TR Member Perks!

The buzz regarding The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is almost inescapable this year. The seamless blending of story-driven role-playing with an open world experience has been apparently achieved, with perfect scores across the board and heaps of praise from fans around the world. It is actually quite easy to get sucked into the hype for Wild Hunt, almost too easy in fact.

Yet, while the gaming community sucks the proverbial cock of CD Projekt Red as their reward from a night of carnal pleasures, I can’t help but be reminded that this is the first game in the Witcher series that seems to really deserve such praise, and it took CD Projekt Red eight years to get it right.

Yeah, I am going there.

No disrespect to CD Projekt Red of course, they are clearly doing something right when their game sells over 6 million units and only cost $81 million to make. And even though I have not played the Witcher 3 because I am a dirty console peasant who doesn’t want to be disillusioned by a broken mess on my Playstation 4, I can at least respect the game for what it is, a well-made role-playing game. For CD Projekt Red though, it is arguably their first true success story.

Oh sure, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is a very good RPG. In fact, it is above average as an experience, but it suffers from the same proverbial trappings found in other role-playing contemporaries, such as the Dragon Age series and Deus Ex, a sort of mish-mash of good story-telling mired in poor controls and railroaded choices. But even Assassins of Kings is still a shining achievement for CD Projekt Red; it is, after all, the game that put them on the map. Well, that and people being pissed at BioWare lately.

So beautiful, like a girl next door...

So beautiful, like a girl next door …

The problem is The Witcher’s origins, the first game in the entire series, is a rather poorly made PC game that is so insufferably mediocre in quality it is almost amazing that CD Projekt Red has been so successful. I guess the Valve model does work: make a ton of money independently by selling nostalgia to PC fanatics and you can pretty much make anything you want on your time. Plus basking in the love and glow of their fanbase helps too, another trait that seems curiously only achievable if you go for a PC and gamer first mentality. Perhaps EA should take note … maybe in a decade they will know what it is like to be in a post-coital embrace with the community.

But I digress, the original Witcher is a mess, plain and simple, but the question now is why? Well, the first game, released in 2007, was a smash hit in Europe for being an 80-hour role-playing game with dark, adult themes. Based upon the polish book series of the same name by author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher follows the adventures of Geralt, a mutated, travelling monster hunter known as a Witcher, who pretty much is tasked to solve every little problem for the medieval facsimile of Poland, all the while humorlessly making fun of typical fantasy tropes and clichés and shagging every woman who shows off their cleavage, which is pretty much every woman in the game, from human mages to dryads to elves. 

The premise of the books is actually quite good, with a good blend of dark fantasy, black comedy, and some epicness thrown in. The first Witcher game fails to live up to it, falling back on the very clichés that the series plays with by presenting Geralt as an amnesiac Witcher with a flat personality; a personality justified by his status as a Witcher, mind you.

I can get behind that justification for a bland protagonist, but it takes a whole new and objectively better game to even remotely give him a personality, and what we are left with is a grimdark, cat-eyed Gary-Stu. The story is no more dark and complex than you would expect, and the moral implications, while sometimes quite gray and a true saving grace for the game because they are actually timed-based decisions and have repercussions, are riddled with the type of writing and acting you expect from a juvenile perspective. It is dark and dreary because the grittiness of the world is already skewed to be a step above a black hole, where sex and racism eliminate any nuance from some decisions. In fact, the game feels like a real take on how shitty life can be, but not a fun experience to have in a game where you play a medieval superhero. Compared to Assassins of Kings, the first Witcher game is simply poorly written and realized world that seems emo for emo’s sake; it is an ugly world- both in terms of how ridiculously jarring it is when it plays with morality, as well as how it looks.

Yay labels! Because I really need to know how many drunkards are in town so I can punch them and steal their gold.

Yay labels! Because I really need to know how many drunkards are in town so I can punch them and steal their gold.

See, the first Witcher game was actually based on a heavily modified version of the Aurora engine, a proprietary used by BioWare to create the Neverwinter Nights series. It was a major engine change from the typical isometric-style of sprites and was cutting edge tech for a role-playing game. In 2002.

CD Projekt Red transformed it into a grid-free, totally rendered world to live in, but the muddy presentation looks like a leper with makeup, trying to hide the blemishes with high texture counts. The problem is the age of the visuals itself; when The Witcher, a game released as a PC exclusive back in 2007, looks like a love letter to early 2000s PC gaming, you are not winning any beauty contests on principle. The game has also aged very poorly since its release, which is a fate that will befall many 3D titles as we inch closer and closer out of the uncanny valley of graphical fidelity.

