle — you can only get away with taking a couple.

    And I LIKE Geralt. He’s not so goody-two-shoes that he seems completely unrealistic, but he’s a decent man who mostly tries to do the right thing. He’s astoundingly competent with his swords (a steel one for humans and a silver one for monsters), and exceedingly graceful, even balletic. I often wish that I could put the fighting on autopilot, so that I could just watch him in motion, rather than having to concentrate on clicking at the right time. I’ve played a LOT of RPG’s, and I’ve never felt that before. He’s graceful from the beginning, but he becomes more and more acrobatic and astonishing as you put talents into his sword skills. By the end of the game, watching him fight is breathtaking.

    They’ve done a great job with body language — Geralt walks like a man who’s completely confident in his ability to handle whatever situation may arise but without swaggering or looking like an asshole. While Geralt and I were exploring the crypt, I realized that *I* was nervous, but HE wasn’t.

    Shamus, I’m amazed that you hated The Witcher, because in my opinion, this is the best RPG ever, and trust me, I’ve played a LOT of RPG’s.

    You call Geralt a dirty old man, but he’s not old. His hair is white as a result of the same mutagens that induced the mutations that Witchers undergo — it’s been white since he was a teenager. Eskel mentions it if you talk to him while you’re at Kaer Morhen.

    I think The Witcher isn’t just a game; it’s a story — it’s fiction told through the medium of a game. Yes, that limits who you can play, but one can’t usually change the main character of a story, after all.

    I find the world in The Witcher to be a lot more gritty and realistic than the one in Oblivion. There are bums and beggars and prostitutes on the streets. Racism is a big problem.

    I love all of the moral choices that one must make, and I love the fact that they each have actual consequences. This is a game for adults, and I’m not talking about the much-maligned sex cards — I’m talking about the complexity of the world, the fact that so much is grey, rather than black and white, the entire bittersweet feel to the game, as the witchers realize that they’re a dying breed.

    Compared to all that, the ability to be a female elf instead of a male human pales into insignificance.

  33. Steven says:

    I love that, having released an imperfect and flawed game, the developers have done their best to correct it, and rereleased it. They also gave me, who had already bought the game, everything that was included in the enchanced edition for free. I get to go download it off of their website. The strategy guide, the soundtrack, the patch, the two new modules, everything. (Well, except the map. I can’t seem to find it on the website.)
    I loved the Witcher’s soundtrack, so it’s awesome that they’re giving it to me. Plus an album of music inspired by The Witcher!

    Anyway, I appreciate all the post launch support the game has gotten. CD Projeckt knows how to treat it’s customers.

  34. Beregond says:

    Wow I’m coming to this post late, but I really can’t recommend the enhanced version of the Witcher enough. Since you already own the game, it’s a free download, and the radically redone voice acting and translation help to turn this into one of my favorite games of all time. The gray moral choices, as have been mentioned so often, really helped to push thus up there for me as well. Though I doubt after so much time you’ll read this particular post and are probably quite busy with all the new stuff that’s coming out, I sincerely hope you give the enhanced edition a shot.

  35. Nick C says:

    I know i’m coming into this late. I remember reading these posts and being disgusted that someone could not like this game, but to each their own. After recently beating Mass Effect 2 twice, and Dragon Age about 5 times, including the new expansion, I’ve come back to The Witcher. Especially because the sequel they announced looks so bad ass. And now I remember why I like this game more than any other RPG i’ve ever played: grit! This game makes Dragon Age look like a walk in the Disney Theme Park. Not only does it adhere amazingly well to the books (which are awesome as well) but it’s the closest i’ll ever get to playing “A Game of Thrones” on my computer. I’m not going to ramble about the things I loved about the game, because i’m at work and don’t want to crash your server with my verbage. Suffice to say, The Witcher is THE rpg that fans of rpgs have wanted since they picked up their first virtual sword.

  36. Wynne says:

    What I liked about The Witcher, by Wynne, a woman (who therefore apparently doesn’t play video games according to some, but you’ll indulge me for a moment that I exist.)

    –Without taking a single cent more from their already-established fanbase, the developer fixed all that was wrong with an already good game and made it fantastic. The confusing, bizarre translation errors were fixed and new dialogue was recorded. The delicious graphics were made even more delicious. Bugs were slain, load times were dramatically reduced. Name one other developer who has done the same in modern times. Just one. I will buy their game if you can do this.

