The Witcher Demo

By Jim Rossignol on December 15th, 2007 at 9:04 am.

The much delayed demo of fantasy lady-collecting, monster-hunting romp The Witcher is now available for your perusal. The demo, which is a fantastical 1.97gb in breadth (141 Peggles, FYI), contains the tutorial prologue and the first act, making it so big that if you played it and then bought the full game you’d be annoyed by how much you’d have to replay to get to the same point. (Probably)

Anyway, if you haven’t yet taken the time to play the much-discussed RPG, now is your (free) chance.

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20 Comments »

  1. Nick says:

    Thats a very generous demo. Almost as long as the entire of CoD4. Not as cinematic though.

    (at least most people will work out how the combat works in that time. ¬_¬)

  2. Stick says:

    The whole first act? Sheeeesh. I must’ve spent 20 hours in that. Well, here’s hoping it helps their sales. CDP certainly deserves to Make Enough Dough To Have Another Go. (The Witcher certainly has its flaws, but it kicks arse in several departments as well.)

  3. Alistair says:

    It’s interesting that the demo does not show all the prologue – it fast forwards through some spoiler sections – so the idea is presumably that you do go back to the beginning with the real thing… could be a long way back. You would then see stuff which puts things more in context though, not to mention get a bit more of the tutorial.

    On another note, I saw a claim that that demo has half the load times of the full game as it has no copy protection. The DD versions also have no copy protection of this type… Buy one of those!

  4. malkav11 says:

    The funny thing is, as far as I can tell the first act is one of the two shortest sections of the game (the shortest of course being the prologue). It’s still a fairly sizable amount of gaming, with a couple of significant choices, four or so of the cards, and probably close to two dozen quests and a reasonably sized map to explore. But Act II dwarfs it, and while I’m informed that that is the *longest* section of the game, I can’t imagine things are ever as small as Act I again, simply because Act I confines you to that single region, and the other Acts…don’t.

    Also funny – that still isn’t enough game to justify two freaking gigabytes of download, to me. Geez that’s a lot. Not unusual for demos these days, ones that traditionally offer a lot less, but…that’s why I don’t truck with demos. Or a large part of it.

  5. Pete says:

    Surely you can just copy over the save file? I love how Prey just picked it right up, more games should do that to save repetition.

  6. Andrew says:

    I guess the saves would be compatible too. It’s a large demo, like many other recent ones, no doubt due to the artwork.

    Very generous though, you don’t get many RPG demos nowadays!

  7. Alistair says:

    I think the saves are compatible… but playing to the end of the demo is not the same as playing through the equivalent parts of the full game. You miss big chunks.

  8. Jon says:

    The demo is NOT the whole prologue and first Act. It’s missing chunks of both. So you probably don’t want to copy over your save, if that works.

  9. kadayi says:

    Get this it’s great fun, aside from the occasional spelling mistake & strange use of language (a resultant of the translation) it’s a pretty flawless experience. combat is a little tricky at first, but one you understand the approach it settles and down. It’s also an incredibly long game, but one that has so much happening in it, that so far it hasn’t felt like a chore to play (even though I’ve sunk a fair few evenings hours into it already). Worth the purchase.

  10. dhex says:

    picked this up yesterday on a semi-whim:

    some of the voice acting is horrid, and that lady’s clothing in the beginning chewed up a lot of gpu cycles trying to render their real time jiggle physics, but it’s fairly fun and compelling thus far. the whole eastern european dev thing pays off in some cases (i.e stalker).

    i hope the combat gets a bit more varied though.

  11. a says:

    I decided to post it here as many people were (I I guess they still are) inerested in seeing the uncut dialogues for The Witcher, and I think none of them is looking at the comments to this post now.

    The good news: the uncut script is on the game dics and thus could be restored to the game. The better news: thanks to 1eyekind we already know how to do it. The bad news: developers are saying that this is “nothing but bugged, unofficial version of dialogues and journal which was for internal use only”. And, of course, you won’t get extened English voiceovers. If you want to replace them with Polish ones, learn how to do it here.
    Maybe some of you know it already from the other sources, but the more people get the chance to play the witcher with not buchered but the more people have a chance to play The Witcher with full dialogues, the better.
    Ok, so here comes the comprasion between the scripts. In some cases you will se Polish version as well, just to show you which translation is actualy closer to the original (judging even by the lenght:) But jokes aside: I, beeing Polish native speaker, am able to tell you that that’s not only the lenght. For the most part, the uncutscriptis just a faithful translationfrom the Polish original, while the in-game one looks like…yeah, the early sketch of the dialogues.

