Once again, I barely made it past the tutorial phase of a game. I'm also aware that I'm very late on my review but things happen. I'm going to catch up and be back to posting on Sundays again.
In The Witcher, you play as Geralt of Rivia, who by now is an iconic video game character. He's lost his memory, but luckily he was picked up by some friends and brought back to their castle-like fortress. Shortly thereafter, the fortress is attacked and robbed. The survivors then part ways, seeking answers about the group who attacked them. This is the start of the first chapter, and it took me almost three hours to get here.
Like any RPG, there is a large cast of characters, and every conversation is fully voiced. This actually started to grate on me a bit, because the quality of the voice acting varies a lot and the talking animations are.. dated. Geralt seems to be well known, people you interact with know of him, or in a couple instances, are old friends who thought he was dead.
Even in the first town, there are a good chunk of side quests to complete, as well as a few side missions to move the main plot along. You can also spend some time trying to brew alchemical potions. I unfortunately didn't get into either of these things, and instead wandered the area as much as I was able to, just trying to get a feel for the surroundings. The surroundings, by the way, were rather bleak. You start off in the outskirts of a larger city which has been ravaged by plague and, more recently, demonic dogs.
The combat in The Witcher is just okay. You can switch between fighting styles depending on your opponent, but they all work the same for the player: timed button presses to pull off combos. I was a little underwhelmed at this because I thought (perhaps incorrectly) that this was an action RPG. You can also fist fight some NPCs, but I think I misunderstood the tutorial. Even though I was able to win a couple fights, I mostly just pressed buttons randomly, which likely won't work against more challenging opponents.
I rated this game a little lower than I think I would have if I had time to play more of it. However, if I'm being honest, the beginning of the game hasn't drawn me in very strongly. Maybe the combat gets better, maybe (probably) I will get over the stiff animations. I will say however, I am interested in where the story is going, and I like games that weave together lots of little side stories, which it seems could be going on here. I did overall enjoy it, and I think I will continue it, but the controls and the animations were just so clunky.