12 Splendid Things About The Witcher 2

By Alec Meer on April 29th, 2011 at 1:58 pm.

Also, fighting men in pubs

Both myself and Jim have recently been exploring preview code for upcoming dirty fantasy RPG The Witcher 2, which comprised the first two sections of the game. We both found ourselves simpering away like tabloid newspapers at a royal wedding in response to it; we are cynical men by nature, but so far The Witcher 2 has defeated that. Jim’s preview is here, but it’s well worth distilling our experiences down to some of the game’s most impressive aspects. The Witcher 1 may have been a little bit divisive despite the generally fond sentiment towards it, but right now it’s looking as though the second game is exactly what the starving roleplaying hordes have been praying for. Here are just a few good reasons why we’re all a-quiver- and hopefully the full game holds yet more.

1. Geralt = Clint Eastwood (more Unforgiven-era than Rawhide-era). I wasn’t sure about him in the first game – he seemed a mix of tortured hero stereotype and cocky lech, but he’s had a bit of a character redesign as well as a new face for thes second game. He’s still macho and self-assured, but resigned and battered, not too talkative, even a little bit torn about what’s the right thing to do, rather than just a surly hard-nut with a mysterious past. He does a wee bit of wise-cracking, and he’s also prone to rolling eyes about other people’s fancy talks and stupid ideas. Rather than forever being ‘I am master of all I survey’, he’s got a vague air of “oh for God’s sakes, not again.”

2. Almost every potion has a negative effect, in addition to the fact that drinking one briefly poisons you. What might add health reduces your magical energy, or vice-versa, while one that lets you see in the dark for a few minutes makes emerging into daylight a painful experience. It’s chemical gambling, choosing what sacrifices you make in the name of success, rather than the dubiously neat’n'perfect potions of fantasy tradition. You also can’t down something in the middle of a fight (really, when does that ever happen in reality?), but instead have to prepare beforehand. You plan your fights rather than simply blindly react to adversity – and you may well get your pale arse kicked if you don’t.

3. It’s packed with Welshmen, and assorted other regional British accents. This suits the general low fantasy, colloquial air of the game – there’s not too much in the way of prissy, clipped Lord of the Rings tones, which makes it much more convincing. Although it must be said that the occasionally open American accent is a little jarring – Geralt is relatively restrained, but his on-off sex-partner Triss sounds entirely out of place.

4. Brute force will only get you so far – You’ll need specific tools to truly defeat specific monsters and quests. Nekker (tunneling zombie-goblin thingies) can be relatively easily dispatched with a sword, but they’ll keep on spawning from nests unless you find the right ingredients to construct the right bombs to finally close off those ‘orrible portals to the undergound. Giant spiders, meanwhile, will keep showing up in droves unless you find a way to lure out and murder their queens. That’s not an easy fight, but a slew of other traps (explosive, snappy, flamey, stunny) might just keep you alive if you have chance to set ‘em up before the big brute scuttles your way…

5. Dragons and krakens oh my… The game wastes no time in introducing you to really, really big’n'ugly stuff that requires complex tactics to defeat. This isn’t beating up kobolds in the woods, but a game of high stakes and high spectacle. And that’s just the first chapter – the later game is doubtless laden with new setpiece horrors.

6. Granted this was introduced in the first game, but the dramatically improved writing and acting means it’s more convincingly explored this time around. Elves and dwarves aren’t the charming, friendly chappies of this particular fantasy world – they’re outsiders, looked upon by the governing humans with contempt at best and violent prejudice at worst. Fairly early on in the game, you need to make decisions about whether you sympathise with a group of bitter elves who are essentially terrorists, or side with a human governor who’s working to protect his people but is openly racist in his attitudes. It’s not easy. The elves (and to a lesser extent so far dwarves) are violently angry about their treatment, and righteously so – but that means other lives are placed in danger. This is a morally complex world, with no easy answers.

7. It’s astonishing to look at – doubly so if your graphics card is up to Ultra settings, but even medium and high looks pretty spectacular. This is one of those all-too-rare games where the PC’s technological superiority over its console fun-box cousins simply can’t be denied. It’s designed to be a PC game, to make the very best of the PC, and it shows -from the remarkable amounts of detail on the characters (you’ll wince at the scars and wounds on Geralt’s torso) to the rays of orange-yellow light through the dense forest at sunset and sunrise. The Witcher 2 may well be one of the best-looking games in history, and not purely on a technical level. In addition, the vast bulk of the world streams quietly in the background, mean you can wander across huge areas of beautiful landscape without encountering any loading screens. On that level, it’s been very strange to have played Witcher 2 preview code in the same week as I played Portal 2…

8. The collection and construction of mega-loot is a proper and satisfying quest in itself. For instance, collecting a certain amount of Endraga jaws to build a powerful sword, or scouring local traders for rare materials to create a new set of armour. It’s all done off your own back, in your own interest, not just because some near-motionless goon with a quest arrow has inexplicably demanded you collect 12 pig testicles for him. It’s meaningful to you, not to a silent NPC.

9. Magic is woven into the fabric of this world, but again it’s not the noble, omnipotent, convenient splendour of other fantasies. It’s small, simple, tactical, dirty and weird. A powerful mage casting a protection spell (which prettily transforms incoming arrows into butterflies) swiftly results in her collapsing seconds later – humans were not meant to wield such power. Geralt, meanwhile, has immediate access to around a half dozen spells which only ever enhance rather than replace his swordplay. A small gust of force might keep enemies at bay, a burst of flame could soften up a shielded guy enough to find an opening, or the mind-control spell might bewilder one of several attackers for long enough that you can get out of a pinch. Visually and effectively, these are small, simply tools to even the odds, not to dominate them. It’s unusual to even see full-on magic in this world, let alone to wield it – and while Geralt can upgrade his powers significantly, he’s not going to be raining fire and summoning demons. This isn’t the X-Men, this is a guy who clobbers stuff with a sword but has a few parlour tricks to help out.

10. There’s not too much signposting of sidequests. This isn’t an artificial place waiting for you to turn up and fix all its problems – it’s there anyway, doing its own thing, and you have to make it work for you. Get out there and explore, chat to people, nose at billboards, create your own story through the game. No big yellow arrows to denote quests here, just a big, subtle world to figure you way through.

11. It’s a morally and politically complicated place, on a micro to a macro level. Is slaying a murderous troll under a bridge necessarily a good idea, given he could legitimately keep bad sorts from entering town if only you can talk him out of whatever blood-crazed doldrums he’s in? Is a king who’s sired bastard children and embarked on arguably unnecessary wars a bad king, or does his general conviction and generosity make him a better ruler than most? Or is he just a man, and should be thought of as such? There’s an awful lot of politics in the Witcher 2; unfortunately some of it is near nonsensical to newcomers (a serious worry about the game is it presumes everyone has played and finished the original Witcher) but many fascinating bigger pictures emerge once you dig in. Its interest in dark politicking, wrestling with prejudice and grand conspiracy means it’s immediately a whole lot more interesting than the usual “walk over there to save the world” claptrap.

12. Sword fighting is visceral and tactical – it’s a mix of player skill and quick thinking and character skill (for instance, unlocking parrying skills and various extra attacks) rather than invisible dice rolls or the unusual timing mini-game of the first Witcher. It’s genuinely an action game within an RPG, and doesn’t seem to have compromised either aspect. Fighting is meaty and satisfying, and a good battle feels like a workout.

The Witcher 2 is released on May 17, and if we don’t get review code soon we’ll explode.

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190 Comments »

  1. SilverSilence says:

    Just curious, have you guys read any of the books? From the sounds of it the ‘world’ and Geralts character are much more similar to the books then in the first game.

    Which is a very good thing indeed.

    • Cradlejoe says:

      I get what you mean, in the first game it pretty much just follows Geralt (in that way it’s like the book of short stories) but The Witcher 2 looks more like the actual saga (I’ve only read the one that’s been translated) in the sense that it encompasses a whole lot of events that are affecting the world.

    • qrter says:

      Two books have been translated into English:

      The Last Wish (short story collection)

      Blood of Elves (full length novel)

    • Lobotomist says:

      I read the books ( translated ones – why they dont translate the rest is beyond me ) and seen the TV series (again fan translated)

      What CDP done to Witcher story is amazing.

      They are not playing story of the books , nor do they change it. The game is what could be only described as new chapter , new book. (although first game is somewhat inspired by plot of one of the witcher books)

      Some characters are from the books , some are new. Deeds from the books are mentioned often.

      Honestly , ever since i played the first game and read the books , i became raving fan of Witcher and its universe. Its easily my favorite fantasy after Tolkien. Even Better than great Song of Fire and Ice

    • qrter says:

      I just read that a third translation has been planned for somewhere in 2013.. – Times of Contempt.

    • TNG says:

      I second that Lobotomist, but Andrzej Sapkowski’s work is much less known than G.R.R. Martin’s so you’ll always have people loving Song of Fire and Ice for its “innovation” while neglecting the Witcher. If more people read the Witcher and saw how great it was, maybe GRR would have another incentive to write the remaining books of his series :p
      Fortunately a Spanish translation of the whole series came out some years ago that allowed me to read it (with my trusty spanish dictionary by my side). There are also Portuguese(Brazilian), French and German versions of at least the first books out there. Get to it people!
      And Times of Contempt was supposed to have been released last year in English but was pushed back to April 2011 (according to Wikipedia) or “sometime in 2012″ (according to the Witcher Wiki). Plus, for some reason that I can’t understand, they didn’t translate the second short stories collection, the Sword of Destiny that came before Blood of Elves… So if you’re waiting for the english version, you’re missing some great stuff.