    Let’s just have a look at the famous dialogue with a dwarf from promotional video:
    Polish:
    A dlaczego kuska wchodzi w piczke? Taki jest naturalny porzadek wszechrzeczy. Ludzie od zawsze zarli się z krasnoludami i elfami. Nie mnie decydowac, z czyjej winy.
    English1(uncut brought you by 1EYEKIND):
    Why do pricks go in cunts? It’s the natural order of things. Humans have always had it in for dwarves and elves. Not me to decide whose fault it is.
    In-game English:
    Humans have always hated dwarves and elves.

    My comment: English1 pretty much summarizes what dwarven smith is saying. Unfortunately, it’s not even a half as good as Polish. As ‘prick’ sounds rather vulgar and offensive, ‘kuska’ is just inherently funny and sounds like a diminutive. No one would take it as a serious insult. So maybe this wasn’t the best example. But consider that this particular sentence was much harder to translate than most of the others and still that “buggy developer secret” is much more picuteresque and similiar to Polish than that butchered In-game English.

    Still the same dialogue:

    POL: Nic. Ale jaka oszczędność surowca! Przy produkcji idącej w setki sztuk można zaoszczędzić na drewnie i zrobić więcej, dajmy na to, drewnianych mieczyków dla dzieci
    ENG1:Nothing. But the savings! Think of the wood you save when you’re producing them in the hundreds, and that wood can be used to make wooden swords for kids, for instance.
    ENG2:Nothing.But think of the savings! When you’re producing them in the hundreds, all that extra wood can be used to make other goods, like wooden swords for children
    ENG3:Nothing. But all that extra wood can be used to make other goods.

    Comment: This one’s clear, isn’t it? Some ‘unimportant’ and ‘unnecessary’ sentences have been deleted.

    Another example:

    ENG1:
    Geralt: Zoltan Chivay, in person, a very bearded person. Good to see you.
    Zoltan: You managed to get inside the town, Geralt. Very good, always plenty of work for a witcher in Vizima
    Geralt: And you, Zoltan? How did you manage to get in?
    Zoltan: Nasty nonhumans will always find a way to sneak into human homes, disturbing their peace, pouring sand in the cogs of their mills and factories.

    ENG3:
    Geralt: Zoltan Chivay. Good to see you.
    Zoltan: You got inside the town okay? Plenty of work for a witcher in Vizima.
    Geralt: How did you manage it?
    Zoltan: Nasty nonhumans will always find a way to sneak into human homes.

    Another ‘unnecessary’ info cut. Yes, I think you can live without it, but what are you playing RPGs really for? For making ‘go here-kill that man-get the reward and xp’ quests or maybe rather for dialogues and atmosphere?

    Another one:

    ENG1: Progress is like a herd of pigs. The herd’s very existence brings many benefits. Pork knuckle, sausage, lard, and trotters in aspic. One word: benefits! But it’s no small wonder that there’s pig shit all over the place.
    ENG3: Progress is like a herd of pigs. The herd brings many benefits, but no one should wonder at the all the shit.

    Comment: Come on, everybody knows what comes out of pig, there’s absolutely no need to read it aloud.

    Conntiniuing:

    ENG1: And witchers will be needed always, everywhere, no matter where that pig herd leads us. As old King Dezmod used to say looking into his chamber-pot after using it: “The rational mind cannot possibly grasp this.”
    ENG2: Witchers will always be needed, no matter where that pig herd leads us

    Comment: No one cares about what some king used to say. Knowing it won’t give you exp, therefore is not important, therefore you wouldn’t even notice that somthing’s missing. Oh, would you?

    Dialogue with bartender:

    ENG!:
    B:Well, who do we have here? Swordies on his back, grey hair… Let me guess, you run away from a circus?
    G:Oh, I’m in stitches, you have some circus experience, too?
    B: Ooo! Sharp tongue. A good fellow! What can I get ya?
    ENG3:
    B: Well, well…Swords on your back, white hair… You run away from a circus?
    G:You have circus experience, too?
    B:Sharp tongue, good fellow! What can I get ya?

    Ok, that’s not the prime-quality joke, but notice that the cut version of this dialogue doesn’t make ANY sense at all! This time they not only ruined the atmoshpere, but also altered the meaning.

    Geralt speaking to himself in front of the Vyzima’s hospital with his deep, murky voice:

    POL:
    Szpital Lebiody – tu trafiaja ofiary plagi Catriony, jeszcze dwa etapy do konca: Stara Wyzima i Pieklo. Psiakrew, ale jestem mroczny.
    ENG1:
    Lebioda’s Hospital – where they take all the victims of the Catriona plague. Two stages after this – Old Vizima and Hell. Damn I’m gloomy.
    ENG3:
    Lebioda’s Hospital – where the plague victims end. Two stages follow – Old Vizima and Hell.

