Still working my way through this game. I actually ended up restarting it to record a little bit of my playthrough and to go through the tutorial again and really pay attention to the mechanics of the game. I’d only been half paying attention to the information given during my old save, which is probably why I was so lost.
The combat system still isn’t my favorite and feels clunky and awkward, but I’ve picked up enough of a steady groove with it to not die as quickly as humanly possible. I’ve only died maybe two times since playing this game with many near deaths under my belt. You almost had me Nadir, but behold, the power of mutton!
I’m still only so-so with the leveling and potion making. The potion making is starting to make more sense as I do it more. I’m still having some issues where I’ve learned a formula, gathered material for the formula, and made the formula, but it’s still not showing up in my inventory. Where the hell is the Specter Oil I made? That would come in handy at night against the drowners, ghouls, and barghest I’m encountering since I don’t have a silver sword yet. In fact… Should I have one at this point?
And no, I’m not messing up the potion. I’m aware that could cause my formulas not to show up, but I’m pretty sure that is not the issue. I’ve been very careful about it. Vesemir’s “don’t screw this up” talk makes me take extra care to check and double check what I am doing with these potions.
And while leveling isn’t hard work, I’m still a little lost on what I should be doing exactly. I just kind of click on random things and then hope I haven’t messed up something completely. Okay, I do understand it a bit better than before, but I’m still just going with whatever it lets me take at the time. I still maintain that I was not leveling up in my old play through because I see that a message comes up on the screen about meditating to increase my skill. And I swear I never saw that message before I restarted the game.
The characters are a little disconcerting with their lack of facial expressions and very little tonal inflection. And some characters do use a lot of emotion in their speech, so it’s even more amusing to listen to them speak passionately about something without changing their facial expressions. The Reverend is hilarious to talk to for this reason. I don’t consider this too much of a big deal since I’ve played games that were much worse in that facial expression department.
Right now, I am still at Vizima (which I want to keep calling Virmire because of Mass Effect, but settle on Vizmire). I’ve made it further along than with my old save at this point, but I know I’m playing very slowly. My first playthrough will always be the longest and slowest because I try to do and learn as much as I can. Subsequent playthroughs are much shorter. I’m helping that old coot of a reverend light his damn eternal fires and trying to get villagers to trust me.
I like how Geralt is all about that cash. The reverend has information and help that Geralt needs, and Geralt still says, in that so calm voice, that he’s got to get paid if he’s going to do this. And the old coot agreed to it. I also like how Geralt basically shoehorned in on the monster hunter’s business and has the hunter paying him to fight monsters. Smart man. Geralt and I are going to get along just fine. He knows my heart.
I’m also starting to see just how snarky Geralt is. I compared his demeanor to Ryo Hazuki’s from SHENMUE. His voice is always deadpan like Ryo’s, but unlike Ryo who is a bit gulliable (and rightly so since he’s a teenager), Geralt has all this deadpan sarcasm at his disposal. I’m loving all these calm “You said what to me?” moments he keeps having with people, and they’re all like, “Nothing. I didn’t sass you, sir.”
The only real off-putting thing is the women in the game. I already knew that sex between Geralt and the females he’s helped is the reward of choice. I have nothing against sex in games. I’m that gamer that explores all the sex options in a game and make ridiculously immature jokes. However, it’s still borderline creepy in this one. The porn star moans… God, save the queen. Is your vagina magic? Because if it’s not, I’m going to need y’all to start coming up off some money or some potions or something. And I don’t know why I keep expecting something other than that from them when the game pretty much says, “Nope, vagina it is.”
I am enjoying the game a bit more, even if I do spend some time muttering at my screen about potions and leveling and wondering why this random dwarf told me to fuck off in those exact words. Stay tuned.