That alone is not a major problem, although it certainly doesn’t help things. The real hairline fracture with the original Witcher is how annoyingly frustrating it becomes to play. Combat is a very simple affair of click and pray, as Geralt holds his swords out in front of him, flailing about like a child on a sugar rush as you point and click your way to victory. Combat is fairly unintuitive and closer to Morrowind levels of boring in swinging and hoping you hit the guy two inches from your face. To try and spice things up, you have the choice of three combat styles to fight off different enemies, but the problem is combat always reverts back to a click—at least Morrowind based what type of attacks you used on how you move your mouse; it sucked and really did little to help how anemic it was, but it was at least better variety than a short chinese menu of stances you can pick from. 

Theoretically, you can chain together moves with your two swords and make the combat feel “tactical,” but it really is based on precise timing at best, the red-headed stepchild of quick time events. For some it may be a fun exercise, but tons of games now do this much more smoothly; the Arkham games or Assassins Creed, for example, are able to make combat feel like a martial arts exhibition with such combo systems. The Witcher looks like a jaggedly-rendered mess of the same moves and animations, stitched together by random happenstance instead of a deadly ballet of swords and blood like I believed it was intended to be and certainly doesn’t earn that “tactical” adverb outside of being limited use based on your talents. At best it’s a bullshit marketing ploy that tries to make you feel smart for conserving combo chains, but in the end you realize that mashing buttons with your hands or fist or against a wall get you the same results regardless of what you do. 

It also doesn’t help that most of your utility powers are kind of useless. Alchemical formulas for example rarely come into play outside of health potions and maybe night-vision, and since they are toxic anyway it becomes a use at your own risk mechanic that is negated of any urgency since you detox by sleeping and meditating anyway. Oils for your sword give minor buffs that tend to be meaningless in the grand scheme of things, and investing in bombs makes shit go boom, but removes investment from shit that matters, if you actually know what matters to begin with.

Hold on, let me check if I have redded out Sword 5 for this level up.

Hold on, let me check if I have redded out Strong Steel 5 for this level up.

The Witcher suffers the same problem suffered from a lot of Japanese role-playing games and that is aggressively-large talent trees that require Microsoft excel to track. Since your talent points can go into your four major attributes, five different sign schools (magical abilities), or even your combat stances for you two swords (one for humans, one for monsters), it is quite daunting for the unprepared to truly maximize not only their experience output, but their builds overall. The game becomes a bit uncompromising halfway through if you are not prepared, to the point where certain talents become almost objectively better than others, particularly talents found in the strength and dexterity attribute tree in my own experience. And don’t get me started with the Quen school of magical bullshit—you become so god-like by investing in Quen that not even Kratos can kill you with his daisy chains of murder. 

Although there is apparently a full work around to avoid a second job here, since maximizing your experience point gain will lead Geralt to effectively have 216 out of the 246 possible talent ranks anyway. So savvy players who know every trick to getting talent points can pretty much ignore the challenges of the game and become a god on earth the cheap and easy way, which is actually a serious design flaw, and one that is arguably expected because the game will beat the shit out of you if you don’t do this as the difficulty ramps up.

It leaves little to role-playing as well, even though several talents are directly tied to probable role-playing moments in-game. A brawling talent, for example, is incredibly useful with a singular quest that involves fisticuffs as your only method of attacking but is rendered useless afterwards since your swords kill things faster, even when greased up with oil and and sticking it up the enemy’s ass for good measure. There is just so much variety put in for variety’s sake, like a prop comic desperately seeking attention by showing you how many uses his custom-made boat dildo actually has. 

In fact, this level of daunting skill progression makes The Witcher akin to the Monster Hunter series of video games,  playing a professional tracker and killer of giant behemoths while you prepare to go out into the field and deal with a menagerie of beasts to achieve your current objective … you know what I take that back, The Witcher is not like Monster Hunter, it is Monster Hunter. It’s the very same progression and level of complete boredom, where almost everything you do is busywork and expected of you, I guess to maybe showcase immersion, or a lack of development time. The original Witcher game makes this a chore, and while they recreate such moments in Wild Hunt, at least it seems fun in a fake “CSI” kind of way of finding predetermined beasts from obvious blood trails and trampled branches. The original Witcher  makes your job a poorly paced exercise in monotonous grinding, in-between a few standout quests and moments you can flirt with anything with tits splashed in for good measure.

I wasn't kidding about the tits.

I wasn’t kidding about the tits.

