Last night I completed one of the games that have been in my bucket list for a long time, The Witcher. Just so you have an idea of how long I have been trying to finish this game, I bought it when it was a new release, way before the whole Enhanced Edition even existed.
The main reason it took me this long to finish this game is because the combat is, well, clunky. This would always annoy me to the point that I’d eventually stop then get distracted by another game and completely forget about The Witcher.
I even thought about giving up on the first Witcher forever and just try to play the second game, or even skip to Witcher 3. But what I’ve seem of the Witcher’s story hooked me enough that I really wanted to see what happened next.
So this time I decided to take some extreme measures. I put the game in the easiest difficult, got a walkthrough and tried to not get distracted by other games. It worked! For the most part. I did end up stop playing the game for a few months because I decided to follow the walkthrough blindly and do some grinding for levels which kinda burned me out. Then I realized grinding for levels was completely unnecessary due to the difficult level I was playing in and just stopped doing that.
Anyway, overall I liked the story of The Witcher. I haven’t read any of the books the game is based on but judging the game by itself they did a pretty good job with the world-building and the lore. Making Geralt amnesiac was also a pretty good idea because he would react the same way as I would to any of his old acquaintances “Uh… Who are you?”
It also gives some freedom to players to pick sides on the conflict between humans and non-humans. Personally I decided to stay neutral because both of those sides seemed to be led by horrible people and no matter who won it would end in tragedy. Although there were a few times in the story where it felt they were trying to force my hand to pick a side. They all felt a bit forced, personally.
Same thing about who should be the final romantic partner for Geralt. Although at least on this point they did gave us a choice to back off it or go all in near the end of the game.
The villains were also pretty good, with credible motivations and personalities. You know they did a good job when you finally get to them and feel very satisfied in putting an end to their schemes.
Having said all that, I probably won’t touch The Witcher ever again. It is a very linear game and I don’t think picking different choices changes things enough to justify another replay. There is also the fact that I’ve watched The Witcher Netflix series and I have a pretty good idea of how canonical Geral thinks and doing anything different wouldn’t feel right for me.
I probably won’t immediately jump into The Witcher 2 yet either. As much as I am curious about how the adventures of Geralt continue, I have a craving for JRPGs so I will probably play one of those next. For now I will just be content in having finished The Witcher. 🙂