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Default The Witcher - Review @ IGN

October 30th, 2007, 13:02
The first review from the US gaming web triumvirate is up at IGN. It's a fairly balanced article with a score of 8.5/10, despite noting some technical hitches. Here's an excerpt:
Geralt as the deciding factor in events is one of the reasons The Witcher works as a narrative and a game. The first couple of chapters of the adventure will offer up some moral decisions that may seem a little more cut and dry but when chapter three rolls around, the choices offered up are many shades of gray and it's hard to ever know that what you're doing is "right" by the video gaming standard of black and white right and wrong. Are you helping elves fighting for freedom and equality or terrorists that have just as much hatred of humans as humans have of them? Do the ends of preserving and protecting humanity really justify the potentially horrific means? Do I love Triss or Shani or just view them as toys for my amusement? These ideological, political, and personal decisions make the story and the game more engrossing as you sit there and wonder "what did I just do?".
As a footnote, we've opened a new forum for The Witcher if you'd like to discuss the game.
More information.

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October 30th, 2007, 13:02
This is a solid review - it's nice to see a major site give this sort of title a decent look.

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October 30th, 2007, 13:54
And the Editors' Choice Award

http://pc.ign.com/index/choice.html
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October 30th, 2007, 14:32
Originally Posted by MikeZZ View Post
And the Editors' Choice Award

http://pc.ign.com/index/choice.html
An Editor's Choice Award is even better than the score itself, I think, since this means that the Editor really have enjoyed playing this game
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October 30th, 2007, 15:02
I'm definitely waiting to see if they patch it up. I hate messing with crappy inventory systems and Gothic 3 has made me intolerant of long loading times. Hopefully, they'll patch the game into something a little more solid. It sounds like a mess right now. As it is, I'd pay $19.99 for it, but I think it's retailing for more than that
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October 30th, 2007, 16:22
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
I'm definitely waiting to see if they patch it up. I hate messing with crappy inventory systems and Gothic 3 has made me intolerant of long loading times. Hopefully, they'll patch the game into something a little more solid. It sounds like a mess right now. As it is, I'd pay $19.99 for it, but I think it's retailing for more than that
This game is definately worth money. And it doesn't deserve comparing with gothic. You won't understand until you play.
Last edited by MikeZZ; October 30th, 2007 at 16:28.
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October 30th, 2007, 16:57
Good detailed review, with an especially clear description of combat. The technical issues to me sound only normal level, irritating but far from game destroying. And I'd rather have long load times than the stuttering framerate, rubber-banding bugs that often exist instead when games try to circumvent them with a "no-loadscreen" approach. Hopefully a bit of patching will help with the crash issues.

Bottom line for me with this game is it's a serious attempt to make a high quality PC cRPG, and from what I've read so far, succeeds pretty well at it. I've bought plenty of bug-infested games with crappy inventory systems and managed to play through them with great enjoyment, if the game itself made it worth it, and I'm thinking this one will, for me anyway.

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October 30th, 2007, 18:22
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
I'm definitely waiting to see if they patch it up. I hate messing with crappy inventory systems and Gothic 3 has made me intolerant of long loading times. Hopefully, they'll patch the game into something a little more solid. It sounds like a mess right now. As it is, I'd pay $19.99 for it, but I think it's retailing for more than that
As inventory systems go, this one is nowhere near as crappy as NWN2's (pre-MotB anyway), to pick an example at random. Yeah, I can't see how adding a "sort" function would've killed them, but it's a pretty minor annoyance IMO.

Alchemy isn't anywhere near as annoying as they make it out to be either — if you have the ingredients you need, the potion you want to make appears in a list; click and you pick the right ingredients automatically. You only need to mess with the ingredients directly if you want to do experiments (there's a system that lets you improve the standard recipes by choosing your ingredients carefully).

Conversely, if there's a potion you want to make but don't have the ingredients, that's pretty simple too — you can see fairly easily which one you're missing, then you have to look up an ingredient that has the element you need from your journal, and then you need to acquire it. Since there are lots of options, you're never truly stuck for missing elements.
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October 30th, 2007, 18:45
It's a shame that haven't played this game yet, and i read somewhere that we have the best version of the game here in Poland, but I heard many positive things about TW from my friends. I have to catch my friend working for CDPR to buy autographed by the team version.
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October 30th, 2007, 19:30
Please send him/her my regards. This game is so damn good I'd be willing to buy a Polish-language version for a second play-through; after having played it once, I could probably make sense of it and learn some Polish as well. Come to think of it, do you know of a reputable site where I could place that order — direct from the developers if possible?
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October 30th, 2007, 19:52
He is only QA there but sure I will tell him
I'm pretty sure that there is option to buy it outside poland here:
http://www.play.pl/multimedia/pc_gry…min-33326.html
If you would like some translation to move through the shop just write PM to me
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October 30th, 2007, 19:57
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Come to think of it, do you know of a reputable site where I could place that order — direct from the developers if possible?
http://www.allegro.pl/item255551043_…e_j_sklep.html

Although I can't speak Polish, I placed an order with the help of a friend (didn't try any translation tools).

Now all I need is English subs to enjoy the game in its full Polish, outlandish, unedited, Atari-less, not-badly-localised glory.

