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The Witcher Review Why cant normal life be like this?

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I make a healing potion for a woman, I get laid.I save a woman from bandits, I get laid.I save some hookers from bandits, I get laid.I got laid 3 times last night in The Witcher, a RPG that was just released a bit ago. Apparently the US version is censored, so of course I got the UK import version. Only difference I believe are the "cards" you get when you receive "gratitudes" from women in this game. Of course, there's no actual "Sex" in game, just a card with a nude chick on it, marking your "conquest," but I guess the developers wanted to go with the saying "Take a picture, it'll last longer."Graphically, the Witcher looks very good, but the performance is low on the high settings... I have these specs for my desktop:Intel Core 2 Duo, 3ghz2 gig ram2 gig flash drive utilizing Win Vista's "ReadyBoost"GeForce 8800 GTS (320meg)And the game runs smoothly on Medium settings. I could bump it up, but my hard drive is running on an IDE cable, so it's probably the bottleneck to my computer.Sound and music and voice acting: A++. Awesome work. There are a rich and wide diversity of voice overs and characters, though some of the NPC townpeople have some minor repetitive dialog if you try talking to them.People complain about the loading times, with my rig, they're only about 20 seconds or so, depending on if I'm going outside or inside. It's not bad with my rig. Saving takes less time than that, but "QuickLoad" does take about a minute for some reason... I think it's dumping the pre-cached textures and stuff to avoid a memory leak, but I don't load too often like that.Combat is rough when you first start, since I'm used to either the Oblivion version where you just wing your sword whenever you want FPS style, or using the semi-"turn-based" version found in other RPGs like Knights of the Old Republic. With The Witcher, you have to only click when your arrow turns into a sword with flames on it. If you click too early, your momentum ceases, and you get hit a lot. It's hard to get used to, and they could have done better at it. I'm too busy looking at the mouse than I am looking at the battle.The game camera is basically 3 types... isometric high gives you a top-down view at a 45 degree angle to let you see more around you, isometric low is the same but slightly closer, and an over the shoulder cam. I prefer the over the shoulder cam, but it sucks when you're fighting multiple enemies, because you're only looking at one bad guy, whist your character is slicing behind himself hitting other baddies and you don't get to see all the cool moves... Switching to the isometric cam is hard, because the enemies become smaller since your camera is higher up, and you might accidentally click the floor and throw off your fighting.There are 3 fighting styles, fast, strong, and group. Fast is good for weak opponents... Strong for slow hard armored opponents... And group is for hitting multiple baddies at once, which is cool. You usually have to switch from group to strong or fast once you get all but 1 baddie down, so make sure to change your style.There is a pause mode that you need to utilize, because often in the game you'll find yourself entering an area and get ambushed and hit before you can even take out your sword.My first complain is the Inventory. There is a lot of stuff you can pick up in this game... and I mean a LOT. Various types of food, tons of herbs and alcoholic drinks, potions, weapons, bombs, scarves, gloves, jewelry, etc, etc, etc. The problem with all this is that your inventory is quite limited by the number of spaces you have... (not by weight like Elder Scrolls: Oblivion). So here I am stockpiling things like a rat, and I find myself wondering whether or not to sell stuff, because I don't know if a vital NPC will need a red scarf to advance the mission, or if I'll need booze to loosen the tongues of an informant. After Chapter 1, (No spoilers) you lose all your stuff for a reason... SO you start pack-ratting it up again, and then find you can get all your old stuff back... wee. Problem is... what do you sell? I ended up finding an Innkeeper that I could use as "Storage" at the Hairy Bear Inn that currently is holding about 30 items that I simply can't carry with me.Another thing is how easily it is to get quests.... Everyone and their grandma wants you to go beat some monster up, or something... And so as of this moment, I have about 16 active quests I'm pursuing at once here... And some of them are inter-connected, so I have to do one to finish the other. Everything is weaved together so tightly, it's quite amazing. Some, though, are simply in pursuit of pleasure (saving hookers to get laid, etc.) so those are true "side quests." But overall, I'm overwhelmed at the amount of stuff to do in game. Good thing they have an organized journal to help you.As you play, you'll come into some major choices you'll have to make, but they won't seem major at the time. When you're first starting the game, the first choice you make of either following the chick to the laboratory, or killing the bigass monster upstairs might seem easy enough, but picking one or the other might have dire consequences to what happens to characters much later in the story. That makes for some decent replay, though at the rate it's taking me to beat the game, might take me awhile.The overall "moral" choice you'll be dealing with is chosing to help either the non-human elves/dwarves, or helping humans who act rasist towards the non-humans. Since your character is neither (a mutant experiment) you can pretty much be either/or in terms of sides, though as of this gameplay, I'm slowly helping the non-humans just because humans are such jerks in this game haha.The game has 3 endings, I've heard. Hopefully they're worth playing the game over again for, since most game endings nowadays have sucked hardcore.Overall, I would recommend this game to someone who liked Knights of the Old Republic and Oblivion, since it's almost a mix of both... With the Medieval settings of Oblivion, and the click and play RPG style of KotOR.As for importing it, gogamer.com was nice and quick, though all you're missing out on by buying the US version is the in-game cards with uncensored breasts... Pics of which are already available online anyway... That's one last pet peeve... The cards you get of women don't always look like the chicks' models they use in-game... Just a minor annoyance.Plus, some of them look like they have implants, which would be slightly unrealistic in a medieval setting!

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Well, I just beat the game early this morning after a very strenuous all-nighter. Playing the game for nearly 70 hours started getting to me, and I just wanted to find the bad guy and end it all.


Hours per dollar, I sure got the most bang for my buck, though I don't see myself investing virtually another three solid days of my life (non consecutively) to replay this game to get different endings.


Overall I was somewhat satisfied with the ending. For the choices I made, I feel like the game really went the way it ought to have... I know some games like Deus Ex 2 have multiple endings, and they all make you feel bad for picking the side that you did, no matter what choice you make, but The Witcher's "freewill" system worked rather well. The slightest alteration in dialog results in totally different story lines in some cases, so you really have to watch what you say.


As far as collecting "women-trophy" cards (ie. ones that you laid), you will miss some if you don't specifically look up how-to's, because some of the ones that have the option of having sex with are characters you otherwise wouldn't have ever even bothered talking to. Needless to say, I didn't "catch em all," since some progressions in the plot make it impossible for you to go back to a level.


The environments are vast, especially the Muddy Waters (chapter 4) and the final level versus the main bad guy (no spoilers). There is a bit of a plot twist, but it's very underplayed. I didn't like it, though, because:





***Mild spoilers*** (Highlight area below)



They used a closed-loop time travel plot device like The Terminator, where the actions happen because the bad guy went back in time, but the bad guy would not have gone back in time if it weren't for the events.... An infinite loop where both the chicken and the egg are like "WTF?"


***End Spoilers***


Overall, satisfied with my purchase, I recommend the game to anyone who enjoys RPGs, and has at least 70 hours to dedicate to this game if they want to see it to the end.

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