Some More Thoughts On The Witcher 2

By Jim Rossignol on May 18th, 2011 at 8:07 am.


Still not quite ready for the WIT, but I have some more thoughts on The Witcher 2, below. Share your impressions too, if you are playing!

  • Wow, it’s significantly pretty. What I mean is that this going to be one of those games we’ll be able to refer to not necessarily as a technical achievement for graphics, but certainly as a stylistic and imaginative achievement. Some of the environments are just dazzling, while the weather and environmental magic effects are really quite something too.
  • It’s a bit weird that it gets much easier as it goes on. The middle and end of Chapter 2 are far, far easier than the opening couple of hours, precisely because Geralt has developed in to such a badass by that point. I’d advise anyone who has just started playing to grit their teeth and carry on. The first few hours are a bit of a struggle, but it’s gets so much better.
  • And by that I mean: the end of Chapter 2 is epic in a way that very few games even reach for. The story has reached a high point by that time, with what you are doing involving some fabulous fantasy moments and really pushing at what it is that fantasy RPGs should be capable of. Hats off, that’s something special there.
  • Doors are awful. While you can generally still walk through an open door, people have to use doors one at a time. It also seems possible to get trapped on the wrong side of a door during combat.
  • Attack and use being the same button (dictated by context) is really annoyed me when I couldn’t light a lamp during combat. I’m sure there are some other reasons why it is bad.
  • The map is terrible. I’ll explain why in the full WIT, but it’s one of those things where you think “oh that’s looks nice,” only to realise later that it is almost entirely useless.
  • I’ve taken about 500 screenshots and none of them do the game justice.
  • I rather wish the game had “real” loot. You can only pick up what it decided to drop, so if you kill a dude with a sword, and you need a sword, you can’t actually loot it. I can see why that should be, but it’s frustrating, and one of my pet hates in games. (For “real” loot see Oblivion, Stalker, where all items in the world can be picked up.)
  • There are a few moments in the game that made my eyes pop out of my head. Not because they were good or pretty, but because WHAT.
  • I played for fourteen hours yesterday. That is the longest a game has held my attention in several years.
  • The plot bifurcation for Chapter Two is pretty huge and means I’ll have to go straight back to the end of Chapter One and starting playing when I am done. REPLAYABILITY: HIGH.

Full WIT coming up soon. I’d better get back to it.

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179 Comments »

  1. Turin Turambar says:

    Coool! Coolcoolcool.

    Some questions:

    How is the new loot system, is there more variety? and the amount of “crap” items?

    Can you use weapons like axes and halberds and are this time somewhat useful?

    Humor in the game?

    Don’t you think it’s a flaw to have the game going from hard to easy, instead of from easy to hard? Lots of people are complaining of the hard start.

    Demon Souls influence?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Loot system: there’s an awful lot of picking up bits of monster, which can be used to make stuff *if* you have also found the formulas etc. I’ve really not spent a lot of time on that because I just can’t be arsed to sort through all the loot.

      Swords dominate, frankly, but I have also administer beatings with axes and big sticks.

      The difficulty at the start is a bit baffling, frankly, yes.

      And I laughed a bunch, not always because it was supposed to be funny, though.

    • Benjamin L. says:

      I really think equippable weapons should have been axed in TW1. They don’t make much sense in the context of the fiction, since basically witchers are limited to steel and silver swords and a dagger. That’s pretty much it.

      I know RPGs are expected to have these things but in general if it doesn’t make sense in the context of the world and you as a developer don’t really use it anyway, it should probably be axed.

    • TWeaK says:

      Not sure if it’s in the second, but in the first…

      USE CONTROL+CLICK TO TAKE ALL LOOT FROM CONTAINERS WITHOUT THE INVENTORY SCREEN

  2. notjasonlee says:

    wait–does the game only have two chapters? me confuse

    • Turin Turambar says:

      The game have more than two chapters, he is only commenting how good is the end of chapter II.

    • cmi says:

      I guess he wanted to say how epic the ending of (just) chapter 2 is. In fact, it appears to be more epic then other games aim for the ending.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    I want to marry this game. Who needs women, anyway? Just Geralt, me and a sandy beach. Yes.

    “The map is terrible.”

    On that note, is it normal that the in-game world map is not in English?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      That’s just one of the reasons it is bad.

    • billyblaze says:

      The other three being, at least for people without a proper sense of direction, like me:

      -The map doesn’t open instantly, it takes a second or two.
      -The minimap is not fixed, i.e. “north is always the direction you’re walking towards”
      -No map markers, you can’t even put the tracker on existing ones

    • Lobotomist says:

      World map is in cyrilic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrillic_alphabet

    • Valvarexart says:

      I’d just like to say that looking at it as a role-player, the map is wonderful. It’s what a map was like back then, not some type of computer-generated fog-of-war thing….

  4. Pipster says:

    In response to the image in this article, I couldn’t resist posting this:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cc/Polish_Plumber.jpg
    ;D

  5. Drakon says:

    I don’t know, I’ve been kinda put off by the reports of game-stopping bugs, crippling performance, etc. Some people say it needs an Enhanced Edition, like the first one did.

    I might pick it up if I hear they’ve fixed all the issues. By the way Jim, don’t forget to mention in the full WIT how long your first playthrough took, I’m really curious.

    • billyblaze says:

      I haven’t had any problems whatsoever – played 15h – and according to the few threads on GOG’s Witcher 2 forum, I’m confident most people do.

      Remember, people playing the game fine don’t go on forums and post about it.

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      PoulWrist says:

      Performance is fine. The problem is that there’s no feedback in the setup menu so you don’t know what anything is. I had trouble running the game, for instance, and I kept disabling and enabling and reducing things I knew what were. Turns out “Ubersampling” is what you want to turn off unless you have a really mean machine, as in, a highend Core i7 and a Radeon 6970/90 or Geforce 580/590 configuration.
      When I turned Ubersampling off, the game ran fine and I could put every other option to max/on.
      My specs; Radeon 5870, 8gb ram, AMD X4 965 @ stock.

      Haven’t noticed much of anything that needs real fixing other than the game having no tutorial what so ever. Well, there’s some points of text that appear while you’re desperately trying to fight enemies but not knowing how :p but that’s not what i call a tutorial. And there are a few script problems I noticed, but overall the things going on is so far beyond what we’ve seen in any RPG, maybe ever, that a few problems are easily forgivable.

    • kyrieee says:

      No issues here either. I’ve seen one or two cases of minor lack of polish (like some clipping) but that’s all.

    • Drakon says:

      Hmm, thanks for the replies, guys. Coincidentally, an online game store from my country just had the game reduced to the equivalent of about 32 euros, so the chances of me buying it have gone to “pretty damn good”.

    • Unaco says:

      There is a file, something similar comes with most pieces of Software. It’s name is both a title, and an entreaty. It is called the README file (Which means “Read Me” incase some people miss that). It explains, in reasonable detail, what all of the graphics options do.

    • porschecm2 says:

      Poulwrist, actually, I’m running a Core i7 2600k, and an AMD MSI 6970HD overclocked, with 8gbs of RAM, and with ubersampling on, I get about 25fps. With it turned off, I get 55-60fps. I’m not really sure what rig could run with ubersampling, as my rig is easily in the top few percent, unless it runs way better on Nvidia cards or something (which I have heard a few people talk about).

    • abremms says:

      I had the 1 frame per second bug to start with, couldn;t even get through the company logos at the start. the new nVidia beta drivers fixed that though, now i’m getting good performance on ultra settings minus ubersampling. I don’t know what ubersampling is, but it sounded intense, so I turned it off and my frame rate tripled.

      I’m playing on a GTX470, for what its worth.

