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Default The Witcher - Review, Content Results

December 6th, 2007, 22:09
Boomtown has reviewed The Witcher, awarding a score of 7/10 because of "a faint sense of discomfit" with a few issues:
The combat system, while a bit strange, is fairly easy to adjust to. The real problems with The Witcher lie elsewhere, and are twofold. Firstly there is a decided lack of freedom, particularly in the early chapters of the game. For a long time, events are centred in and around the city of Vizima, and feel incredibly plot driven. The Witcher is certainly no Oblivion - there are Bad Guys out there, and you must find them, now. You will not be spending 80 hours riding around on a horse in order to find the best mountain from which to view the sunset. While this focussed approach is not a necessarily a bad idea – particularly when backed up by the quality of writing The Witcher exhibits – the length of time you are forced to spend in each area becomes frustrating, as there is often little in the way of a feeling of progress.

The other issue lies with one of the cornerstones of the RPG experience – the quest for stuff. Loot is integral to practically all RPGs – weapons, armour, magic items – the constant search for something better than you already have. In the Witcher however there’s a pretty basic set of equipment which barely changes throughout the game. Geralt uses two swords – a steel one for fighting humans and a silver one for monsters – and some armour, and that’s about it. There is no longsword+5, no Boots of Speed. Instead you will mainly be collecting ingredients in order to brew potions which will help in the slaying of tougher monsters. It’s strangely circular – Geralt’s motivation for taking jobs is to get paid, but as there’s hardly anything worth spending the money on, it leaves you with a nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right.
Back at the official site, Kamil writes their "A day in the life of the witcher" screenshot contest has concluded and you can check out the winners and their work here.
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December 6th, 2007, 22:09
Holy cow, no Long Boots of Speed +5… I can recognize 7 when i see one - it's right there on the cornerstone of the RPG experience…

At least it looks like they finished the game.

P.S. I just noticed the score:

"Durability - 7
It requires a fairly substantial investment of time, but there’s not much cause for replaying."
I'll leave the not much cause for replaying alone - i guess they won't find their longsword +5 on the second playthrough too, but "requires a fairly substantial investment of time"? What kind of whine is that?
Last edited by Bundyo; December 6th, 2007 at 22:16.
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December 6th, 2007, 23:30
reducing crpgs to the "cornerstones"

a) finding new stuff
b) riding through a free world

is a bit oversimplified.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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December 7th, 2007, 00:27
Hehe, funny how people's perceptions of what's good/bad can differ.
The look aspect, or the lack of it, is one of my favourite features of the Witcher.

You're spending your money on books, information and ingrediants…what a nice change to the usual loot frenzy. Really love that aspect of the game.

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December 7th, 2007, 08:27
Not to mention that there is uber loot in the game, but it is hard to find sometimes, and can be missed.
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December 7th, 2007, 12:14
I like this story:

http://www.thewitcher.com/resources/…73cda1e25.jpeg

and the moral:
"You sleep well and sound when a witcher is around"

Or this one with a very true alternate ending

http://www.thewitcher.com/resources/…f00e5e4ab.jpeg
Last edited by nessosin; December 7th, 2007 at 12:28.
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December 7th, 2007, 18:56
The whole "time investment" point is actually valid from my point of view. Unless there's a lot of different stuff to experience on a second run, it is hard to sit down and start replaying a 100+ hour game. Jade Empire, for example, is about 20-25 hours and therefore much easier to get through.

I'm not saying that means short = better, I'm just saying some players need a certain amount of variety before sitting down with a very large game for a second time.

Some players only have 5-10 hours of gaming per week, and spending 10 weeks to finish a game for a second time that does not hold a ton of secrets may not be the kind of investment they're looking for. Chances are, it would be better to just play a different game, offering a completely new experience.
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December 8th, 2007, 03:01
As far as I'm concerned, the rarity of loot is actually a good thing. Otherwise, when I find a weapon better than what I have, I'm hardly impressed since I know I am likely to find another even better weapon 5 minutes later, and then better armour, and then better boots, etc. When I switch weapons a hundred time in a 30 hours game, they stop being cool swords and become mere numbers. There's something wrong when I think of my weapon as '25-50 damage 5% critical' instead of 'Steel Morningstar of Fire' . In fact, this is one of the reason I got bored with Diablo-style HS-RPG.

However, when loot is rare, finding a fire sword in a secret passage become a momentous event. I'm likely to still be using it 10 hours later, and even if I discover a better weapon, I'll still remember that sword that served me so well.

I live in my own little world, but it's okay, they know me there.

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December 8th, 2007, 06:47
Originally Posted by Dantre View Post
As far as I'm concerned, the rarity of loot is actually a good thing. Otherwise, when I find a weapon better than what I have, I'm hardly impressed since I know I am likely to find another even better weapon 5 minutes later, and then better armour, and then better boots, etc. When I switch weapons a hundred time in a 30 hours game, they stop being cool swords and become mere numbers. There's something wrong when I think of my weapon as '25-50 damage 5% critical' instead of 'Steel Morningstar of Fire' . In fact, this is one of the reason I got bored with Diablo-style HS-RPG.

However, when loot is rare, finding a fire sword in a secret passage become a momentous event. I'm likely to still be using it 10 hours later, and even if I discover a better weapon, I'll still remember that sword that served me so well.
I agree with you 100%. The Witcher is the first RPG in a long time I have played that has worked this way (Gothic was a little like this). When there are only 2-3 armor types and 2-3 main weapons to find over the course of a long game, you really start to cherish them more.

I really don't miss the loot in this game (although I like loot as much as the next guy in other games).
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