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Thread: The Witcher 3

  1. #201
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: flapping in the wind
    I haven't read any of the reviews yet as I'm trying to avoid spoilers, but on the Metacritic page I couldn't help noticing that the Official PS UK magazine feels it's a failure as an open world game, and glancing through the full review makes it seem like it's exactly because it's not like Skyrim. As much as I enjoy that game, the Bethesda approach to open worlds certainly isn't the only one (lack of level-scaling is mentioned as a negative?), so I'm trying not to get worried about that. Maybe I should read one of the 100 % reviews in order to regain appropriate levels of hype.

  2. #202
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Tempted to get and play this before I finish Witcher2. I wonder if I'd get messed up jumping around the timeline like that.

  3. #203
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: flapping in the wind
    Witcher 3 seems to continue directly from where 2 ended, but then again I don't recall the whole Yennefer issue being particularly relevant to 2 except at the very end. I imagine just watching the intro will tell you just about everything important you'd have learned from playing the previous game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    Oh, and is anyone on the GOG Galaxy beta here? I wanna start adding people.
    Just looked into it, and turns out adding people is done in a really odd way on Galaxy. Apparently there's no way to do it via username/email; instead

    To add friends, simply hover on any user avatar within the STORE section (Forums, Community Wishlist, Game reviews) and click "invite to friends".
    Should we make a TTLG thread in some random forum so we can add people?
    Last edited by reizak; 12th May 2015 at 13:21.

  4. #204
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: Tatry Mountains, Poland

  5. #205
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by reizak View Post
    Just looked into it, and turns out adding people is done in a really odd way on Galaxy. Apparently there's no way to do it via username/email; instead

    Should we make a TTLG thread in some random forum so we can add people?
    I'd say yeah, if I knew how it worked. From the way it sounds, you can't (currently) add people you know manually. Do you just hope you come across their avatar in the store, and add them from there?

  6. #206
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I will be jumping on this one later. For a start, I have yet to complete the first game let alone play the second. Also, I need to upgrade my PC, which will take a few months of gradually purchasing the components.

  7. #207
    I could watch entire Witcher series done like that, just one season would do. Isn't it a scene taken directly from one of the Witcher short stories by A. Sapkowski? I can't be sure, after so many years. Anyway, excellent work.


  8. #208
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    That was pretty nice. And hey, just 5 more days until.

  9. #209
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Poland
    @Judith - The setup (Geralt fighting a singing, female high vampire) is somewhat similar to a situation from "A Grain of Truth", but that's about it.

  10. #210
    Thanks for reminding me, I might dig up those books from the basement (although I know that they didn't age too well).

    Speaking of underwhelming writing, Polygon's critique of game's misogyny and lack of racial diversity is so ridiculous, I won't even link it. Unfortunately Arthur Gies is the editor-in-chief, which apparently means that his work isn't being challenged by anyone from the staff. Still, he was the one to criticize Bayonetta 2 for sexism and misogyny, so he wouldn't recognize camp and irony even if it kicked him in the face. People are already making fun of him in review comments and in Witcher 3 related news.

  11. #211
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Poland
    To be honest, I could see that sort of criticism coming. But yeah, Gies is known for being an asshole, just to mention his Sim City antics.

  12. #212
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Lack of racial diversity? I thought Witcher had lots of races -- elves, humans, gnomes, halflings and dwarves to start with.

  13. #213
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Speaking of underwhelming writing, Polygon's critique of game's misogyny and lack of racial diversity is so ridiculous, I won't even link it.
    Allow me, then: http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/13/853...C-PS4-Xbox-one

    What's ridiculous about it? Seems like a fairly frank assessment of the game to me, and it's certainly helped paint a clearer picture of what to expect from it. So it's done it's job, as a review.

  14. #214
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    From that review:
    I don't recall a single non-white humanoid anywhere.
    It's a fantasy game, set in the middle-ages. Some parts are fantasy (dragons!). But the idea is that besides those fantasy elements (dragons!) the rest of the game-world tries to simulate the middle-ages as much as possible.

    There were no black or Asian people in Western or Northern Europe in the middle ages. None. Asia and Africa were just too far away. True western imperialism didn't start until the end of the middle-ages. Outside of large towns, I bet most people in smaller villages in western/northern Europe hadn't seen any black people before WWII. I grew up in the suburbs of Amsterdam. I had seen black or Asian people, but not many. We had a few Indonesian kids in school, but very few. In 1975 I moved to a small village (5k people) in the south of NL. Only a few years later the first family from Suriname settled in my village. I think before that day, most people in my village had never seen any black or Asian people in person.

    The idea that in the Middle Ages European Cities were full of Asian and African tradesmen, pirates and fortune-tellers is something that comes from fantasy movies and games. The person in that review is upset that TW3 looks too much like real Middle Ages and not enough like fantasy Middle Ages.

  15. #215
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    ^Fair point, but this is a fantasy world that doesn't seem to be striving for realism in any other way. This whiteness has always been the case in these games, except in the first where the one brown guy was the main villain... says a lot.