It really comes out of left field, especially if you are the adventurous sort who might go back and play The Witcher for the first time after being enthralled by the massive erection that is Wild Hunt. Those looking to sedate their lust for The Witcher will surely be disappointed by what they get, a deeply flawed game that provides a template for several ideas that are carried over in the future. It’s like a child’s first book report, you got the basic pattern down but it’s simply shit from all directions, and only a ton of experience will make it better in the future. Well, thankfully CD Projekt Red made a lot of money by selling copies of better RPGs, as the writing gets tighter and more adult in Assassins of Kings (although arguably not by much) and the mechanics become smoother and actually fun by the time Wild Hunt is released, at least from the impressions of those who have played it.

I have been pretty harsh on The Witcher, but it frankly deserves it; after all no game company is free of reproof for a shoddy job. Not to mention the fact that this game has served as a major deterrent to playing future games from the series. I was so turned off by Geralt and his fabricated angst wrapped in a shell of mediocrity I find my enthusiasm for the series to be soured from that experience. For me, The Witcher is pretty much a game series I care little for, and a lot of the stuff that does work, the story moments that allow for a sense of actual achievement, fall flat in the grand scheme of the entire package.

Perhaps it is the world around them that causes it to ring hollow; there are so few good things that happen in not-Poland I wonder why Geralt even gives a fuck about helping people and just straight up ignores anyone with a quest. I guess money talks but even then that can only go so far; so the tired old tropes of being roped into impossible situations that endanger Geralt and his well-being seem to be the only reason he gives a shit. The problem also stems from how unlikable Geralt really is in the first Witcher game, and has made me jaded to any semblance of character growth seen in Assassins of Kings and would likely leave me cold in Wild Hunt

I highly doubt I will ever play Assassins of Kings ever again, unless I’m paid for it of course because I am a craven mercenary like that. I also have Wild Hunt so low on my priority list, Cyberpunk 2077 will have its release date announced two years from now by the time I crack into it. As for the original Witcher, it is an exercise of mediocrity as a game, a disappointing title from a studio clearly finding its footing, and is not worth your time of day, if you ask me.

I hope you enjoyed this look at why The Witcher is so overrated. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. 

Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.

  • Doc Hammer

    The only thing disappointing about The Witcher is that the rest of the games that came out during the 7th generation weren’t The Witcher.

  • Sebastian Mikulec

    I can’t possibly disagree enough. Also, how can a game be disappointing when it had no hype, it came out of nowhere. In order for there to be disappointment there must first be an expectation. This game had no expectations. Watch_Dogs was a disappointment because the media and Ubisoft created a hype around the game that was not met. This game had zero hype, how can it be disappointing?

    First off, let’s get the bad out of the way. The combat is terrible, it’s essentially a rhythm game where all you do is wait for a prompt to come up and you press your button. The voice acting is kinda weak. Also, the swamp area is a tedious slog and the reason I probably won’t replay the game ever again (I’ve played through the game to completion twice, but I can’t bring myself to go through that swamp again).

    With that out of the way, the rest of the game is pretty brilliant. It has a damn good story, memorable characters, some truly brilliant quests (the investigation quest in Ch 2 is a personal favorite of mine), a city that truly felt alive, plus the game was a technical marvel all things considered. I mean it was made using the Aurora engine, the same engine used for Neverwinter Nights. The fact that the game looked as good as it did using what was then about a 7 or 8 year old engine is amazing.

    The game is far from perfect, it has plenty of problems, but I think it’s a damn fine game.

  • FirstLine

    It was the game of the year for me.

  • Alex White

    It was awful.

  • Dissentient

    I would say that first Witcher had a decent story and plainly bad gameplay (grindy, too much running around, bad combat), second one had a good story, but new gameplay was poorly polished and balanced, and the game fairly poorly optimized. The third game is just good. For once, it’s now a true open world, not rails like second. It’s well optimized and looks good. Combat is now decently interesting. Story does not disappoint.

    I would generally recommend anyone to skip first two games and just play 3.

  • Criticizing one of my favourite franchises?! Oh hell, I can be grown up about this. It’s hard to deny the first Witcher game was rougher than your mum after a Twilight marathon, but the world still utterly charmed me at the time. I recommend Super Bunnyhop’s ‘Replaying The Witchers’ videos on Youtube. He conveys a pure enthusiasm for the series that my flaccid thumbs up could never rival (although there was nothing flaccid going on when your mum was clinging to me like a wet bathroom shower curtain. No sir).