    • Toyoch says:

      @Drakon

      Performance is good, even better than I thought. I torrented the game first (and was probably one of the first to have it in Europe but thats a different matter) to see if it runs somehow on my ancient machine (AMD 5000+, ATI 5770, 6GB RAM) and yes, it runs even well on medium.

      Needless to say, I bought the game after trying it.

    • Inverness says:

      You know there is this thing called a readme that you’re supposed to read that explains what all the graphical options are for.

  6. Sardukar says:

    What he said. The stealth system was also challenging to get used to, right next to the torches.

    Sorting through the loot does mean using the categories, but I found it fairly simple. Just don’t click the “All” button if you’ve been crate-popping like crazy.

    Another gripe: Crazy amount of money from my Witcher 1 save. I have this weird feeling of…freedom. It’s repulsive! Why don’t I have to labour and scrimp for money? I’m heedlessly buying things with the money I earned from my previous days of scrimping as this character!

    Aaand…that’s about the list of negatives for me. Everything else is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

    If you like good writing, if you ever wanted to run around inside someone else’s beautifully realised world, if you saw Willow or Highlander or Excalibur or Ladyhawke or even the Holy Grail and wanted to be That Guy…this is the game for you.

    Now, must sleep lest I sustain brain damage.

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      Stellar Duck says:

      How much money are we talking about? Because I seem to be pretty poor despite importing my save.

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      PoulWrist says:

      I was wondering that as well, I had 500ish gold from my imported save. No recollection as to the amount of gold in the save though…

    • Valvarexart says:

      I am pretty sure that I had sever thousand orens from beating Foltest at high-stake poker in the end of the first game…However, I only seem to have about 200-300 in my imported save….Dunno, really…I had 3 possible save imports, I chose the one with the highest number….

    • Unaco says:

      Yeah. I have around 250,000 Orens from my imported save. I’m just starting Chapter 1, and need to get rid of them. Somehow.

    • db1331 says:

      WTF? I had about 10,000 orens in my imported save and only started with about 400.

    • mwoody says:

      This needs to be written somewhere in huge letters, because it’s popping up everywhere and ruining people’s games.

      If you don’t have a save file, DO NOT use the ones floating around the ‘net. That guy had some egregious amount of cash when he finished the game, probably from a hack, and enough of it transfers to the new game to thoroughly ruin it. It’s about 245k orens, all told, making you an impossibly rich tycoon and rendering item collection pointless.

      I played through the first chapter, thinking it would of course get taken away, and though it was, it was given back in the second. I’m going to see if I can just find a store with something expensive and infinite to burn off, because I don’t want to start over.

    • Unaco says:

      It’s OK… I have a plan to rid myself of the money. The first “Lady of Negotiable Virtue” I come across is going to be a very, very, very rich lady.

    • Sardukar says:

      Found a fix for the money bug or savegame hack or whatever, depending how much money you have: buy a shopkeepers items, spend lots, sell it back to him, repeat. Works nicely to chop a few thousand off.
      If you have a truly crazy amount, that could be more challenging.

      Also: first game I recall I can say, “screw you no deal” to the blindfold. So nice.

  7. chickdigger802 says:

    performance seems to be strange for me. I started out around 30fps. 40fps for parts of chapter 1. Then came back a few hours later, now getting around 20fps that dips to 10fps with no settings difference.

    A bit hard to fight in this game with rapidly changing fps >.>”

    And the game is too well optimized so in which all those advance options barely affect your fps. Only thing that does something is Uber something.

    If you can play this smooth, put everything ultra, if you can’t, low won’t make much of a difference fps wise.

    • notjasonlee says:

      uh, that typically means it’s not optimized. if you don’t get an FPS boost when lowering some of these high performance options, something’s wrong.

    • billyblaze says:

      Is it possible that your CPU might be the bottleneck? Most, if not all, of the advanced options influence the GPU – so if you don’t gain fps by turning some of those down, this is what I’d think.

      Also, UberSampling will always, by definition, halve your fps – it effectively renders everything on your screen a second time to give you an effect that makes AA+AF obsolete. It works quite well, but it’s more like GTA4′s Draw Distance feature on PC – more of a feature for people who come back to the game a few years later, when newer hardware is out.

      I’m sure there’s some guy with a $9000 PC that can rock UberSampling and everything else on Ultra, but it’s definitely not for 99,9% of peeps.

    • chickdigger802 says:

      hmmm would c2q q9550 really be an issue here?

  8. Pobblepop says:

    I played for about 9 hours yesterday, so not quite as long as you but still for a game to hold my attention for that long is unusual. The world is truly something to behold, aside from the beautiful visuals, the people that live in it are very animated and diverse, they all seem to be doing their own thing, not just standing around like lemons waiting for you to click on them. The dialogue on the whole is very well written, engaging and somewhat base which gives it all a colourful edge. The audio could be balanced a bit better as in some areas the environmental sound drowns out Geralts raspy tones.
    The menus to your skills and talents are a bit shit to be honest, yes I read the manual and no it’s still not particularly clear what bits you need to click on to do various things, it works like a console game menu, annoying. In some areas BLOOM!!! Geralt could do with some shades. No 16:10 support at launch, again annoying and an obvious oversight.
    I love the sword fighting, I’m playing on normal and have to roll around and block to take some harder armoured enemies down, looking forward to the swordmanship skills later.
    Summary so far :- Excellent, excellent, excellent game, anyone that likes rpgs shouldn’t hesitate to buy this.

  9. Premium User Badge

    UW says:

    This game is fantastic. I’m partway through Chapter One and, though I’ve had to fly by the seat of my pants on a few rough fights, it’s just been greatness every second of the way.
    Is there any sort of item storage system similar to the first game? So far I haven’t come across anything of the sort, which hasn’t been much of a problem yet but if later on there’s a bunch of rare swords and stuff I don’t want to have to throw them away… I’m a hoarder!
    The inability to invert the mouse seems like a glaring omission. I’m sure it will be fixed soon but for the moment – really? How hard can that be? I always, always invert my mouse. I’m getting by without it but it’s adding artificial difficulty to already tough combat.

  10. Keilnoth says:

    Gold piece dropping from skeletons and fungus giving you swords… I love that. It’s so immersive.

  11. Giaddon says:

    Pretty much my only gripe so far is the damn QTE on the Kraken-monster battle (jumping off the tentacle), which I’m pretty sure is impossible. I had to turn off “difficult QTEs” to beat that thing. Also, the opening is way more confusing than it needed to be, story-wise. For new Witcher players it must be totally overwhelming.

    Stuff I really like:
    You have to be out of combat to take potions (meaning you have to anticipate and prepare yourself for battle. There’s just a great feeling of meditating by the campfire, thinking about what I want to accomplish, crafting some potions, drinking them, and then heading out into the wilderness)

    The costumes/outfits (of all the characters). Just awesome.

    The constant feeling that I’m making choices/missing opportunities. A few playthroughs will I’m sure reveal that a lot is locked in, but right now I feel like there’s at least a few important things I can change.

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      Saul says:

      That boss battle is totally epic. It IS possible to win without changing settings, but dammit if it didn’t take me at least fifty tries. Still, I kind of enjoyed it the whole time, which very rarely happens when I have to do something over and over. It does feel very Demon’s Souls.

      I’ve no idea what people who are reporting it’s 20 long are smoking. Unless they’re hardcore Demon’s Souls players already, and skipping all the sidequests. I’M skipping most of the sidequests, and I’ve been playing for at least 15 hours. I’m still in chapter 1 – though not for long, I don’t think.

    • Giaddon says:

      RE: the Karyn (?) QTE: REALLY!? Damn! The jump-off button flashes on my screen for about 1/3 of a second. And you hit it? That’s tenacity! Good job!

