• Publisher: Atari
  • Release Date: Oct 30, 2007

Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. One for those who value story and character over technical innovation then, but definitely a game worth trying if the concept has tickled your fancy.
  2. The Witcher could have been a much better roleplaying game if it wasn't for it's long loading times, unnecessary traveling, uncomfortable handling and bugs.
  3. As good as this game is, there is room for improvement in several areas.
  4. If you can pull yourself to look past its clunky interface and occasionally sporadic dialogue, there really is quite a lot to love here.
  5. with solid marks in terms of combat, characterisation and plot, coupled with a first rate graphics engine (a version of Bioware's Aurora engine that's completely unrecognisable from its original incarnation in Neverwinter Nights), a fine orchestral score, high production values and a willingness to tackle adult themes, The Witcher's strengths outweigh its few flaws (long loading times and the aforementioned translation issues) by a considerable margin.
  6. 80
    The neat tweaks to the basic mouse-click combat gameplay, plus the interesting world and the fascinating moral decisions to be made, make The Witcher an extremely good export for PC RPG fans.
  7. The one aspect that does feel out of place though is the game’s approach to sex. Geralt can basically one-night-stand his way through many of the world’s female NPCs, with the game issuing incredibly tacky “sex cards” of the women in each encounter.
  8. Newcomers to the genre may be put off, but the ethically ambiguous questions faced do present a certain kind of draw.
  9. The game provides a decent alternative to average hack'n-slash role-playing games, but it doesn't take long before it becomes tiresome and boring.
  10. Take notes, Obsidian. This is how stuff should be done.
  11. If most RPGs were as interesting as The Witcher, I would spend a lot more time playing RPGs.
  12. Come for the role playing and story, but as soon as someone speaks, please turn down the volume to save your ears some distress.
  13. If you’re looking for a RPG that has most of the same components as other games but with a deep and intriguing storyline, then I would highly recommend this game to you.
  14. The Witcher is a fantastic RPG, a perfect recreation of the world imagined by Sapkowski. Being focused in a complex story as it is, the many hours of play will make us completely disregard the absence of multiplayer of any kind.
  15. One of the better offerings in the genre and worth picking up.
  16. The game is immersive and while you can pause it, consider choices and the like, this is a game that will ask you to think and make choices, not just hack ‘n slash your way to glory. The leveling system and alchemy elements are very nicely done.
  17. To be fair though, it's something of a novelty to have room available in a list of negatives to be able to castigate a game's misogynist overtones - because in every other department The Witcher is an intelligent, adult and thoroughly compelling adventure.
  18. While just about every RPG out there has lots of dialog, The Witcher is unique in that the dialog becomes one of the more compelling reasons to play. Yes, the combat is good, and your character does gain new tactical options and cool abilities as he improves, although the lack of new gear will turn off those for fans of games like Diablo.
  19. To stay on top of this great game or to enjoy it as intended, you need to pay attention and think before committing yourself. A far better game than the sum of its parts.
  20. Despite its faults, The Witcher is a diamond in the rough as a mature, gritty and atmospheric RPG that heads into territory not often explored.
  21. But what prevents The Witcher from entering the gallery of truly great titles is what pretty much plagues other diamonds in the rough: lots of crashes, long and frequent loading times as well as an artificially limited freedom of movement.
  22. The Witcher, in all its facets, screams quality. There are a few places where ambition exceeds feasibility, and it’s quickly becoming apparent that there’s not a lot of wiggle room left within the genre, but The Witcher delivers one of the most intense and rewarding role-playing experiences this year.
  23. 85
    It combines some entertaining and fast-paced combat with a well realized world and pretty decent story that branches and can end in three different fashions. With a load of choice in character creation on a point assignment and morality level, there’s plenty of reason to want to come back and play the 40-50 hour game again.
  24. New battle mechanics, a fantastic storyline, and a gritty setting make The Witcher one of the most engrossing, mature RPGs to arrive on the PC in years.
  25. If you are an RPG fan, don’t hesitate for one hour, minute or second about buying this!
  26. Its adult themes might raise eyebrows amongst some players, but after the world of Temeria draws them in to its clutches they’ll find a riveting storyline in an immersive world that creates one of the most memorable RPG experiences of recent years.
  27. 83
    This intangible attribute of the game is difficult to put into words, but Geralt's personality, the mature humor, the bizarre characters, and the sex and drugs combine in odd ways to create a game better than the sum of its parts.
  28. The Witcher is actually one of the best RPGs we've come across in a long time. It may not quite be Oblivion in scope and all-round greatness, but it earns the right to call itself a must try RPG that will immerse you in its dark and mysterious world.
  29. The Witcher's quality emanates from the understanding CD Projekt have held on Sapkowski's work. Engaging and thought provoking throughout with a rich gameworld that is effortlessly layered, The Witcher matches the style and substance typically associated with a Bioware RPG - perhaps the finest recommendation we can make.
  30. Complaints aside, a much larger portion of your time with this title will be spent enjoying the combat, story, and side tasks than making doomed decisions. The satisfaction of leveling up, expanding your abilities, and unraveling the mystery is enough for The Witcher to pick itself up when it stumbles.
  31. 80
    The Witcher is a bit of an oddball. Genres exist, over many years defined and redefined, but successful games rarely detract so heavily, while still claiming to be a part of one genre. The Witcher is an RPG is spirit rather than in practice. It'll suffer because of this.
  32. 80
    The Witcher provides some deep, interesting and reasonably mature RPG action. A touch more maturity, complexity in choices, and polish could have taken the game a little further, but overall, if you're looking for a great title in this genre, you would be doing yourself a favour to investigate what The Witcher has to offer.
