Downloading a Vacation

I don’t often buy and/or play extra downloaded content for games. Basically, I’m cheap. I don’t want to pay any more than I already have. More usually it’s a matter of having spent upward of 150 hours exploring the world and being done. I want to move on to the next game. I also have this stubborn (and cheap) belief that if the content is important to the original story, it should have been included. For free. Continue reading “Downloading a Vacation”

Gaming: Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Warning: I’ve tried not to spoil the game, but if you haven’t played it, or finished it, you may want to stop reading now. 🙂

I’ve been looking forward to Wild Hunt since I finished Assassin of Kings. I was keen to continue Geralt’s story and to see what CD Projekt Red could do to improve on an already superlative gaming experience.

I came to these games in a roundabout manner. While fully immersed in the world of Dragon Age (BioWare), I ran across a comment likening the Wardens to Witchers. A little research unearthed a series of novels and games loosely following around The Witcher, otherwise known as Geralt of Rivia. I ordered the first game and book and the rest, as they say, is history. Continue reading “Gaming: Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”

Review: The Last Wish

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Geralt of Rivia is a witcher—acquired (stolen?) as a child and subjected to a form of mutation. Witchers are fed toxins and undergo rituals. The survivors develop immunity to the toxins and gain certain abilities as a result. They are designed for a single purpose—the hunt and slaughter of monsters, magical and otherwise—and spend their lives seeking contracts to that end. Geralt is quick-witted and talented with sword and sign (a form of hex magic which gives him several advantages in combat). His swords are imbued with magic and with the aid of poisons, he is a near invincible warrior. He can be a cold-blooded killer and completely mercenary in his pursuit of monsters. But as the tales collected in The Last Wish show, not everything monstrous is evil and beauty can be deceiving.

A series of loosely connected tales, The Last Wish serves as an introduction to a universe I encountered in the computer games, The Witcher and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. Written fourteen years before the first game, Sapkowski’s books have been adapted to comics, graphic novels, a movie and a TV series. More recently, the first two novels were translated into English and released in conjunction with the games.

Aside from introducing us to an alternate universe of swords and sorcery with many familiar elements—elves, dwarves, wizards and monsters—the stories in The Last Wish toy with well-known folklore. Tales like Beauty and the Beast and Snow White (to name just two) have been pulled apart and rebuilt for Sapkowski’s world and fit well with his lore. I enjoyed that aspect of the book as much as I did learning more about Geralt.

Continue reading “Review: The Last Wish”