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October 30th, 2007, 20:17
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Come to think of it, do you know of a reputable site where I could place that order — direct from the developers if possible?
You can buy it directly from CDP here: http://www.gram.pl/sk8_8QnqHO7_Wiedzmin.html
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October 30th, 2007, 23:22
There's no way this could be called a "mess", crpgnut, unless you want to stretch hyperbole to world-spanning proportions. The inventory could definitely use improvement and you are obviously free to conclude that a sub-optimal inventory and some loading means the game isn't for you - but a "mess" it isn't.

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October 31st, 2007, 15:03
I didn't say the game isn't for me, I just said I won't pay full price for something that isn't complete. They left things out (auto-sort) and didn't write good code (long loading times). It's why I'm just now getting to Gothic 3. That game is buggy and has long loading times. I felt it was worth $19.99, which is what I paid for it. I could have pirated it for free and played at the same time as everyone else, or I can just wait til it reaches a price I'm comfortable paying for an incomplete work. If CDP fixes the inventory and loading times, I might be comfortable paying more for it. If not, I'll just wait I've still got MotB to play once I get bored with G3.
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October 31st, 2007, 15:11
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
I didn't say the game isn't for me, I just said I won't pay full price for something that isn't complete. They left things out (auto-sort) and didn't write good code (long loading times). It's why I'm just now getting to Gothic 3. That game is buggy and has long loading times. I felt it was worth $19.99, which is what I paid for it. I could have pirated it for free and played at the same time as everyone else, or I can just wait til it reaches a price I'm comfortable paying for an incomplete work. If CDP fixes the inventory and loading times, I might be comfortable paying more for it. If not, I'll just wait I've still got MotB to play once I get bored with G3.
Go ahead if you like Gothic 3. So if you care about IGN reviews, note that Gothic 3 received 4.9 (poor) from this site.
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October 31st, 2007, 15:24
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
I didn't say the game isn't for me, I just said I won't pay full price for something that isn't complete. They left things out (auto-sort) and didn't write good code (long loading times). It's why I'm just now getting to Gothic 3. That game is buggy and has long loading times. I felt it was worth $19.99, which is what I paid for it. I could have pirated it for free and played at the same time as everyone else, or I can just wait til it reaches a price I'm comfortable paying for an incomplete work. If CDP fixes the inventory and loading times, I might be comfortable paying more for it. If not, I'll just wait I've still got MotB to play once I get bored with G3.
@crpgnut, if this game isn't "complete," then neither is 99% of the stuff out there. Nope, it's not perfect, and yep, it does have its annoyances — but so does everything else out there. Bioshock's loading times are much longer than Witcher's and its post-plot-twist levels feel distinctly rushed, but I don't hear many people calling it "incomplete."

There are games where you could legitimately complain that they're unfinished on release, KotOR 2: TSL, Gothic 3, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and NWN2 for example. The Witcher isn't one of them.

So if you're basing your purchase decisions on the fact that the inventory doesn't have an auto-sort feature or that it has load screens, IMVHO you're being just plain silly.
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October 31st, 2007, 15:32
Originally Posted by indigo View Post
You can buy it directly from CDP here: http://www.gram.pl/sk8_8QnqHO7_Wiedzmin.html
Thanks, I'll order it from there then (if they deliver to Finland). It's even a quite a bit cheaper than the international version.

Edit: Come to think of it, I was just talking with my wife about going to Poland on vacation somewhere along the line. I mentioned that I'd like to learn a bit of Polish beforehand if we do that. This will give me the perfect excuse to spend *another* 100 hours on the game.

"But, my love, I'm practicing my Polish, can't you see?"
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October 31st, 2007, 18:28
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
I didn't say the game isn't for me, I just said I won't pay full price for something that isn't complete. They left things out (auto-sort) and didn't write good code (long loading times). It's why I'm just now getting to Gothic 3. That game is buggy and has long loading times. I felt it was worth $19.99, which is what I paid for it. I could have pirated it for free and played at the same time as everyone else, or I can just wait til it reaches a price I'm comfortable paying for an incomplete work. If CDP fixes the inventory and loading times, I might be comfortable paying more for it. If not, I'll just wait I've still got MotB to play once I get bored with G3.
I presume that long loading times is connected to large quantity of high resolution textures that have to be loaded, so I dont see a point in saying " and didn't write good code".
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October 31st, 2007, 18:38
Some engines handle dynamically loading and unloading textures. A few even do it very well, with truly minimal rubberbanding and stuttering… unless you push the system too hard, that is. Aurora doesn't.

But you're right — it isn't about writing crappy code. When CD Projekt decided to go with Aurora, they got a bunch of good things (a mature, easy to learn, easy to extend, easy to optimize engine) and a bunch of not-so-good things (no dynamic loading of textures, indoor and outdoor environments treated differently, levels 2D + elevation only).

I'd love a game with no load screens, but it's totally unfair to say that they're "bad code" per se — most of the currently used game engines have them: Source, Unreal 3, Aurora, to name three off the top of my head. Gamebryo does do dynamic texture loading, as does CryEngine in all of its iterations; the latter does it really well too.
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