      Other than that, I did like that fight. The monster is great, although I wish the sorceress hadn’t immediately told you how to beat the thing. It would have been neat to try to figure it out.

    • GeneralERA says:

      Yeah, that Kayren fight was one of the best boss battles I’ve ever played, but I didn’t think the QTE was that hard. I think I beat it in about five tries on normal mode. I found that the way to avoid death is to have a quen sign up ALWAYS. (Continual Quen spam was the only way I beat the first chapter as a whole without destroying my PC in rage…)

  12. MrMud says:

    I havent played more than a few hours so far and I am still in act 1 but so far im loving it (although I have died a fair number of times on normal so I agree that its a bit punishing in the beginning).
    So far the thing that probably shocked me the most has to be how bold they are about nudity. Not shocked in a “this game is evil” kind of way but shocked in that if fox news finds out the game will probably be banned in the states as the scene with Triss in the first chapter is pretty damn explicit for being a game.

    • Outsider says:

      Seriously, don’t be silly. It was full nudity, and not even in a lewd manner. Magazines and movies showing the same or more are well abound here. This isn’t Saudi Arabia.

  13. Vexing Vision says:

    1) The tutorial is one of the toughest tutorials I ever encountered. I’m not used to using consumables during the warm-up fights.

    2) My 6-year-old gaming rig can still run this! Awesome! Bit blocky, but still pretty and the animations are glorious!

    3) Love the mature language. Age of Conan tried to do that, but here, the “Fuck Yous” are so much more sincere.

    4) Split path decisions during the tutorial? Fuck yeah, I’ll replay this!

    5) Combat/Movement feels a bit… “swampy”. I don’t know. Movement is not as precise as I am used to. I am sure over the course of the many, many hours I will spend in the world, I’ll get used to it.

    6) Eat this, BioWare. I sincerely hope Witcher 2 sells!

    • grnr says:

      what spec is yr rig? my laptop is a C2D 2.5Ghz, 4Gig ram, Geforce 8600 – it ran the first Witcher ok, but i fear W2 may be too much for it…

      Thoughts anyone?

  14. Giaddon says:

    Also! Use Quen or whatever the “Q” sign is. It’s a defensive shield that makes the fights so much better!

  15. Quxxy says:

    Some thoughts on TW2 thus far: I was tempted to start calling it “The Witcher 2 Many Cutscenes” at the start because GOOD GRIEF did they go on. Yes, the king is a badass; can I please be allowed to do something. Oh, I get to look through a spyglass. Ok, that’s… wait, that’s it? Back to another cutscene?! Let me play!

    Thankfully, it appears to have largely gotten over it for the time being.

    TW2 makes two CD Projekt games in a row where I’ve been thrown into a fistfight with no instructions and nearly died because I had no idea what the hell was going on. In TW1, I had to look up the in-game help to work out what was going on. In TW2, it’s now a bloody quicktime event. Oh JOY.

    At least it’s not a particularly unpleasant QTE, but still. Minus several hundred points for laziness.

    Actually, there’s quite a few “rapidly click the left mouse button!” QTEs thus far. There’s also a ridiculous mid cutscene QTE that only actually triggers (I think) four times. At least they flash up a great big warning on screen: “we’re about to be incredibly lazy and use a QTE involving the right mouse button: get ready!”

    Regarding the combat: I was this close to giving up on the very first solo fight in the game because I just kept dying over and over and over and over again. Eventually, I managed to get past it by quitting the game to find out how in the hell to use magic, downing a potion before the fight (whoever decided you can’t use potions in combat should be flogged) and running away a lot.

    I suppose the biggest problem I had was in hoping the combat would be anywhere near as good as Batman: AA. That game has seriously skewed my view of any game that has third person hand-to-hand combat. It doesn’t help that the dodge move is virtually useless (I take less damage from just running away), you can’t look around in a fight without Geralt leaping across the room to attack someone else or that you can only parry twice before you have to run away.

    My standard strategy now is: cast Quen on myself. Run around to thin out enemies. Once they’re spread out a bit, stand still and wait for one to approach. Parry first strike. Use two strong attacks and one fast attack and then run away. Run away sooner if help shows up. Run around like a doofus until Quen wears off and my measly two mana points (forget the name) recharge. Repeat.

    Yes, group fights take for bloody ever.

    Also, I should mention that The Witcher 2 is the first game that has ever made me feel nauseous. The motion blur when I tried to turn the camera the first time was horrific. I had to turn the graphical settings down to “Medium” to get it to stop. Then I had to turn it down to “Low” to make the game playable.

    The game selected “High” automatically based on my hardware.

    On the whole, though, I’m enjoying it so far. It definitely feels more solid than TW1 did.

    • kibayasu says:

      You could just turn off blurring effects?

    • billyblaze says:

      Yeah, you should turn off both the blur options and be mostly fine.

      What difficulty are you playing on? On Hard, I’m not really able to fight in such a formulaic manner. Got to use signs, traps, potions, bombs, oils and proper dodging and blocking, lest I be two-hitted by anything heavier than three drowners. It feels really good. Sometimes I check out the Monster’s entry in my journal out of pure desperation or actually go out farming for to make better gear. I feel like more of a Witcher than TW1 ever let me, that’s for sure. :)

    • mbourgon says:

      Agree on several bits. The installer also seemed to want to verify the game 3 or so times. Plus the cutscenes in the beginning. And the truly oddest one was that first fight – at which I died twice then went to the game manual.

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      Saul says:

      “the dodge move is virtually useless”

      It really isn’t. It’s been my main survival tactic so far. You just have to time it right.

  16. Item! says:

    Jim,
    Would you agree with (mine and other’s) comments that the controls are a little duff, that they sometimes refuse to respond and that they are not really tight enough for the kind of combat experience the game is trying to offer, or is it really just a timing/learning curve issue and one that you have now overcome?

    I slogged my way through the opening episode with gritted teeth and nearly rage-quit a few times…especially as it felt as though I was always being beaten by the controls going to sleep or the camera popping for a smoke break behind a tree or portcullis, rather than because the mechanics of fighting were challenging.

    All that said, I am now on to chapter 2, the game has opened up, I am compelled to continue playing and I am pretty certain I am having fun.

    • Item! says:

      …and to add, yes it is definately one of the prettiest games I have played in some time. Makes DA2 look pretty ropy in both graphical fidelity and art design and runs significantly better on my PC than the former.

    • godgoo says:

      I had this exact experience but it does start to click into place. the main problem I was having was that, by the 5th go around on the same fight with the same dudes, now having taken ‘swallow’ pre fight and making use of bombs etc I was getting pretty frustrated and having moments where I was just spamming the light attack/spell/parry keys which is totally the wrong thing to do. I think my brain was slipping into Ass Creed mode and hoping I could hack away, hit parry and instantly block and knock back not only the enemy I was attacking but any surrounding me and even after several fights where I was punished for this notion it wasn’t quite sinking in. Anyway I was getting especially frustrated that when surrounded I would attack then block and frequently the block wouldn’t even happen! Turns out everything is about timing and evasion, and evasion and spells, and evasion and timing. it’s a slightly odd combat system for sure but once it starts to click it becomes quite rewarding.

      Seems a shame that by the sound of it this balance of reward/ frustration is somewhat over addressed further down the line, TW1 had exactly the same problem. hopefully the story will be more than enough to carry the odd action difficulty curve, and maybe some meaty boss fights will help too.

      Apologies, that was an awful lot to write, safe to say I’m REALLY enjoying this game so far.

