Posts Tagged ‘The-Witcher’

An Hour With: The Witcher

Something new I thought I’d try. Kind of inspired by ever-lovin’ Kyle Orland’s A Game For Lunch, basically, it’s a first impressions based solely on the first hour of a game. One hour, no more. Clearly, this isn’t a real review or anything, just a collection of initial impressions. And clearly this serves the dual purpose of creating a thread for people who have played the game further to add their own impressions. That said, a motif that occurs again and again when talking to the most successful developers is the paramount importance of the first hour of play. It may be cruel, but if a developer working in the mainstream can’t get the first hour right, there’s a large question mark over whether they can’t get ANYTHING right. Bear that in mind.

Sexy Witcher

Anyway, The Witcher. For those who haven’t been paying attention, it’s a Polish RPG based around a cult-pulp fantasy books from out there. Essentially, its “thing” is that it takes all the standard fantasy tropes, and drags them through the gutter. Racism is a big theme – smartly, as racism is something built into the foundations of most modern fantasy (i.e. Some races are lesser than others. You can kill orcs and take all their stuff as – hey! – they’re orcs) – and you have things like the Elves being radical terrorists and so on. Sex, drugs, violence and an albino with a big sword (i.e. you). Adult, mature fantasy. Abstractly.

Here’s what I made of the Witcher in its designated hour..
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Which sort of RPG is the Witcher?

John somehow – i.e. Couldn’t Think Of A Funny Joke (But – hey! – as if that’s ever stopped him before) – missed out the Witcher from his round-up of PC game releases this week, so it’s worth bringing to your attention, as it’s the biggest release unless you’re a foot-to-ball fan. It looks like this.

Sexy albino!

And that’s you, The Witcher. No matter what you want – like, say, looking like someone who isn’t a incy-wincy bit derived from top Albino Eternal Champion and general glorious self-obsessed fuck-wit Elric - that’s still you. This threw Dan Whitehead over at Eurogamer in his review, where he argues – pretty much – if you can’t create your own character, it’s not a role-playing game. Which was such a debatable claim, it (er) immediately provoked a debate. In fact, I initiated it, because upon reading the review’s intro, I mumbled “Christ, Dan, you’re going to get slaughtered for that, mate”, so I thought by getting it rolling in a relatively pleasant way, it’ll save the inevitable Final-Fantasy fan arriving throwing a stroppy trantrum in the manner of a final Fantasy character.

But still, it is a perennial question (i.e. It gets argued on forums only slightly less often than Whether Games Or Art) and I thought I’d try and do relatively brief take on it. Feel free to provide yours, as one of the main reasons to lob this stuff in public is so people can pick it to pieces, so I can rethink gaping flaws.
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