The Witcher (Windows)

84
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

Description

Based on the books by the Polish fantasy author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher is an addition to the RPG genre from Europe, starring the main character from the books - Geralt of Rivia, who is a "witcher" - a professional monster-slayer.

The story begins when Geralt is found unconscious by his fellow witchers. He has lost most of his memories of the past, and joins other witchers when their fortress, Kaer Morhen, is attacked by members of a mysterious organization known as the Salamandra. Most of the enemies are defeated by the witchers, but the two most dangerous ones - a criminal nicknamed "Professor" and the sorcerer Azar Javed - escape after having gained access to the witchers' laboratories. The witchers part ways, and Geralt heads to the capital city Vizima, hoping to find more information about the assailants.

The Witcher is a dark game with a dark world. War, murder, poverty, genocide, discrimination, torture, fanaticism - are just a few words that describe this setting. This is the world that the humans try to rule, and non-humans like elves and dwarves are subjected to suspicion and sometimes cruel treatment. Will Geralt be a victim to a few sentimental moments of kindness, or will he survive as a cynical bitter murderer? These are the choices that you'll have to make.

Using a heavily modified engine of Neverwinter Nights, the game implements an original combat system, which requires the player to click on the enemy at the right moment in order to help Geralt execute combo attacks. In order to defeat the enemies efficiently, the player must observe the movements of the combatants, and choose the right combat style: "quick", which is recommended to use against fast enemies, "heavy", with lower precision, but more damage output, and "group", which is effective when Geralt is surrounded. In addition, Geralt often has to switch between his two basic weapons: the steel sword, which is used against regular enemies, and the silver sword, which is more helpful against supernatural creatures.

Character growth is handled by allocating experience points into skills, teaching Geralt fighting styles as well as learning and improving his abilities. Alchemy is a skill that Geralt learns, allowing him to create his own potions, for healing purposes as well as for enhancing his witcher senses. Geralt can also learn and cast offensive and defensive magical spells.

The Witcher requires the player to make ethical decisions for Geralt, which often have "delayed consequences" - for example, sparing a character's life early in the game will eventually trigger a scene much later, in which said character appears and helps Geralt in return for his kindness. As the game's plot advances, the player learns more about the social and political life of its world, and is able to choose his/her own path and alliances to different organizations and ideologies.

Screenshots

The Witcher Windows Enjoying a fist-fight in a local tavern.
The Witcher Windows You will meet other witchers on your journey.
The Witcher Windows Dryad, as not seen in the US version.
The Witcher Windows The pause-mode is very useful for changing stances or using potions.

Alternate Titles

  • "巫師" -- Taiwanese spelling
  • "巫师" -- Chinese spellinge (simplified)
  • "Ведьмак" -- Russian spelling
  • "Zaklínač" -- Czech title
  • "Wushi" -- Chinese title
  • "Wiedźmin" -- Polish title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A grain of truth St. Martyne (3539) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Possibly the finest RPG I've ever played Jeanne (75502) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
From Poland with love Cor 13 (173654) 4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars
Every man wants to be like Geralt, every game wants to be like The Witcher Melody (119) 4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars
[v1.1] Legendary as a story-driven adventure game; Dull as an RPG Indra is stressed (19972) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

Critic Reviews

GameBanshee Nov 01, 2007 9 out of 10 90
GameSpot Nov 06, 2007 8.5 out of 10 85
Game Captain Nov 04, 2007 85 out of 100 85
IGN Oct 29, 2007 8.5 out of 10 85
GameLand Dec 15, 2007 8.5 out of 10 85
Gameswelt Oct 26, 2007 84 out of 100 84
PC Arena - Game Arena Mar 17, 2008 8.33 out of 10 83
Jolt (UK) Nov 01, 2007 8.2 out of 10 82
Legendra May 18, 2008 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
GameStar (Germany) Nov 28, 2007 77 out of 100 77

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
In this thread, you sell this to me 9 Dr. M. "Schadenfreude" Von Katze (584)
Jun 06, 2011
Heads Up 1 Indra is stressed (19972)
May 29, 2011
I want to make sweet love to a Dryad. 36 Indra is stressed (19972)
Oct 03, 2010
Damn you Sigfried! 26 Indra is stressed (19972)
Dec 26, 2008
Thge Witcher Enhaced 7 vedder (20519)
Sep 01, 2008
Questions...[Warning Spoiler Alert] 5 Indra is stressed (19972)
May 10, 2008
Yahtzee hates the Witcher. 83 NatsFan (131)
Mar 22, 2008
F****ng barricade!!!! Please help!! 12 Indra is stressed (19972)
Mar 19, 2008
Enhanced version coming in May 3 Cor 13 (173654)
Mar 18, 2008
Questions... 13 St. Martyne (3539)
Feb 16, 2008

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Witcher appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Localization

In adapting the dialogue from the Polish to the English version, certain parts were censored. An example:

Original version: Smith: Why do pricks go in cunts? It's the natural order of things. Humans have always disliked dwarves and elves. Not for me to know why.

Edited version: Smith: Humans have always hated dwarves and elves.

These censored parts were later added back with full voice acting in Enhanced Edition.

References

  • In line with the murky 'film noir' theme of good and evil largely depending on context and motivation, there is a tip of the hat to Raymond Chandler/Philip Marlowe as one of the pivotal characters is Detective Raymond Maarloeve, who speaks like a hard-boiled detective from any of Chandler's novels.
  • In the second act when you enter the city walls, you can sometimes hear citizens whistle a Star Wars tune, more precisely the "Imperial March" track. But that isn't the only reference to movies or actors. There is a knight in third act called Patrick De Wayze which is an obvious gag on Patrick Swayze (in the Polish version of the game, the name is spelled Patrick z Weyze and sounds exactly like the name of an American actor).

Sales

In October 2008, one year after the release, the development studio CD Projekt RED Sp. z o.o. announced to have sold one million copies of the game (including the enhanced edition).

Sephirot

At one point, Geralt will have to gather 10 sephirot (also transliterated as "sephiroth") to enter a magical tower. The sephirot (Hebrew: ספירות) in question are actually the ten spheres of creation in the Jewish mystical teaching, kabbalah. All the translated names of the sephirot ("crown", "kingdom", etc.) are correct; however, the original Hebrew names, which also appear in the game, are messed up nearly beyond recognition.

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2007 – #10 PC Game of the Year
    • 2007 – PC RPG of the Year
    • 2007 – Surprise of the Year
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • March 28, 2008 - Best PC RPG in 2007 (Readers' voting) (The editors originally gave a score of 73%.)
Information also contributed by MAT, YID YANG and thud

Related Web Sites

Happy Rabbi (1303) added The Witcher (Windows) on Oct 26, 2007