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This week on Zero Punctuation, Yahtzee roleplays a pale, lanky misogynist.

Transcript Edit

What would you get if you took the corpse of J.R.R. Tolkien, ground it into a fine powder, and snorted it off the doughy breasts of a prostitute suffering from Tourette's Syndrome? Well, first you'd get a throatful of dead writer, then the police would probably want to talk to you, and you'd no doubt make an enemy of Mrs. Tolkien. What you probably won't get is The Witcher, because it's a video game and more easily acquired from your local electronics retailer, you idiot.

The Witcher takes place in the same time-locked period of medieval England that all fantasy takes place in, as inevitably as the fucking tides, and follows the adventures of an amnesiac platinum blonde called Gerald. Sorry, Geralt. Gerald is a Witcher, a sort of demon hunter for hire. Not, as you might reasonably assume, a witch hunter, since you run into witches fairly often and don't seem to care. You could make a convincing case for the word "Witcher" meaning "a bloke who has sex with witches a lot", since even in the short time I was playing, female magic users were queueing up to nibble on my +69 Staff of Penetration.

What quickly becomes obvious is that Witcher is very much a PC-exclusive game, which are typically designed to be as complex and unintuitive as possible so that those dirty console-playing peasants don't ruin it for the glorious PC-gaming master race. The first warning sign is that the manual is thick enough to beat goats to death with, and then once you get into the game the interface is just a few steps shy of Microsoft Access in terms of friendliness. There's your inventory screen, your character screen, your alchemy screen, your glossary, your quests, your map, you have to switch between Combat mode and Stand-Around-Picking-Your-Nose-While-Enemies-Carve-You-Like-Turducken mode. And once you're in Combat mode, do you fight in Strong, Fast, or Group style? And if you'll be wanting to mix potions, then I hope you've gone through the necessary 8-week correspondence course. If disliking this sort of shit makes me stupid, then call me Retard McSpackyPants, but I'd rather be stupid and having fun than bored out of my huge genius mind.

My first quest seemed straightforward on the outset: bring 10 monster skulls to Talkative Prick Number 17 of 54, but a stipulation was that I couldn't get the skulls until I had researched the monster in question. Apparently Gerald's amnesia extends so far that he needs to swot up before he can figure out where the motherfucking skull is located, but whatever, we'll run with it. When it came to revealing exactly how to research, however, the game was tight-lipped. God forbid that you could research the damn things by, you know, killing them. Admittedly, I might not be entitled to complain about the game's unintuitive nature because I didn't spend a weekend memorizing the documentation, but even that wouldn't have made the game any less dreary.

The box promises 80 hours of gameplay, and I believe it, because the game draws everything out mercilessly. A large percentage of those 80 hours will be spent making dull conversation, running from one side of the map to the other at the behest of fat NPC jerks, or just wondering what the chuffing hell you're supposed to be doing next. When you do finally get into some combat, it's almost on sufferance. You fight enemies by clicking on them once, and then if you're really advanced, clicking on them again.

As I progressed through the starting village, a set of red flags came up that brought me to a sinister realization. One-click combat? Endless trudging from place to place? Quests involving killing X amount of monster Y for lazy stationary cockhead Z? This is a mumorpuger! A single-player mumorpuger, with no Alliance dipshits teabagging your corpse, but a mumorpuger nonetheless.

Anyway, I have a tendency to completely lose interest in a game's story when I lose sight of the ultimate goal, and by the time I reached the second questing zone, I'd literally forgotten who I was supposed to kill, or why I had ever cared, because the three women I had dirty Middle Ages sex with had mellowed me out somewhat. Some people might call The Witcher misogynistic, for the fact that every single woman in the game shows off a cleavage you could lose your dog in, and will jump on you at the slightest provocation, for a PG-13 sex scene, followed by a paradoxically explicit dirty postcard. Personally, I think it's less The Witcher's obvious hatred of women, and more the same misguided pretension to maturity that also causes the characters to cuss with every alternate word. You might say it's sexist to treat women like a baseball card collecting mini-game, so you can ogle their luscious rounded boobies and melt away between their smooth milky thighs as the sweat runs in rivulets from their writhing, sensuous body, but...sorry, I forgot where I was going with that.

The reason why this is a "first impressions" rather than a full review is that I found the game to be so boring and stodgy that I couldn't play it for more than a couple of hours before deciding I had to do my laundry or wash the gimp or anything that would mean I wouldn't have to put myself through more of it, and as a general rule of mine, a game that feels like work generally isn't looking at a good write-up. The Witcher was not fun for me, but you might have a better time if you're incredibly boring, and if it's been decades since your last sexual encounter. And if that's the case, stop watching my reviews, Dad.

AddendaEdit

Of course you want me: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

Why are dwarves always Scottish? Funny how this has become accepted fact because all the Scottish people I know are tall buggers

Ask me again how long it's been since I've known the touch of a woman

BonusEdit

(A cutscene from Painkiller is given new dialogue by Yahtzee)

Painkiller, with apologies

(Phone ringing)

Daniel: "Hello, Piety Corporation. How may I direct your call? Please hold."

(Sammael walks up)

Daniel: "Can I help you?"

Sammael: "Yes, I'm here about the Systems Analyst position. This is my résumé, please look impressed."

Daniel: "You do know that this is a piece of wood with the word "résumé" scribbled on it with crayon? And also that you spelled "résumé" with three s's?"

Sammael: "Yes, I think it says it all. So, when do I start? First thing Monday morning is good for me. Also, I'm going to need next week off because of a minor statutory rape conviction."

Daniel: "Okay, well, first I should explain that I'm not the interviewer, I'm the receptionist... Also, I'd like you to leave now, because you fill me with disgust."

Sammael: "Jesus, what do I have to do to get a job in today's market? Shall I do a little dance? Oooh, oooh, are you satisfied now? Are you satisfied with my little dance, you bureaucratic shit?!"

Daniel: "Well, that wasn't really a dance."

Sammael: "Oh, you wanted a real dance, did you, you officious bugger?! I'm sorry, clearly you wanted me to bring a jazz quartet in here and a line of chorus girls to accompany me through a rendition of 'O, What a Beautiful Morning!' Well, I'm afraid I can't do any better, because I somehow got the apparently mistaken impression that this was a Systems Analyst job, not a bloody audition! Christ, your type makes me want to puke a fat one!"

Daniel: "Look, I'm sorry, but I really don't think we have a place in our company for you."

Sammael: "Okay, well, what if I sucked you off?"

Daniel: "What did you just say to me? I think you should leave now before I..."

Sammael: "Listen well. You know what this is? This is the first prize trophy of the All-County Cock Sucking Championships. The judges said I was like a vacuum cleaner with a pufferfish on the end. Meet me out front in twenty minutes and you will have the most mind-blowing thirty seconds of your life. Twenty minutes. Out front. Pufferfish."

(Sammael walks away)

Daniel: "Okay, now I just have to figure out if that was a man or a woman."

Fin

ScreenshotsEdit

The Witcher 1

The interface is just a few steps shy of Microsoft Access in terms of friendliness

The Witcher 2

This is a mumorpuger!

The Witcher 3

I couldn't play it for more than a couple of hours before deciding I had to do my laundry or wash the gimp

External LinksEdit

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey

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