This is where you can read any of my irregular wafflings about computer gaming. The whole point of this blog is to help motivate me to properly finish games, whether they be recent ones or older ones I played when I was younger that I never managed to beat.
14th October 2013 - Wanna Be Witchin' An' A Ditchin'
So, been trying to play the Witcher at long last, after owning it for over a year. The games in the series have got a good rep out there on t'interwebs as being some of the best RPGs you can play. But unless the 2nd one is much better than this, I will most certainly have to disagree. I'm currently on chapter 4 of 5 chapters, and I'm really struggling to stay with it. The last couple of times I've played I've only managed about 20 minutes each. It's just so frustrating. Here's why:
- Combat is very boring and not very fast paced at all. Just click on an enemy, wait for Geralt to finish his combo and the cursor will flash yellow, then click on the enemy again. Repeat. Frelling snooze fest. You can throw in an occasional bit of magic with the right mouse button, but you have such small reserves of energy you can usually only cast one or two spells a battle. Pointless.
- There is far too much hunting for information and reading of books. Many quests can't be completed unless you've read books about monsters you've got to fight, and many herbs can't be picked until you've read about them first. Wouldn't be so bad if the books weren't rediculously overpriced. I've had to repeat this procedure at the start of each chapter as I encounter new monsters, quests and herbs. Painful.
- There is far too much back and forth, running between the same areas over and over again as you strive to complete the quests. Very often, finding a specific NPC to hand in a quest is a pain in itself, as characters move around at different times of the day, or vanish or relocate completely if other quests are currently in progress. Again, this wouldn't be so bad if the game would hint at why you can't find them or where they might be. But no. Just come back and try again later. And again. And again. You get the idea
- The camera is shite, especially in isometric mode, which I like to use when just moving around before switching back to 3rd person for combat. It just doesn't follow the character right, or allow you to click exactly where you want to go if there's any whiff of nearby terrain. Even in 3rd person I have no idea what is behind me, and regularly get attacked from the rear and have no idea it is happening. And if you end up in a combat situation where your back is to a wall then watch out. You ain't seeing shit.
- A really funny thing is when you trigger a cut scene in the middle of combat. Enemies will stand and wait patiently for you to finish your conversation, before resuming when you're done. Comedy.
- The game constantly dictates when you can unsheath your sword, and keeps automatically sheathing it when it's out. This is annoying as hell. I've found running around with a sword out makes Geralt run a lot faster, so that's how I'd like to keep it. Stupid game. Grr.
- This one doesn't happen too often, but there are a few cut scenes where Geralt gets totally bladdered. So when you get control back you have to stumble around very very slowly and go and look for a place to sleep it off. Couldn't it just do that automatically and cut to the next day rather than make you waste a whole bunch of time walking around at a snail's pace? Talk about wasting the player's time.
- The game has got annoying little bugs sprouting from every orifice. Be they graphics bugs like clipping errors, or interactivity issues like clicking on an NPC and having nothing happen at all. I've even had times where I've attacked and killed enemies and they've completely ignored me and let me do it. So bad.
- Certain boss fights and other important cut scenes will only take place at certain times of the day. So if you trigger them the game leaps hours into the future to the time of the event. Big problem here is that if you were currently using any potions or damage enhancers on your sword then these will have run out and will have to be reapplied at the start of the fight while enemies are trying to bash your skull in. Thanks game.
- The sex content in the game is laughable. Not really sure why they added it in. Here's an example of what happens: Geralt is talking to a woman on the street or in a forest or wherever. They're getting on really well and one of them suggests a bit of sweaty naked fun. Screen fades to a blurry cutscene during which we are to assume the deed is taking place. Cut back to the standard game screen where Geralt and the woman are standing in exactly the same places as they were before the little cut scene and no time has passed at all. Exactly when, where and how did they just have sex if they haven't moved? Weird and pointless.
And this is the enhanced version believe it or not. I'd hate to have played the original. Here's a few images of my adventures so far, as well as some of the interesting bugs:
Strange floating skull
Priest's face obscured by random block of concrete
Kill the evil dog
I think I'm a bit pissed
Priest and fat bloke try and take on a professional killer
You have no idea kid
Weird ghostly apparition
Monster waits patiently while I speak to an NPC
Boobs in a computer game. Green boobs no less. Geralt approves.
Check out my Matrix moves
Dude has trouble getting through a door
Big bad wolf completely ignores me as I hack it to bits
These two women keep saying exactly the same thing
Someone else doesn't know how to use doors
Camera does a great job of chopping off this dude's head
Massive scrap breaks out in the sewers
Helping some naked vampire chicks kill a bunch of religious types
Weirdest werewolf ever
Out of the way old woman
Out of the way drunk baffoon
Yet another patient monster
Would much rather watch this again than play any more of the Witcher
So are there any good bits? Of course there are. The game wouldn't be so highly respected if there weren't. I'm just too much of a critical douchebag to have really paid them any attention with so many things wrong with the game. The story and characters are indeed pretty cool, even if the game assumes you know the story of the Witcher books and stories. Which of course I don't.
Most of the voice actors also do decent jobs. One in particular sounded very familiar so I looked him up and found out it was none other than Peter Marinker, who did the voice to Doctor Benn from awesome old kids TV show Star Fleet. That's definitely a plus. While I was reading about Star Fleet I also saw that Mark Rolston (Drake from Aliens) did the voice to John Lee?!?!?! What?!?!?!? That is something I can not believe. At all.
I know Star Fleet has nothing to do with this game. But that's what happens when I have such little good to say about it. Oh, the X-Bomber is still the best space ship ever designed. Period.
I'll try my best to finish the game seeing as I've come so far. But it's all very meh at the minute.