    • Sard says:

      This thing don’t allow me to meditate in teh beginning if chapter 1, where i should go into forest seeking elves. For the sake of mother dirty thing – WHY?
      Why it do dis to me?
      Dying several times in following battles give me so much rage so I cant go on plying this thing
      I hate it so much
      so so much

      And I think this thing is awesome, so hating it make me sad.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I’m not thrilled with the combat either, but enough other people are saying “stick with it, you’ll get better” that I’m trying to tamp down frustration.

      As someone else said here, the controls feel “floaty,”and a bit disconnected. I’m getting a very smooth frame rate, but it feels like there’s some additional layer of molasses sometimes between my mouse moments and keyboard hits during combat. It’s also hard to tell who I’m targeting within a group of enemies, even with the Alt key, due to the way the camera works.

      There are several elements that combine to make it essential not to be surrounded by a group of enemies — the lack of the first game’s group combat style, the ability to block only to the front at first, and the way signs and blocking use the same energy resource (ack! frustrating! but I guess they’re forcing a choice between magic and sword skills?). So my Geralt has to do a lot of rolling, rolling, rolling, and running away. That rolling on the ground looks so silly I’d like to avoid doing it at all, but it seems to be important in the early game, before Geralt gets more skills. Or else I’m just not good enough at the alternatives.

      The game is very pretty, but the effect is reduced by the 16:9 letterboxing on my 4:3 monitor. The UI elements and text are scaled down and harder to see, which doesn’t make the fights any easier.

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    Vandelay says:

    I have no idea why I’m holding out on this, but know I should. I will get distracted by something else and just won’t be able to dedicate the time required. I’ve not even started ME2, which I bought during the EA week on Steam.

    So tempting though…

    Quick question, do they still have the Polish with English subtitles? I realised whilst playing the first I would always avoid dubbed films, so the same should be true with games, where possible.

    Also, have they improved character development and is the a skill tree a bit more varied? I didn’t think the first had many possibilities in that regard.

  18. Gnoupi says:

    Found that moment yet? http://www.vg247.com/2011/05/18/the-witcher-2-easter-egg-takes-a-swipe-at-assassins-creed/

    Nice poking at the famous “assassin” :-)

  19. Srekel says:

    Do you need to have finished the first game to enjoy this? I’ve started on it but it didn’t quite catch my fancy, but then, supposedly it gets better after ten (?) hours or so but I’m not sure I can wait that long.

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      Vandelay says:

      On a similar note, do you benefit much from using your saved game from the original?

      Really need to get in the habbit of storing save games from RPGs if this carry over to sequels is gping to continue. I was going to replay the original before getting this, but would take ages.

    • phylum sinter says:

      I played the first one rather extensively, but the way the second is presented is very complete as-is. Almost in a DA2 sort of fashion, with flashbacks being played as the tutorial chapter. I cannot say if it goes on that way, but thankfully every other aspect is different from DA2.

      @Vandelay – I would like to know this as well, but starting fresh was totally painless.

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      PoulWrist says:

      Regarding save imports, I imported my old Witcher save, and I started out wearing Raven’s Armor and wielding the Gwalhir steel sword and Aerondight silver sword, from the lady of the lake. Don’t know what other things might be going on, but I figure NPC chatter about what I did, like destroy the order and such, comes in.

    • Premium User Badge

      Saul says:

      Forget it. I began playing the first one in the lead up to this, and it had some great elements, but it really, really drags. Jump straight in the deep end of the second one and splutter around until you learn to swim. It’s SO much better – I’d compare the jump to the leap between Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, in terms of just how superior is in every single way.

  20. kibayasu says:

    I never got that frustrated at the combat in the prologue. I died a few times but I’d like to say I caught on to what I needed to do to survive fairly quickly. Combat further down the line seems like it’d be really interesting too. It seems like it’d be a completely viable strategy to just throw all my talent points into one tree (especially Signs, they seem like they’d become ridiculously overpowered) but I feel like I *need* to spread them out and see how they combine. Throw most of my points into swords but enough into alchemy for bombs and just wreck havoc (hopefully) at close range. Then again, trying to spread them out could turn out horribly.

    Flotsam has also given me my new favorite background chatter:
    “You’re out of mutton.”
    “What do you want me to do, shit a sheep?”

    Never change NPC cook.

  21. Yehat says:

    Graphical glitches everywhere, I think I spotted a guardsman moonwalking at subsonic speeds behind Aryan’s back during the prologue. Otherwise the game looks heavenly and the performance is smooth like a sorceress’ backside (SORRY).

    The map and the inventory are pretty to see but terrible to use, checking your alchemy ingredients and recipes is particularly difficult unless I’m missing something.

    The athmosphere, plot and dialogue are spot-on to what I remember about the novels. Played through the prologue and the beginning of the first chapter and there’s a LOT of very memorable moments there.

    The third flashback sequence frustrated me immensely. At least in the prologue the combat on the hard setting is… hard. Thankfully, after you’ve got used to the somewhat floaty controls it’s also clearly superior to the original game’s.

    Haven’t figured out yet how you gain abilities. Are they supposed to be kind of mini-achievements that give you bonuses, as in Alpha Protocol? I assume you gain levels in the conversation skills as you use them.

    Probably should get back to playing the darn thing.

    • kibayasu says:

      You gain ablities the same way as the original Witcher. Gain levels, gain talent points. I think you’re limited to the “Witcher” tree until level 6 or 7, then the other 3 trees open up and you’re completely free from there.

      As for the dialogue options, I’m assuming that the various “special” options will work on various types of people. For example, I’m guessing if at some point you’re chatting with a sorceror/sorceress it wouldn’t be a good idea to try and magically charm them.

    • godgoo says:

      or conversely a really BAD idea to attempt to magically charm a sorceress!

    • Yehat says:

      I meant the abilites shown in the third tab of the attributes screen, such as Strong Back (+50 to carry capacity) or Conjuror (+3 to spell effects). The manual is completely unhelpful with this.

      edit: also, am I the only one who can’t help thinking about World of Goo when viewing the character abilites screen?

      editedit: also, I swear I heard the grunting sound from Doom during the arm-wrestling minigame. This game is so weird.

  22. UncleLou says:

    I am loving it so far. The tutorial/prologue is indeed a bit long and linear, but I enjoyed it, and I expected the game to open up as The Witcher 1 was similar.

    In chapter 1 now, and the game reminds me more of Gothic 1 and 2 than anything else – which is officially a very good thing. It is indeed bloody hard though, but I feel like I am getting the hang of the combat now. Demon’s Souls comparisons that keep cropping up are not entirely far-fetched.

  23. Subject 706 says:

    Gargh, must leave work early today! Horribly enough I’ve lost all my TW1 saves. How much carries over from the first game?

    • d32 says:

      I would be interested in knowing this, too. I’ve started playing the first one again (lost my older saves… gigabytes of them, as I remember) – but boy, that game runs badly, on a machine that runs Crysis 2 very well.

  24. Dominic White says:

    Not encountered any bugs so far, aside from a couple of menus behaving weirdly with a gamepad (analogue movement just feels right here), and trousers seeming to be unequipped from Geralt and/or NPCs rather easily… Hilarious but weird.

    As for the game? Absolutely loving it. I haven’t upgraded this PC notably in about five years, and yet run it quite happily at High detail. The initial difficulty spike was a shock, but this was because I was used to the largely-mindless combat of the original game. It’s clear that someone on CD Projekts design team has played Demon’s Souls.

    Yep, I said it : The Witcher 2 plays shockingly like Demon’s Souls. This is a VERY GOOD THING. You cannot hoard or take even the smallest enemy for granted. Right from the start, you have no less than five different (and highly useful) spells and a bag-full of traps, bombs and potions and you need to use every single one of them, because death comes quick and easy to those who don’t prepare. It’s much closer to the source material too, where Geralt uses every single trick in the book in order to win. He’s not a samurai – he’s not fighting for honor. He’s trying to stay alive another day.

