The Witcher

Playing the trilogy for the first time and wanted to offer some thoughts.

So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to finally play through the Witcher trilogy after I began reading the books. Right now I’m on Wild Hunt. This is basically going to be me gushing for several paragraphs. You have been warned.

SPOILERS ABOUND

The games are amazing so far. The first one is endearingly janky with its weird combat system, bad voice acting and dead fish eyes animation on characters (Bonhart would be proud). But the plot is great, they really captured the grey morality of the books and the twist ending was totally unexpected. Also loved little nods to the book like the saving Abigail quest. Special recognition to the random and totally awesome metal boss battle theme for the tower battle with Azar Javed and the Professor.

So, Witcher 2. I’m guessing when this came out it was the bleeding edge of graphical achievement? Can’t really think of a game that took as big a leap as between the first one and AoK. Anyway, I did both paths in this game and I have to say, the Roche path is more interesting, simply because Henselt and Dethmold are far more interesting characters than Saskia, Skalen, Stennis etc.

The opening quest for AoK is one of my favourites. The whole thing feels like a movie setpiece and sets up the larger plot perfectly. It’s escalation done perfectly-So while Witcher One was a more personal story, this one feels like you’re just a cog in continent spanning political machinations. They also upped their game in the villain department. Letho’s an antagonist where I’m still debating internally whether he was justified or not. Also, I can’t praise enough the fact that there’s no “Golden Ending”. There’s just no situation where everybody gets saved. True to the world it’s set in. Personally I ended up saving Saskia in one play through and Triss on the Roche path.

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On to Witcher 3. I’m only past the prologue at this point. Currently in Velen, just after the first Keira Quest where you fight the Wild Hunt. Quick impressions so far

  • Already enjoying the Geralt and Vesemir banter. Nice to see that other Witcher’s aren’t as dry as Geralt.

  • There was a dude in the prologue called Gaunter O’Dimm. That’s one for the Evil names Hall of Fame right there. Conveniently turned up with just the right info, gave an obviously fake background and then vanished. Pretty sure he’s somehow involved in the War, like a spymaster of some kind. Might be connected to the fake merchant who later turns out to be a Temerian resistance agent, what with his help me out later line.

  • Gwent. Already addicted.

  • I love how interconnected everything in the world is. Like even a side quest to retrieve a frying pan ends up uncovering Nilfgaardian spy rings. On an unrelated note, it’s nice to see that Geralt went to the Commander Shepard School of Helping out with literally anything.

  • Didn’t expect to meet the Emperor this early. Charles Dance went full Tywin for this one. But then he was the best part of GoT so that’s more than welcome here.

  • After the Netflix show, which I didn’t hate but feel is nowhere near realising the setting’s full potential, it’s good to see a book accurate Yennefer. She has just the right blend of reserve, warmth and sardonic humour

  • The enemies in this game don’t mess around. I’ve been in the woods picking herbs only to get eviscerated by a random bear. Even trash enemies like drowners can swarm and kill me if I’m not careful. Bit steeper learning curve then it’s predecessors.

  • Also, they’ve definitely gone in a darker direction with this game. They kind of went out of their way to show that even the happy endings of past games aren’t going to come into play here. No saving noonwraiths this time. No true love’s redemption for werewolves. No saving the girl mauled by griffins unless you want to subject her to an even worse fate. Hell, even the innkeeper boots you out after saving her skin. Kind of hoping that’s it’s not all bleak from here on out.

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There’s probably more stuff to write about but I think this is long enough. Maybe I’ll make more lists as I play through more of the game.

Source: reddit.com

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