Namco Bandai’s The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings may not be coming out till May, but it’s already making some waves. The screens I’ve seen look absolutely stunning, and The Witcher is apparently known for its very in-depth RPG play style, as well the lack of black-or-white morality inherent in its choices system. So, picking up the first game cheap on steam, I figured I’d give it a go to see what all the fuss is about.
NB: This version of Weekend Tryouts has me writing down my initial thoughts and impressions as the game unfolded, as well as some narration, except not in real time. Its divided into loose sections so you (hopefully) know what part of the game I’m at. Let me know what you think, if you don’t like it, I can switch to Ver. 2
Atari logo – haven’t seen that on a game this side of the Atlantic in a while. Powered by the Bioware Aurora engine, nice. His name was Geralt of Rivia. Professional Witcher -Monster Hunter, has cat eyes and is an all round bad ass. Drinks liquid that seems to have the same effect as vodka has on me -spasm zombie face.
Ok, so the this cinematic basically sets the scene for how awesome this guy is. A lot of hand to hand with the monster he’s fighting (a cursed princess, no less). Lots of punches to the face. Graphics are amazing, by the way. Really good, even though it was only 2007. Man, that monster just won’t go down. More punches to the face…. ok, I think our Geralt is just toying now, get on with. Throws a chain at her to keep her pinned, but, oh noes! She broke free! Charges at Geralt and he… does the Kame-Hame-Ha? When did this turn into Dragon Ball Z?
Climbs to the battlements, Princess tearyourfaceoff follows. BOOM. In the face again and she falls all the way down. Now she’s scared. Geralt gets his sword out, does an angry face and some air slicing… princess craps her pants and hides. Geralt, smirking triumphantly…. goes for a nap in a stone coffin? Ok. Next morning, finds the princess backs to normal, takes his glove off to gently caress her cheek but he gets slashed in the face! Ouch.
Whilst gravely wounded, Geralt lifted the curse and gained fame. A great war came that changed the world. Geralt disappeared but that’s another story… wait, what? So what was the point of all that? Main Menu.
New game. I can play as Geralt himself or do some one-off adventures. I’ll stick with the main campaign for the time being. Normal difficulty, Mouse or Mouse and Keyboard? Eh, Mouse and Keyboard, why not…
It’s been five years since the great war. Monsters are everywhere, Witchers aren’t around to stop them. Geralt is running through the forest looking like crap. Gets found, but hey, it’s ok, he’s among friends now… apparently. He remembers nothing – ah, Amnesia, classic.
Gets taken to a decaying castle… two days past and he’s all better now… oh, really? Just going to skip over that? Still remembers nothing. Hot chick with red hair blatantly wants him. Geralt remembers they had a special bond (i.e. made lesbians) and remembers how to fight. Well, today is your lucky day because we’ve just been attacked by bandits who hate us for some reason. Grab your stabby stabby stick and let’s get to work!
Gameplay. Beginning Sequence.
Ok, grab sword, run over to guy… can’t tell if I’m hitting him. How does combat work? Click. Click… was that me? Did I kill him? Oh, they’ll dead anyway. Hurry, we must run upstairs. Oh look, a big mofoing monster just tore down our gate, and some weird dudes have sneaked behind us and gone into our castle. Geralt, I know you remember nothing, and may or may not still be weak from whatever the fuck happened in that forest, but we need to wade through a hoard of bandits and re-open that gate for us. Chop chop. kthnxbai.
Ah. Some proper tutorials now… ok, so clicks need to be timed for attacks. Certain ‘styles’ work on different enemies. Click. Pause. Click. Pause… you can chain attacks with good timing. I can see this getting tedious. Ok, bandits dead, gate opened. Geralt! You’re alive! It’s a miracle. Thanks. Ok, go into the castle and see what Mr. T. and four-eyes want.
More bandits. Tutorial slowly reveals stuff as I go along. We get downstairs and dudes be stealing our stuff. Mother Truckers! Oh, but he erects a force field and the way back is blocked. I get me some magic so I can clear the force field and go get the red-haired mage who clearly knows what she’s doing. Ah, first choice. Do I stay outside with the monster or do I go with the woman. Hormones take over – woman. Have fun with the oversized mantis, old person.
Triss, the red-head, goes on ahead whilst I deal with the mage. Takes longer than it should, but I get it done, only to find Triss got owned. Lovely. Go downstairs again. Mr. T. runs off with a box and four-eyes kills the young and in-experienced guy who was blatantly just a red-shirt waiting to happen.
Hallow victory. Now we must lick our wounds and move on. End of Sequence.
Thoughts so far: Looks luscious, but unless the gameplay gets better, I can see this getting tedious. I hear good things about the story though.