Don't make me play that!

The Witcher
Gamer: Graham Smith

Tim is a sadist who isn’t happy unless he’s inflicting pain on others. Case in point: while all the other games we’ve forced ourselves to play are champions of their respective genres, The Witcher is one we never even rated highly. Maybe this is payback for referring to this feature as the ‘Games You Hate But Have To Play Because Your Boss Hates You More’ feature. But then again, maybe it has something to offer me, the roleplaying newbie. I haven’t experienced the thrills of Baldur’s Gate, Fallout or Neverwinter Nights. Aside from Oblivion and a brief flirtation with World of Warcraft, I have nothing with which to compare it. Plus, if it does turn out that I like it, I can be the hero of all the readers who hate us for giving it a low score (Low? It was 67%. That’s not low - Ed). I will be loved.

In theory, RPGs should fall firmly within my lifestyle as a gaming polygamist. I love complex worlds, developing characters and epic adventures. The ambition of so many RPGs is exciting, promising worlds that change based upon your every action. It’s just a shame that they so often turn out to be like The Witcher.
Here’s the plot, as I was able to deduce from the long, rambling cutscenes. Geraldo Rivera, moustachioed US journalist for Fox News, is fighting a monster with a lovely head of red hair. Later that night Geraldo punches a princess in the face. After this, as expressed by a single sentence, the Great War breaks out, and the world falls apart. Because of the Princess Monster face punching? It’s not clear.

Later, Geraldo has amnesia. Only it’s OK because he meets up with a group of Elves with magic and poorly chosen clothing and dialogue written by my six-year-old nephew’s primary school class. Then monsters attack the castle, and Geraldo’s PC becomes inflicted by graphical glitches before spontaneously rebooting, repeatedly. Wait, now all you readers hate me too, don’t you? Damn.

Play it again?
Never, ever, again.

May 27, 2008