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  1. #1
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    Witcher 2 - My review

    Let me just start with a fact.
    I am a huge fan of Witcher universe ever since i discovered it trough the first game.
    I love the story , i love the character , i love the universe. I have read every piece translated to english. Even watched translated polish TV series.

    Witcher is my Star Wars

    Naturally I was more than excited about the sequel to the first game.

    But not only because of the Witcher story, but also because of CDR.
    As a huge RPG fan. I have felt what could be only be described as fall of RPGs.
    "Dumbing-down" and "Consolisation"
    CDR has set them selves to right the wrongs and bring back the honor to RPGs

    So , now that I played the whole game on hardest difficulty and emerged victorious - let me tell you (imho) what did CDR accomplish….


    First thing first. And without no question the main accomplishment of Witcher 2
    is its graphic. And I am not talking about the engine and number of polygons. Although it can easily rival Crysis 2.
    I am talking about art direction. Whatever fault can be found in Witcher 2 , there is none in astounding work the graphic artists of CDR done on Witcher 2.

    The game is visual masterpiece.
    In a way that will rarely be matched.
    The amount of detail. Design of every wall, house , stone , tree. Wherever you look. Armor , clothes , interiors exteriors. I am artist myself , and could only gasp in awe and think "How did they invest so much into it"
    No mater what games come in future. And what rendering engine. Someone will need to design the meshes and textures. And if they surpass artists of CDR. They will surely get my hat off.

    Voice acting and animation are both following closely. And are perfect. I wont sing big praises for them except that you can not find any fault to them. And they are both extremely high quality.

    But graphic, animation and sound does not make the game.

    Gameplay. Or at least combat gameplay. Was a source of critic in Witcher 1.
    I personally enjoyed it. But CDR decided to change it.
    They often stated their love for playstation game "Demon Souls". The game that was regarded as back to hardcore roots , but sadly will never see PC version.
    People that played it claim Witcher 2 combat is close and similar.

    Well I am RPG gamer but I also consider my self a gamer. And love the good action gameplay. I played Witcher 2 on hard difficulty. And enjoyed every single moment. Combat was mildly difficult at beginning and became perhaps too easy towards the end. But it was fun. And I was thirsty for more.

    Some people (ah the gamers today) complained the game is to hard.
    I found it not much harder than any other RPG. I might say, even too easy.
    For example I expected , on hard difficulty I will need to relay on potions. Yet I rarely ever need to use them.But all in all i did find combat system much fun.


    But lets go on to the bread and butter of RPG : The Ruleset - mechanics

    In the beginning the mechanics gave impression of beautiful complexity.
    But as the combat I found it a bit too forgiving. I managed to delve in all 3 threes and take best out of them.
    Alchemy had a promise of complexity but it turned to be much more simplified version of W1 alchemy. With sadly broken interface.
    Traps an afterthought. Crafting interesting but underdeveloped.


    Next the gameplay world , and interface.

    When I just started the game I was amazed how you can talk with everyone. How every NPC had unique name. And how you never knew who will give you a quest or interact.

    But this grew less and less. Rarely any NPC talks to you or gives you quests. Certainly much less than in Witcher 2. World is full of empty houses and NPCs that not react to you stealing their inventories.

    Drinking is gone, alcohol, many romances, storage, NPCs that get insulted and dont want to have nothing to do with you. Even great new gameplay addition stealth. Is barely used in the game.

    Its clear to me that CDR simply omitted lot as they wanted to launch the game.
    Nobody can blame them. They worked on W1 for such long time. And on W2 much shorter.

    As for interface. There is no doubt it was made for consoles.
    Again. No blame in that. It is where the money is. And they are no charity organization.


    Finally lets delve on story and quests…

    Story reaches heights of brilliance. Rear seen in RPGs.
    Its like Alpha Protocol met Mass Effect 2 and had a baby. When it works it works brilliantly.

    But there is just not to much of it.

    Side quests are rare. I can understand CDR decided against "kill 10 rats" and fetch quests. But the world is too beautiful , and combat too fun. So why not have more meat to it ?

    Sadly the whole game feels like it could be much more.

    And - perhaps this is the key impression of Witcher 2

    It will leave you thirsting for more


    My hope is that CDR will get back to Witcher 2 and make enhanced version.
    Add more quests. Fill all the empty places that were probably meant to be filled , and surely have been written in some design document.

