Which probably means I’m going to get my arse kicked for not loving it quite as much as everyone else.
It’s a review I’ll admit I struggled with, finding myself caught between the rock of real excitement at all the options the game offers and the hard place of extreme annoyance at some of the decisions Bethesda made – many of which are direct hangovers from Oblivion and are a bit more galling second time around. Particularly, I’m hyper-sensitive to not-quite-there characterisation in RPGs, and tend to feel that if you can’t make the acting absolutely spot-on, you’re better off with subtitles. (On that note, I enjoyed the Witcher EE quite a bit more with the still-awful English dialogue turned off in favour of subtitled Polish.) While it’s the 360 version I reviewed, I wrote and scored with the PC version (and this ol’ platform’s vast RPG heritage) in mind, which is possibly one reason I’m a little less super-enthusiastic than consolefolk, for whom this’ll be a bit more of a diamond in the rough.
I’ll talk more about it here later I’m sure, but short answer – a fabulous world and certainly not the mindless action game the more vocal anti-Bethesda lobby had pegged it has, but some of the lousy production values and the absolute necessity for ultra-violence keep me from truly loving it. A unquestionable must-play (even, I think, for the most rabid anti-Oblivion AIM) and a gift to explorers, but God, what a bit more slap’n’polish could have done for it. I absolutely cannot wait to see what the mod community manages to do with such a great world design, though.