    My only gripe with the combat system is that blocking needs to cancel out of more animations. If I’m rolling while holding block, I want to transfer straight out of the roll into a block animation. Also, rolling could use some invincibility frames – ideally near the start of the dodge.

    I’m about halfway into Chapter 1 now, and the town of Flotsam puts anything Bioware have done in years to shame. It’s beautiful and grubby and small and homely and filthy and detailed and alive, and it’s just the first little bit of civilization you get to play around in.

    If the game continues to improve past this point, then this will probably be the best RPG I’ve played in ages.

    • Wizlah says:

      Dominic, can I ask roughly what the specs on your rig are? I think mine is a little fresher than yours, but I’m guessing not much, so I’m curious.

    • Dominic White says:

      Intel Core 2 Duo (2.13ghz)
      4gb cheap/slow DDR2
      Radeon 5770 (recently replaced my Radeon 4770 which broke – it’s a budget-priced card, though)
      Windows 7 64bit
      1360 x 768 TV as monitor

      The processor is oooold (and it makes it chug a bit during big crowd scenes). The memory is cheap. The video card is comparatively recent, but on the lower end of the power scale.

      The framerate is pretty variable, but as most combat takes place with only a limited number of things around, I get ~30fps (sometimes higher) during most combat encounters, which is fine. It looks so very beautiful, though.

    • Item! says:

      Indeed I and others have made the same Demon’s Souls comparison…but more in a “It wants to be Demon’s Souls but doesn’t quite pull it off” way.

      It comes close, but the controls are too woolly and inconsistant and the camera too wayward. DS was always tough but fair and you died because you fought the wrong fight not because the block-button didn’t work.

    • Wizlah says:

      Yeah, I should be fine. I’ve got 4 Gig reasonable memory, a dualcore black edition 5000 and a 512mb 4870.

      Cheers for that. All the comments are really positive given the problems everyone is encountering with the game.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Like Demon’s Souls? So a semi-linear third person hack and slash that happens to be slightly more difficult than other RPGs?

      Is there no first person option? If there isn’t then I’ve just lost all interest.

    • Unaco says:

      No. There is no 1st Person Option… Unless you’re looking through a Spyglass/Peeking through a hole in a door or wall/Looking out across a vista.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Thanks for the reply Unaco, evidently this isn’t the game for me.

  25. Tom OBedlam says:

    Holy Hellcats this is beautiful, but adding to everyone else, Jesus Shit Lizards the first three hours are hard!

  26. fionny says:

    I want to cry, I cant really play it, it slows down to a stutter very quickly despite being on lowest settings, reducing res has no bearing at all….. I have the beta Nvidia drivers which didnt make a difference.

    Spec: 2x 8800GTS 640mb in SLI
    4gig DDR2 RAM
    3.2GHz AMD Athlon X2 Black

    Its installed on a Vertex 2 drive so read times are not the issue…. I know my spec is just above the min but this is ridiculous. Anyone have any suggestions?

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      Try uninstalling the nVidia 3D Vision drivers using Windows “Add/remove programs” if you have them (mainly for brand new cards through, so maybe you don’t have those). Lots of people report that fixes their performance problems.

    • fionny says:

      Thanks, those were installed so I have removed remotely, will try again when I get home from work! Fingers and toes crossed!

  27. Alpineviper says:

    I’ve only just finished the tutorial but so far I’m loving the world, decisions, etc.

    This will make it seem like I don’t like the game (which is completely untrue) but I’m going to list my gripes:

    1) That combat is hard! I had the difficulty on hard and wussed out back to medium after my first fight on my own. I had a feeling it would get easier as you get more badass so I might bump it back up to hard later. How the hell anyone could ever get through insane mode with only one life is beyond me. Its also a bit nothing at the moment, but I hope it will get better as I get more abilities.

    2) OMG SO MUCH BLOOM! I thought the gaming world was finally getting over bloom. Looking through the spyglass I could barely see any human figures thanks to the glare. (Not to mention that it didn’t matter how high or low I aimed, Geralt always barked “3 degrees!”. Miss.). It makes me feel like I’ve been swimming in a heavily chlorinated pool for a few hours without goggles. I’ll be turning that off before I next start the game.

    3) The map is, indeed, useless. However this means I get to try navigating the old fashioned way – with my spatial awareness! Stupid map.

    4) The inventory screen. I’m surprised no-one has mentioned this yet, but dear god do I hate it. It reeks of a bad console port… except theres no console version! It honestly feels like they thought you wouldn’t have a mouse.
    The Witcher 1′s inventory screen wasn’t brilliant, but it presented me with a lot of info without the need to dig through multiple tabs; and it only used half the screen. This tiny list that I have to scroll through is seriously painful. I can’t see how much of what herb I have without multiple clicks and a lot of digging. And waiting for the painfully slow autoscroll to see how toxic a potion is is just ridiculous. I’m not sure who they had do the usability pass on this (and the rest of those pages) but they need to be shot.

    5) This might just be me missing a setting but I have black bars on the top and bottom of my monitor, as if the aspect ratio is wrong for a PC monitor. I was wondering why I felt my vision was limited till I noticed that. Though that might also be the bloom.

    6) Geralt speaks too quietly. I couldn’t hear him over the trebuchets and army noise most the time.

    That’s all I can remember for now.
    Still having fun, enjoying the story and really, I’ve only just begun.

    (It took me a while to get the altair reference when I stumbled on it.)

    • Zenicetus says:

      @ #5: You’re getting black bars at the top and bottom because the game only runs in 16:9 aspect ratio. Very annoying… especially on 4:3 ratio monitors where everything scales so small, but the devs say there is a patch in the works to support other aspect ratios.

      P.S. One thing I wonder about, is whether the letterboxing actually improves frame rates on non-16:9 monitors, since the game isn’t animating all the available pixels on the monitor? Even if that’s the case, I’d rather see larger UI and text on my 4:3 monitor. I think I could handle a small frame rate hit.

  28. Burning Man says:

    This game…… needs a good solid spit-shine. And that’s it.

    Graphics are gorgeous, but terribly optimized. I’ve had slideshow gameplay on Medium and perfectly smooth movement with fancy motion blur on High. Combat is intelligent in planning, but feels icky, like tweaking speed of attack here or using an auto lock would really help things feel better. It definitely feels Arkham Asylum inspired, but my god that game’s combat was magnificent. So… well done.

    Then there are the obvious bugs like me casting Aard at an Arbalest who just stands there and takes it like a man, proceeding to then lose health while I sock him with my sword, but smoothly sheathing his crossbow all along. Or of course, the game crashing at random and potentially a little too often. There is the confusing design decision to map everything to ‘mouse click’, which leads to me attacking the air over corpses rather arbitrarily. Even the context specific pop-ups need to appear in a larger range – I find myself maneuvering into place several times before I can pick a herb or open a door.

    Then of course, there are my pet peeves, like knowing fistfights net me an easy 20 gold each time and dithering over whether I should exploit this system for hours on end to be able to buy everything I want. Or of course, the fact that I can’t sleep with any prostitutes around (“Praise the Goddess??” WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU WOMAN??!).

    But, there’s plenty that’s simply spectacular with this game. It’s stayed true to its roots, unlike a *cough* certain other *cough* game we know well, it always looks fantastic, it still has the vibe of a real-world fairy tale. I love the way Cat has been implemented, I actually enjoyed my stealth sections, all the magical signs are so much more useful, fistfights are dead easy and serious fun, health bars are very well designed, etc.