    I would not mind to pay again for this game.

    And more. DLC expansion.

    And finally Witcher 3 , I cannot wait !



    In summary Witcher 2 has amazing engine. A rock solid foundation for a game.
    Art , gameplay , mechanics , story is simply top notch.

    But its taken down by obvious rush to finish the game before it was filled.

    It doesn't take nothing from game quality but it does make you think of what it could have been. And thirsting for more !

    Lets hope it comes soon !!!

  2. #2
    Administrator Rossignol's Avatar
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    Yes, it's the one time I have finished a game recently when I have really wanted to know what happens next.

  3. #3
    I haven't finished the game yet , but from what I saw, I had the impression too that was rushed out, and also maybe they wanted to make the game more "casual", which I think was a mistake (though maybe not, considering the sales they got).
    if you like manga, RPG and dating sims, check my indie computer games

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by winterwolves View Post
    I haven't finished the game yet , but from what I saw, I had the impression too that was rushed out, and also maybe they wanted to make the game more "casual", which I think was a mistake (though maybe not, considering the sales they got).
    Its maybe unfair to call it rushed. Because nothing is really missing.

    But I do feel there could have been more "filling" , even if it was fetch quests and kill 10 rats quests.
    The gameplay was fun enough to make even these "chores" fun to play.

    I also agree about the decision to make the game more casual (although they claimed they will not)
    Its obvious that system was designed for it, but than they took step back and simplified it.

    But again. Judging from all the whining on forums "Game is to hard"
    I can not blame them.

    I hope they release mod tools. So the people can patch the complexity back in.

    Or maybe they make extended edition - like they did for W1

  5. #5
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    How exactly is The Witcher 2 more casual or less complex than The Witcher 1 or any other recent RPG? What the hell...?

    Also, The Witcher 2 is not too hard, it's just that they completely fucked up the tutorial.

  6. #6
    Activated Node Basilicus's Avatar
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    I haven't played it. I've learned with some titles just to ride the patches out and then have a go. From what I've gathered in reading about it, though, it seems like the issues in the game weren't so much an effect of "being rushed" as they were not being thoroughly playtested.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobotomist View Post
    Its maybe unfair to call it rushed. Because nothing is really missing.

    But I do feel there could have been more "filling" , even if it was fetch quests and kill 10 rats quests.
    The gameplay was fun enough to make even these "chores" fun to play.
    I agree on that it could have used a little more filler quests to prolong the length of some chapters, similar to the contracts that are in the game. Because the mechanic works well already (gain knowledge on type of creature, then find out how to exactly deal with them) they wouldn't feel as tedious as the "kill X of Y" MMORPG type quests.

    On the other hand, story and gameplay wise the game is a massive effort, something I only started to full appreciate on a second run with very different choices. I'd actually run into situation or people I knew stuff about from my previous game, but that I couldn't place or fully understand with the information i had in the second run.

    Good, not very spoiler-y example:

    The madam of the brothel in Flotsam. In my first run I gave Iorveth his sword in the fight at the lovers' monument and he escaped from Roche. Later in town, I found out that she was an informer for the Scoiatel while talking to her and one of her girls about what happened in Silé's room (the peephole thing). Now, on the second run, I didn't give Iorveth his sword back and he was captured by Roche. When I came in town and did the peephole conversation again, it was just the prositute and not the madam. I set out to find the madam, and found her...hung herself in her office. Geralt and Dandelion go "why would she do this?" without any further explanation. Of course, I know why from my first run (because she heard about Iorveth getting caught, one assumes). But Geralt couldn't know in that game. Very powerful. The fact that they went through that amount of trouble to put in fairly meaningless scenes like that which change radically depending on some choices is a sign that the branching storyline work they put in is insane. I have two friends who played the game too and their games were very different from mine.

  8. #8
    Obscure Node thomwong's Avatar
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    Haven't heard any mention of this

    Is DLC a possibility? Because unlike Dragon Age (whose DLC I loved), the Witcher 2 sounds like it needs it/would benefit from it.

  9. #9
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomwong View Post
    Is DLC a possibility? Because unlike Dragon Age (whose DLC I loved), the Witcher 2 sounds like it needs it/would benefit from it.
    The "Troll Trouble" quest was actually free DLC, so yes.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    they said that all dlc will be free right? but i hope they will do EE and expansion pack.

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