    –A few of your choices come back to haunt you in unexpected ways, changing a few quests and plot points, adding a freshness to at least three playthroughs. There are three possible sides to choose from in the endgame, and each looks pretty sympathetic, although the middle path tends to create the best outcome. This is both realistic and fun.

    –The game is intuitive enough that I was able to follow the in-game tutorial and learn everything I needed to know without touching the manual once. The gameplay is more than just point and click. Distributing talents gives it a sense of strategy; you feel clever when you give yourself an advantage and edge over the competition.

    –Though the sex cards are juvenile, and Geralt can be made into a prize whore if you fancy it, the main female characters have careers and strong personalities and are arguably the most ‘good’ characters in the game. There’s even a small sense of 60s-style liberation in the fact that Geralt is basically a walking dildo who can’t get anyone pregnant, though some women insult him rather than eyeing him like a piece of meat. He’s handsome enough in a rugged, eerie sort of way, and at least I had his finely toned arse to look at during the game, as well as Yaevinn and Yaevinn’s voice to keep me company. Geralt is also quite a sympathetic protagonist if you let him be–he’s very cynical, like Garrett of Thief, but there’s a vein of compassion and a sense of justice there.

    –There is a fantastic atmosphere to the game. The music… unique, immersive, mood-enhancing, simply brilliant. The graphics are beautiful, the game runs smoothly and loads fast after the patch. Night and day cycle, torches flicker in the darkness, the warm glow of a fire is your safety and comfort, a bright moon hangs above a ribbon of color on the horizon just over shivering waves. Legends and monsters from old stories abound in a very Grimm sort of way. Making potions is easy to learn (gather ingredients, click “swallow” to make a swallow potion) and a bit more difficult to master (finding and choosing all nigredo ingredients for a small boost to combat abilities, or all rubedo ingredients for a small boost to vitality regeneration.) Same with the combat, as you learn to follow the rhythms, which change slightly each time you upgrade the style, reflecting your new skill.

    As with most RPGs, you can choose your class after a fashion. More of a warrior, more of an herbalist, more of a spellcaster. Added to all the plot-related and character-related choices you can make, it’s a pretty enticing mix.

    And that’s about all I have to say at the moment. That was just off the top of my head.

  37. purf (someguy) says:

    I’ll express my feelings about the Witcher (which I was completely ignorant about until this last Wednesday) in the amount of HATE I have towards my gfx-card dying on me yesterday:

  38. Scampi says:

    Given that lots of the criticism is true, I still enjoyed the Witcher as the kind of RPG where you actually play a role, with a (for fantasy realms) pretty unique roster of creatures to fight, with a (then) fresh feel to the fights and meaningful character advancement skillwise. Sadly, it was also one of those titles with lots and lots of flaws which caused me to not play it ever again after the 1st playthrough: besides the loading time excesses, there was the imho sub par plot(though the game was mostly a fan-game, I think, revisiting characters and places from the books without properly fitting into the literary timeline too well. It felt a bit like the shounen-anime-movie of fantasy-rpgs: you get to see people you might know do things that don’t make too much sense and all the while there’s that feel of a pcp-trip to it.
    Even more annoying was the fact of the game-breaking bugs like the limited inventory, that was actually able to cause quest lines to crash bye bye without any possible recovery. Once I had to get that ring from the cantor before entering vizima city. But my inventory was full(!), so the ring got dropped…meaning it just did not get created at all. I therefore had no more opportunity to regain it, had wasted a good amount of time on a quest that I had fulfilled without being paid my reward: continuation of the game itself…that was actually the point where I decided not to find out any more of this kind of bug-I quit the game and never again revisited it.
    In fewer words: if you could ignore the loading screens, dismiss the Witcher lore and did not meet any of the (actually) numerous bugs, you might enjoy the game-but it did make it (intentionally?) hard enjoying it.
    Actually, my gaming experience with the Witcher is a few years in the past, so I can only trust in my memory not fooling me-now it seems there’s more criticism left, but I do remember having enjoyed the game, the feel of the world as presented and the core mechanics of character development-but I guess they would have better fit a game that wasn’t so annoying in other regards.

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