19 Aug 2013

Media - The Witcher ... and Wolverine

When I read the original releases on the first game under the Witcher title I was impressed. A mature RPG with a slew of great gameplay elements and tons of depth. An open world to explore with plenty of grey lines to walk all over. The Bioware right and wrong was absent.

I wanted to play the Witcher. Poor english translations and all.

Then they came out with the second game, Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. I heard nothing but great things from this game. Once again I held back and waited, other things were at the fore of my attention and it was always 'when I have time/money' sputtering from my lips when I mentioned the game.

Witcher 3: Wild Hunter is coming out soon.

Why am I still a maybe?

I lothe Wolverine most of the time. The mysterious super killer with a past, resigned hunter of men, with a tortured conscience of past violent sins is ... boring. Geralt of Rivia is another Wolverine at his worst. I enjoy him dispensing questionable moral judgement through some brilliant action scenes much like the video above but still something of a dislike tugs at me.

I did buy the second game off of Steam and my Mac struggles with the game. If I'm to be playing the games, I'll be sticking with my Xbox 360. Another notch in a well worn belt unwilling to loosen.

I like the idea that the first two Witcher books, called the Witcher Saga by some English folks, lead up to his discovery by his order but he is without his memories - Damn it!

I'm not saying Geralt is Wolverine, but the stories are being cut from the same wet cloth used by many to make the mysterious character one of depth by lazy storytelling.

Let me show you a better use of the same type of character but with a few changes.

Bryan Mills of the Taken series. Yes he is a bad ass older grump who is skilled at ignoring the morals alongside with his unique brand of violence. His past is a mystery but it's classified. He makes mention of it but never all out with few specifics and less detail. Always vague, always a mystery... the viewers fill in the blanks. It makes him scary, it makes him seem more dangerous.

John Creasy of Man on Fire. Once more an experience gent with a unique code of values that allow him to go on a killing spree with little remorse towards human life. Our violent fantasy is excused by the righteous reason to hunt down those who stole innocence. His past haunts him, the first forty minutes of the film drive the viewers to question if the trailer lie. Tony Scott took his time layering and setting up Creasy. He has a past, it's violent, it's slowly driving him mad. Yet the unsaid is far more effective compared to the 'amnesiac' killer syndrome.

Marc Slayton aka Backlash created by Brett Booth and Jim Lee. My favorite comic character of all time. He has a huge 3000 year old past that is like swiss cheese in his mind. He's been special forces doing US covert Ops dirty work when he was with Team 7. He moves on to Stormwatch as their lead instructor before going solo. He is one of the best hand to hand fighters in the Wildstorm universe. He is a tough grumpy (3000 years) old man. Yet... he does not languish on the past he does remember. He's made poor life choices and he lives with it. Their is a mystery but it's used to solidify the character within the world. He loves, tries to get hitched... twice. He gets beaten up so badly he lost his leg. Same idea as above yet with more character. The folks that wrote Backlash decided to not to go lazy. They use his background and his poor memories as reasons for him to be much more light hearted, joy/peace seeking than the folks I've made mention above. Marc just wants to rest and enjoy life and never has let it torture him like good old Logan.

I could go on for weeks dedicating a whole post on one Wolverine styled old, memory eternal grumpy bad ass and compare it to more creative uses of some of the tropes without making the character a cliche.

I don't want to play because of the idea of the main character puts me off... as boring. I've seen it done way too many times.

I'm keeping my eyes open still, wondering when I'll see a cheap copy of the game make itself seen at the local gameshop. I'll ponder that moment and make the choice... is this worth jumping in.

Am I willing to put up with a fantasy medieval Wolverine to enjoy the game?

I'm still thinking.

Looks good... but still.