    • Wizlah says:

      | used to work for Gollancz, the UK publishers of Sapkowski’s stuff, and I asked them if they were likely to be doing any new titles soon – they said that it looked to be 2012. I was surprised it would take quite that long given the hype now surrounding the game – Gollancz’s editorial team are generally pretty on stuff like this – but I can see multiple reasons for publication being pushed back – an author unhappy with a translation being the most obvious. Before you know it, publication date has slipped back a year.

    • Lobotomist says:

      I know that Michael Moorcock writer of Elric of Melnibone sued Witcher for plagiarism.
      Claiming its idea is lifted from Elric (both are albino and called White Wolf)

      When i commented how ridiculous it was on his official blog and forums, they removed my post.

      I dont know if they have any problem with that (how much insane claim it seems to be) but it may be the problem

    • Unaco says:

      I don’t know how credible Moorcock’s complaints can be, when the character of Elric himself was based on Monsieur Zenith… a cynical, albino, world-weary, ennui filled, sword fighting gentleman thief. The saga was also based heavily on a certain Finnish mythical character, who I forget, as well as the works of Poul Anderson.

      As for the English translations… I first saw a Spring 2011 date for the 3rd book (Times of Contempt), then a late 2011, and now an early 2012 date. It does seem a little odd that the translations are taking such a long time, especially with the hype and interest in them with the two games. However, when you look at it, I can see why they’d want to take their time with it. Apparently, some of the translations have suffered somewhat from something of a rush to market… they haven’t been translated well. Translation isn’t as simple as just changing the words from one language to another, and to make a good translation is often harder than writing the novel in the first place… it’s kind of like writing a new novel, but having to stick to an already written novel, it requires a lot of creativity, but also sticking to something rigid and predefined. For the English market, which is likely to be the 2nd largest market for the books, next to the Polish original, I can see why they’d want to take their time, and make them as close to perfect as they can. A rush job and a bad translation is going to leave a sour taste, and probably ruin the whole thing for many people. So, I say let them take their time, and do it right.

      Another reason I heard whispers of, is that the translating author, Danusia Stok, has other commitments, and other works… the Witcher translations are not her sole engagements currently.

      I’m cool with waiting… I’m waiting on a lot of books just now… waiting on this, waiting on A Dance with Dragons, waiting on the end of the Wheel of Time (and the Towers of Midnight Paperback. 13 Books all in the same printing and now I have to buy the last two and have them look totally out of place on my shelf next to all the others). Patience is a virtue.

  2. Andy_Panthro says:

    Very much looking forward to it.

    Just need to finish the first one! (on act 3 at the moment…)

    I just hope the combat is better. Not a huge fan of the first game’s combat.

    • Bhazor says:

      The combat gets better when it starts mixing groups up more and you have to change stance with every other move. But yeah I’m definitely hoping for an improvement that keeps the same Arkham style group dynamic.

  3. Loix says:

    TAKE MY MONEY… TAKE ALL OF IT

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Done. Thanks!

    • Fredrik Sellevold says:

      I am very seriously considering buying a new PC, not exclusively, but first and foremost so I can boost The Witcher to the Second level of graphics. It’s been a very long time since a game had me this excited. :)

      Oh, and btw; the 17th is the Norwegian national day. Most auspicious!

  4. Mr_Hands says:

    Okay, this might have actually gotten me really excited for the Witcher 2. Especially after the sour taste Dragon Age II left in my mouth. :(

    • Whitechip says:

      Why can’t I read a single article without someone complaining about DA2.
      Here is some advice GET OVER IT.

    • juandemarco says:

      Getting over the disappointment of DA2 is like getting over that, as a kid, you were expecting a Transformers robot toy for your birthday and got a chinese ripoff instead. That’s the kind of disappointment I felt.

    • gganate says:

      Everyone’s been complaining about how bad Dragon Age 2 is, so I plan on being pleasantly surprised when I finally play it a couple months from now, when it comes down in price.

    • orangedragon says:

      DA2 is just a painful reminder of how much Bioware has changed and how I’ll never get to play something like BG2 from them ever again. Boo.

    • Robert says:

      I’d say it’s expecting an XBOX and getting a Playstation, or vice versa.

    • MattM says:

      If the kid-me had gotten a PS1 when I had been expecting a Xbox I probably would have been disappointed. By the time the Xbox was out the ps1 was six years old.

    • Rinox says:

      @ Ggnate

      You can pick up Dragon Age II for 12-ish already on mail order sites like play.com or amazon (which is quite telling really). I’m personally waiting for a 5-7 quid range Steam sale though.

    • anonymousity says:

      Oh no someone compares a game they had a legitimate dislike that they had looked forward to another game they are looking forward to, just don’t read the post jeeze.

  5. BobsLawnService says:

    Sounds good except for the waves of baddies spawning until you find the magic bomb/potion/trick/location to kill their spawn point. This sort of thing generally becomes something of a chore after a while. Any respawining enemies should be carefully thought through.

    • Ian says:

      For me it depends on whether they’re spawning instantly or if it just means an area won’t stay cleared in the longer term. The latter makes sense, and I can live with it.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Only Bioware game that i played 1/2 and uninstalled

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      I think it’s a good idea since bombs were of little or no consequence at all in the first Witcher – you could just pop a potion and go wading into a crowd with swords and expect to handle everything even on hard settings. Using a bomb was purely optional eye candy, and the talent was often not even skilled to maximize points elsewhere.

  6. Joshua says:

    1. Some glimpses of this in the first game as well, especially with Anvil and romancing Shani.

    2. Sounds COOL :D

    3. That is perhaps because Triss is quite off. I am quite sure she is not of the region the game takes place in. A foreigner, so to speak.

    6. I liked this about the Witcher. Circles of violence and all that.

    11. You are talking about Foltest,right? I don’t care what kind of political issues he gets into. That guy is completely and utterly awesome.

    • Havok9120 says:

      I agree that Foltest is 186 different kinds of awesome. But we know that Geralt ends up in a Temerian prison AFTER he is protecting the King during the assault. I’m afraid that Foltest is going to die very early on.

      And I’m gonna be soooooo pissed if I’m right.

  7. juandemarco says:

    So… I guess this means I’ll have to finish the first game… ah, sorry Mass Effect, I’ll have to neglect you for a while…

  8. Tunips says:

    The last part of 11: Ah. I should get on that. I think I stopped playing when I had to make the choice between giving the magic boy to one of the two wenches. I really liked that’s Geralt’s reaction to his indecision was to go and get pissed with his mates, but somehow such a big branching point put me off.

  9. Ohle says:

    … drool. Pretty sad to be this excited for a game I may not be able to play on my PC :(

  10. Wizardry says:

    Geralt = Clint Eastwood (more Unforgiven-era than Rawhide-era). I wasn’t sure about him in the first game – he seemed a mix of tortured hero stereotype and cocky lech, but he’s had a bit of a character redesign as well as a new face for thes second game. He’s still macho and self-assured, but resigned and battered, not too talkative, even a little bit torn about what’s the right thing to do, rather than just a surly hard-nut with a mysterious past. He does a wee bit of wise-cracking, and he’s also prone to rolling eyes about other people’s fancy talks and stupid ideas. Rather than forever being ‘I am master of all I survey’, he’s got a vague air of “oh for God’s sakes, not again.”

    Aren’t you supposed to define your character in an RPG?

    It’s genuinely an action game within an RPG, and doesn’t seem to have compromised either aspect.

    That’s actually an impossibility.

    • gganate says:

      What an rpg technically is varies from person to person, but really who cares? If it’s a good game, it’s a good game.

    • Soon says:

      The tension is killing me! Are you buying it or not?

    • bwion says:

      So, Wizardry, I’m curious. (Genuinely so, not pretending-to-be-curious-as-an-excuse-to-dogpile-on-you curious.)

      Which RPGs do you actually like? You’ve made it eminently clear that you don’t think much of the current crop of RPGs which, well, your preferences are your preferences, so fair enough. But which RPGs, preferably those released in, say, the last five years of so, got it right for you? Surely there must be *some*, yeah?

    • JackShandy says:

      You’ve made it quite clear that this game isn’t your cup of tea. Why are you still commenting on it? Do you intend to buy it despite it all?

    • Wizardry says:

      No way will I spend a penny on an action game like this, especially when it’s bigged up to be a tactical CRPG.

    • Chris D says:

      ‘..he’s got a vague air of “oh for God’s sakes, not again.”’
      I know how he feels.

    • Archonsod says:

      Ah, Wizardry reserves the right to strictly define an RPG as “games he likes”.

    • Wizardry says:

      @bwion: Which do I like? Stuff like Might & Magic, Wizardry, Darklands, Realms of Arkania, Pool of Radiance/Curse of the Azure Bonds/Secret of the Silver Blades/Pool of Darkness, Ultima, Dragon Wars, Wasteland, Fallout, Champions of Krynn/Death Knights of Krynn/Dark Queen of Krynn, Amberstar/Ambermoon, Magic Candle, Baldur’s Gate, Betryal at Krondor, Dark Sun: Shattered Lands/Wake of the Ravager, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment, Dark Heart Uurkul, Wizard’s Crown/Eternal Dagger, Phantasie, Arcanum, Temple of Elemental Evil, Bard’s Tale, Gateway to the Savage Frontier/Treasures of the Savage Frontier…

    • Wizlah says:

      Aye, Wizardy firmly rejects the idea of any action not determined at a stately pace by dice rolls and your characters skills. Anything to the contrary is not, apparently, role playing.

