Eurogamer: Witcher Extended Edition Review

By Kieron Gillen on September 18th, 2008 at 10:12 am.

Is he going to have sex with someone next? Oh, that Witcher, he is a sexy man.

Eurogamer get me to review the Enhanced Edition of the Witcher. Wherein I start like this…

Not having read a film mag in years, I don’t know if they still do this, but… I always despised the dual-mark DVD review section where they give separate marks for films and add-ons, with a similar sort of split shown in the actual reviews in terms of what they talk about. Because if a film is rubbish, who cares if it’s got voiceover commentary by the entire cast’s family? It’s rubbish. You’re reviewing. That’s all that bloody matters.

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition has provided me with the latest in a long string of opportunities to be a dirty great hypocrite.

And continue for 1500 words or so. Read!

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62 Comments »

  1. The Hammer says:

    Nice review, Kieron – it’s genuinely made me think about getting it, now! Hmm…

    Actually, if I can ask, what’s the party play like? Is there any, or are you all on your lonesome throughout? I like the idea of going into foul dungeons with a band of other heroes, so that may be a deal breaker.

  2. Kieron Gillen says:

    It’s worth noting the rest of RPS still don’t like it.

    KG

  3. Alec Meer says:

    And that Kieron is A DIRTY COWARD. Maybe.

  4. MetalCircus says:

    I bought the original one, but it runs like a pig stuck in mud on my machine – this enhanced version doesn’t tweak the graphics at all does it? I really, really would like to give the game a decent shot!

  5. James G says:

    Well I’m now ahhing more than umming. Still annoyed by the whole sex cards thing though, but perhaps I can pretend that the mechanic is intended as a reflection of the gender equality seen in the game world. After all, shouldn’t developers be encouraged to tie game mechanics into story-lines.

  6. Kieron Gillen says:

    Metal: Have you tried the patches I believe performance is one of the things they’ve sorte dout over the years.

    Alec: Explain the combat system to me again.

    KG

  7. Jim Rossignol says:

    I’m playing it at the moment, and I will continue, but the opening half-hour is shockingly rubbish. I am told it gets better…

  8. MasterBoo says:

    It does. Best RPG I’ve played since KoToR.

  9. MetalCircus says:

    Ah, I should try those patches then.

    The combat system was slightly odd at first, and seemingly repetitive though. Apart from that, from what I played it seemed alright.

  10. sigma83 says:

    ‘Best RPG I’ve played since KoToR.’
    What about Mass Effect?

  11. Feet says:

    Teehee.

    You RPS guys and your sassy banter. You should do a RPS verdict on the new version.

  12. Captain Bland says:

    “Because games are a cultural form I actually care about”

    That’s an odd thing to say. Do you mean that you don’t care for film analysis or do you just not like films? Either way, i’m suprised.

  13. Alec Meer says:

    This is the one where you hold down the Page Up button with your tongue to hit stuff, innit?

  14. Pavel says:

    Its better than Mass Effect.

    Yeah.

  15. Kieron Gillen says:

    Bland: Films are fine, but I don’t really care about them as a form.

    KG

  16. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Never got around to finishing it but one of the things I enjoyed in The Witcher was its take on morality, generally more adept at moral grey areas than Bioware’s often binary sense of good and evil.

  17. Dan (WR) says:

    Just a thought – do you not think there’s a curious disconnect between UK journos opinions of RPGs from mainland Europe and their acclaim from swathes of the interwub? I’ve noticed that The Witcher, Gothic and Divine Divinity are never short of fans when they’re brought up, but the reviews I remember reading were all a bit negative. Of course, Oblivion seems to work the opposite way…

    Also, isn’t the first half-hour of almost every RPG rubbish? (Unless you enjoy rat-bashery). The thought of ever playing the opening of Fallout 2 again makes me want to poke out my eyes with a shrimp fork.

  18. Kieron Gillen says:

    Dan: Yeah, thats’ an interesting one, innit? I’ve thought about it a fair bit. Someone on the PCG forum – I think it was RedAvatar – suggested it’s because games journalists (being writers) are turned off games by bad writing quicker than the general game. Which is certainly an interesting theory.

    KG

  19. gulag says:

    Can’t wait to finish this now.

    If the Witcher is going to be remembered for anything, it’s going to be that great ‘innovation’ – storytelling and dialogue that doesn’t suck donkey balls.

    From Baldur’s Gate through to Mass Effect, I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with the sheer obviousness of the choices offered in any situation. Unforeseen consequences are the beating heart of good narrative, and so many cRPG’s have fallen short on this.

    The Witcher’s claim to greatness has to be the decision to take the long view on players choices, and not to measure those choices on a linear ‘Good – Evil’ bar.

  20. Alec Meer says:

    That was certainly the case for me. I found the shonky writing/dialogue/translation/whatever you want to blame incredibly distracting, and simply couldn’t sink into the game because of it – a problem for a game in which your connection to the character/world is incredibly important. It made it harder to fully appreciate the mechanics of the game, which clearly a lot of people did find hugely exciting.

  21. sigma83 says:

    Bad writing gets my goat going pretty fast I know that much. It raised my hackles plenty in C&C3 for example.

  22. The Sombrero Kid says:

    you’ve confinced me to give it a bash!

    Edit: i’m keeping the typo as a monument to my stupidity.

