The Witcher: Monster Slayer live review

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When he first published The Witcher in 1986, Andrzej Sapkowski never expected his first novel to do so well. Ignoring the success of the book franchise, his works spawned three main series video games, a spin-off card game, a critically acclaimed TV show, and now The Witcher: Monster Slayer, an augmented reality game ( AR) which racked up a million downloads in its first week, achieving $ 500,000 in sales. Not bad for a first novel!

The Witcher: Monster Slayer brings you all the real-world fun of Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, just with the grunts, gore, and foul talk of the franchise we know and love. The question is, how does “Witcher Go” compare to these more established AR games?

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Grunts in Witcher

You are a recently graduated witcher from Wolf School, you set off and immediately meet a merchant who is your replacement for Dandelion from the Netflix series and helps you on your first quest. From there you team up, like in the TV show, which basically means being followed by a chatty (Irish) Skelliger, who you sometimes growl at while ticking off very well-written and voiced quests in exchange for coins. cash. So far, so Witcher.

Sadly, as of now, the established tradition is draped around the franchise as loosely as Yennefer’s peak in the series. The gameplay and the need to generate cash for the developers soon begins to fight the established tradition.

There are a few important facts to know about wizards. They are superhuman monster slayers who have left their humanity behind in exchange for a series of extremely painful (and often deadly) mutations that help them kill the monsters that humans fear. In this game, you often get fucked in the ass by the monsters you are fighting. You will die, quickly and often.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer Adventure

Prepare like a Monster Slayer

If you want to stand a chance in a fight, there are a few things you need to do to prepare for it. First of all, you need to know what to bring into battle. Wizards carry two swords – one in silver (for monsters) and one in steel (for everything else). It’s sort of a trademark. Unfortunately, you left school without the silver sword, so you start with an arm tied behind your back.

This leaves you with the other two parts: the oils and the potions. Preparation is so essential to the franchise that the trailer for the first game begins with Geralt drinking a potion, the toxicity ripping through his veins before he picks up his sword. It’s as important as it is iconic, so it’s faithfully recreated on the Netflix show.

In this game you slam potions like club shots without any toxicity.

So what about oils? These are concoctions applied to swords, two or three drops at a time, which aid you in your battle against certain types of monsters. Here, rather than doing a batch that lasts multiple battles, you just smash it on your sword like a sportsman on a fraternal night.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer monetization

Flip a coin to your Witcher Merchant

You’ll know why that’s when I tell you that potions and oils cost money. Of course, you can craft them by gathering ingredients, but that in itself requires killing monsters. The coins you get from completing quests or your daily missions only earn you 50 coins, while a single battle against a medium level enemy can cost you around 120 coins. Even with the 25% off the game gives you when it automatically equips what you need in the store – there’s a reason your companion is a merchant, not a bard.

Bosses at the end of quests usually require a large investment. If you die you lose everything and the enemy heals to the max.

This leaves the annoying dichotomy between actually wanting to play the game, which constantly saps your parts reserves, and saving for the best weapons and armor, which are immediately available, but cost around £ 50 in total.

There are other ways to increase your stakes in combat, such as mastering parry. However, even a perfect parry will cause you to take a lot of damage, which means you still have to be on the attack. If you attack too fast, the game will not register your parry in time.

There is an RPG element to that, with levels and skill points you can invest in upgrading your character, but it’s really such an ordeal. I don’t know if I can continue playing it.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer Fight

Fight bugs, not monsters

It is ultimately a game with a lot of potential that is totally wasted. It’s something the beta community seems to echo, with very few monsters or features added since January and ongoing stability issues causing headaches.

Pokémon Go players love to hate the game for its myriad of bugs and glitches, but it ignores the issues here – never before have I played such a volatile AR game. Running it in the background (if you switch apps or stop using your phone as a phone) causes it to crash about half the time. It also crashed a few times while taking screenshots for this review, which is particularly unfortunate.

The quests are also buggy and poorly designed, which is probably the last nail in the coffin. The Witcher requires you to wander around, but you can’t just click everything you can in Pokémon Go. Instead, each quest sends you to a certain location on a sparsely populated world map, usually somewhere around a mile away – I had a playground, the middle of a river, and a railroad track, none of which are ideal. While you can move quests around if you get far enough away from them, that comes with its own potential issues, especially if you live in a more difficult part of town.

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