Ah, The Witcher 1, a game that's rough around the edges, gangly, and utterly idiosyncratic. But let me tell you, it's fine just the way it is. However, the folks over at Fool's Theory think otherwise. They are planning an open-world remake of this CDPR classic from 2007, and it seems they're not afraid to smooth out some of the, shall we say, more awkward parts.
In a delightful chat with Edge magazine (via GamesRadar), Jakub Rokosz, the CEO of Fool's Theory, revealed his burning desire to give The Witcher 1 the justice it deserves. And that means taking a clear-eyed look at the game's shortcomings. "First and foremost," Rokosz said, "we need an honest, down-to-earth analysis of which parts are simply bad, outdated, or unnecessarily convoluted and need to be remade." But fear not, dear Witcher fans, they also plan to preserve the parts that are great and cannot be discarded.
Now, Rokosz didn't explicitly mention which parts he finds wanting or which parts deserve a standing ovation, but we can make some educated guesses. Let's start with the combat system, shall we? The original game had a combat system that was, well, let's just say it was absolutely buckwild. It was like a pseudo-rhythm game where you had to click at a particular cadence to defeat your enemies. Not exactly the most intuitive or straightforward approach when compared to the smoother third-person melee combat of the later Witcher games.
But let's get to the meat of the matter, shall we? The first Witcher game is known for its great scenes, clever writing, and...oh, those infamous sex cards. If you're blissfully unaware of this in 2024, let me enlighten you. The first Witcher game took an impressively adolescent approach to romance. Geralt, our valiant hero, had the pleasure of engaging with almost every woman he encountered (or at least it felt that way). And if he pursued any of these romantic encounters to their natural conclusion, he was rewarded with a delightful baseball-style trading card. Picture it: instead of Bill Ripken and his controversial bat, you'd find one of the game's women in a state of undress. How charmingly risible, right?
Luckily, CDPR realized that this approach had an expiration date and toned it down (mostly) in the subsequent games. But what was eye-roll-worthy in 2007 would be downright pathetic nearly two decades later. I can't help but think that Rokosz has those infamous cards—and the treatment of women in the game—in mind when he talks about outdated elements. Now, obviously, the answer to this conundrum would be to balance it out with firemen's calendar-style cards of Zoltan Chivay. But alas, I suspect that the only trading cards you'll find in The Witcher 1 remake will be of the Gwent variety.
So, as Fool's Theory takes on the daunting task of remaking The Witcher 1, we can expect a game that retains the magic of the original while addressing its quirks. The combat system will likely receive a much-needed facelift, bidding farewell to the eccentric rhythm-based mechanics. And as for those infamous sex cards, well, it's safe to assume they'll be left behind in the past, where they belong. Instead, we might get a delightful collection of Gwent cards to satisfy our trading card cravings.
In the end, The Witcher 1 remake promises to be a fresh and revitalized experience. It will be a testament to the fine art of game development, ensuring that the game's flaws are polished away while preserving the essence that made it a classic in the first place. So, let's raise our swords and prepare to dive back into the world of Geralt, where monsters lurk, romance blooms, and firemen's calendar cards are but a distant memory.