    Banter aside though, the Witcher 1 really is a chore to play and I would echo Dissentient in skipping straight to 3, if it weren’t for one of the most ballsy development decisions in 2’s chapter split.

  • Random Marine

    The gameplay was a mess, awfull…..but i really liked the story, the moral choices were different from the “Bioware’s dialog signature” where you could clearly see what was good, bad and neutral…You had to actually care about the ones you were going to help…….And, like The Witcher 3, in Witcher 1 almost all of the dialogues were interesting, i remember talking to that alchemist Kalkstein about some book i was looking for and i spent a lot of time talking about the things those books were about. It was pretty neat i wouldn’t find this type of thing in Bioware’s games….
    And THAT was one of my major issues with Witcher 2 and one of my fears with Witcher 3….In Witcher 2 the progression was pretty linear, streamlined as hell….But they sure managed to merge the action of W2 with the “organic” world of W1 into the W3.

    As for the Skill progression, that suffered because the combat was shitty as hell….I remember that it was so shitty that when i had to fight groups of people i would just use the mind control sign to control some of those wyverns to help me.
    Pretty much the only thing that kept me playing the game was the dialogue, the story and some of the quests……they were amazingly well done. And you will not find anything like that on current rpgs from Bethesda or even Bioware.

    Pretty much, since the last gen, The Witcher was the only series that truly improved in almost every aspect from game to game.

  • Yosharian

    You’re a bad person.

  • Typical

    Have to agree, love the books, decided to play the first through third games in order, but the witcher was such a chore I’m back to Skyrim again.

  • KefkaFollower

    It came out very buggy. It was the first CD Projekt game and it shows.

    Having said that, I think after the patches ‘The witcher’ was great. And still then it had defects like loading times, the weak voice acting and it was grindy too. And I still loved that game.

    The lore was deep. The alchemy system was complex and rewarding. Plenty of interesting NPCs and a well written story. It wasn’t open world but the maps from each chapter gave the player enough space to explore and discover interesting things. All that keep me going through several playthroughs.

    The combat is what puts off many people who try TW1 for the first time now days. It was an acceptable combat system for an RPG back then. I don’t think its fair to judge a 2007/2008 game by today standards. I remember this game had mostly good critics in its time and CD Projekt didn’t have money to buy reviews back then.

  • Robert Grosso

    Honestly, the linear progression for the Witcher 2 was a good thing. It allowed for it’s divergent gameplay to work, it gave the story a tighter focus, it made the writing more adult and CD Projekt Red I feel grew up a bit in how they showcased their world.

    I will never defend the first game, but the second game, despite some faults, had a lot of good points to it that showed CD Projekt Red can do some good.

  • Robert Grosso

    Ok, that was pretty funny. Well done.

  • Grug

    Well done Robert, you really seem to have sold me on the pretentious and pompous image you are selling with your profile picture of you, griping with your paw like a savage grasps a skull, a glass of what looks like some cheap wine. I will admit however, I did have a chuckle at the absurdity of your commentary.

    While I admit you nearly touched on some valid critiques, the complete disregard for the context and timeline have me strengthening my belief and amusement in your afore mentioned profile caricature. The game came out around 2007 by an upstart Polish developer for PC and impressed a lot of people if the 80+ meta-critic score is anything to go by.

    Yes, elements of Polish culture do seem to show through in the series. Yes, I’d imagine some of those cultural rifts seem rather perverted to your prudish eyes. But I for one, enjoyed the adult experience tongue in cheek. At worst, it could be critiqued for perhaps being a little out of time. But the studio’s success would indicate a viable market for their work so I guess the point is moot.

    Regardless, thanks for the amusing article and a glimpse into what I hope is an over the top online caricature.

  • Mark Andrew Edwards

    Huh. You spent so much time on this, I almost wish I had time to comment point by point. But I’m actually still at work, damn it.

    I disagree with most of your points, on matters of taste, of course people differ. I like the game, I like the sex and violence. In this neutered, sanitized world it stands out. I do turn the combat difficult down to ‘easy’, it got better but in this game it was more aggravating than fun.

  • Karl Adams

    I respectfully disagree with your article. It was a well written opinion piece nonetheless.

  • Robert Grosso

    That wine wasn’t cheap, actually. I am also glad someone got the joke.

    The truth of the matter is that it still is a mediocre game. Bland by 2007 standards, really; poor graphics, poor combat, terrible story-telling, attempting “adult” storytelling and coming off as juvenile about it, and overly-complex gameplay mechanics that bog the whole experience down. The first Witcher is a mess, and honestly we should be able to call it out for being a mess.

