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Saturday, April 2, 2022

The Witcher

Based on a series of books I've never read (and after playing the game and interacting with the gross-ass fandom, I can now confidently say I never want to), the Witcher is purportedly an "adult RPG".  Like so many that apply that label to themselves, it mistakes gratuitous gore, T&A and foul language for "adult content" and as a result becomes far more juvenile than E or T-rated games of similar design.  There are too many examples of this to recount in a short review, but the most prominent one is that a major sidequest involves bedding every major female character in the game so you can get nudie pictures of them as trophies in the main menu.  Yep.  It isn't very fun to play either, being a mostly-railroaded experience with endless sessions of boring follow-the-dot quests and mediocre combat that, while ostensibly based around timed button presses and dodges, is rendered trivial by the fact that you can simply mash the left mouse button and win every battle with ease, doing damage with every press while your character's swing animation resets over and over again.  Yeah, somehow nobody caught that in testing.  Witcher also sells itself on having choices that actually matter (and which you don't see the consequences of until several hours after making them to prevent save-scumming), but when my intelligence is being constantly insulted by being served a version of Krondor that's ten times crasser, less than one-eleventh as engaging and stars a really lame Gary Stu protagonist, I don't particularly care about what happens in its present, let alone hours later owing to a choice I likely won't even remember making.  Too grim and gory for kids but too shallow and inane for adults, the Witcher might get a small, fervent following from hormonal middle schoolers who think using the word "fuck" eleven times per sentence makes them sound tough and that buying anything with blood and boobies in it automatically makes them more grown-up and manly than everyone else in the room, but I suspect they'll lose interest immediately once the next grimdark reimagining of a four-color comic book character comes out and they spend months pouring over every inch of it in search of "hidden depth" which coincidentally always aligns with their own naΓ―ve worldviews.  Or they turn fifteen, whichever comes first.

Developer: CD Projekt Red
Publisher: Atari, CD Projekt
Released: 2007
Platforms: PC, OS X