    It just needs polish. A lot of it.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Try turning off Ubersampling, that made the difference between running with everything on max or not running at all for me.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      Also it should be noted that you can indeed sleep with the prostitutes. At least I’ve done so a couple of times. Purely as an experiment, mind! I’d never ogle at digital ladies. At least not much.

      There was a lot of lady parts on screen though and I was slightly worried someone would come into my room while it was on. Would have been strange.

    • Burning Man says:

      @PoulWrist UberSampling’s been off for a while. Funnily enough, I keep motion blur on because it ‘smooths out’ low FPS rates :D

      @Stellar Duck Do educate me. I have an avid desire to pay in game money to stare at naked lady parts. Also, Ves has an incredible ass O_O. I laughed every time she entered and left, because Roche would stare at it the whole time XD.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      @Burning Man:
      As far as I’ve been able to determine, not all the ladies will dance the vertical tango, but in Flotsam at least, if you head for the basement of the inn and walk on through a door to the side you’ll enter the brothel. At least three of the lasses there will ask if you want to have some time with them and will proceed to present you with some sort of payment interface. If you hand over the money you’ll be treated to a quite explicit little scene of Geralt and the chosen lass spending some time together.
      The biggest problem is actually finding the damn brothel, which I consider to be a bad way for such an establishment of doing business. The clients should be able to find your place without a compass and a map.

      Edit: And you are quite right about Ves!

    • arccos says:

      @Burning Man: Not sure if you know this, but there is a lock on key. Its Alt. Takes some getting used to, but it can be helpful in certain circumstances. Most of the time, though, I’m trying to separate the enemies enough that I don’t really want or need to lock on.

      Easier said than done. :-)

  29. WMain00 says:

    Thoughts in general plus/minuses:

    +It’s really really pretty. The engine has been well thought out to be as fantastically beautiful as possible, all on only DX9 based graphics, which is really impressive.
    +Combat is awesome. Demon Soul’s is definitely a good comparison. Although it takes a while to get used to, it really rewards you for proper combat thought. No wonder we all find it so hard; we’ve all got used to the Assassin’s Creed standard of enemies standing there waiting to be killed.
    +Adult woo. Not only is it an adult RPG story that doesn’t patronise you, it isn’t afraid of covering the fact that yes, women do have naughty bits. It’s good to see a game not shy away from this in case the Fox News police jump down their throats.
    +QTE events generally feel integrated into the world without being obtrusive “PUSH DA BUTTON!” moments.

    Couple of negatives:

    -Really hard tutorial, and i’m not entirely sure it was the brightest of ideas immediately throwing you into the lurge against a dragon. Most of the time I missed the little tutorial signs that came up, so I was getting punished for not knowing what to do. It can be a bit of a chore to understand what to do.
    -Really hard. Much like Demon Soul’s, anyone who goes into this thinking they can just slash and hack their way to victory is going to be quickly punished, which might put some people off.
    -Slightly muddled story. Though certainly I understand the basic background of it, at times the conversations seem a little muddled. Similarly it almost makes me feel I should go read the polish books just for a little background on all the factions at play.

    Other than that i’m really enjoying this. A fantastic game and definitely worthy of merit.

    • arccos says:

      Heh… I started on hard and choose the dragon option before any of the others. That game ended fast. :-) It’s surprising and kind of cool they don’t make you go through the earlier events first if you don’t choose to. And kind of frustrating, since it is supposed to be a tutorial.

  30. UncleLou says:

    Small tip regarding the performance – make sure to turn off Ubersampling. It makes the difference between 40-60 FPS with everything on Ultra except Ubersampling, and 10-15 FPS with Ubersampling. Something’s not quite right there.

    • Subject 706 says:

      I read that Ubersampling actually renders everything three times over, to achieve some sort of ultra-pretiness, so unless you have a stonkingly powerful pc, you probably want to turn it off.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Ubersampling is the future version of antialiasing and anisotropic filtering. Like AA in the past, it really knocks teeth out, and you only get a small visual bonus from it, compared to not using it. But hey, future phats is all good in my oppinion, that way when I return to the game in 5 years for a replay before Witcher 3 it won’t be all bad :)

  31. woodsey says:

    I finished the prologue last night, combat is a real struggle (even on normal) but I’m enjoying it immensely, and some of its down to needing to get used to the system – using the mouse to move between enemies (as opposed to running to them) was a bit counter-intuitive, but not so much now.

    The writing and voice acting so far has been brilliant, I must say.

  32. Gnoupi says:

    Did someone try to play in a “sub-normal” difficulty? Like a “casual” or “easy”? How does it go?

    I’m not too warm about the harsh difficulty. Dying more than twice on the same place is something rather frustrating than exciting, to me, in this kind of game, usually. A challenge is good, but if I can’t see the rest of the game because of a fight I can’t pass, it is highly annoying.

    Is the difficulty really lowering in the second chapter, to not come back?

  33. Premium User Badge

    Diziet Sma says:

    My impressions so far are :

    - It’s very good.
    - Voice acting is better, script is probably better.
    - It doesn’t like running at 1440×900 on my PC so I have to run it at 1920×1200 (woo 30fps)
    - The mouse keeps moving to the top left of the screen when I loot, must learn to use keyboard.
    - Hard mode is *****hard*****. So many attempts to win each fight, either I improve or lower the difficulty level.

    • billyblaze says:

      Space for “loot all”. :)

    • Premium User Badge

      Diziet Sma says:

      Aye that it is… I do wish more games would position the mouse appropriately though, why does it shoot off to the top left. I hit the left mouse to search and then I get a mouse pointer in the top left of the screen. Ah well. Space it is.

  34. Dominic White says:

    Oh, for those complaining about fights with multiple enemies taking too long – use bombs and traps more often. Any enemy that gets stunned becomes and easy target for a quick kill, and this is what you should be doing to thin out a crowd before really getting stuck in. If you’re just kiting them around Benny Hill style, hitting, then running, then repeating, you’re doing it wrong. You’ve got an inventory full of stuff – use it all.

    Seriously, if you do the standard RPG thing and hoard things ‘just in case’ you’ll need them later, you will die. It’s designed so that you should be always encountering that ‘Should use items now’ situation. Always.

    • Vexing Vision says:

      Completely agree. It took me two fights until I changed my habit of hoarding consumables.

      It’s a very different attitude. As soon as you give in to it, and Witchers DO rely on potions before every single battle according to the books, the game becomes a lot less hard.

      I think the tutorial should come with a huge sign saying: USE THE CONSUMABLES NO REALLY!

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, there’s no question that the game needed a half-hour of combat tutorial telling people how to fight like a Witcher – use everything you’ve got. Potions, traps, bombs, signs and only close in for the kill with a sword if you’ve got the odds stacked so that it’s at least an even fight.

      That first proper combat encounter around the ballista is a complete trial by fire, and the people who beat it by kiting the AI, stabbing, running and repeating without using any items came away with a really poor impression of the combat. It definitely needed explaining better, but I really like the combat engine once you’ve got the hang of it.

      The game points it out in a cutscene – no matter how badass a witcher might look, if you get cornered, some nobody with a pitchfork can kill you.

      For those saying that it gets easier around Chapter 2, try starting fresh and completing that first Ballista fight again. I bet it’ll seem like a walk in the park comparatively now.

    • Premium User Badge

      Diziet Sma says:

      I completely agree, only realised that after swearing at the computer trying to get into the monastery. It could’ve done with a bit of explaining, especially since you don’t appear to be able to swig down a health potion of any kind during combat now, whereas you could in the first.

    • Item! says:

      Yeah, this may well be where I am going wrong.

