3scapism, let me just say, your review was one of the most fun reviews I've ever read. Your prose is legendary, your grammar perfect, your English the work of a million Shakespeares. Now, let me write the average man's review.
This game is fun. Let me tell you all, I just finished it for the first time about an hour ago. The ending had me yelling out loud "Yeah! Kick his ass!" I was transported to a possible apocalyptic future, forced to fight a sorcerer/blademaster on his own terms, and then, after destroying him, forced to fight Death Himself. What followed was one of the better fight scenes I've ever seen, leaving the game open for a sequel of course.
We've all heard about the problems with this game. Yes, there are crashes. Yes, there are glitches. Yes, there are times when you have no idea what to do next. But let me remind you of a game called Daggerfall, which, despite its numerous glitches, crashes, and bugs, received an A grade from this very site. The Witcher reminds me in some ways of Daggerfall. While it is not as open-ended, it has the same gritty, dirty feel that the game by Bethesda did.
On my rig, which was top of the line about 3 years ago, I was able to run this game at medium settings. It's no Crysis, but it is a beast nonetheless. In some of the more massive fight scenes there was notable slowdown, coupled with delayed reactions that had me clicking to attack a second before the actual attack took place. I, however, refused to lower my settings as this game is absolutely lovely. Do you remember standing on top of a hill in Oblivion and being able to see for miles? This game has those same scenic vistas. Yes, the load times are atrocious, but the first patch out helped fix those dramatically.
As for the "Sex Cards..." Well goddamn, finally a game in which my corny lines got me somewhere. I, for one, enjoyed the little side quests whose only reward was my character getting a piece of ass. More power to him I say. The cards never actually showed anything R rated, and there's definitely more nudity in Mass Effect, and WAAAAY more nudity in the aforementioned Daggerfall. It was just fun to see a bikini-clad wood nymph and talk my way into getting into her "pants". You know you want to try it.
I feel like I could play the game again from the beginning and have an entirely new experience. From the start, choices are made that will affect the game far down the road. The main struggle in the game is between humans and nonhumans (dwarves and elves). As a Witcher, you are neither, and so you must choose between taking a side and remaining neutral. Any of these choices really do affect the outcome of the game. I plan on playing through it again and choosing to help the nonhumans this time.
So, to sum up, I give this game an A-. It was fun. I will play through it again, despite the first play-through taking more than 60 hours. It crashed to desktop a few times, and there were other times when I just didn't know what my next goal was, but those are the breaks. I really, really enjoyed this game.
And FYI, I'm 25 years old, and I've been playing RPG's since I was seven.
Good luck to you all,