The Witcher: Enhanced Edition was released on September 16,2008 in the United States developed by CD Projekt RED STUDIO. You play as Geralt of Rivia whose occupation is a “Witcher”. He travels throughout a medieval style world picking up jobs and helping (or hurting) people along the way. Geralt can fight with his sword or with his five elemental magic signs. The left mouse button handles the melee attacks and when the clicks are timed correctly, the string of sword strikes create large damage combos that max out at 4 in a row. Each type of sword has a style: strong, quick and group. Each style are effective against certain types of enemies. The right mouse button handles with the elemental magic attacks. The player can quickly and easily attack enemies with melee and magic combos just by alternating mouse button presses.
Character development is really key in this game depending on which direction you want Geralt to be. You gain experience points from killing enemies to completing quests. When you level up you are given bronze, silver or gold talent coins. These can be distributed among the basic character stats, melee skills and magic skills that all have some perk that goes along with it. Like there is an increase in hit percentage, the amount of damage done or other external affect on the opponent like burn. The talent coins can be distributed to all melee, all magic or a mix of both depending on your play style.
The story is really the star in The Witcher. It presents a mature tale and many of the choices you make in the game do not have a “right” answers. There are a lot of gray space. Unfortunately, the pacing of the story is inconsistent. Some parts you spend forever on one quest while others end as soon as you walk out the door. This can bog down the experience especially if you went through all the nooks and crannies of all the locations you visited. All the character in the game are fully voiced and the Enhanced Edition allows you to play the voices in English, Polish, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Czech and Hungarian. It also have subtitles with those languages. Playing the game with a different voice over definitely changes the feel of the game. You will need to play this game multiple times to get the whole picture and see why certain NPCs make the choices that they do.
Visually, The Witcher is great. It is not overly colorful keeping a more realistic color pallet. The spell effects are simple and do not seem out of place. The trees, grass and various foliages really pop out of the screen giving a great feel of a living world. Geralt and the other character clothing have lots of details in them adding to the medieval feel. Character models are well done but some of the NPCs movement animations are a little stiff. The game runs fast and the loading times are quick. During the load times, you are present ad detail painting of the area you are going into. This is also seen during the beginning of every chapter where a giant painting is treated like a story board with the camera panning different parts of the piece with the narrative.
The camera does have problems during the game especially during conversations. Depending on where you are standing the camera can be cutting you or the NPC out of the conversation and since the game is in real time, you may find yourself having your conversation going on when other NPC are walking in between your conversation. This happens to when you are getting attack. You can run away from enemies but they follow you. You can see them waiting for your conversation to be over.
The music in the game is fantastic. It really matched the mood the game is going for with soft orchestral melody with some uneasiness in it. The Enhanced Edition comes with a CD soundtrack and “inspired by” tracks that you can listen to on your own leisure.
The Witcher: Enhanced Edition is a great RPG with an interesting world to explore and a story that have many endings that I highly recommend to anyone to experience.
- Great Story/Character Development
- Beautiful World
- Great Combat Animation
- Encourages Multiple Play through
- Poor secondary character animation
- Camera not always in the right place
- Pacing of the story could be better
- Not very open world like
- Some inconsistency in the writing