Witcher 1 – enjoyable and story-rich but could use better choices to curb unwanted hookups

Having finished the main storyline of the Witcher 3 at 78 hours (that’s without playing the DLCs, I’ll do that next time), I decided to go back to the previous two games because I need a stronger connection with the world, lore and characters. I will do a full overview of all three later one, if I don’t forget, but I really think the Witcher series is worth playing so give it a go! There’s storytelling depth here that makes the game very enjoyable and riveting, with varied and story-rich quests…

one of the more interesting questions the game asks is what or who is actually a monster

…if you can ignore the “all girls are throwing themselves at Gertalt” nuisance. I know it’s something of an rpg gameplay feature, where the game allows to date multiple – also present in jrpgs – and still choose only one right one in the end- as long as that happens I’ll tolerate it, albeit reluctantly. In Geralt’s case, it might have something to do with his amnesia – he has to relearn who he is in the course of the game, get to know himself – so I wish this was made stronger by making all quests fair and there are two you cannot finish without having sex. Irritating!! That’s not right. The game fails to offer adequate solutions to some quests to avoid this and consequently to offer Geralt a full range of choices to get to know himself. As I say, I’m a fan of commitment-based romances with loyalty like in my favourite Bioware games – I’m a one-guy kind of girl and that’s it. But, in this case I most of all blame the books for this mess where the only thing women think of is bedding Geralt and eagerly throw themselves at him at every opportunity. plus some dialogues, like Shani’s when we say bye to her by giving Alvin to Triss, are plainly shallow. I get tremendous satisfaction when we do get rid of some of these women. Witcher 1 could have made a better job of not letting it seep through so much. They have a way to tone it down by having the player make relevant choices. They proved they can in witcher 3. I hope the remake will address this.

But other than that, a greatly enjoyable game.

