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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » The Witcher - Review @ The Jerusalem Post

Default The Witcher - Review @ The Jerusalem Post

February 20th, 2008, 22:13
Ausir writes in to give us the heads up about a slightly different review of The Witcher at the Israeli news online site The Jerusalem Post. The title of the review is If you're timid, don't be witched, and I'll let it speak for itself:
Technical rating: 4 stars
Moral rating: 0 stars

Freed from the shackles of communism, Polish software developers feel at liberty to go as far as they want, with unrestrained violence and sex in the videogames they export to Britain and other Western countries. This adult-only role-playing game, based on a series of fantasy stories by best-selling Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, is an example of high technical skill and low morals that can nevertheless legally be purchased by youngsters.

The protagonist of the story is Geralt of Rivia, a mercenary killer ("witcher") of monsters who lives in Vizima, a cursed, gloomy and impoverished city (except for a few filthy rich who enjoy themselves). With long gray tresses and a scarred face that becomes even more bloodcurdling when he periodically swallows the contents of little bottles of potions, Geralt (nicknamed White Wolf) is a killing machine who can hardly be called a "good guy."

Geralt initially arrives at the Witchers' fortress suffering from amnesia. This forgetfulness allows the narrator to retell some of what the Witcher has been through in the past and forces the protagonist to roam the world and encounter people he previously met so he can regain his memories.

The game is offered at three levels of difficulty, with the option of using your mouse only or it and the keyboard. But you must have a strong computer to use it, and even if you do, the load time from one scene to another is very long, and frequent crashes are nearly inevitable. If you get through it all, it will take you about 45, 50 or even 60 hours to finish. The background music is stirring, voice acting believable, graphics impressive and sound effects authentic. But while there is an interesting story line, the game reeks of perversion.

As Geralt is a genetically altered human, he is sterile, but he can still seduce young women who offer to be ravished, and he takes advantage of their offer. After each sexual escapade, he earns cards showing the semi-nude image of the woman he had sex with and that he collects as a kind of trophy. The dialogue also includes plenty of filthy language.
More information.

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February 20th, 2008, 22:13
The Jerusalem Post is not just a website. It's the biggest English-language newspaper in Israel.
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February 20th, 2008, 22:17
Thanks for the clarification—my intention was to call it an online site for a newspaper. New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle etc all have similar sites related to their newspapers. Apologies for the confusion.

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Last edited by magerette; February 20th, 2008 at 22:21. Reason: clarity
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February 20th, 2008, 23:22
There is one thing wrong with this review and that is saying "legally be purchased by youngsters" which isn't nessesarily true. If the stores did what they should and not sell M (or simular) rated games to children then only adults (parents) would be able to buy it for them and then it is the parents fault. They should take that out of the review since it has nothing to do with the game or developer and everything to do with the store and parents.
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February 20th, 2008, 23:28
It can be purchased by youngsters. Israel has no game content rating system. Doesn't make the "review" less silly, though.
Last edited by Ausir; February 20th, 2008 at 23:38.
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February 20th, 2008, 23:46
Holy crap… Could we get a review by the Vatican as well? Pretty please? "Moral rating: 0"; "the game reeks of perversion"… FFS.

Gotta visit the loo, all this hypocrisy has made me wanna throw up.

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February 21st, 2008, 00:08
I found a Christian review of the game, and, surprisingly, the reviewer liked it:
http://www.plaingames.com/games/revi…iew.asp?id=286
Funny thing is, they rated sexuality as 3/5, while the same reviewer rated Mass Effect's as 5/5. While there's lots of sex in The Witcher, the Christian gamers appreciate that at least it's straight sex only.
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February 21st, 2008, 00:14
Originally Posted by Ausir View Post
I found a Christian review of the game, and, surprisingly, the reviewer liked it:
http://www.plaingames.com/games/revi…iew.asp?id=286
Funny thing is, they rated sexuality as 3/5, while the same reviewer rated Mass Effect's as 5/5. While there's lots of sex in The Witcher, the Christian gamers appreciate that at least it's straight sex only.
Ah, that's ironic

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February 21st, 2008, 00:26
I find the Communist references kind of baffling myself—can't tell if they are calling the devs former brainwashed commie lackeys, revolutionary commie-haters or what:

a mercenary killer ("witcher") of monsters who lives in Vizima, a cursed, gloomy and impoverished city (except for a few filthy rich who enjoy themselves
As for the perversion—I don't think Vizima reeks of it anymore than the real world.