      Which is funny, because I thought that even if you did not generate a character, in exploring and making choices which interact with the world and affect the storyline, in the process interpreting the way you felt this character might behave, you were, in effect, playing a role.

      It makes me wonder how Wizardry would have got on with the many varieties of mechanics which abound in pen and paper rpgs, all of which face the same battle of trying to balance some kind of realism (stand up iron crown enterprises damage tables!) with facilitating role playing.

      It does make me think that what wizardy really likes is turn based tactical games, and that maybe he should recognise that these are not the same as role playing games.

    • Wizardry says:

      Aye, Wizardy firmly rejects the idea of any action not determined at a stately pace by dice rolls and your characters skills. Anything to the contrary is not, apparently, role playing.

      Why lie? I’ve said many times that role-playing games are not the same thing as actual role-playing. You are just resorting to making up shit. In other words, trolling.

    • Zakski says:

      I’m sorry Wizardry but I’m just not into pokemon http://xkcd.com/178/, seriously get over yourself, any video game can technically be defined as a role playing game, even if your only choice is which generic grunt to shoot first, or which path to take to your goal.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Sorry, but anyone qho quotes Temple of Elemental Evil as quality is automatically disqualified. From the internet.

      I’m only letting you off this time because you didn’t mention the ever hilarious Neverwinter Nights 2.

    • Wizlah says:

      Wizardry, I grew up with pen and paper rpg’s role playing games and tend to think of them as defining role-playing. You like the numbers and the tactical scope of turn based combat, that’s fine, but they do not define a role-playing game. They are an element, a product of modelling the world in which a story is being told and in which you are both participating and defining as the game moves on. To focus exclusively on them as the thing which defines an rpg is incorrect.

    • Wizardry says:

      @FunkyBadger3: With Co8? The game has a fantastic combat system.

      @Wizlah: If you choose to ignore everything I’ve ever said in RPS comments then that’s not my problem. Similarly, if you make things up about me then that’s also not my problem.

    • Berzee says:

      The thing to understand about Wizardry (the man, not the series) is that he is engaged in a long and tiring (not to say tiresome) war but he is NOT fighting for which games are good and which games are bad. He is fighting for the *meanings of words*. He knows that “RPG” used to have a clearer meaning in gaming circles, and especially a clear meaning to himself, and he wants to keep that definition.
      In other words, if you think he’s being ridiculous, it is far more accurate to call him a Pedant than to call him a Bigot. And if you think he’s being awesome, it is far more accurate to call him Precise than to call him Elite.
      The closest parallel I can think of is C.S. Lewis complaining about how the word “gentleman” used to have a real and specific meaning, and has been sort of boiled down to a redundant word for “nice man”, and, here is the key, NO OTHER WORD WAS MADE TO FILL THE GAP. See here: http://glenn.typepad.com/news/2003/08/cs_lewis_on_the.html
      We don’t have a word to mean what “gentleman” used to mean. Similarly, I hypothesize that Wizardry (the man, not the series) is worried that there will someday be no word at all to mean what RPG currently means to him. Precise, you see :) or Pedantic. Nothing like Elite, or a Bigot.
      I will be writing a more detailed biography and psychological profile in the future, except that’s a lie.

    • bwion says:

      @FunkyBadger3: There’s actually a decent game somewhere inside Temple of Elemental Evil, though it takes some serious fan-created modding to dig it out. (No one was more surprised by this than me.) It’s still by far Troika’s weakest effort, but it’s not quite as diabolical as its reputation.

      @Wizardry: Thanks. I’ll admit I’m a little surprised to see some (pausable) real-time games and at least one where you don’t get to create your own protagonist in that mix. Still, I suppose quality will out.

      Are any of those particularly recent games, though? I ask because I’m familiar with most, but not all, of that list, and I’m always on the lookout for a good new game. And while I pretty definitely don’t agree with you that actiony games can’t be RPGs, I certainly share your love of the more turn-based stats-heavy tactical approach as well.

    • Wizlah says:

      Wizardry, sorry if I’m paraphrasing you incorrectly. I’ve only seen the more recent comments you’re making. I do know you distinguish between a very narrow definition of what constitutes a computer role playing game, and the broader definition of role playing games in general, and that you feel that a turn based system which allows you to design your characters from scratch is essential to it being called an RPG, and that the latter is important because you feel you’re better playing the role of a character if the characters actions and abilities are not defined by your own skill.

      Which part am I getting wrong?

    • Berzee says:

      @Zakski: *HIGHFIVE*

      But….

      …what if I’M into Pokemon?

    • ZamFear says:

      This reminds me of Just Die, but replace crpg with action rpg, and pnp rpg with tactical rpg.

      “In other words, this article isn’t about actually preferring one to the other. You can prefer either. It’s the sneer in “real”. The “real” can go fuck itself.”

      “First does not mean primary or “real” any more than Epic Verse existing before Tragedy in ancient Greece is any more than a historical note.”

    • Bloodloss says:

      I agree with Wizardry. This clearly isn’t an RPG, and from what I’ve read on RPS there’s no choices and consequences and little character development. Oh I’m sure you will have plenty of choices, but Bioware style ones – choices that lead to exactly the same thing and make no difference whatsoever.

      I don’t really get how he cites glorified dungeon crawlers like Baldur’s Gate as good RPGs, though. And yes Bwion, unfortunately they don’t make good RPGs (or honestly, RPGs at all) these days. Dragon Age: Origins was a good effort, but they ruined that with DA2. The Mask of the Betrayer expansion to NWN2 was good (the original campaign was awful though). I have high hopes for Age of Decadence, an upcoming classic-style indie RPG. But god knows when that’ll be released.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Trolling?

      Like coming into every thread on a game you clearly don’t like and making provocative derogatory remarks about it then?

    • Wizardry says:

      @bwion: Knights of the Chalice is a couple of years old. It’s a small budget independent CRPG, though.

      But why do you only want to play new CRPGs when you’ve potentially missed out on many of the classics? It’s like when people get excited about games like The Witcher 2 and Skyrim because they’ve been waiting a long time for another CRPG to play, while at the same time having not played a CRPG older than Knights of the Old Republic (when CRPGs were actually good). I can understand that people want fancy graphics and modern interfaces, but at the expense of everything else? Surely not.

    • AndrewC says:

      I believe it was Kieron who ascribed to the idea that it was the obsessives that achieve the greatest things – and so the boorishness that so often comes with that obsession should always be forgiven.

      Thus we should blame Kieron. This is his fault.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      @Wizardry/Byron – only had the pleasure of playing ToEE straight outta tha box. Wild horses wouldn’t convince me to go back. It was only marginally more tedious than Ruins of Myth Drannor, and if anyone else can remember that than I commiserate with them…

    • Bureaucrat says:

      I don’t see point #12 as a positive, either. I’d almost certainly have more fun if the combat could be controlled entirely by pausing and issuing orders every few seconds. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I couldn’t suffer through it on an easier difficulty level and otherwise enjoy the game.

      I’ll probably play Witcher 2 at some point, but I’m not in any particular hurry. I didn’t find the first game to be as brilliant as some people did, and my CPU is right at the minimum spec, so I’ll see if it’s discounted after I get around to upgrading.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      @FunkyBadger3

      Ruins of Myth Drannor gets better after the first 10 hours or so. I’m serious. Most people give up after the twentieth identical group of zombies, though.

      That’s kind of sad, I know.

    • Archonsod says:

      “If you choose to ignore everything I’ve ever said in RPS comments then that’s not my problem. Similarly, if you make things up about me then that’s also not my problem.”

      You’ve said a couple of times the roleplaying is not central to an RPG. Which is a bit like saying the first person view and shooting aren’t important for an FPS.
      Just out of interest how would you differentiate between an RPG and turn based tactics such as say Jagged Alliance or X-Com without roleplaying?

    • Soon says:

      Do you consider rogue-likes a separate genre, Wizardry?

      Just that much of your list leans to the dungeon crawl/rogue-like side of things but lacks the more traditional rogue-like titles. In fact, they seem to be everything you’d enjoy.

    • theleif says:

      @Wizardry
      So, your basically saying that if a RPG isn’t based on D&D rules it is not an RPG. Thats pretty… anal?
      But then i come from a PnP RPG culture where rules and dice rolls are looked upon as a necessary evil, to use only in situations where you really can’t Role Play a situation. So i’m probably the weird one.

    • bwion says:

      @Wizardry

      Well, I’ve actually played a fair number of those games (though admittedly not all of them), and I’m not averse to going back to an older game when the mood takes me. (There are days when I’m really tempted to head over to GOG and say “I’ll have one of everything, thanks”.) I just figured that if anyone knew if someone was still making that sort of game, it’d be you :)

      Thanks for the note on Knights of the Chalice. I’ll have to track it down.

      As for Temple of Elemental Evil out of the box…yeah, that’s not something I’d wish on my worst enemy. (Fine combat system, rubbish whole-rest-of-game). The Circle of Eight fanpatch/mod improves matters substantially, though.

    • Kaira- says:

      Oh boy, “what is a RPG”-argument. I wrote this some time ago, and it contains my idea of what is a RPG.

      tl;dr:
      * saying that pre-made character can’t be roleplayed is bollocks
      * game should be more about character’s skills than player’s, or character’s skills should at least play major role
      * meaningful choices and consequences

      And considering The Witcher. The first game had dice-rolling when determining whether Geralt would hit or miss and also parrying and dodging were resolved in a similar manner. And as I stated above, I don’t think there’s any reason to say “you can’t roleplay an established character”. And TW was full of choices, though not always so different results. The Witcher is a more action-y take on RPGs, and I’m fine with that.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Ruins of Myth Drannor gets better after the first 10 hours or so. I’m serious.

