Blows Oblivion out of the water

User Rating: 9 | The Witcher PC
What a great game! From the lengthy intro and throughout the game it is obvious just how much work must have been put into the making of The Witcher. The world is extremely detailed, characters go about their daily routine as day turns into night and night turns into day. With or without you, the world is alive and full of problems. You are Geralt of Rivia, a "witcher", monster-killer for hire. Witchers are the product of brutal conditioning, using alchemy to induce mutations that give them superhuman powers. Nothing's for nothing however as you'll find out as you play the game.

Since you're playing Geralt you don't have any choice in terms of your gender or "class" (in D&D terminology). You can extend your sword combo's with additional moves, improve spells, strength, intelligence, gain resistencies and so on. It all works smoothly, though sometimes you wish you'd have the broader D&D choices. On the upside, the character of Geralt is developed a great deal and through lots and lots of voice acting.

This brings me to one of the weaker parts, the voice acting, which ranges from good to rather awful. It's a shame some it is really amateurish, though it seems to get better as the story progresses. Geralt himself is good if a little monotonous.

At times the pacing is a bit too slow, you're going to do a lot of running back and forth sometimes across significant distances. All-in-all I spent about 60 hours finishing the game, so you better have some free time on your hands...

One of the greatest features of the Witcher is the alchemy system. You can extract ingredients from plants and corpses and use them to make potions, poisons and bombs. Since the effects of potions last a very long time (as much as 24 hours) they are especially useful, since you can easily use them as buffs before fights.

Unfortunately the huge selection of ingredients means your limited inventory space gets filled up with lots and lots of junk and you'll inevitably be fooling around with it more than you should. All this could have been solved with an "ingredient pouch" or something. Shame.

Clearly the Witcher is not without its share of problems and small issues, it's a rough diamond but it's got such a great story to tell that it hardly matters. If you consider yourself an RPG fan, you better play this.

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