      I am at the beginning of chapter 2 and have yet to use any potions or items…the game doesn’t really promote or explain them and like everyone else, I habitually hoard such things in RPGS until perhaps my 20th or 30th attempt at some particularly vexing boss-fight…you know, just in case I need them later

    • Dominic White says:

      “I am at the beginning of chapter 2 and have yet to use any potions or items…”

      … How is that even POSSIBLE!? There’s a half-dozen fights that I’m completely sure are utterly unwinnable without using stuff.

    • Gravy says:

      Haha me and item! seem to be mirroring each others game styles, Im in the same position and have yet to use any consumables maybe i should start using some…

      I still think the controls are flawed as i posted in the oh dear article. I guess i was just wishing the swordplay was like demon souls, its not nearly tight enough.

      I’ll stick with it though as overall i’ve still enjoyed what i have played. The detail and graphics and animations have gone beyond.

  35. bleeters says:

    I physically ache whenever I’m forced to witness Geralt’s meticulously scarred torso. Scratches, wounds, bite marks – the man’s a walking encyclopedia of pain.

    • Dominic White says:

      I want to know just how the Kingslayer got that enormous indentation in his head. He looks like he’s had it even rougher than Geralt.

  36. groovychainsaw says:

    I only played 1/2 an hour last night (after wrapping up the witcher 1 – I’m a bit behind!), but my first thoughts are:

    Graphics are amazing! On my ageing system, i thought I was pushing my luck with things set to ‘medium’ (it recommended ‘low’), and it would look a bit weak, but genuinely looks stunning and seems to run pretty smoothly, with great draw distances and wonderful environmental effects (dust/smoke/sun rays etc.). Shows what can be done without having to hold back for consoles, I feel.

    I’m in direct control of Geralt! Coming straight from the witcher 1, with its ‘click to move’ system, this genuinely surprised me, although I’ve been avoiding previews. I’m not sure if like it yet, makes it a lot more difficult to see what’s going on around you in the fights, and the ‘one button does everything’ i could forsee causing issues. I quite enjoyed the combat in the first (admittedly that puts me in the minority) as it allowed a bit more strategy over your approach, this is definitely more ‘action-RPG’ combat than pure RPG combat(much like going from KOTOR to mass effect in terms of a shift in style).

    Voices/story so far are really good and characterful, with excellent creative swearing and interesting characters. I would imagine anyone new to this game who hasn’t completed the first would have no idea what is going on, but having finished the first one an hour before, it is just like playing the next chapter.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Witcher 1 had 2 control schemes, it made you choose between click to move or wasd+mouse when you started up.

    • groovychainsaw says:

      Ah -well , there you go – it had been a while since i began my original adventure, so didn’t remember. My old-school brain enjoys click to move, as ‘detached’ as that is supposed to make me from the character ;-)

      Given how third person it is, I’m tempted to try it on a pad for better control over your character/camera (2 sticks) – anyone else given that a go? The interface seems to be quite well set up for a pad?

  37. papabear says:

    “There are a few moments in the game that made my eyes pop out of my head. Not because they were good or pretty, but because WHAT.”

    WHAT in like “weird, bizzare, odd stuff” (i.e black sex magic) or “incomprehensible”?

  38. Ravenger says:

    After my initial disappointment over the restrictive keybinding, and some editing of the config files to fix that, I managed to put in a few hours play last night.

    It’s visually the most impressive game I’ve seen in a long time. The detail and design make the Dragon Age games look like PS2 era titles.

    My goodness it’s hard though! I’m having real trouble with groups of enemies at the moment, but I’m gradually getting a feel for the combat.

    i do feel that the entire game has been developed with more than a passing intent to make it easy to port to consoles. The in-game menus, the combat system, and having one button do all the interactions all seemed to be designed for consoles rather than PCs. The external configuration utility also seems to point that way too. That doesn’t make it a bad game, but it’s definitely got less of a PC feel to it than the original.

    The tutorial system isn’t that good. I picked up a mutagen and had no idea what to do with it as the help text vanished too quickly. I had to alt-tab out to read the manual, but found the game didn’t pause when you did that. It could do with some in-game descriptions of the various magic signs too, when you’re using the quick radial menu (another console leaning feature) to select them.

    Performance is excellent. I can run it at 1680×1050 in ultra without ubersampling at around 30fps, but the frame-rate feels much faster. It feels noticably smoother than say Crysis, as the same frame-rates. That’s on an i5 760 with an overclocked GTX460.

    Overall I’m really looking forward to getting into the main part of the game, providing I can get past the initial high difficulty in the prologue.

    • Avish says:

      I think you can read the tutorial bits in the journal.

      My problem with the tutorial is that it’s not really explaining much on how to do stuff like fighting properly or using magic.

  39. Lobotomist says:

    I have played around 6 hours last night.
    On Hard difficulty

    1. Graphic

    I have ATI 6850 – its budget range gaming card.

    Started the game on ULTRA settings. It run at 25 FPS. So i removed ubersampling and vsync
    Now it runs smooth as silk.

    And its probably the most visually impressive game on PC so far

    2. RPG(story)

    Writing is on par with Game of Thrones. I think that says all

    3. Gameplay

    New sword fighting system. I love it.
    And its HARD HARD HARD.

    4. RPG

    No question marks above NPC heads. You can (and have to) talk to everyone you see.
    And than some will have quests for you. But only way to know it is to talk to them.
    The amount of written dialogue is staggering.

    Moral decisions are obvious from get go. And they are brutal.

    All in all

    I had mega high expectations. And the game managed to meat and beat them.

    Veni Vidi Vici CDP

    p.s

    The game makes Bioware look ridiculous

    • papabear says:

      BiAware is ridiculous. No other company hypes their game using sexual orientation.

    • Drakon says:

      Topping Bioware in its current form is no longer a feat worth mentioning. Bioware make themselves look ridiculous.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      You do realise both can be good? In different ways? And that changing a company’s name in some sort of clever point-making way makes you look petty, foolish, and homophobic? Which is terribly odd for someone called ‘papabear’? Right?

    • papabear says:

      I don’t believe Bioware is capable of doing sincere games anymore. Since they got under the iron hand of EA at least. Promoting a game with its freedom of sexual orientation at the very beginning just looks like pathetic marketing baloon to me. I am not homophobic sir, hell no. That is my petty little opinion.

      “BiAware”. Damn. I thought that was funny.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      Why does that, of all things, make Bioware ridiculous? You could at least moan about how they took out the crap inventory stuff and wahhhhhhhhh—

      When making a game in which you can sex things up, it seems valid to point out that you can sex up the things some portion of your fanbase wishes to sex up, eg disgusting space aliens.

      Edit: sex up sex up sex up

    • papabear says:

      OH YOU INTERSPECIES GAY SEX LOVING PERVERTS!

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      I could never really understand the amount of squee over Garrus. He’s got a sexy voice, to be sure, but he’s also a silicon crab person.

    • bleeters says:

      I’m not entirely sure how a quick twitter announcement amongst dozens like it amounts to hyping, but ok.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      Most companies hype their games based on hyper-masculinity and heterosexuality – is there victory-through violence? Are there ladies with big boobs? The tells might be subtextual, but they are as clear as day.
      And, as for name-changey games – it’s purpose is negative, and to mock the company, and the means is highlighting its links to homosexuality, thus homosexuality is being used as a pejorative. You may not mean it that way, but those are your words. It’s like the American right constantly calling the president Barack Hussein Obama, or just plain ‘Osama’. Nasty! OK, rant over, you may now change my username to something silly, or something. Or buy me a drink, big boy.

      Also: Witcher 2.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      Andrew Pee.

    • Furius says:

      BuyerBeware. No doesn’t work.