      Man, and I thought I had it bad… ;-)

      Are the Krynn series still available/runnable these days?

    • FD says:

      I’m going to make a qualified defense of Wizardry on this, he is right in saying that the meaning of the word RPG has been diluted into almost meaninglessness. With the amount of genre blending we’ve seen in the past 5-6 years or so RPG is a tag that is liberally applied to any game with the concept of levels, which is to say, almost every game on the market.

      The easiest way to deal with this dilution is simply to note a distinction between tactical RPGs (turn-based) and action RPGs. I’m not a huge fan of the term action RPG as it to could probably stand some subclasses but for simply distinguishing between what Wizardry and others like him want and what the mass market calls RPG its an easy distinction to draw.

      Also @Bloodless, obviously can’t speak for The Witcher 2 but going by track record I expect the C&C to be pretty good based on The Witcher 1. The reason you probably haven’t heard about the impact of choices is because delayed response to choices is one of the gimmicks of the Witcher, a choice made in Chapter 1 can lock out sections of Chapter 2 and the choices compound nicely as the game progresses. There is room to be criticzed, the branching while impacting gameplay progression more then in most games never deviates too far from the broad thrust of the story and I think the painted, this happened because I did X, cinematics are a touch heavy-handed but overall in terms of C&C the Witcher 1 was probably the best mainstream title in at least the past 10 years and up there with some of the all time greats.

    • Wizardry says:

      @theleif: D&D? Look at that list again. Not all of them are D&D.

      @Soon: Rogue-likes are CRPGs. Just a subgenre of them with heavy randomization. I don’t mind rogue-likes but I prefer traditional CRPGs with developer created worlds and a party. I do play rogue-likes from time to time, though, but never as a substitute for other CRPGs.

      @Archonsod: It depends how you look at it. When playing a (C)RPG you think up a role you want to play, you roll a character that suits the role, you make decisions for your character based on the role you are playing, and the character is the one to be tested in order for the DM/GM/game to respond to your actions. Turn-based tactical games can have characters with statistics and equipment, like most standard CRPGs. They can also allow for characters to level up and increase in power. However, you tend to tell units to act in ways suited to their statistics. In RPGs, however, you tell your characters to act in ways suited to their role because their statistics were derived from their role upon creation. Also, RPGs don’t even need combat to be RPGs. CRPGs don’t need combat to be CRPGs. You can have a CRPG purely about dialogue and world exploration without any enemy to kill.

    • Wizlah says:

      FD, that’s not an unreasonable point. I guess what gets my goat about elitism of Wizardry’s point of view is the focus on mechanics over the business of role-playing a character on a computer beyond the basic choices of equipment/spell choice/whatever.

      As you note you hear tons of talk about games with rpg mechanics, and they’re nearly always tied into the concept of levelling or choice in developing a characters abilities, but they’ve got precious little to do with role-playing.

      Be it P+P call of cthulhu, or VtM:Bloodlines, I want to explore and inhabit a distinctive and detailed world, interact with a storyline and well-drawn characters. This, to me, is the essence of a good rpg, and I felt the first witcher had it.

    • Urthman says:

      I don’t know of this is Wizardry’s beef, but there’s one really bright and clear difference between games like the Witcher and Wizardry’s brand of RPG.

      One requires the quick reflexes of an action game and the other doesn’t.

      That’s a pretty fundamental divide, and it’s not at all hard to imagine someone who likes RPGs but hates action games. If that were me, I’d be cranky that hardly anyone makes big-budget RPGs anymore that aren’t action games.

    • Wizlah says:

      Wizardry:

      “However, you tend to tell units to act in ways suited to their statistics. In RPGs, however, you tell your characters to act in ways suited to their role because their statistics were derived from their role upon creation.”

      You know, it depends on your system, but whatever rpg you have, you play your character depending on what suits a combination of their personality and statistics. You certainly don’t play a character based on a role. I’m a pig-headed sucker for ensuring that I have charismatic half-orcs in D&D crpgs, often at the cost of essential statistics for their class, because I’m interested in creating and playing a specific kind of character. You seem to be defining the word ‘role’ in a very functional manner. A manner, dare I say it, better suited to tactical turn based games.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Urthman: Let’s pretend I really suck at action games and I like playing fast, dexterous melee characters in an action RPG. Difficult, eh?

      @Wizlah: But you’ve basically agreed with me. You want to play a charismatic half-orc. So you roll a half-orc with high charisma and perhaps without making use of any strength or constitution bonuses you might get. You then play the game perhaps diplomatically, without resorting to combat that might be more typical behaviour of half-orcs. That’s kind of my point.

    • Wizlah says:

      @Wizardry, no, I’m disagreeing with you. I play the character the way I think that character is going to respond to any given situation, regardless of what their statistics and skills might indicate the best way of doing it is. They might influence my decision, but you’re trying to create a character.

      It still doesn’t get away from the central point – you say action has no place in an rpg, and that for all intents and purposes it stops a game being an rpg, and for this reason the witcher is not an rpg. I think you define an rpg in more mechanical and functional terms, and so I disagree with you.

      And while that’s an interesting discussion to have, I still don’t understand why you insist on posting in every thread about the witcher. Regular rps readers are very aware of your point.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Wizlah: Yep, and everyone gushing with praise is allowed to repeat their opinion.

      The fact is that I pointed out two parts of the article and commented on them. That’s not against the rules.

    • Wizlah says:

      Certainly not against the rules. But you’ve made your point many times over. Why make it again? At this point I’m curious at what irks you so much about the coverage this game is receiving.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I play the character the way I think that character is going to respond to any given situation, regardless of what their statistics and skills might indicate the best way of doing it is.

      But you’re talking about play style rather than the nature of the game. Roleplaying vs. powergaming. You can do the same in a traditional RPG, though you’re likely to fail skill checks or be shot down by the DM if you try to do something your character is not able to.

    • Archonsod says:

      It’s pointless arguing. The debate of system versus roleplaying has been around since 1983 and is unlikely to be solved. At least not before Star Wars fans finally admit Star Trek was better.

    • TheCheese33 says:

      Oh great, we’ve got one of THESE dolts. “Old games were the best games! There will never be another RPG better than Baldur’s Gate! WAAAAH!”
      There’s more to RPGs than rolling dice and waiting for the other person to hit you. Get your head out of your ass.

    • Wizardry says:

      Baldur’s Gate? You’ve got to be joking.

      Did my opinions upset you? Your opinions upset me.

    • Vinraith says:

      especially when it’s bigged up to be a tactical CRPG.

      What idiot has been suggesting that the Witcher is a tactical CRPG? The original certainly wasn’t, and this isn’t a claim I’ve seen elsewhere.

      I agree with you in enjoying classic tactical CRPG’s, your list earlier was lovely to see, and I join you in being saddened and irritated by the lack of true mechanical CRPG’s among modern games (outside of small indies). I don’t entirely understand why the Witcher 2 is arousing so much of your ire, though, because unlike, say, the Dragon Age games I’m not aware of the Witcher ever having claimed to be anything other than what it is: an action RPG that’s pretty light on the mechanical part of “RPG.”

      Personally I enjoyed the original, and likely will enjoy the new one, but I had absolutely no illusions that I was purchasing or playing a cRPG in the traditional sense of the term. If someone has been advertising the Witcher as a “tactical cRPG” then I understand your irritation with the people responsible, but I’ve not seen that claim myself.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Vinraith: Don’t let these people fool you. I’ve commented on Skyrim and Dragon Age II articles too. I’m in no way “targeting” The Witcher 2 articles.

      No one called it a straight up tactical RPG. That would be beyond stupid. But the article mentioned both the sword fighting and magic using as being tactical, which strikes me as misleading. I mean, I haven’t played The Witcher 2. Of course I haven’t. But I can tell you right now that the combat is in the bottom 10% in terms of tacticality within the genre.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Wizardry

      I’ve seen your comments on Dragon Age (been avoiding Skyrim coverage because I’m a huge fan of open world games of that sort, their lack of proper CRPGness completely aside), my point was that I’m unsure why you even care enough about the Witcher 2 to comment on it. DA2 being the successor to DA1, a game that was nominally designed as a spiritual successor to honest-to-goodness CRPG’s, is a more understandable target.

      The Witcher, as a franchise, has never had much of anything to do with the CRPG genre. It’s an action game with some light RPG elements, I’m not sure why you’re so active in comment threads about it seeing as you clearly have no interest in such a thing. Granted, it’s labelled an RPG, but as others have said that’s a term so often misapplied these days as to be functionally meaningless anyway.

      As to the use of the term “tactics,” I doubt it’s meant the way you’re reading it. To the degree that anything tactical goes on in Witcher games, it’s primarily about preperation before combat (which is probably the most CRPG-like element of the game, actually). Choosing the right weapon, the right potion or combination of potions, the right spells, and the right stances are absolutely vital to success. Player reflex certainly plays a significant role in combat, but at least in my experience all the carefully timed button pressing in the world won’t save you if you come into a fight with the wrong tools on hand. “Tactics” is, I’ll grant, a misleading term to describe this mechanic, but I’m not sure off the top of my head what a better one would be.

    • Urthman says:

      The debate of system versus roleplaying has been around since 1983 and is unlikely to be solved.

      If there were a half-dozen AAA tactical RPGs of the style that Wizardry likes coming out along with stuff like Risen, Divinity 2, Skyrim, The Witcher, DA2, etc, you’d be right that this is just a pointless debate over taste.

