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Glorifying review of The Witcher at RPG Watch
Review - posted by Monolith on Sat 1 December 2007, 04:04:10Tags: CD Projekt; Witcher, The
Prime Junta, guest writer at RPG Watch, has written an overwhelmingly positive review of The Witcher. While he didn't go into detail when describing the game's single gameplay aspects, he made an in-depth analysis of why the game is more than just the sum of its parts, why it deserves a score of 5/5 (despite all its flaws) and why it's "the most significant game since Fallout" (I shit you not). To round things up, magerette, corwin, txa1265 and Dhruin added their opinions.
However, there's far more to the story than mere cleverness. The wryly humorous metafictional overlay and obvious satire overlays genuinely serious themes. This is what the game is really "about," the real meat on the eight-out-of-ten bones described by most reviews.These paragraphs sum up what's made The Witcher so great for me - I just haven't been able to put it into words as fitting as Prime Junta did.
While The Witcher doesn't give a hoot about consistent linguistics, its fictional underlay follows some very strict and rather unusual rules. Monsters are not of the usual "assault from the outside" variety. They spring from normal, petty, entirely believable human evil. Monstrous plants grow from graves of unavenged murder victims; necrophages feed on the corpses of the fallen; a village's petty evil in aggregate summons a demon that sows terror in the night. "Every monster embodies a human iniquity", a character in the game explains. Devourers - gluttony. Vampires - drunkenness. Characteristically, though, Geralt replies "So what does a giant centipede embody?" At one level, The Witcher is a morality tale -- it's "about" the bitter fruit our little sins bear. War really does breed ghouls and graveirs, only in the real world we don't have any silver swords with which to cut them down.
This is real, friends. This is how war really is. The evil overlord who is evil because he's evil is refreshingly absent. There are only grievances, injustices, oppression, segregation, misunderstanding, a deepening cycle of violence with normal - basically good - people doing horrible things. In the end, only the ghouls, crows, and cemetaurs attend the victory feast. And you're right in the middle of it.
Your choices and actions have profound effects on the world at large -- even if this is one game where you won't be able to topple the Dark Tower and bring on a golden age of peace, love, happiness, and sunshine. If there is a moral to The Witcher's story, it is that in the real world there are rarely simple solutions to complex problems, the most terrible evil is done in the name of the greater good, and much of the time the best you can hope for is to pick the lesser evil and hope for the best.
That review is a must-read, showing us why The Witcher is a must-play.
Thanks, Brother None