  40. Wizlah says:

    Curious how the soundtrack is fitting in to all of this. When I went back to the old witcher for the first time in donkeys years, just the soundtrack on the menu gave me a bit of a chill, and I remembered how well it seemed to fit with the visual design aesthetic.

    (yes, I could just go and install it on my PC now, but I have work to clear and no free evening time for gaming)

    I’m pleased to hear that this world betters the first, because I really rated the first. There’s a number of commentors on RPS who decry the traditional faux-medieval setting, but I don’t think it’s the setting that’s the problem – it’s the all too frequent rpg shorthands and ananchronisms which often throw them off. The original witcher had a touch of these (I think usually by virtue of the translation), but it did feel more completely its own world.

    I’m guessing the monsters in this match those of the original too. I mean, it’s Geralt’s purpose in life to off them, so I liked that they were so well fleshed out in the original.

    Really looking forward to playing this in about a month’s time.

  41. Premium User Badge

    tobias says:

    Just a small note that if anyone has crossfire, make sure you use radeonpro with the dirt 2 crossfire profile & afr enabled- its not full scaling but still a very nice boost!

    • Premium User Badge

      sonofsanta says:

      Ooh, tah! My copy should be on my doormat at home now, and I was toying between “wait for AMD CAP and bug fix by weekend, when I will have time to play properly anyway” and the alternate option, “rip open the box like a giggly twelve year old girl and frantically install it and ignore my wife and daughter for 8 hours this evening”. That’s just made the second option much more viable.

  42. Thoric says:

    “I’ve taken about 500 screenshots and none of them do the game justice.”

    I sure can relate to that. I saw lots of screenshots before playing, but it still blew me away when i saw the game for myself. Everything is so alive and dynamic, 50+ NPCs just in the starting camp – practicing, resting, praying, cooking, eating, tending to the wounded or just chatting. No mystical fog – you see distant mountains and hills around you, the besieged castle, ballistas firing in the distance.

    And by firing i mean a 4-man crew reloading and firing them, fully animated, EVERYTHING is played out. It’s a visual feast and not solely because of the engine, but because of 4 years of hard work. I haven’t seen a game with such attention to detail for a long, long fucking time.

    And that doesn’t even scratch the surface on the storytelling and the combat dynamics.

    • UncleLou says:

      “And by firing i mean a 4-man crew reloading and firing them, fully animated, EVERYTHING is played out.”

      Yeah, that really floored me. I stood there watching the animations for a couple of minutes.

      Don’t want to sound all misty-eyed, but this is one of those games where you feel every second that it was a real labour of love for the developers.

    • Furius says:

      I didn’t check this, but did anyone confirm whether they never hit the same place twice? Immersion broken if not!

    • Vexing Vision says:

      Same. When I first saw the sling-catapults delivering their rocks, I wanted to see how they’re filled.

      Then I closed in. And watched. The level of detail (from the sweating person pushing the boulder) to the two people turning the cranks to the officer directing everyone with hand-signals (and actually doing that!)….

      I can’t wait to see the rest of the game. I can’t wait.

  43. Premium User Badge

    Diziet Sma says:

    As far as “Real loot” is concerned what about the original? Certainly in terms of weapons, unless I have rose tinted glasses on, you could pick up any dropped weapon?

  44. Item! says:

    I think an interesting trend seems to be the number of people who (like myself) seem to like the game very much, despite articulating reservations for aspects of it that would normally be enough to cast a given game in an overall negative light.

  45. Conor says:

    Impressions!:
    Wowowowowowowwow this game is amazing. Normal difficulty was way too hard for me in the opening chapter. Combat is very fun and satisfying. The voice acting is good. I cam run it on ultra with my creaky rig. It looks absolutely stunning. Excellent usage of colour. Environments are rather brilliant (destroying barrels with aard – fun!). The plot thus far is rather compelling, and I suspect it will get even more so as I progress. King Foltest has a gallant nose.
    The game came with so many extras and I only got the premium edition £25 on amazon.
    Amazing game. More.

  46. Premium User Badge

    Stellar Duck says:

    I drank a Cat potion just now, to see how it worked. I must admit I found the new implementation of it to be quite brilliant! I especially love how it’s basically the perfect potion for snooping on people. You can see people inside a building, sleeping on their bed. It was a strange feeling and I felt like I was intruding on them.

    I also think, that as darkness fell, I could swear I saw a guy walking around with a torch, lighting the wall mounted torches. Quite a nice touch!

  47. Danorz says:

    haven’t got too far into it yet but i hear this game has a comedy bug that is right up there with boiling point comedy bugs, and that is there’s one village/town/place where everyone has completely forgotten to put any trousers on today

    • UncleLou says:

      They better not fix this before I get there!

      Surely just a nod to Titan Quest.

  48. Lurklen says:

    Well it seems awesome but I havent really been able to play as my copy seems to have some pretty annoying bugs.
    First: The dev videos at start up don’t appear just their audio, which isn’t really a big deal at all except it shouldn’t be happening.
    Second: I can only use the in game menu while I’m in dialogue with someone so if I want to save or exit the game I have to find someone to talk to.
    Third: I have no HUD and this pretty much makes the game unplayable. Especially when coupled with being unable to see any of my dialogue choices.

    I’m gonna reinstall in the morning but right now I’m kinda annoyed especially because I bought the big “more money than sense” limited edition and haven’t really been able to play.

  49. Unaco says:

    Some quick impressions thus far, just finished the Prologue, starting Chapter 1…

    Damn, this game is Gorgeous. Sumptuous. Lush. Beautiful. Not only are the graphics very good, but the effort, the thought, the design and the time that have gone into the game are evident from the off. After finishing my play time yesterday I scanned briefly through the CE/GoG DE ArtBook… all the while feeling like I should play the Prologue again, very, very slowly this time, so I can appreciate all the bits I missed. I didn’t realise there was a Ram on the top of the Siege tower, and I feel bad for rushing after Loche/Foltest when we got into the Temple, because I missed a bunch of Stained Glass (and I’m a sucker for some Stained Glass). Enemies (and Allies) and NPCs and the like all look fantastic, from the ArtBook, they’ve used a lot of Modular designs… Great idea… enemies look like individuals, rather than cookie cutter henchmen.

    I’m having little difficulty with the combat, on Normal. Can’t see why people are having so many problems, unless they’re trying to wade straight in to a mob of enemies. You want to fight them one at a time, and make sure you don’t get surrounded/flanked.

    Voice acting, dialogue, script and the cinematics seem pretty good from what I’ve seen. It took me 30 seconds or so to remember this isn’t going to be Shakespeare or Citizen Kane. But, for a video game, they are very well done. You can see where they’ve applied the influence from Mass Effect and it’s conversation cinematics.

    All in all, thoroughly enjoying the game. There are a few gripes, but nothing that is getting in the way of my enjoyment of it.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      this isn’t going to be Shakespeare

      There’s a thought. Have there been any Shakespeare games, even crappy ones? And why the hell not? The only one I can remember is Ruins of Cawdor, which was loosely based on Macbeth.

      I’m sure you could make a beautifully surreal adventure/puzzle game with Midsummer Night’s Dream, for example.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Does Othello count?

  50. DariusSki says:

    Brilliant game. Guys, let’s recommend this game to everyone we can, so it gets great sales. It won’t happen on its own, cause it has no “duty” or “honor” in title. It’s a BRILLIANT game. Sure, combat in first 2-3 hours is punishing hard (but you gotta admit that it is Demon Souls type hard, not some ridiculous “got overran by zound of troops” hard), tutorials are weak and honestly beating Witcher 1 should be a minimum requirement.

    AND it is PC exclusive! I can’t stress this enough, corporate EA overlords have already ruined Bioware with console ports, so this game is our last bastion of hope :)