      But action-game RPGs have pretty much displaced the kinds of games Wizardry likes. It’s not “my RPG is better than your RPG” it’s “your RPG has replaced my RPG, and that sucks.” He may be getting tiresome going on about it in every single RPG thread, but he has a legitimate complaint.

      I think it’s more likely that some indie team that still makes tactical RPG’s might use Unity or Unreal 3 to make something awesome in the style he likes than to hope Bioware or Bethesda or CD Projekt is going to start making turn-based RPGs.

    • Aedrill says:

      @Wizardry
      Wait a minute… So you’re saying that “tactical” means “turn based”? We’re clearly using different English here. I’d agree with a point that it’s hard to talk about tactics (not impossible, just hard) when there’s no team but turns have nothing to do with the idea of tactics.

    • Wizlah says:

      @Vinraith

      I’m surprised to hear you describe the Witcher as an action game with light rpg elements. I thought of it the other way round. The various paths of development for the witcher were fairly in depth and complex, and allowed you a fair bit of variety to decide how to play geralt. The potion system actively encouraged exploration and experimentation as well as seeking out new recipies. All that combined with a branching storyline and a lot of interaction with characters seemed to me to make for a fairly in depth rpg experience both in terms of mechanics and actual roleplaying. By comparison, the sword fighting/rhythm game thing didn’t seem that demanding.

    • Wizlah says:

      @ urthman

      to be honest, I don’t really see the whole system vs roleplaying debate as being analagous to turn based team rpg vs Bethesda/the witcher/paused real time combat. I can see why people might think the two are the same argument, because it seems to be one of ease of playing a role vs complex mechanics, but it seems to me that planescape torment managed roleplaying with a reasonably complex system behind it just fine (from what little I’ve played of it. Another one to get back to when I’m finally finished other things).

      I just dispute that the likes of Morrowind, the witcher, Alpha Protocol or even VtM: Bloodlines can’t be role playing games because they’re too ‘actiony’. And, in truth, it annoys me that someone like Wizardry would suggest that there need to be so many things that make an RPG, but then cites in his list The Bards Tale, which I remember grinding away at when I was a teenager on my amstrad 6128. It was exciting at the time, but hardly what I would consider tactically complex or particularly deep.

      If he doesn’t like that certain types of crpg are no longer as prevalent, then fine. But to say that the quality of the witcher is definitively worse then some of the titles on his list, when its writing is nuanced (in the original polish at least) and it provides proper depth to the world you are playing in strikes me as just plain stupid. As I remarked originally, there is a broad range of types of pen and paper RPG, and the hobby as a whole has not suffered from people experimenting with what does and doesn’t work, so long as the primary aim is to create an interesting world within which you can play out stories. Wizardry would rather not have that variety within the CRPG genre. That to my mind is wrong and dumb.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Aedrill: No. Turn-based gameplay does not mean tactical gameplay. However, if you made a real-time game turn-based it would be more tactical because the speed and reactions of the player will not be able to make up for poorer tactics.

      But that’s not really my point. When I said The Witcher 2 will sit nicely within the bottom 10% of CRPGs in terms of tacticality, I meant it. I wasn’t assessing it on whether it has turn-based combat. I was assessing it on how tactical it will be given all the information I had as well as taking into account the fact that it is a single character game and a real-time game.

    • Wizardry says:

      But to say that the quality of the witcher is definitively worse then some of the titles on his list, when its writing is nuanced (in the original polish at least) and it provides proper depth to the world you are playing in strikes me as just plain stupid.

      Yeah. So it has good writing and lots of world depth. An FPS can have good writing and world depth. On the other hand, The Witcher has really poor character building and makes player skill just as important as character skill when fighting enemies. It also has fuck all skill checks outside of combat, such as during dialogue. To me this indicates that The Witcher is a poor CRPG, if one at all.

      You can’t make up for the CRPG deficiencies of The Witcher with quality writing (which it doesn’t have, by the way) and world depth.

    • Wizlah says:

      Player skill was important as character skill the original witcher? really? It was just clicking and not particularly hard clicking at that.

      I don’t know how the witcher handled dialogue under the hood. But I’m fairly sure that your actions dictated conversation options and responses, which is, at the end of the day, just another way of doing dialogue checks. So long as I can have varied dialogue and I can’t automatically get information out of people without considering how is the best way of doing it, I don’t care how the mechanics are handled. If I can express it in a distinctive fashion better suited to the character I’m playing, so much the better. That makes for a good role-playing game.

    • Wizlah says:

      And Wizardry, just so we’re clear, I don’t see any crpg deficiencies in the witcher. But that’s because I define an RPG more broadly then you do.

      Time and again, you deliberately equate the quality of a game with whether it has a set of attributes in line with your definiton of a CRPG. Even if the witcher had ALL those attributes, that still wouldn’t determine whether it was a good rpg or not.

    • Wizardry says:

      Player skill was important as character skill the original witcher? really? It was just clicking and not particularly hard clicking at that.

      Yeah, by my estimation. I mean, compare a player mistiming every single click and thus not being able to string a combo together, but using a character with maximum skills in a particular stance/weapon type, with another player stringing combos together constantly, but using a character with no skills in a particular stance/weapon type. Also, imagine that the first player gets swarmed by enemies constantly, while the second player dodges and moves about so that he/she never gets surrounded. I’d say that player skill gives a huge amount of leverage.

      I don’t know how the witcher handled dialogue under the hood. But I’m fairly sure that your actions dictated conversation options and responses, which is, at the end of the day, just another way of doing dialogue checks. So long as I can have varied dialogue and I can’t automatically get information out of people without considering how is the best way of doing it, I don’t care how the mechanics are handled. If I can express it in a distinctive fashion better suited to the character I’m playing, so much the better. That makes for a good role-playing game.

      Probably. But what actions? Choices from previous dialogues? Mostly. But what statistics were tested during those choices? None? Maybe choices from previous dialogue? And what tested those? It goes on forever. It doesn’t matter if you may only be able to make choices based on previous choices if those previous choices didn’t take into account your statistics. That’s basically a choose your own adventure book or some sort of interactive fictions. Player choices affecting player choices affecting player choices affecting player choices. Where does the character come into all of this? If we made polar opposite Geralts, could I have reached the point in the game you reached while making all the same choices? Most probably yes.

    • Wizlah says:

      Wizardry, there’s an awful lot of supposition in your argument. There’s ‘i estimate’ and ‘if I had a totally different character to you, would I end up in the same place?i say yes’.

      Leaving that aside, how many varied endings where there in Wizardry 8? From the bits of rpg codex I’ve read, it’s a common argument levelled against VtM: Bloodlines – that for all the alleged choice, you still end up in the same place.

      But that’s not a function of statistics and how the game mechanics relate to them or lack thereof. That’s a feature of CRPGs full stop. In, fact, to some degree or another, it’s a problem all rpgs face, and it takes a dedicated and imaginative GM to overcome them in the pen and paper world.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Wizlah: And a CRPG can have a linear narrative. Just look at most of the CRPG examples I posted earlier. As long as the game responds to your instructions based on the traits of your character then it’s all good. If you can pull off actions without your character’s traits being tested then what is the character for? Combat only? A branching narrative is fantastic to have in a CRPG. A branching narrative is even better when it branches based on the traits of your character. Can you convince the mayor of a town to step down for the greater good, thus changing the ending? You can if your charisma is above 16. Can you free the prisoners from a prison, thus changing the ending? You can if your explosives skill is above 70. Can you obtain the evidence needed to rally up the support needed to overthrow the king? You can with a sneak skill above 60 and a lock picking skill above 55.

    • Wizlah says:

      Well, that’s not something I’m disagreeing with. LIke I said, I don’t care how you get there, so long as you, the player, can play as your character and the world around you responds. I don’t care whether its dice rolls or me working out what’s the best way to approach a chat with a character on the basis of the information that I’ve been supplied so far because of the way I’m playing. I’m not the biggest fan of minigames, but a mixture of that modified by a character’s skillbase will suit me fine so long as I’m not having to do it all the time. I welcome the experimentation which moves away strictly from dicerolls and trys to engage the player in actions their character are trying to perform. It would be foolish to stick with the same systems all the time and NOT experiment.

      I think your purist approach to CRPGs doesn’t allow you to consider the different ways that you the player can play a character within a computer game. You come across as incredibly narrow-minded in your approach to CRPGs, and ultimately, I’m glad not every game designer feels the same way you do, because I fear that the genre (as broad as it currently seems to be) would suffer. Dice rolls and stat checks are a way to help the player play as a character. They are not the only way. We would be poorer as computer gamers if they were.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Dice rolls and stat checks are a way to help the player play as a character. They are not the only way. We would be poorer as computer gamers if they were.

      It’s been an interesting debate, which I’ve been following with pleasure. But here I decided to intervene since this is a dear subject of mine. I think here you are wrong, Wizlah.

      That’s the only way. You can cover it in whatever level of player immersion you want to attribute to a playstyle, but the fact is that everything translates into stats and dice rolls. In fact, everytime in a shamefully evident way. Take a look at how many games handle good vs. evil player characters, for instance. The truth is that not only stats and dice rolls affect your decisions, you plan your decisions to affect stats and dice rolls. It’s actually quite disgusting sometimes if you happen to be playing a game in which you wish to actually role play the character. And it doesn’t help either that after all these years we are still slaves to a dialog tree mechanism. We just can’t seem to get rid of the damn things.