  33. So if you’re looking for a dark and moody role-playing game that is different than everything else out there, and if you have a reasonably powerful computer that can handle the engine, and if you don’t mind adult themes that are more than a little male-centric, then the Witcher is certainly a game to consider.
  34. Perhaps not one for the hardcore role player, but an FPS gamer or MMO addict might well find The Witcher to be a great alternative to watching a DVD during the evening.
  35. 75
    If you can deal with the clunky combat, the terrible script and the quirky, unreal animation, there’s a game and a story underneath that RPGers will enjoy. Just don’t expect the world’s most polished game - you won’t find it here.
  36. 70
    Graphical foibles aside, The Witcher demonstrates the growing creative energy of European game designers, who continue to take chances with ever more innovative games, even as American developers obsess over the next "Halo."
  37. 90
    The Witcher simply works -- its refreshing setting, engaging combat and potion system, and long, well-conceived campaign is a recipe for single-player greatness. It's the kind of game that actually makes you want to track down some of Sapkowski's stories to learn more about this refreshingly bleak world.
  38. 80
    It hits the right notes in so many ways that it would be a shame for the game to go unnoticed. So go bulk up you PC, install this game, and get ready for a dark, gritty, and very engrossing ride.
  39. It’s a nice tall bottle of liquid awesome. So grab a glass from the bar and give it a shot.
  40. Trading more traditional, menu-drilling RPG “depth” for sheer style, action, mechanical elegance and what might be called a refreshingly grim mood, The Witcher is one of the most compelling - if not the cheeriest - fantasy excursions to come along in many a moon.
  41. 90
    I would love to see this title moved to a console, where the controls could be streamlined and hopefully the load times reduced. As it stands, The Witcher is an extremely fun game with the nasty habit of succumbing to narcolepsy at the most inappropriate moments.
  42. It rises above its problems to provide the kind of RPG that reminds you what made the genre so great in the first place. This game was a labour of love for CD Projekt and it shows. [Jan 2008, p.53]
  43. Excellent role-playing game, if at places it seems unpolished. It’s hard not to recall the hours spent in Fallout with its difficult ethical choices strongly influencing the storyline...The Witcher owes more to the story, excellent dialogues and the setting than to the combat system or the abilities development, the latter two being the weakest points of the game. Also it’s a pity that the Aurora engine forces frequent and very long loading times. [Dec 2007]
  44. It’s important that The Witcher doesn’t take itself too seriously, because that’s what helps it stand apart from the rest of the pack. [Chrismas 2007, p.134]
  45. The game fumbles its potential with unanticipated incompetence. [Christmas 2007, p.94]
  46. The Witcher is a fantastic RPG, and an amazing achievement for first-time Polish developer CD Projekt. [Jan 2008, p.82]
  47. Takes a normal fantasy world and turns it into a refreshingly interesting place. Geralt is an excellent main character. The story moves along nicely after the boring old amnesia start and there are lots of things to do. The only major setback is the unresponsive combat, which doesn't give enough feedback to the player about what's really happening and if the commands are accepted or not. [Nov 2007]
  48. An excellent first effort from CD Projekt Red. [Dec 2007, p.97]
  49. An RPG in poor action-game disguise. [Christmas 2007, p.90]
  50. An amiable enough RPG, once you escape the first two hours, but it's let down by an appalling translation and glitchy combat. [Christmas 2007, p.58]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 810 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 182
  1. Jan 26, 2012
    Want a complex rpg a (la-Dragon Age) which forces you to make tough decisions and has a really great story line along with a few sex-cards thrown in for fun....well this game is definitely for you. Full Review »
  2. Dec 31, 2011
    Excellent game in a deep, complex dark world and the heroes in the middle in all of this. Fantastic graphics, fantastic world, fantastic story this is how must be a modern rpg. Full Review »
  3. Sep 7, 2011
    When Mass Effect and The Witcher were in planning they must have shared cheat-sheets because the central formula and release date for both games are startlingly similar. Gritty, kick-ass main character: Check. Huge, engrossing plot with plenty of opportunities for role-playing: Check. A half decent combat system and a sub-par magical system: Check. Oh yeah, and **** **** **** and more **** CHECK! Bioware, however made the successful marketing strategy of advertising its alien **** while the Witcher was more subtle about it in the promos but when the time came it went all out. This is probably why Mass Effect got better ratings in my opinion because the two are almost equal in every area. But enough about the sex, it doesn't really play that big a part in either game, I just wouldn't give The Witcher to my kids. While Mass Effect is about a 'space marine' trying to save the galaxy, The Witcher is about a guy who no-one likes trying to save/destroy a town that no-one likes and save/kill all the humans/elves or dwarves. As you can see its very non-linear and with quite a lot of options that effect the game, so much so that if you kill someone at the beginning of the game you will feel the effects of it at the end and at several places in-between. I mentioned that the combat was mediocre, however two points really make up for it. One: an excellent potions system which allows you to gain huge advantages based on which enemies you are fighting. And two: it forces you to change your tactics based on the tactics of your enemy. These two factors really make up for the lack of a decent fighting system and keep the combat interesting. The story does take a long time to get moving, and you will spend the first half of the game not really knowing what is going on (and you don't even find out whom the main antagonist is until the very moment you go to fight him) but if you keep at it you will be rewarded. There is really a bit of everything, from the classic hero type questing, to a mystery plot in which you become a detective, to conducting/preventing a bank robbery. If you can get past the initial tedium, you will be rewarded as it has one of the best endings. In conclusion, if you are the kind of person who liked the shooting part of Mass Effect, you probably won't like this game, but if you liked the story aspect you probably will. Full Review »