My plans for this blog is that it will involve an insight into my experiences with many games and genres, both underrated gems and known titles as I crawl through them in a hope to spark discussion or input among the community that ends up following this blog. Depending on how successful/interested people become, I might put up a vote for readers to decide what game I take on next. In the meantime I'll start off with the current title that has caught my interest, the Witcher.
I was introduced to this brilliant game by a friend of mine who had been addicted to it for quite some time, constantly telling me I needed to try it and that it was one of the best free-roam games I'd ever play. I finally decided to give in and..call me late to the party as the sequel to this game is right around the corner, but I have to agree. For those of you that haven't had a chance to look into this game, here's a little history regarding it.
The game is centred around Geralt the "Witcher" -- a travelling monster hunter for hire, gifted with unnatural powers also known as "the White Wolf", who at the beginning of the game suffers from amnesia. He gradually learns that he was a very renowned witcher, and that he had friends and enemies almost everywhere, who remember him but whom he does not remember. Through the player's actions, he will redefine those relationships and choose his path in the political intrigue that surrounds him.
Sounds like your typical choose your own adventure RPG right? Well, almost. From the beginning it might seem that way, but as the game slowly gives you more independence you'll quickly change your mind and find that it's surprisingly well done for a game developed by an indie team entirely from scratch, including the combat and graphics engine, which I'll expand on in a minute.
Unlike other games like KOTOR or Jade Empire, the Witcher doesn't immediately show you the consequences of your choices or actions, nor does it clearly define what is right or wrong. Often you'll find yourself caught between choosing the lesser of two evils or more with many unique outcomes, some you might not expect. For instance, I was asked by the priest of a town to investigate the appearance of a hellhound that had been terrorizing the village outskirts and stealing children at night. The priest mentions that he suspects the witch ( a woman you meet earlier whom you help with the exorcism of a small child) and you are given a choice. You can either confront the witch directly for a quick resolution, or you can opt for the longer path which involves actual investigation and a much more rewarding experience. I won't spoil that small in game story for you but it doesn't end exactly how you'd expect. But where was I? Oh, right. Combat.
As you can see, Combat in the Witcher consists of three styles, Strong, fast and group. Each style is effective in different situations and when factored in with different weapons and magic styles it makes for a pretty complex combat system. Along with that you have alchemy which is where the real fun begins. Alchemy involves mixing yourself potions through ingredients you find from monsters you've slain or plants, oils, alcohol.. anything really and turning it into a combat enhancement. Some potions grant you super speed or armored skin for defense, Sight in darkness for increased accuracy or a blend of things. Some are even used in quests.
Well now that I've given you an introduction that hopefully got you thinking about/looking into the game, how about some discussion? Feel free to post comments on my writing style, content, what you'd like to see or just general input about the game itself. I hope you enjoyed reading this!
Also, what would you like to see included in the next big choose your own adventure RPG? I personally think Oblivion: Skyrim has everything I'd want covered but I wanna hear what you guys think.