Category: Gaming

So That Only Took Twenty Years

Did you ever faintly remember a song or film you encountered when you were very young, only to be reminded of it decades later, but didn’t remember the name of it? Every six to twelve months I tried googling this one roleplaying game that my cousin owned for the Commodore 64. I remember thinking it was fantastic and I remember it being incredibly sophistic for its time. I remember it came with a huge map but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was called.

Times of Lore, finally.

Now I just need to remember that strange, post-apocalyptic film that I once watched at my aunt’s home when I must have been about seven or eight years old. I remember it being kind of like Mad Max, but then with enormous, mutated insects.

The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings

The first Witcher game I played was the third Witcher game, the game that really cemented the franchise as one of the great story telling roleplaying games ever made. I had heard my friend Van Der Litreb talk about it before, but somehow it never landed until I made the plunge and started playing the third game. When I had done two play-throughs of the third game and both its extensive DLC’s, I decided to take a look at the second game.

I had already watched quite a bit of gameplay on YouTube in recent years due to my deepening obsession with the Witcher backstory, so I roughly knew what the game was going to be about, which beats it would hit, and which major decisions were there to be made. I also knew that the game was considered flawed in terms of mechanics and handling when compared to the third game, but an absolute masterpiece when compared to the first game. I’ve played some dodgy games in my time simply because I liked the premise so it didn’t stand in my way. Off I went.

I really, really liked it. I didn’t love it like I love the third game, but it held my interest and got me into the storyline. The game deals much more with the politics of the northern realms than the third game did, and it got me a shitload of insight into the backstory, despite having read the books and seen the footage.

I think the developers didn’t really make the most out of the possibility of giving the player the agency to determine the outcome of the story, though. In the end, the only real decisions you get to make is whether or not a handful of characters live or die. Which I already knew of course because those are the questions you get in the early hours of the third game to set up some of the storylines there. Did Aryan live? Did you fight Letho or let him go? Did Síle de Tansarville make it through the troubling portal incident?

All in all I am very glad I played the game, and there is definitely something about the atmosphere and art direction of the game that really appealed to me. I think that’s also partly the reason why so many people who really love the books say that the second game is closer to the books than the third game is.

I Miss Geralt

I miss playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I miss Geralt, Zoltan, Ciri, Tris, Yenn, Vesemir, Eskel and even Lambert. I really wish I could start over and visit Velen, Novigrad, Oxenfurt, Kaer Morhen, Skellige and Toussaint again for the first time. I’ve done two full play-throughs now and I suspect I’ve seen almost everything there is to see. Still, I’ve started a third play-through. How I wish there was more content for me to experience. I still have several games ready and waiting to play; Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Middle-Eart: Shadow of War, Vampyre and I’ve been flirting with Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Still, I would happily trade all of those games in for another Witcher 3 DLC.

Cyberpunk 2077

Anyone who saw the Cyberpunk 2077 teaser trailer back in January of 2013 has been eagerly awaiting news since. Nobody thought it would take five years for the next concrete bit of information that CDPR released. During E3 this year, they released the trailer above, and with it quite a bit of information. I’m not sure how I feel about it.

The game is first person, which I’m not sure I enjoy the idea of. It becomes too much like Deus Ex that way, I suspect. Apparently the verticality of the game doesn’t work well with a third person game. So I’m cautiously optimistic, only because it’s CDPR and they consistently know how to make the best of things. Apparently, you’ll also have the option of choosing between a male or female protagonist, which is nice, while still maintaining an established character instead of allowing for a fully bespoke character. This will help the narrative element of the game tremendously. It worked well for the Mass Effect series, so I’m sure that will be on point.

It’s the looks, however, that I’m not sure about. And with me many others. They seem to be aiming for the mid-eighties flavour of Cyberpunk, which, admittedly, is probably the most OG version to go for. I’d be disappointed if they had gone for a more post-Cyberpunk feel, but this is a little bit too “Neon and Mohawk” for my tastes. I like it with a bit more grit. But again, I’m cautiously optimistic. I’m actively trying to curb my desire to just get Witcher 4.