  23. cullnean says:

    if a dictionary has a spelling mistake how does anyone know?

  24. Shadowmancer says:

    oh if only it was out on steam as it was advertised, damn i was pimped up for this game instead i brought the slightly overpriced crysis complete pack instead.

  25. maxmcg says:

    *Question to the RPS guys*

    There I was – credit card at the ready to buy this on Steam but oh deary me, North America only. Never mind, I’ll try Direct2Drive but oh deary me, North America only. Hey, I’ll just get it on Impulse instead but oh deary me, North America only.

    In fact you can’t buy this as a download if you are in lil’ ol’ Ireland like me or Western Europe for that matter.

    I find it infuruating and it’s obvioulsy not just this game but countless others.

    Can the wise yodas of RPS explain to me why I am left disappointed and angry once again?

  26. aldo says:

    Can the wise yodas of RPS explain to me why I am left disappointed and angry once again?

    Different publishers perhaps? Albeit I think the NA version is censored as well (less scary jiggly nudie bits or something).

  27. Shadowmancer says:

    Can the wise yodas of RPS explain to me why I am left disappointed and angry once again?

    The publishers have exclusive rights which prohibit the sales of games, if they break it they are fined or sued.

  28. DragonSix says:

    Waiting for a demo of this version to decide…

  29. AndrewC says:

    Games players who are not reviewers are illiterate?
    I think this redavatar has a touch of the elitist about him.

  30. SwiftRanger says:

    First demo was good enough already to convince me, definitely picking this up tomorrow.

    ninja-edit: oh yeah, Red_Avatar certainly shows some arrogance but it’s not all bollocks either what he says. I really didn’t mind the dialogue mistakes shown in the demo for example, rather badly translated dialogue (which can be fixed) and nice C&C than another Bioware episode of good vs evil (not so easy to fix) with properly written dialogue.

  31. Wolfox says:

    For me at least, The Witcher is the best PC RPG game since Planescape: Torment. I’ll definitely play it again after applying the EE patches.

  32. chesh says:

    Elvish dubstep?

    SOLD.

  33. Chris R says:

    When will the patch be available for those of us that already purchased The Witcher? I got to the first act (outside the city) before giving up and waiting for the “enhanced” version. :)

  34. Clicky says:

    Although I thought the original Witcher was one of the most overhyped games ever, I might give it another shot with my new computer. Also, I really want to hear elvish dubstep now.

  35. Schadenfreude says:

    @ Chris R -

    Rumour has it it will be released on the 19th (AKA Tomorrow) but I haven’t seen it officially officially announced anywhere.

  36. Nick says:

    “Alec: Explain the combat system to me again.”

    Oh zing/snap/etc!

    I halted my somewhat enjoyable/at times confusing Witcher romp when I heard about this, time to reinstall and start again methinks.

    It would be nice if more companies were able to do this, but I understand the purse strings can be cruel mistresses.

  37. EyeMessiah says:

    Can you still play with polish subs?

  38. Schadenfreude says:

    The new version will let you play with any language/subtitle combo.

  39. Jim Rossignol says:

    @Schadenfreude: Actually it looks like that might not be true. I’m looking at it now on the Steam version and I can only seen the option to play in various languages. There doesn’t seem to be an option for mixed subtitle/voice files.

    Anyone else looked at this yet?

  40. Schadenfreude says:

    Really? The Witcher forums lead me to believe you’d be able to mix and match; maybe it didn’t make the cut. DIYing it is no trickier than renaming a couple of *.tlk files (God bless you Aurora engine), but a menu option would be nice.

  41. Jim Rossignol says:

    Yeah, I believe it is possible, but there’s no UI for it. I’ll play around with it later tonight and see if I can get the Polish voices working.

  42. Pidesco says:

    I think I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I really don’t see how anyone can consider last year, a bad year for PC RPGs when it was the first year in ages where there were two(count them, 2) RPGs worth playing. Two isn’t a lot, of course, but it’s still better than about every year since, like, 2000.

  43. Jim Rossignol says:

    @Schadenfreude: I’m being a complete spaz, found the options. :)

  44. Kestrel says:

    Not available in Western Europe because Atari has the rights there, and doesn’t want to distribute via DD, apparently (although you can get in in such places as Romania). Impulse and Steam are probably working on that….

  45. Alex says:

    I’ll have to patch my original copy. Performance and load times weren’t a problem for me, but I had some really weird graphical errors, where any kind of glass or water effect placed on a texture made it completely clear.

  46. Jim Rossignol says:

    Having put another hour in: people are right about the “game as foreign-language film” effect that this has. Playing with the polish dialogue and English subtitles makes for a much more convincing experience. The English stuff is just too hammed to take seriously.

  47. Abe says:

    Out of curiosity, what’s a bigger turnoff for you folk? Poor writing (inept dialogue, grammatical errors, etc.), or bland, simplistic storytelling?

  48. Fumarole says:

    Poor writing for sure. Alas, this is found everywhere these days, not merely in games.

  49. Wurzel says:

    Bland, simplistic storytelling for me, as due to prolonged exposure to webcomics and anime I am somewhat resistant to bad writing.

  50. Jesucristo says:

    It’s one of the best RPG games I have played. Clever, mature, good dialogues, action and consecuences, but not clear, moral decisions, great inmersion…
    It’s a great game.