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    pwn*zambini's The Witcher (PC)

    [March 6, 2008 02:29:29 AM]
    Gamelog entry #2:

    After playing The Witcher for another hour or so, feel as though I can only enjoy it more and more. As the story keeps unfolding the more I play, I feel more and more connected with Geralt and each of the characters I've come across. The combat system is also very well integrated, with a wide array of weapons and combat styles to choose from.

    One thing that is unique to the gameplay of The Witcher is the social aspect of the game. Geralt can have “special relations” with certain female characters who are crucial to the storyline, as well as those who are more “common” and “experienced” folk. This not only gets you more leeway with those characters, but it can also negatively affect your reputation with others. Another thing I noticed is the women are usually buxomly, and often talk about their husbands beating them. One thing I found ironic, and rather humorous, was a casual conversation between two housewives in the market who were talking about the best way to get rid of your husband if he beats you. One argued that a frying pan works better than a broom, and the other heartily agreed.

    Fighting in The Witcher is different from other RPGs, it is much more action oriented. Geralt has three types of sword attacks, each with its own characteristics, and each can be chosen on-the-fly. There are the Fast, Strong, and Group fighting styles. The Fast style almost guarantees a hit, but it does dramatically less damage than the other two. The Strong style has much less of a chance of hitting, but it deals a large amount of damage, and the Group style consists mostly of wide and circular swings with the sword, effectively hitting every enemy surrounding Geralt.

    The Witcher has some very innovative aspects for an RPG. The dynamic weather and time systems integrate seamlessly. There is also a system of alchemy and potion making which is required for great success. The game’s economy is also well designed. The most innovative part of The Witcher, however, is the incredibly advanced time delay consequence system, which I have not seen in any other RPG.
    The dynamic environment is excellently designed, both graphically and systematically. Time moves at a constant rate, and the only way to advance long hours is to meditate in front of a fireplace or at an inn. Meditation is when Geralt upgrades skills, makes potions, and heals. Depending on what the time is, different people will be in different places, and certain events only occur at certain times. There is also a weather system that not only affects the way the game looks, but what the NPCs do in game. For example, when it starts raining, the streets get muddy, and all of the NPCs run to cover from the rain, except the children, who love to play in the puddles.

    Alchemy plays a big role in The Witcher, and unless you are playing on Beginner Mode, you will need potions to survive. Potions have a wide variety of uses, such as health and magic regeneration, gaining the ability to see in the dark, and getting rid of drunkenness. Yes, you can drink in The Witcher, and it does negatively affect your function, but it also has its benefits. Some characters won’t even talk to you unless you get them drunk. Others only like a certain type of alcohol, and refuse to even speak to you until you fork over their favorite Dwarven Stout or Nilfgaardian Lemon.

    The Witcher is the first RPG I have ever played that hasn’t left me with a FULL WALLET (which is one of the most annoying things when I pick up coins only to realize there is no room left in my stupidly sized wallet…….. looking at you Zelda series…). I have had trouble buying new weapons, so I’ve still got my original Witcher’s sword and I alternate steel swords that I pick up from enemy’s dead bodies.

    The unique time delay consequence system that the creators of The Witcher pride themselves on is what makes the game so truly unique from other RPGs. Choices that you make in the beginning of the game follow you throughout the entirety of the game. Sometimes a decision can take several quests to return an outcome, and some can even take hours. One thing that is worth pointing out is that most of the decisions in The Witcher aren’t between good and evil, but consist more of a grey scale of morality, where you pick the least sinful person to side with.

    Overall, The Witcher is an amazing RPG, which is one of the best designed RPGs I’ve played in a while. I plan to complete the game in its entirety, and I have heard that it is got tons of hours of gameplay.
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    [March 6, 2008 01:02:34 AM]
    Gamelog Session #1
    The Witcher (PC)

    The Witcher, developed by CD Projekt RED STUDIO [Poland], is a Role-Playing-Game for PC. Your character, Geralt of Rivia, is a Witcher, a monster hunter for hire, and you travel the world vanquishing the evils within. You travel throughout the land of Vizima, a medieval civilization with humans, elves, dwarves, and monsters. The game offers a dynamic storyline, with your decisions affecting the world around you.

    The story of The Witcher starts out with Geralt (you) waking up in a medieval castle. Fortunately for you, Geralt has suffered a stroke of amnesia, which has blocked out every memory that Geralt has ever had (note: that was sarcasm). You are "healed" (ever so tenderly) by Triss, a sorceress who is your long time friend, and after a massive attack on your hideout, Triss teleports you into a small peasant village outside a main city to find out more about the attack. Aside from doing several side quests, Geralt can progress through the complex storyline by doing the "Main Quests". Initially, the side quests involve only low-paying contracts, but after you get into the rich part of the city, the contracts become worth more and more money.

    In the peasant's village, you can't help but feel depressed by the amount of poverty the villagers live in. Twiggy wooden houses, dirty torn clothes, and wailing elderly women only contribute to this feeling. Not only do they live in constant economic misery from the Kingdom, but there is a witch who is plaguing the village with a beast. At first, this is all you know, mostly due to the fact that you only talk to the high priest of the village at first. He exploits the fears of the villagers and collects donations to protect the village from the beast, who he claims is summoned by the witch. This is where the dynamic storyline takes off. You can decide to either blindly follow the orders of the high priest, or you can investigate for yourself and talk to the witch. I chose to use logic and basic investigation skills to figure out why the beast was harassing the village. After my investigation, I decided that the high priest's corruption was causing the beast, which was attracted to sin. After vanquishing the beast, and confronting the high priest in front of the town about his lies, he attacked the witch and me using the town as his peons. This is just one example of TheWitcher's dynamic storyline, as I could also have just killed the witch, and the future of the game would have been dramatically different.

    Social status plays a big role in The Witcher. Naturally, the non-normal characters are looked down upon by the humans, as is the case in most societies in real life. Being a mutant, Geralt is often looked at with great disgust by the rich upper class, thought unpleasant to be around by the middle class, and respected by the poor villagers. There are also numerous occurrences in the storyline which affect your social status amongst your friends. You are given numerous choices to choose between several paths. For example, at one point, you must choose who to side with; Thaler, a merchant who helps you figure out certain parts of your past through the game, or with a Royal Knight, (who you later find out he forges royal edicts) who wants Thaler out of his way, so he shows up with a royal edict to imprison Thaler. I decided to side with Thaler, and the group of Royal Knights associated with that incident no longer will talk to me. An earlier event played out the same way, when I sided with a group of Scoi'tel (non-human freedom fighters) against a band from the Order of the Flaming Rose, who sought to rid the "non-human plague" from Vizima. After that incident, the Order, who originally wanted me to work with them, would no longer deal with me.

    For the first session of gameplay, I thought The Witcher to be one of the better RPGs I've played. The gameplay is somewhat common for an RPG, with long sequences of exploration through one of two types of area, safe or dangerous. The Witcher excels in its plot, however. With very little embedded narrative in the beginning, as you progress throughout the game, more and more story is revealed to you, and more characters come into play, and more places are visited. The story is so compelling, in fact, that two of my floormates always watch me play The Witcher, so they can watch the story as it unfolds, and get angry when I play without them.
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    pwn*zambini's The Witcher (PC)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 5 March, 2008

    pwn*zambini's opinion and rating for this game

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    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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