The Witcher – First Impressions

First things first, I was looking forward to The Witcher. I really was, honest! I even made a promise of a review on my blog for it. I went out to JB Hi-Fi, I took my eftpos card out of the wallet, swiped my life away and specially bought the enhanced edition. I was excited, I couldn’t wait to get home and play this game which I’d heard nothing but rave reviews about. Sadly I was wrong, oh so very wrong. So wrong in fact that I can’t give a review, I can only give a “First Impressions” that in no way took the full game into context, but only the first 5-6 hours.

Why you say? Oh, why can’t you give a review didn’t you at least play the game?

To that I say codswallop, to truthfully review a game you must have at least played most of the game and as I said before, I couldn’t bare forcing my way through this one. I tried to like this ghost of a game, oh I wanted so badly to like it, but this game filled me with rage. There, I have said it, this role playing game (my favourite game genre might I add) has stand out problems that made, no, implored me rage quit like a 13 year old COD enthusiast contradictorily swearing for fair play.

What problems could this game IGN gave an 8.3 have?

Let’s see, my computers specs completely outweigh the recommendation for highest quality, yet it still has massive frame rate drops at the cut scenes. By massive I mean gargantuan, I felt like I was watching a storyboard of what the action was supposed to look like. Never mind the amount of tinkering it took to get to the “smooth” choppiness at its lowest quality. While you may be able to forgive the game for these flaws after you have it going I can’t describe the utter disgust I had when, in the background of talking NPC’s, I saw another NPC doing a little chopped up jig, in the background of the whole screen.

The sound gave The Witcher some brownie points, with voice acting to be of a generally high standard. It was something I could put up with and not overtly boring for the most part, but why must my character speak so monotonously even during a castle siege. It begs the question of did they even check these opening scenes for quality? Or did they just rush it out the door for a quick buck?

While i’m not completely against tutorials and the such in games, surely it’s going a bit far when using the menu becomes too confusing. Early on in the game, I decided not to use the alchemy as the amount of reading needed for each and everything was beyond a joke. Yes RPG’s have a lot of reading and memorizing but for the tutorial stage to go on for almost an hour is a bit too far.

While the combat system is a bright spot for the game, with the player having to time each click in order to create combos or the use of magic in the game with the right click. Compounded upon the need to change fighting style for each enemy as well as pause the game to search the inventory for alchemy such as healing potions or buffs…Wow I just filled up a whole paragraph by lightly describing the battle system. Whoever said a simple battle system was bad?

The story seemed to move on after you had finished quests, which had nothing to do with the story. In fact, its quest system is close to another extremely popular game which is built upon quests with no real point, although that game is built upon social bonds, of which The Witcher, being a single player off-line game, has none.. Oh WOW, you know the name of that world wide phenomenon eludes me at this point in time, no matter on with my conclusion to the scathing.

I must admit that although I have hated my time with The Witcher, I will more than likely attempt to play it again, hopefully with more excitement and less anticipation. The fact that I have played it though, means that I expect a lot less than right now. I will now give a disclaimer to say that I have played six hours of the game, the narrative never grabbed me, the gameplay confused me, the sound bored me and the graphics effectively made me rage quit. This was my experience, and first impressions of a game I bought, it is not a troll, nor biased.