    It has little to do with a difference between Polish/American culture or standards, it’s just simply a bad game, and it takes CD Projekt Red a few years to pick up their standards; better storytelling, Geralt mellows as a character in Witcher 2, and they start cleaning up the issues found in the first game bit by bit. The differences between them are really night and day, and really the successes of CD Projekt Red are kind of pointless, since that success was from game 2 and 3 more than 1.

    Regardless, glad you enjoyed the article.

  • Robert Grosso

    Why? Because I have no interest in playing Witcher 3 at this time?

    This article is not about Witcher 3 at all, so id say that point is kind of moot.

  • Random Marine

    That’s true, can’t argue about that.

    We could say that both games explored different things, and they ended up being the very foundation of what Witcher 3 is.

  • Nix Pix

    I thought The Witcher was basically a sleeper hit, with not much hype behind it? So how can it be such a “disappointment”?

  • Unsafe Ideas

    Is that techraptors first attempt on outrage bait? 🙂

    I find it annoying that whenever some people run into anything that is not high fantasy with clearly good clearly winning, they call it juvenile. You do not have to like it, but the wish to insult those who do is odd. My observation is that this attitude comes mostly from America, but that may be just observation bias.

    The issue of racism and violence was present most of Poland and more generally Eastern European history. It was not super dark all the time, but the threat of Vikings, Tatars, Germanization, Russians, anti-semitism, and feudalism (which ended in Eastern Europe much later then in west) continued almost directly into nazism and communism.

    Maybe it is not “juvenile”. Maybe it is reflection of history that was darker then your own. After all, communists cleansing were running in full power when America had its own happy boon and civil rights victories.

    For me, the optimistic high fantasy is the thing that I can not really map to history. It is just pure fantasy while darker settings are more consistent with what I read about in history books. Just something to think about when you write other peoples art as “juvenile” because it does not reflect optimism of civil right victories your country history had.

    Some of nazi rule survivors still live and their memoirs are in bookstores. Same for memoirs of people who were jailed or tortured by communists. Some of us appreciate when art reflects these peoples memories too, not just memories of those who got lucky during wars and were allowed to get back to their lives.

    Besides, Sapkowski wrote the books pretty not far after communism fell and its impact on society right now is still visible. The pessimistic book about corrupted society would not be even possible under communist censorship, unless you are very ideological and criticized evil capitalism with nice cute communists saving the day. There was hunger (and still is in me and popularity of witcher shows not just in me) for more realistic war times (read darker without political message) art at the time.

  • Robert Grosso

    Never heard that description for it before.

  • Robert Grosso

    Sounds poetic like that, in a way.

  • Robert Grosso

    Anything can be a reflection of history, that’s all well and good. Witcher 2 did that a bit, although they turn it up to 11 in regards to how the world operated.

    But it worked there because the writing was tight. The world was still pessimistic and dark, but had a degree of optimism to it that allowed you to be endeared to the characters; they had substance in the Witcher 2 because the grim tone didn’t define them, it was what they were dealing with around them.

    That substance is lacking in Witcher 1; it instead feels like CD Projekt Red was trying really hard to make the world fully, unflinchingly dark and dreary. Because of that it comes off as poorly realized and “juvenile” in its presentation.

    Your observation I would argue is also not necessarily correct, as world-views of past historical events regarding Poland have nothing to do with the presentation of the game if you ask me; it simply has no bearing on the design of the game itself.

    If we are going to take The Witcher as a 1-1 comparison thematically to the tribulations of Poland since the year 1025, then I would argue the first game discredits it further by making those tribulations seem hopelessly uncompromising.

    History doesn’t work that way, unless that is how you are taught it. Got to remember that historical study is always rife with the author’s presentation of it, their goal is to argue why something is right in the end of course.

    There is always nuance within it, with life and culture that is far from being meager or insignificant to the overall world. The Golden Liberty for example was unique among Eastern-European countries in the middle ages, and showed how the kingdom of Poland at that time valued equal status and privileges for its nobility and experimentation with a confederacy and religious tolerance. There is good there, as well as bad because it didn’t evolve beyond the confederation, but you need to take into consideration everything in balance like that before making an assessment.

    Maybe the Sapkowski books are all about those allegories and he does it artfully, but in the first Witcher game it is drowned out completely because of mediocre execution, that, is the point really. It’s dark on purpose, and it suffers because of it, instead of being dark with a purpose, like Witcher 2. It really has little to do with high fantasy at all; it’s just poorly written in a nutshell.