    That was a pretty excellent review, though, and it seems a bit absurd to criticize it for a single line, no matter where you stand on it. That wasn't the focus of the review at all. It definitely gave me a great idea of what to expect from the game. Sounds like it's bigger than the first two games combined, which is a bit daunting to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by reizak View Post
    I haven't read any of the reviews yet as I'm trying to avoid spoilers, but on the Metacritic page I couldn't help noticing that the Official PS UK magazine feels it's a failure as an open world game, and glancing through the full review makes it seem like it's exactly because it's not like Skyrim. As much as I enjoy that game, the Bethesda approach to open worlds certainly isn't the only one (lack of level-scaling is mentioned as a negative?), so I'm trying not to get worried about that. Maybe I should read one of the 100 % reviews in order to regain appropriate levels of hype.
    Strange critiques in this review, indeed - there are also areas in the Bethsoft RPGs that aren't accessible from the main map (especially when it comes to DLCs, but there are other areas as well), so I'm not sure why he's pretending there aren't. In any case, I've lost the taste for the Bethsoft type open world, so this is a plus for me. It's actually a positive review, regardless.

    But given all the mentions of bugs in both of these reviews, and the current asking price for the game + season pass, I think I'll be waiting for the GOTY edition / Director's cut.
    Last edited by froghawk; 15th May 2015 at 11:30.

  16. #216
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    The person in that review is upset that TW3 looks too much like real Middle Ages and not enough like fantasy Middle Ages.
    Um... but it is fantasy Middle Ages.

    The historical realism argument works for things like Kingdom Come, but don't make much sense here. In a game with elves and dragons I don't think the illusion is going to be broken by the appearance of black people. Not that I think the devs had any sinister intentions in mind, nor do I think it's a big deal. But then again I'm white. And judging by the fact that I almost always pick white characters in games where you get to create your own character I guess I like playing as white people. I would not be surprised if other people would like to see their ethnicities represented in the media they consume too.

  17. #217
    Adrian Chmielarz, the guy who made Painkiller and Ethan Carter, wrote something of a counterargument to that Polygon review, kinda explaining why there are no blacks and why women in the game are treated the way they are:

    https://medium.com/@adrianchm/the-bo...ew-f7ac8d7f0a5
    Last edited by Severian_Silk; 16th May 2015 at 03:52.

  18. #218
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    As a side note, anyone got a good story recap from the first 2 games? I feel I forgot a lot of important events and could use a refresher before delving into the new one.

  19. #219
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Everything I hear about this makes it sound absolutely amazing, but my feelings about the first two Witcher games are pretty lukewarm. They just never clicked with me. I'll probably end up getting this, but only a couple of years down the line, I imagine.

  20. #220
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Allow me, then: http://www.polygon.com/2015/5/13/853...C-PS4-Xbox-one

    What's ridiculous about it? Seems like a fairly frank assessment of the game to me, and it's certainly helped paint a clearer picture of what to expect from it. So it's done it's job, as a review.
    The lack of representation for POC, and violence against women. I haven't played the game yet, but world of the Witcher was inspired by Polish medieval history and probably the history of Polish nobility as well. We might talk about diversity of religions at some point, but races - not so much. And it was an awful world for women, to say the least. Also, books targeted young adult fans of high fantasy, and have not aged well, e.g. see depictions of male-female relationships. All that is to some extent reflected in Witcher games.

    Do devs have to do that? It kind of depends on the nature of agreement CDPRed has with the author, we can only speculate about that. Does every game have to be that politically correct? I respect the work of e.g. Anita Sarkeesian, but I don't think so. I don't know what was the context of extensively portrayed violence towards women e.g. Red Dead Redemption – and sure, I find it disgusting. On the other hand, I understand the context for violence towards everybody in Witcher games, and not exactly mature portrayal of women too. It's the source material, both books and historical aspects.

    Gies' reaction in that regard is pretty shallow, especially since we're talking about somewhat highbrow site, such as Polygon (let's forget about Kutchera and McElroy brothers for a while). Feminism movement in gaming doesn't need such zealots, as they actually lower the bar in terms of quality of discussion.

    Now, for the positive example of approaching these issues, and surprisingly, that one comes from Kotaku: http://kotaku.com/the-witcher-3-wild...iew-1703766283

    “Wild Hunt” is actually a pretty good subtitle for The Witcher 3, but it could just as easily have been called The Witcher 3: Hello Ladies. There are more beautiful women in this game than you could shake an enchanted tree branch at, and you sure can have sex with some of them. (Indeed, you can even do it while sitting astride a stuffed unicorn.)

    The Witcher series has always been unabashedly sexy; as you meet people aware of Geralt’s legend, it becomes clear that he’s as well known for banging sorceresses as he is for slaying monsters.

    There’s an element of sexual fantasy stitched right into Witcher lore: Because of the nature of their mutations, Witchers are sterile. STDs don’t appear to be much of a thing in this world, which basically makes Geralt a big walking dick, all pleasure and zero risk. Furthermore, Sorceresses are also sterile, and in the course of their magical training learn to make themselves unnaturally beautiful. When Witchers and Sorceresses get together, it’s a recipe for wild, no-strings-attached sexytimes. That contributes to the game’s playful view of sex, at least as it applies to Geralt and his potential consorts. The sex scenes I saw as I played were often goofy and ridiculous, but sex often is goofy and ridiculous. Sex just isn’t that big a deal here, and it’s refreshing.

