Thursday, 5 February 2009

The Witcher (Game Review)

Based on the world described in the fantasy books of Andrzej Sapkowski, you play Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher who has lost his memory after he allegedly returned from the dead. You start off at the castle of Kaer Morhen and pretty soon Geralt gets mixed up in another adventure to recover something that was stolen. So far so good...

I've had this game for several months but could never find the time to actually start playing. Last friday I had a few hours free so I decided to install it. I immediately got immersed in the storyline and started savouring this little delicacy only to discover later that it was a real multilayered epic.

The graphics are excellent and the characters have strong backgrounds while the combat system is easy to get used to. Timing your clicks right will execute some pretty flashy combos which become ever more complex as Geralt gains more experience.

The dialogue is definitely one of it's high points and spans the full spectrum from dark and ominous to lighthearted and funny, though most of the time it is brusque and sarcastic, which befits the gloomy context. The music adds to the experience and blends well with the scenery and plot, as does the voice-acting.

Another interesting point is that, much like in Fable, the decisions you make at different points in the game affect it's progress. The storyline is multithreaded and Geralt's actions have consequences that will echo throughout the whole game.

Fans of the Arthurian legends and the works of H.P. Lovecraft will find plenty of in-game references.

Did I mention I thoroughly enjoyed it?