  • Robert Grosso

    A lot of people have been saying that to me lately.

  • One-Eye

    I bought THE WITCHER in the afterglow of playing ASSASSINS OF KINGS and I spent many hours playing it trying to convince myself it was better than it was.

  • Unsafe Ideas

    To the last point: Sapkowski books maps very well to society Poland and close countries of era when he wrote it. It works extremely well as an allegory in many points which is probably why it got so popular. Society and characters are actually relatable and “here” while other fantasy books are not.

    My other issue is that you just equate “dark with purpose” with badly written which is something I have seen coming from some writers more often. I do not get why dark should be juvenile and ethernal optimism mature. I do not understand why dark should have special purpose to be acceptable, the same way I would be confused about the same demand in happy story. They are both valid moods and settings.

    As for the rest, my point was not that maps actual period of Polish history. However, the bits of actual history you see around, tons of survivors accounts being published at the time, the bits about what regime was doing just a few years ago coming to light, all that has influence on how you imagine war time looking.

    The 20 century in Poland was quite dark, after all Holocaust happened in Poland, was followed by regime and you could not talk really freely about either until fall of regime. Before that, Poland had Pogroms too. Further back, Poland had Jews escaping from countries with very explicit anti-jews laws – that is why Poland had so many Jews.

    So no, racism played a role in region pretty much all the time. It was never so great that people would forget entirely about tensions and would not discuss race or ethnicity as us vs them. Tolerance switched with hate, there and back all the time. Race or ethnicity were not just on back of peoples minds, it was factor.

    Incidentally, troubled war times, which is what Witcher is about , tend to bring the worst instead of best. You can have high religious tolerance or you can have war, but you can not have both at the same time.

    It is not about soldiers going away, doing hero adventure stuff and then coming to happy home. It is partly about what war and power struggle does to place where war happen – which is what other fantasy tend to ignore. They have happy end when enemy is killed, but real world usually continue with mess. (This is what seem juvenile attitude to me, this is how kids expect the world to be.)

    As for the rest, very obviously, the way communists taught about pre-communists history was dark. So actual, yes, that is a way the way it was taught, communist era excepted. But then again, every castle has torture room in it and every city with Jewish quarter or museum has special rules under which Jews lived.

    And then again, art going from east is in general darker and more pessimistic then American ones. Russian art produces bad endings all the time, while Americans tend to get angry over it.

    While wicher deal primary with uglier times and be about dealing with them, you are selectively picking out nicer times. Both are fine settings for fantasy, imo, but claiming that one is more valid or mature is not valid. Both happened and while having preference is normal, if you claim something is juvenile, I would expect reason that is not just characterizations on the happy to gritty scale with one part of the scale being bad for unknown reasons.

  • Robert Grosso

    You miss the point, the mood itself is not the problem at all.

    I am ok with dark or gritty settings when they are done well. It was just not done well in this game and came off as very uninspired.

    All your talk on actual Polish history is also kind of a misnomer; the allegorical similarities between the game and real-world feelings in Poland have little to do with it’s quality at all. It is not a cultural difference in that form; after all, the Witcher 2 was a dark game, but it was also a game with better writing overall id argue. My point from before is to show that both can be used in context to give the world nuance. There is no claim that one is more valid than the other here; the first Witcher is not a well-written game and the dark tone of the title is part of that problem because it feels artificial.

  • Unsafe Ideas

    I guess that I interpreted the original article differently then you intended then, because I did understood it that way originally. Through, I think there is difference in how East and West perceive optimism and bad vs good endings etc. Then again, I might have projected those pre-existing observations on you.

    More importantly, I would like to thank you for answering me and generally engaging with readers. It is cool when writers put time into that. Thanks again and good luck with future writings.

  • Tylaris

    Honestly, this comes across more as an article intent on being controversial/clickbait than anything else.

    The game had a lot of rough edges true, but also positives, which you fully ignored. In a way, I think of it as European “Vampire: Masquerade Bloodlines”…very flawed, but very unique and interesting video game.

    Phenomenal ambiance and OST…only a few games, can come close to it.. Excellent world design, particularly Vizima and it’s districts. Excellent C&C. Very interesting( but also flawed in how it’s told) main story. Great art direction and visuals( considering the engine it’s built on). Memorable characters and lore. Alchemy and so on.

    It’s not a 10/10! by any means, but you should be able to understand why some people value more a unique, interesting and flawed experience that games like Witcher offer, than typical polished, safe and predictable AAA product.