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February 21st, 2008, 00:30
Compared to the stuff they wrote in the 18th century, it's lily-white. Try this, this, or even this on for size.

I wish they'd invent something new so these folks could start fretting about that and leave video games alone.
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February 21st, 2008, 01:08
Personally I think it's great that The Witcher actually got some PR elsewhere in the world. For some reason we'd like to think that the Western world and its views/perspective are the only ones relevant in the gaming industry. However, there is a *huge* market in the rest of the world too, and you can't expect people in China, Isreal, India, Korea, etc to have similar cultures to our own. They don't. Claiming that the language in The Witcher is simply "normal" is correct; in the Western world. However, you'd get a *lot* of rude looks if you even considered that kind of language in quite a few countries (hence why the reviewer points it out).

All in all I like this kind of publicity - the more focus good RPGs get around the world, the better. Some will certainly look at the game from a different perspective, but that is to be expected. The world would be a boring place if everyone had the same taste, came from the same culture and had the same hobbies.

Edit: PJ, be a bit more careful by calling anyone "these folks" - who are you referring to? Jews? Christians? Israelis? Don't generalize like that, you might just offend someone - if I'm not misstaken we have people from pretty much every corner of the world on these forums.
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February 21st, 2008, 01:36
Edit: PJ, be a bit more careful by calling anyone "these folks" - who are you referring to? Jews? Christians? Israelis? Don't generalize like that, you might just offend someone - if I'm not misstaken we have people from pretty much every corner of the world on these forums.
For me, these folks - people who consider games like The Witcher "perverse" and "immoral". Not all Christians or Jews.
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February 21st, 2008, 01:48
Ethics might be influenced by Religion, but does not depend on it.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 21st, 2008, 06:37
Great review for calling this game what it is. Its a shame we keep getting pilfered with this stuff when such obvious talent could have been put to better use. Recall CD Projekt attempted to slip this to allow it to be sold to 16 year olds and called it a great thing. I believe that decision got reversed.

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February 21st, 2008, 06:59
Huh? This game was always aimed at M/18+ rating. Otherwise it wouldn't be true to the books.
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February 21st, 2008, 08:03
Quit bein' pussies, just play the game, enjoy the story, and have fun!

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February 21st, 2008, 10:34
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Edit: PJ, be a bit more careful by calling anyone "these folks" - who are you referring to? Jews? Christians? Israelis? Don't generalize like that, you might just offend someone - if I'm not misstaken we have people from pretty much every corner of the world on these forums.
I didn't have any particular religion in mind; I meant people who pack a lot of outrage and very little understanding and make a lot of noise in the name of saving the children. Everyone from Tipper Gore to Jack Thompson and their local equivalents everywhere. Sorry about the misunderstanding.
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February 21st, 2008, 10:38
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
Great review for calling this game what it is. Its a shame we keep getting pilfered with this stuff when such obvious talent could have been put to better use. Recall CD Projekt attempted to slip this to allow it to be sold to 16 year olds and called it a great thing. I believe that decision got reversed.
Then again, there's nothing in there that's more "perverse" there than plain ol' prime-time TV. Video games are just judged by a far stricter standard. I also wish you'd stop going on about how "perverse" this game is since you haven't even played the damn thing.
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February 21st, 2008, 14:44
Same old arguments from from the 70's. Perversion has a place everywhere because it has existed in society from the beginning. If I read a book on perversion it doesn't make me perverse any more than reading the bible makes me religious. As far as mythology is concerned the Minotaur springs to mind immediately and I believe a lot of Greek myth to be pretty darn right dirty.
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February 21st, 2008, 16:47
Originally Posted by vBullettin View Post
Quit bein' pussies, just play the game, enjoy the story, and have fun!
You didn't realized there might be women as well on this board ?

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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