The Witcher - Review @ GamingHeaven
GamingHeaven's review of CDProjekt's The Witcher, set in some elaborate visual formatting, gives the game an Editor's Choice award and an overall score of 87/100:
For a fantasy RPG, the land of the Witcher is remarkably glum and dark. Towns are dying because of plagues, old spirits haunt forests and villages and even though a war has just ended another one is on the brink of starting. On top of it all, the various races that inhabit the world (humans, elves, dwarves, etc.) are involved in major feuding. You have to agree that it is not exactly common practice for game developers to create medieval fantasy worlds that closely resemble actual history with dirty cities and political problems. I personally rather like this approach and actually favour it over the more traditional, fairy tale offerings like NWN2 or Oblivion...
...Like any decent RPG The Witcher isn’t all about combat, but relies heavily on it. Being based on the Aurora (NWN) engine many expected the game to be a standard D&D ruleset based phase (dynamic pausing, dice rolls in background, etc.) combat RPG. Instead we got a more action oriented approach which relies both on statistics and background dice rolls as well as player interaction...
...As you level up (gaining experience from both combat and quests) you’ll get the chance to invest skill points into hundreds of available skills. These range from stronger attacks in various stances over the ability to knock down opponents to more pacifistic skills such as herbalism or potion brewing. You also unlock stronger versions of the spells you know this way, or rather unlock additional effects of these spells such as increased range, lower power consumption or increased duration. At first you won’t be relying on signs (spells) much, but later on they’ll mean the difference between life and death (unless you are heavily specialized in melee combat).
Source: Shack News