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Some More Thoughts On The Witcher 2

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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