      Everything in modern games (be it technological limitations, be it game designing decisions) conspire to make RPGs a bunch of numbers you are trying to manipulate behind a scripted plot. It’s pretty much like the goldfish who thinks his fishbowl is the ocean. Only we are the goldfish who knows it isn’t, because many years ago we were playing this thing called Pen & Paper, where roleplaying wasn’t an illusion. We know the world is much bigger than the fishbowl we currently live on.

      It’s only through experiments like Sleep Is Death that we can come anywhere near your assumption that we can play as character. Because playing as character is really playing as ourselves in the shoes of a character, we need a game that doesn’t constrain us to whatever list of choices or dialog tress that were created. But solutions like Sleep Is Death don’t offer narratives by themselves. We have to create them from scratch. So as a modern solution to RPGs, they only operate at a different level (and somewhat irrelevant for our purposes here). Instead it is technological experiments like Façade or Storytronics that can eventually bring RPGs to a different level.

      Unfortunately these are mostly independent scientific research being done with very limited budgets, little media coverage, and lack of interested researchers (who are often blinded by the spotlights of working for a game studio instead). So they progress at a painful crawling speed. Big Studios, with the funds that enable them to create fantastic and huge worlds full of promise and exploration, are however not very kin to gamble on risk. They prefer to stick to known formulas. So they don’t explore, or help, this research and try to come up with something that could either change the landscape of RPG video gaming or, more likely, become a Class-A Flop. Knowing that this is exactly the type of technology that needs to flop several times so that it succeeds (from learning with mistakes and improving from there), there’s nothing in sight that makes me believe RPGs will get better as far as playing in character is concerned. We will still be manipulating numbers and rolling die for a very long time, until something wonderful happens. One day. Some day.

      EDIT: I was just reminded by myself that it would be unfair to name Sleep Is Death, without mentioning also the GM Module of Neverwinter Nights. This one too allowed (allows) for the free exploration of characters (NPCs or PCs). Unfair, because among the usual criticism that can be made about Big Studios usual lack of interest in bringing in new gamestyles, Bioware did once offer it’s playerbase this little gem evoking the good ol’ Pen & Paper roleplay.

    • JackShandy says:

      EDIT: Also, Mario, you’re right – but only in the broadest sense that every single thing a game can do is, inevitably, powered by stats. I was going to interject talking about playing a character in TF2, but I realized that even they can be whittled down to, yes, stats and dice rolls.

    • Falx22 says:

      Wise words Mr. Shandy

    • ffordesoon says:

      Fine, it’s not an RPG. It’s a game. One that is apparently quite good.

      Why is that not enough for you?

    • anonymousity says:

      Role playing games aren’t about being tactical chainmail remakes, role playing games are about playing roles involving yourself in choice and consequence, playing a role. The witcher is more roleplaying game than ice wind dale where apart from the fights you take part and the sculpting of your character sheet you may as well be watching a movie.

  11. gganate says:

    I’m about as excited for the Witcher 2 as I am for Deus Ex…my biggest worry is that it won’t run worth a damn on my computer. I’m playing through the original right now and as soon as I reached chapter 3 my previously stable framerate took a nose dive. Really enjoying the original though, but to answer one of the author’s complaints, shouldn’t a true sequel expect the player to have completed the original game?

    • bwion says:

      Yeah, I’m very much afraid this game will bring my computer, in its present state, to its knees.

    • Aedrill says:

      I’m buying a new rig for this game. I won’t tell you how much did it cost me (*cough*, 700 quid, *cough*) but I think it’s worth it. The game is gorgeous and I intend to play Battlefield 3 on this computer as well, so I’m happy to spend this money. Not to mention how incredibly awesome ArmA 2 will look like on this PC… I just can’t wait…

  12. Turin Turambar says:

    I love how most of points can be applied to The Witcher 1… :P

  13. phenom_x8 says:

    WAnt it, Please!

  14. Zogtee says:

    …and if we look over to the left, we can see Dragon Age 2 standing in the corner, shuffling it’s feet, and looking increasingly embarrassed.

  15. JackShandy says:

    “(a serious worry about the game is it presumes everyone has played and finished the original Witcher)”

    Ah, that’ll be a problem. RPS-Folk! Is it worth playing through 20 or so hours of The Witcher just to understand the sequel? I’ve tried the start of it and was a bit put off.

    • Archonsod says:

      Nope. Had the same idea myself but by Act III my small intestine was threatening to strangle me to death if I subjected myself to it any longer. Pro-tip would be to read one of the better guides on gamefaqs and YouTube the ending scenes, then pretend to have played it …

    • HermitUK says:

      I’m in much the same boat, actually. Enjoyed what I played of the first, but got lost in some swamp area in chapter 2 and interest waned. Any word on there being any sort of “Previously on The Witcher” thing to fill folks in?

    • Soon says:

      I can’t imagine it being that difficult to pick up on most things. Unless it’s all somehow related to [spoiler], but there are no hints of that from what I’ve seen so far.

    • detective says:

      I was informed that the Witcher 2 had some sort of import save feature? This apparently entitles you to some armour and weapons…

    • Outsider says:

      I’ll be reading through all of *this before I play the second one. I played through the first game, but my memory is a bit hazy on some stuff. This should at least bring you up to speed or prime your memory.

      * Edit: I fail at this link insertion thing so here is what I meant: http://witcher.wikia.com/wiki/The_Witcher_storyline

    • m4x1u says:

      IMO they probably mean the games characters and their backstory : like knowing that Zoltan Chivay is Geralts close friend,king Foltest sired a bastard with his own sister, the female wizards being in a secret institution to govern the world etc. etc. plus the games political/historical backround – rather than the original gamestory itself. I’m just happy that i’ve finished re-reading the whole saga just a few days ago in hopes to catch all the little thingies from W2 story & characters :)

    • Durkonkell says:

      Outsider: Thanks for the link. However, it seems to point to http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/04/29/witcher-2-preview/this which redirects to an article about Team Fortress 2 Cosplay. No, I have no idea either.

      The intended link is: http://witcher.wikia.com/wiki/The_Witcher_storyline

      This is pretty much exactly what I’m looking for as I can’t really spare the time to play through the original game right now! Thanks, Outsider. Thoutsider.

    • Outsider says:

      M4: Oh, I see. Hopefully there’s some background like that at the wiki site too, I would also like to read it to catch back up. :)

      Durkonkell: Thanks!

    • BobsLawnService says:

      Aye, now there is the problem. I loved the prologue and the firstchapter but that second chapter just killed all my enthusiasm for the game. I’m soldiering through the third chapter hoping to regain it without much luck. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one struggling with it.

    • Outsider says:

      I struggled a bit with chapter two at times. Chapter three though, made it all worthwhile. I was glad I soldiered through some of the longer parts.

    • Acorino says:

      Yeah, also lost interest a bit in chapter 2, thanks to the endless running around. And the swamp was annoying. All those constantly respawning creatures you have to run away from so you don’t have to get involved in another boring battle.
      Haven’t played much of chapter 3 so far, but it didn’t start with a bang exactly (well, only in some sense…).

    • Outsider says:

      but it didn’t start with a bang exactly (well, only in some sense…).

      HA! I see what you did there.

      What I liked about chapter 3 was the change in scenery and the overall feel of the game. I liked the aesthetics of the environment too. As you mentioned, all the running around and the swamp part was getting tedious. This is perhaps why chapter 3 was such a breath of fresh air to me and kept me going on through till the end.

    • CaLe says:

      I’m already at 30 hours and just arrived at Chaper V. Some parts of the story are a little hard to follow (seems like Geralt knows more than I do) and there is probably too much running back and forth for mundane reasons. However, I am still really enjoying it. The choices don’t feel gimmicky and forced and are usually in the grey so you’re just going on your personal feelings, which is cool. I’m hoping by the end there will be more revealed about Geralt’s past though.

    • FKD says:

      Awww..all the posts seem to say that Chapter 2 is pretty awful and I JUST GOT THERE! lol I ended up buying this almost a year ago because everyone was raving about how it was such a wonderful RPG and then ended up being put off by alot of the stuff being rather complex (or at the very least I was having a hard time understanding the mechanics/what I was trying to do half the time). Made it to the Inn after the Prologue and there it sat for the past..11 months. Started it up again yesterday after reading this article in hopes that perhaps I might could get more into it. I really love the atmosphere, and they have done a marvelous job with the architecture. The clickyness of combat is a bit annoying at times, as well as the character movement (I often end up tumbling in some random direction). And I have to agree with the poster who said that Geralt often seemed to know more than you do as the player.

  16. Gnoupi says:

    So.

    Portal 2 last week.
    Section 8 next week.
    Brink the following week.
    The Witcher 2 just after.

    I need more time. And money.

    • Dozer says:

      And I need a PC that doesn’t have an AGP graphics card. It might as well chisel the video output onto a clay tablet.

  17. Archonsod says:

    1. As long as it’s Clint Eastwood and not Emo Elric

    2. More games should draw their inspiration from Drunken Master.

    3. I doubt the occasional Yank will be any more jarring than the first’s Geordie in a town of Cockneys approach

    6. The improved writing and acting are what might introduce it. The first had what amounts to various people coming up to inform you they were racist don’tchaknow like being trapped in a home for senile proponents of apartheid, which ultimately means all such decisions boiled down to whatever permitted genocide against both sides in the hope it would stop people randomly stopping me in the street simply to state they were racist. It didn’t.

  18. woodsey says:

    “(a serious worry about the game is it presumes everyone has played and finished the original Witcher)”

    Ooooh… no. Please no. I can’t get through the first few hours, they’re just… please no.