    Women and the relations between women and men both play a large role in the Witcher universe, and like many other popular fantasy series, the series does both well and poorly by its female characters. Here again we have a fantasy world where the shittier aspects of our own—sex-slavery, rape, domestic abuse, systemic brutalization of women and minorities—are alive and well, where imaginary castles and kingdoms come with all the bloody baggage of the actual middle ages. Men are subjected to torture and brutality as well, but as it tends to go with these things, women are singled out for sexual violation. A low point comes midway through the story when Geralt comes upon a scene of profound fucked-upedness, a group of women who have been sexually brutalized and murdered seemingly purely as a means of motivating players to kill the man responsible. (Probably would’ve wanted to kill him without seeing a dead prostitute nailed to the wall, thanks.)

    However, many of the story’s most interesting characters are women, and more than just being powerful and capable, they’re complicated, difficult people with distinct and often conflicting motivations. (It’s just that they look like Victoria’s Secret models and happen to favor skintight riding pants.) Wild Hunt also occasionally surprised me with its willingness to actually say something about oppression, rather than simply depicting it. At one point I had Geralt chase off a couple of men who were harassing a frightened elf on the street. Rather than thanking him, she angrily accused Geralt of intervening just so that he could feel like a hero. This solves nothing, she said. Those men will be back tomorrow, but where will you be?

    Ciri is at once chaste and comely, a daughter figure and eye candy, which, yes, is awkward. She’s given a rushed romantic subplot but robbed of the chance to consummate it; she’s a strong fighter and arguably more deadly than Geralt with a blade, but she spends the entire game with the center button of her blouse undone and her bra showing.

    Wild Hunt, then, is somewhat like Geralt — surrounded by powerful, complicated women, enthusiastic but not always sure of how best to proceed.

  21. #221
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Hmm, alright.

  22. #222
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Poland
    To be the devil's advocate for a moment, there are some possible problems both with the novels and the game.

    For example, female homosexual relationships of all kinds appear frequently both in the books and the games, in TW1 and TW2 male homosexuality only comes up once, in the second game, and guess what: the character in question is a villain, a possible rapist who eventually gets castrated and fed his own balls. The novels didn't mention female homosexuality at all until the last, standalone novel, where, again, the only homosexual character is villainous, and his male lover, a straight man who's only in it for profit, is even more villainous.

    Still, at the same time, the novels featured a (rather minor) character of ambiguous gender, presented in nothing but a respectful light and cited as a good officer. So, yeah.

  23. #223
    For example, female homosexual relationships of all kinds appear frequently both in the books and the games, in TW1 and TW2 male homosexuality only comes up once, in the second game, and guess what: the character in question is a villain, a possible rapist who eventually gets castrated and fed his own balls.
    I don't recall that dude being castrated for homosexuality, but for being a sonuvabitch . The guy who castrates him also was a sonuvabitch. Those games are riddled with sons of bitches, no matter what their sexuality is :P .

    So, this scene doesn't neccessarily condemn homosexuality.

    Then again, I'm no medieval history expert, but I think that during the late middle ages homosexuals were punished by castration in some parts of Europe. So maybe this scene really does mean something ?

  24. #224
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Everyone was pretty much castrating everyone back then. It's a wonder we're even around at all.

    As for the drama, I came across this link while looking up reviews for the game, which aligns with Judith's point of view.

    When it comes to the issue of race in games, I think of it in much the same way I do the whole Bechdel Test hoolabaloo. It's not that every game needs to have a certain number of black people, Asians, Middle Easterners, etc. portrayed in a positive light to be considered socially acceptable, but there do need to be more games with black people, Asians, Middle Easterners, in them.

    Their exclusion isn't a manifestation of racial hate. But we could use some variety.

  25. #225
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Having studied Polish history throughout my childhood, Witcher actually does a good job of recreating the medieval times. The books talk a lot about the politics, economy, folklore and social structure of the period, so it's definitely no accident or sexist/racist exclusion. I always felt the books were history first and fantasy later, tho the balance is shifted towards the later in the games (for obvious reasons).

    However, I would admit some of the sexy sexy stuff in the game were nothing more than just a male fan service. Yes, it is how the society functioned back then with males having all the power and women often downgraded to little than their sex slaves*, but the point was already conveyed via sexual encounters Geralt (constantly) has without the need for stuff like the sex-cards.

    And while I'm all for equality, I'm also against having a female/trans/non-white-race/etc. quotas games must abide by.


    * Interestingly, the games hints the female seorcerers have their own little secret group that plays part in the politics. The books explore the sexist angle a bit better - at the groups inception it is agreed upon that men are too brutal and greedy to rule the world and thus an female-only group is necessary to counterbalance that. Granted it is still stereotyping both sides but at least it provides another side to the debate and acknowledges the problem of male dominance. And you could make the argument that the logic is just another reflection of the socially-primitive medieval times.

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