The first Witcher game! This is not where it begins, it begins in the books but that is not important. What is important is that you don't have to know anything about the witcher universe to appreciate and enjoy this game.
Now it took me 3 years to finish this, not because it would be that lenghty! But because I've been recording this for youtube... Alongside many other games and sometimes I've just had a "break" with The Witcher for a while. I have also been playing on standalone DRM free version for a while so my hours played do not reflect the game's lenght.
There are grand total of 5 chapters to clear + prologue end epilogue and of course many side quests to complete. I've been doing most of the side-quests and it was my first playthrough. We have 53 videos here, each ~30-32m long so we are looking at something about 26 hours in total (I've been also cuting out backtracking/repeated fights etc etc) so I'd say you are looking at 30-40h adventure in this one for 9.99 (this game is also often on sale, so it's basicly a steal).
The game is quite old now but it still looks absolutely gorgeous, if you are able to run this on maxed out settings, you are not going to be dissapointed. The Witcher series are known for their outstanding graphics for the time they are released after all. It's like Final Fantasy series and their cutscenes, always out of this world.
The story is interesting, it starts you off as the Witcher that is brought back basicly to his "home" which is a Castle where all the Witchers are trained. Our protagonist doesn't remember anything about his past and he have been missing for a long time already. Instead of a nice relaxing day something is going to happen. Strange group of people break in and they are after the mutagens that are necesary for a human to become a Witcher. Witchers have almost superhuman abilities and can drink potions that would kill an ordinary human, of course someone would be after this "power". So you take on a Journey and you are after these people. It's going to get really complicated and you'll have to kill alot of beasts, monsters and people to get to the conclusion. You'll also have a few moments to spend with some nice ladies that you meet along the way. I've been told that there are more ending. At the end you are basicly told what happened.
Now the combat system. I found this part to be weak or at least weaker than the rest of the game's mechanics. Sure there's some depth in it. You have a steel sword for humans, silver sword for mutants/monsters etc. Witch each sword The Witcher can use 3 styles for big slow monsters/people, for small fast monsters/people and for fighting a large group. If you are not sure what to use at a specific moment, you might find yourself dead pretty soon as witcher might not be able to lande a hit if you are attacking this small dude with a style that's ment for big encounters. You also have signs (is that how it's called in English?) basicly magic. There's 6 of them I believe but I found myself using mostly Igni and igni only (it shoots flames in a wide area that damages and catches your enemies on fire). So you can switch between those too. but it's rather simple as far as the actuall fight goes. you click a monster and you wait untill the sword icon (that's basicly your mouse cursor) changes so you know you can click again and The Witcher will continue his successful hits, there's nothing to it really.
Than you have a chance to do some alchemy and craft potions that will help you in many situations like dark areas so you can see like a cat. Or simple things like health regen, instant healing etc. Than you have special potions that you can craft only after you kill a certain boss. Usually giving you some talent points. For each level you get talent points that you can spend to improve your skills. The skills are quite interesting. Adding more combos for your styles or more effects to your abilities (magic/signs), nothing boring like "+3 strenght" so big + for that!
And you do all of this while meditating. You need a fireplace or a campfire to meditate. I feel like this is unnecesary but it also makes sense. Witcher meditates and focuses his energy to gain more power, yeah but it's just prolonging the process and it can be quite confusing at first. Nothing you can't get used to mind you!
The conclusion; If you don't own this game and you like RPGs, get this! It's a fun game that still looks great and it's cheap as potatoes. While the combat systeam and meditation mechanics might not be the best, they are nothing you can't get over and just enjoy the great, easy to follow story.