Witcher 1

  • I thoroughly love the different Witcher combat styles, but it can be hard to adjust to the rhythm, but they are super fun to play through.
  • I like the idea of doing stuff only by campfire, but it’s also counterintuitive. In this game, medidtation, alchemy, talent assigning only happen when Geralt is meditating and that only happens when he’s by the campfire. So I panicked initially when I was afraid all my talent points disappeared without me spending a single one on Geralt’s talent. And what the hell are bronze talent points and why are all options greyed out – I spent a great deal of the initial moments in game working that out and because I’m used to being able to assign skills on the go, and not while doing a specific activity in a specific place. The skill tree is still fun, though. Enjoy the abilities. In general, love meditation and the ui for it, but I like it when we can have Geralt meditate freely anywhere. But I think for rpg/ story reasons this works here – Geralt needs not only tio find his memory but also get a grip on his abilities and witcher senses and in this respect, this way of doing things in game 1 immerses me even more in the game. If you are really annoyed with it (I’m not, just needed to get used to it), You can always mod it so that you can meditate anywhere, but from my perspective, I think it kills the point of game 1. W1 made meditation mean more. W3 doesnt need it because it has a lot more fun content and meditation without relying on fireplaces, that’s for newbies I think. Good for rpging though.
  • Books are very important for learning skills – I love that!
  • still not sure how to equip torches but I don’t need them much, it’s easier to make cat potion here.
  • Geralt and the way he and other characters speak feels very stilted in this game. Some lines feel shallow and underdeveloped
  • The setup with Geralt’s amnesia is great because he has to make choices anew, he isn’t set in book canons. also because he has to relearn the world and we do so with him, it adds to the immersion.
  • The quests are the major good point about the series it seems. They are very involving and have a depth that echoes with universal messages. Difference, racism, chauvinism and in all that – Geralt who tries to do what is right. I like that. Also all the loose comments you hear as you walk strengthen the sense of how unforgiving and unfair the world is. Like reality. I feel invested in the stories and how Geralt navigates the choices. In ch2, it’s s good idea to check the antiquary early on. He sells useful books for the bestiary and herb collecting they will help with Witcher tasks.
  • Minus point for not being able to complete Blue Eyes (an otherwise interesting quest) or Shani’s party (meet Dandelion) without having sex. You can leave it incomplete and it will disappear in chapter 3 or avoid it, but you won’t gain experience. Stupid. This could have ended with Geralt brings roses of friendship and SHE then gets the hint! Even more minus points for the fact that despite ignoring Triss, the game still forces her on Geralt. Tsk, tsk. I should have the option to say no and it should be reflected in the game scenes and carry over to Witcher 2 start. She’s just a friend – though that realisation (through a choice in witcher 1) works, even with witcher 2 beginning. I still hope they will correct this in the remake because it also means Geralt doesn’t really have a full range of choices, so consequently he cannot really determine what his personality is. Then again, he was canonically involved with Triss at one point so I understand. And Triss is my least concern, particularly because I like her. Ultimately, she understands and ultimately it does come down to a choice, once Geralt knows and understands everything.
  • On the upside, Beauty and the Beast is a really nice quest / take on the fairy tale. I like Vincent.
  • Greatly enjoyed all chapters, and the sidequests, they were very varied and kept the interest throughout – but particularly 5 and the epilogue because I’m starting to see how it introduces the things we do in witcher 3. I love this sense of continuity.
  • The world isn’t as pretty, vast and detailed as the newer game, but some texture mods improve it a little. Like in DA2, Witcher 1 mostly seems to take place around one city. Works as an introduction just as well as for Da worked as an important interlude. And there are still placxes to visit like the swamp. plus quests are actually complex and take a long while to finish. And there are limitations on Geralt initially at least. He has to stay within certain districts for story reasons.
  • The situation with Triss and Yen, makes me feel that it’s a reversal from what I read about the books, where Triss is the former lover, while here it’s Yen (Iimagine he forgot her since he has amnesia but before that she was there – that’s what I gathered from the story thus far) while Triss is an active potential lover all the time has a major role to play. Well, they still made Yen and Geralt strong and valid, Both commitments for Geralt feel equally valid from what I see of the the storyline thus far and what I played of it in game 3. I feel stronger vibes for Geralt and Yen myself and cheer for them. So I am waiting for Yen and would prefer to avoid romance or affairs I feel are redundant. There really should be a way for me to choose whether Geralt gets that feeling he should wait instead of agreeing to every fling…though when you for romance Triss there is that one important line, the feeling he gets. That feeling must be stirred somehow.

Verdict? Worth playing. Very much so! Make your own choices and build a custom state of the world. The questlines and the world are interesting and make you think about how nobility and generosity may be rare but when they come, they are heartfelt and genuine. But they don’t necessarily come from time-honored, sanctified institutions and official authorities. Indeed those may have more darkness, corruption and evil in them and the inability to own to mistakes incriminates them further, as we might know all too well.

Geralt may need to survive by paid witcher contracts, but he knows how to step in where disinterested help is needed. Here the choices are a little limited, more often he will demand payment on his own without me being able to influence it – w3 definitely did good to change that- but well paid monster slaying is paid monster slaying – that’s fine. And more often he demands it from those that can just as well pay up. And even so I can see he steps in to do what feels right, with our choices.

Nasty outskirts. I really felt the nastiness and wickedness in my bones.
It’s possible to make witcher 1 more pleasant by using mods. I have added some texture mods and changed Geralt to look more like the version of his I prefer – from witcher 3. I also added mods that modify the looks of some leather jackets. I also added mods that remove redundant parts of the ui. Check this page for ideas where to start getting mods. After that, I just looked for something that modifies Geralt’s face. Great work by modders, as always.

Witcher 2

Haven’t got far in it yet – only played the first hour before I decided that if I want to be comrlehensive, I should go back to game 1, carry over my choices, play game 2 and carry over my choices to Witcher 3 – which really IS the best of the three in terms of look, feel, richness of storyline and writing. Geralt is a lot better presented in game 3, in contrast to the stiffness I feel in game 1.

It’s important to do what feels right.

But the major thing is – the questlines seems to be very strong from game 1, they get me very involved.

lovely grove

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