    • Wizlah says:

      They’re really not that bad. I think people are turning into epic whinges over those first couple of hours. Shit, I played the old non-enhanced version fo the first couple of hours and I was desperate to keep playing, because the atmosphere managed to suck me in.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      I really liked the Witcher. Up until the point I couldn’t kill the bloody Demon Hound. Then I stopped.

      :-(

    • Big Murray says:

      Wizlah … the atmosphere sucked you in? Really? With those voice-actors?

    • DK says:

      “Wizlah … the atmosphere sucked you in? Really? With those voice-actors?”
      If you need voice acting to get atmosphere I feel sorry for you. Most RPGs would be better off, and have more atmosphere, without it, because then they could get a lot more dialogue and information in.

      See Baldurs Gate or any of the other non-voice acted RPGs.

    • Wizlah says:

      Big Murray – yeah, I know. I think I’m more immune to sucky voice-acting than most (or more accurately in this case poor translation and scripting) – but the visuals and the story they were trying to tell even in those first few hours felt palpably different to most fantasy settings and made me want to explore the world more. This was backed up in part by what seemed like a more imaginative and broader menagerie of monsters, and the journal you had that described them and their histories. So in that regard alone, the job of the game up to entry into the city was done.

      There’s no doubt parts of it were clunky. The mangled dialogue with the king of death or whatever its called in the crypts of the village church was a headscratcher, but despite that I still got a sense of what that conversation was about, how it defined geralt and how you could play him. Now that I think on it, that whole scene was representative of the problems of the first bit of the game in microcosm, to be honest.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      @Big Murray : If you’re bothered by the voice acting just play it with the Polish speach (and Engligh subtitles) – terrible voice acting gone. (or maybe it’s still terrible, but you can’t tell as they’re speaking foreign).

    • woodsey says:

      I dunno, didn’t really get any atmosphere in the EE. Just kept running up and down a very grey area getting attacked by dogs every few steps.

  19. Patches the Hyena says:

    If the swordplay feedback is anything like that of Demon’s Souls, I’m very excited.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Demon’s Souls is only difficult because of its, ahem, unsophisticated control scheme. Right-click to lock on? WINNER!

    • Dominic White says:

      What are you even going on about? If you’re halfway good, you don’t even use lock-on in Demon’s Souls for anything but ranged combat.

      It’s hard because it’s actually challenging. Enemies are ruinously powerful and if you go for an easy hit at the wrong time, you can end up ground into the dirt.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Challenge is based on ropey controls, shit camera and cheap enemy placement. Very not impressed.

    • Dominic White says:

      Blaming the game because it beat you down, eh? Not very classy.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Was really diappointed to be honest, I’d heard so many great things about DS – then I got to play it and it was:
      -cheap
      -had poor combat
      -fugly
      -un-fun.

      Suspect my expectations were too high. The “you don’t like it, you must suck” retort, eh? Touche! ;-)

  20. FunkyBadger3 says:

    Is a subtitled Polish dialogue track available?

    • Archonsod says:

      Not at launch, though CDP said they’d potentially look at releasing that sort of thing if there’s demand for it.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      I demand that sort of thing. (Polish dialogue, English subtitles) By far the best way of expieriencing the first.

    • Oozo says:

      I second the demand.
      The first game was much better when played with subtitles (the English actors were a bit meh, as the saying goes), and now I got pretty used to the Polish voices. Plus, I learned the words dziękuję and karzeł (the latter coming in especially handy the next time I go to Poland), and “Wiedźmin” sounds just that more sexy than the ordinary “Witcher”.

    • Delusibeta says:

      Pretty sure they announced a Polish and an English language pack for day one DLC (if you want to call it DLC) if you register your serial key with them.

    • faelnor says:

      @Archonsod:
      Do you have a source for that? That’d make me a sad panda :(

      EDIT: “English and Polish language packs with full audio and text will be available at release for all registered users to download, and it will once again be possible to listen in one language while reading the other.”

      Phew! Almost had an aneurysm there.

      There is just no way I’m playing the game on release day with anything but original language voices.
      BTW yesterday I tried playing Portal 2 in my native french. Oh boy, what a catastrophe that was.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, in all my years, I’ve only ever heard a couple of dubs actually better than the native language track. Cowboy Bebop springs to mind as being one of those lucky few – it’s decent in Japanese, but works perfect in English.

      Beyond that, yeah, it’s almost always better to have the original voice-track with subtitles.

    • Archonsod says:

      Problem I have with subtitles is I read much quicker than they speak, so I may as well do without voices whatsoever.

      Can’t say I had a problem with the VA in the original though. Or rather the acting was fine, the actual writing was atrocious.

    • shudder says:

      I believe you won’t need it in W2 after reading #1 here.
      Characters in W1 were spoiled by weak translation in W1. There wasn’t so much difference in voice acting as it was in dialogue lines and thus reception of characters. For example: in Polish Geralt is gently mocking a guard’s bad pronounciation of word “quarantine” while in English version he’s correcting him, which made him cocky instead sarcastic. I think CDP learned their lesson on this one.

  21. Big Murray says:

    I love RPS, but I can’t help but feel (looking at other sites) that the fact this is a PC-pioneering game has a hand in it getting the fanboy treatment from many people here …

  22. Unaco says:

    1. Awesome. Sounds like they’ve got the characterisation from the book down a lot better than the 1st game. Although, Geralt not being himself is kind of understandable in the 1st game, what with his amnesia and all.

    2. Awesome. The preparation before a battle type thing was one of the things I loved about the first one. Also, the fact that you have to use your consumables throughout, judging whether an encounter requires the use of that valuable oil/potion, was another thing I loved… usually in RPG’s I end up with thousands of potions/wands/scrolls that I never use. These negative effects sound even better.

    3. The colloquial, local accents was something I really, really liked in The Dragon Knight Saga (Divinity II)… walking round Broken Valley hearing Welshies, Geordies, people from the Black Country, and even a Scouser was so refreshing… it was charming and quaint. I’m not expecting the quaintness, and a different kind of charm from TW2, but this sounds very encouraging.

    4. “Brute force will only get you so far” I like… The constant spawning I guess I’ll have to see in play.

    5. Dragons? Krakens? Spectacles and Set pieces? Oh, yes please.

    6. As long as I can stick to the true Geralt neutral path, I’ll be happy.

    7. Ooooh… Shiny Shiny!

    8, 10. Good to hear.

    9. Sounds a lot like the books as well. The name “Witcher” is actually something of a pejorative, a disparaging name, given by ‘true’ magic users to the Witchers, because of their parlour tricks and use of very basic, very simple magics.

    11. Again, sounds like they are getting the gist of the novels across, if they can pull the moral ambiguity off.

    12. I’ve been yearning for a satisfying, meaty, visceral, tactical combat mechanic for a while now. I’ll have to wait and see how it works (I’m trying to avoid all the videos, to avoid possible spoilers… still haven’t finished the 1st game… so I haven’t see any of the combat yet), but I hope it’s pulled off well.

    All in all… I can’t believe how excited I am for this. Really, I’m not one for hype, I’m not one for big budget, day of release purchases. But for this (and DX:HR), I suddenly am. Going to preorder with GoG next week, and try and get number 1 finished in time for this release.

    • extraterrestial says:

      I’m trying to avoid all the videos, to avoid possible spoilers…

      Geralt kills Dumbledore!

  23. Anthile says:

    What about importing old savegames?

    • Cradlejoe says:

      You can do that. And I hear you can just answer questions about what you did in the last game if you haven’t still got your saved game. Personally I’ll be downloading a game save to use since I finished The Witcher ages ago

    • Aedrill says:

      @Cradlejoe
      No, you won’t. There’s 4th, generic beginning of the game for the ones who didn’t import the save. The questions would be really cool, though. I can’t imagine beating the original another 2 times just to see different beginnings. I hope they’ll do something like this in The Witcher 3.

  24. Jesse L says:

    13. Blue stripey shirt.

  25. Flameberge says:

    Giant spiders. I am sad.

    • Rinox says:

      I’m honestly not making fun of our dear RPS comrades with a horrid fear of spiders, but I wonder – are there games you (and others like you, I know there are plenty) actually stopped playing because of a certain spider-part? Or a spidery opponent? And if it’s just one area or one boss, do you let anyone else run it for you? Like a friend, or a significant other.
      Pretty curious about it!

  26. Stevostin says:

    I started the read with a lot of skepticism. TPV, no choice of character and potion-based gameplay (rather than potions being an option) already turned me off in the first game ; moreover I have got very little interest in everything related to “boss tactics”. For me it’s just about figuring out what the gamedesigner abritrary decided I should do and while this being rarely difficult, it is never of interest to me. It’s probably one of the thing I like in Bethesda’s game : you deal with the opposition the way you want – you just have to try harder with the big ones. It’s more immersive and enjoyable to me.
    That being said I am starting to be interested with tis Witcher 2. The above led me to think it offers something pretty unique story wise. Well, about time ! I suppose if I don’t consider it as an RPG but rather a not too annoying action game I could maybe enjoy the ride. Also, I admit some screens are pretty convincing. So far I was thinking that the game was as incompatible with my tastes as the first opus. But maybe I can cope with this one…

  27. Oozo says:

    “This isn’t an artificial place waiting for you to turn up and fix all its problems – it’s there anyway, doing its own thing, and you have to make it work for you.”

    This sounds just too fine. Could reach a bit far and say that it sounds a bit like it was related to the design philosophy of a certain Ukranian FPS that we all like for good reasons.
    And even though, yes, comparing apples and oranges and stuff, I’d like to say: What kept me away from a certain sequel to an RPG I was actually kinda looking forward to was when I read in a review that even when the story fast forwards 3 years, nothing actually changes until the hero comes along to trigger it (and not even then all the time, it seems).