    That’s this famous Geralt’s sarcasm. I believe it is still there with us in the third version of the monologue, which obviously has so well hidden innuendo that we’re just to stupid to notice it.

    Some of the quotes from Talar, a fence:

    ENG1
    Geralt: The guards found a witcher’s sword at your place.
    Talar: First of all, the cocksucking guards. Second, why do you care?

    ENG3:
    Geralt: Guards found a witcher’s sword at your place
    Talar: Why do you care?

    ENG1: Fell off your horse? Where’d you get that idea?
    ENG3: Where’d you get that idea?

    ENG1:
    Geralt:How did you get Berengar’s stuff?
    Talar: I’m a plowing fence. You know who a fence is, or do I need to draw you a picture? You think I ask every fucking thief where he got his goods?

    ENG3:
    Geralt: How did you get Berengar’s property?
    Talar: I’m a fence. I don’t ask every thief who he plowed for his goods

    Comment: In this case, they were mainly swearings that were deleted, so some people may preffer the in game script over the uncut one. But consider who the Talar is: a fence, crafty fellow who was brought up on the street. What kind of langueage would you expect from him? A refined or not refined one? In which case is this character more believable?

    And finnally:

    Polish: Patelnia mu raz, dwa przygrzmocisz i zara inaczej bedzie gadal. Jestes kobieta, miej swoja godnosc, do diabla!
    English1(the uncut one): Slap him around with a pan, he’ll sing a different tune. You’re woman, have a little dignity, dammit!
    English3(in-game): Hit him with a pan, then tell your brother. Think of your children!

    Comment: Cut, cut, cut! Less words equals more money, that’s obvious, who gives a toss about the atmosphere? Nobody, that’s clear!

  12. a says:

    Jesus, that has gotten incredibly long, spoiling this site. If some moderator could fit it with some spoiler tags that show up the text only when you click the button, it’d be appriciated.

  13. Alistair says:

    I tried the mod to restore the ‘draft’ English, just for the beginning of the prologue. For me, it wasn’t worth the effort. It might bring the kind of benefit mentioned above, but it has its own rough edges, not least not matching the VOs.

  14. Eschatos says:

    The demo is definitely not the whole first act. It is pretty long for a demo, 2-3 hours though. You can play up to the point where you talk to the Reverend to finish either the “Light the holy fires” quest or the “gain trust of three important people” quest. I know those aren’t the actual names, but that’s what you do. I was extremely impressed by the gameplay though, and will defenitely buy the game.

  15. dhex says:

    man the combat’s kind of annoying. click here, clack there, etc etc. i probably just need practice. i mean, i hope i just need practice.

    the voice acting is both better and worse than it should be, at least a little bit into the first act.

    load times are a little lengthy but not the hour long wait-fests i’d been told about.

    not so hot on the makin’ whoopie segments, though. that was pretty bad.

  16. malkav11 says:

    The translation definitely feels like there’s something missing, pretty much every time I talk to someone. On the other hand, moments like the infamous innkeeper dialogue from Act 1 where it’s disjointed and nonsensical are thankfully rare.
    FYI – REALLY bad translation:
    http://www.gametrailers.com/player/7283.html

  17. I_still_love_Okami says:

    @dhex: I guess you just need practice. Combat is all about staying in rhythm and knowing when to click to get the best combo chains. And of course it’s about knowing which combination of weapon/fighting style to use in a given situation.

    It never really gets very deep, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes quite enjoyable. And it is very satisfying to charge headlong into a group of enemies, mowing through them, switching styles on the fly, casting a quick spell to knock back one group, then using a bomb to stun some others and then finish off their boss using a poisoned sword and the strong fighting style.

  18. kadayi says:

    Apparently the 1.2 patch is due this week (according to the newsletter), should speed up the save/load times a bit.

    The combat does take some getting used to, but the multiple enemy fights are the best fun, plus it’s cool when you use the finishing moves to kill stunned opponents

  19. Lou says:

    I quite enjoyed the fighting in The Witcher – no, it’s not the deepest system ever, but it works well as a terrific-looking (once you raised your abilities a bit) representation of the undelying stats, being a bit more involving than what you do with melee classes in D&D games, while not becoming too skill-dependent. Of recent RPGs like Gothic 3, Oblivion or Jade Empire, I certainly enjoyed The Witcher’s combat the most.