    “Doing its own thing” sound fine, though. Just have to find some time and money.

  28. Delusibeta says:

    May I suggest Permadeath mode?

  29. Thule says:

    I’m really getting pumped about this game now. The cons mentioned like having to have played the first game or having some familiarity with the world are irrelevant to me, because I played the first game twice and read all the (english) Witcher books.

    This game could very well become my favorite RPG ever made.

  30. Dominic White says:

    Anyone else picking up on a strong subtext in these past few Witcher 2 articles? I can’t help but pick up a general theme of ‘It’s more action-oriented, it’s sexier, it’s grittier, and it’s more focused on telling the story of a defined character; it’s everything that Dragon Age 2 claimed/wanted to be and balls’d it all up’.

    And I’m really looking forward to it because of that. DA2 could have been amazing if they’d been confident and skilled enough to really take it in that direction, but they didn’t, and it wasn’t.

    • Archonsod says:

      Thing is I don’t think anyone actually wanted DA2 to go down that route in the first place.

      I’m somewhat sceptical given they made the same claims about the original Witcher, hopefully they’ll hit their stride with this one. Given what they’ve shown of the combat system thus far I expect it’s going to be a fun ride anyway, the real question is whether they can pull the rest of it together well enough to push it beyond being a decent action RPG and into the realms of the epic.

  31. Anonymous Coward says:

    Comparing this game to DA2 is pointless. Witcher could produce nothing but a black screen and still be better than DA2.

  32. Rii says:

    Might make this my first real RPG. Fun fun.

  33. CaLe says:

    “10. There’s not too much signposting of sidequests. This isn’t an artificial place waiting for you to turn up and fix all its problems – it’s there anyway, doing its own thing, and you have to make it work for you. Get out there and explore, chat to people, nose at billboards, create your own story through the game. No big yellow arrows to denote quests here, just a big, subtle world to figure you way through.”

    YES. I really hope this is true

  34. Breakspeed says:

    Thanks to such awesome coverage and writing here at RPS I’ve nearly exploded waiting for this game. I thoroughly enjoyed the first Witcher game and started to immerse myself into the lore with the Witcher Wiki and the novel “The Last Wish” at hand. Now without a doubt this is my most anticipated game of the year – and with entries like Uncharted 3, Mass Effect 3, Skyrim, (Possibly) Diablo 3, etc… That’s saying a lot. I’m so confident and supportive of CDP and CDPR, they’re such good listeners and are just doing such a service to fans all the time – can’t wait to repurchase The Witcher 1 for $5 on gog.com on May 10th! (For all of the extra goodies we’re getting)

  35. paterah says:

    I would add scabards somewhere there….you know, somewhere between the lines ;)

  36. Jake says:

    Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – there’s a king! Second screenshot! Get him!

    I don’t know if I should force myself to finish the first Witcher so I am up to date with the story, I am at a bit where I got a boat to a marsh with a tower or something, maybe to collect some objects for a dwarf, it’s all a bit vague. I bet there is still another 30 hours to go.

  37. piggydiggy says:

    Does anyone know if the stealth elements initially talked out have remained in the game, like using magic to put out lights and stuff to sneak past enemies?

    • Outsider says:

      A recent preview video mentioned this again, yes. I am still uncertain if this is a “free tactic”, meaning that it can be done any time when there are lights and people or low light situations … or… if this is only possible in more scripted sequences like the dungeon escape from one of the previews.

    • piggydiggy says:

      Ok, that’s fairly reassuring, thanks. I hope it’s the former; I’d like as much choice when approaching a situation as possible really.

    • Outsider says:

      Agreed, I’d really like light, dark and ability to see or not see in such conditions to have possible impacts on how situations can play out. Especially with the inclusion of traps. I hope it’s the case.

  38. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Excited!
    I must put more effort into getting on with the original game! But the swamps are just so fucking boring! >.< I enjoyed it up until then, stupid fucking invincible man-eating plants and such.

    • Outsider says:

      Yeah, seems like almost everyone had issues with the swamp being tedious. It does get better, just keep focused on getting through it!

      For those plants, I think I remember using the igni sign since they are vulnerable to that, and using the heavy sword style along with some potions.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Try to tough it out until you’re past the swamp quests. The story flows better after that.

      And yes, use the fire sign (Igni?) on the plants. If you have it upgraded for a ranged attack, try retreating just outside their attack range where you can still use the spell. Then run in for the kill, after you’ve weakened it with fire.

    • Paul says:

      There is a certain confusion regarding those swamp plants. There is only one really strong plant – kind of a boss – but it appears on many points of the map, kind of following you, until you kill it (and it takes some potions and ignis and correct sword and style to kill it). After you do, you will only encounter much weaker plants that are no problem whatsoever.
      I really enjoyed swamps. I loved getting 8 bloodzuigers on my ass and incinerating them all with igni and then watching how they all explode each other.

  39. Carra says:

    Thanks for the coverage. They got my pre-order through gog.com.

    And I love their gog.com package. A fair price for us Europeans? Yes, please!

  40. Havok9120 says:

    I’ve got it preordered. But I swear to God that if they kill off Foltest…..

  41. Nimic says:

    The constant mentioning of how The Witcher 2 practically assumes you’ve played and finished the first one worries me. I sort of liked The Witcher, in some ways, but I never got very far in it, there were too many things holding me back. But all the same I’m very excited about the second one. But I have to say it gives me pause when I hear that part of it.

    I only love RPG’s (or really, games in general) which I can engross myself in. Which I can really feel a part of. This sounds like it will either feel very confusing and arbitrary for a while, or I’ll need to try to find out everything I can about the story on the internet. Which, having not actually played the game myself, won’t help me feel a part of it.

    • RakeShark says:

      I’m kinda in the same boat with you, I played equal parts The Witcher and Dragon Age 1 failing to complete them both. However The Witcher interested me more by being different enough and slightly more alien in setting and tone than traditional western high-fantasy products. This opinion of mine swayed me enough to skip DA2 and pre-order The Witcher 2.

      Maybe the reason the Witcher universe appeals to me in game form is that I’m not being groomed to be the savior of the world, but I’m a guy trying to get by in a world gone mad and then forced to deal with The Big Bad because I’ve got no other options left to avoid it. Kinda like how Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath tells its reluctant hero story.

      But yeah, I hope the need to be familiar with the first Witcher is limited, but I don’t want a good chunk of the game to be dedicated to getting me caught up on EVERYTHING the first game did.

    • Zenicetus says:

      @ RakeShark: It’s not so much that you’re being forced to deal with a mad world, in the way many generic fantasy games work. Geralt is an intentionally mutated freak, created for a specific role of monster-slaying. That’s just what you do. No other options are available, because the rest of the world is going to treat you as a freak regardless. It’s basically the gunslinger/killer role in classic Westerns. Nobody wants him to stick around for long, but they need him to save the town.

      And yes, this is a MUCH better twist on things than the typical “kid fleeing his destroyed village, who has to learn to be a Hero and save the World” in fantasy CRPG’s, or even the refugee who becomes a “hero” in DA2.

      Anyway, I doubt there will be too much emphasis on saved game imports… otherwise it would probably skew the Triss interactions too much. You can pick up the story by reading the game summary links posted earlier in this thread. I finished the first game, but that was on a different computer and I didn’t save the file. I had no idea it would be popular enough to merit a sequel. So I’ll be starting from scratch too, at least as far as any imported goodies like weapons or armor from the first game. Again, I doubt that will be essential; too many people will be coming at this without a save game.

  42. ChainsawCharlie says:

    Love the Wither lore. Shame that there is only two books translated to English

  43. bigtoeohno says:

    This is the second list of the top so many things already mentioned elsewhere but in bite size easily digestable morsels that you’v been guilty of posting lately rps the other to do with skyrim. Just calling you up on it. It’s a slippery slope towards the othermain gaming sites. Don’t want to see you trip is all.

  44. thebigJ_A says:

    No! I don’t have enough money to build a new PC yet!

    I demand they delay it until I’m ready.

    If everyone else want’s to get the game on time, they have to each donate $15 to my computer-buying fund. Consider it DLC. Or a preorder bonus.

  45. thebigJ_A says:

    I actually stopped playing The Witcher at the beginning of the epilogue (stupid of me). Now I can’t be bothered to reinstall it just to play that last hour or so.

    Are the things that happen in that part important to 2?

  46. MiKro says:

    btw… if you read the saga you will not regret it.. especialy witcher -> zoltan conversations :D

  47. sonofsanta says:

    The Witcher 2 is released on May 17, and if we don’t get review code soon we’ll explode.

    THINK HOW US MERE MORTALS FEEL

    This is why I don’t buy games new. Because I have spent the last fortnight, and face the next three weeks, unable to glean satisfaction from anything that isn’t this. I WANT IT SO BAD

  48. WMain00 says:

    Why do I get the horrible horrible feeling i’m going to have to upgrade my 8800GT in order to enjoy it fully.

  49. Davie says:

    Exciting! I really wanted to like the first one, but there were little niggling problems that prevented me from enjoying it. It sounds like most of them have been addressed, so perhaps I will pick this up.

    …of course, not if it interferes with my Skyrim playtime at all.

  50. Wozzle says:

    “It’s genuinely an action game within an RPG, and doesn’t seem to have compromised either aspect”

    See, Bioware. You don’t have to fuck up an RPG to add action into it.