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Default The Witcher 2 - Reviews @ Kotaku and The Escapist

May 28th, 2011, 00:20
Two more reviews for this game has surfaced, one from Kotaku and one from Eurogamer.
The Kotaku review has no score, but they do give Witcher the Editor's Choice Award; and
the review from The Escapist has a score of 3.5/5 .
Here's a quote from both reviews:
Kotaku first:
CD Projekt Red's trickery is to blame for The Witcher 2's replayability. Whereas many games focused on choice plainly state which side of the moral compass your decisions fall on, The Witcher series is much more subtle and devious. The results of impactful decisions don't manifest immediately. Instead they fester in the game's memory, rising to the fore hours after you make them. Time and time again I was surprised at the impact of seemingly trivial judgment calls. Save peasants from a burning building, and somewhere down the line they might return and offer you a gift. Convince an angry mob to spare a suspected criminal, and days after the fact that suspect becomes a powerful person in The Witcher's world.
A quote from The Escapist review - from the conclusion:
Beyond interface complaints, the action of The Witcher is not paced well at all. I loved the richness of the setting and learning about the various kings and their eponymous assassins was fascinating, but even a good cutscene can grow long. Momentous conversations lumped on top of one another peppered with a meaningless "action" sequence like walking a prisoner only annoyed me, doubly so because I wasn't allowed to save or drink the potions needed for the fight I was anticipating.
Thanks to Dragoonlordz for finding the Kotaku review and thanks to Wrath of Bong for finding the Escpaist review in the Witcher 2 thread at the Bioware forums.
More information.
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May 28th, 2011, 00:21
I remember a time when I really liked the Escapist. Now there is hardly a site I disagree with more often.
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May 28th, 2011, 02:17
Yeah! What happened there?
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May 28th, 2011, 08:39
Another review that reveals the consequences of games bulimia: players want to get fast through their games to be able to play another one just afterwards and any gameplay feature that resist is bashed.

I am still surprised by the number of people who tell they need to be indicated that a guy wearing a light armour is not a tank and has to avoid being striken.

Effective fighting involves creative use of the Control menu, which slows time and allows you to switch signs and secondary weapons like bombs and throwing daggers.
The game might be indeed broken if after playing the game, a player does not list that dodging, an efficient management of space is the core of effective fighting.

Somehow, very interesting. Some players (including me) starts from the character, tries to figure out his potential abilities and build around them. The Witcher is fast; lightly armoured and strike hard. Hit hard and dont let him being hit. This by basic analysis of the character.

Afterwards, I checked if the developpers managed to deliver on the presuppositions. They did as opponents respond to that pattern. And this side of the game grows good if they deliver on it. No matter if I like it.

Other players want to get the character play their way. Very likely, this reviewer wanted a Witcher able to stand on foot in the middle of the fray. And the game only grows good when they manage to get a character that plays their way.
No assessment of what the developpers deliver, only like it or dont like it.

Another sign that the RPG genre is dying when players complain about having to get the best out of a character. As it is not even RPG but was the common of a BTE.

Same remark as for the other: the flaws pointed in this review does not exist for some.

The game is too difficult on normal? Why not try the easy setting? The games allows to downscale the difficulty ingame if a player can not manage. Now, the revelation that the game was too hard on easy could have been a piece of information, valuable for the reader and that should be included in a review.
I have not tried yet easy so far so maybe it is the case. Maybe on easy, players can keep being trashed.


I thought that once I bought enough recipes, I'd be able to dovetail the effects of the three potions you can drink at a time for a net gain, but those recipes never materialized. I defaulted to only using the few potions that I couldn't do without, namely Cat, Swallow and Tawny Owl which let me see in the dark and regenerate health and vigor, respectively. Another opportunity missed.
What recipes? The ingame text depiction of potions gives some of the potential combos to use. There is very little trial and error. Now, maybe if alchemy was tried as a specialization, it could have given a better view on this point. Meaning playing the game more than once or trying to get a fuller view on it before reviewing.

This would have led to postpone the review though and lose a bit of traffic as the review would have come after the war.
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May 28th, 2011, 14:56
Is there even a review on the internet where people don't QQ because of the difficulty? What the hell is this crap? I remember I died at least 10 times in Gothic 2 when the first wolf attacked me and I still played and enjoyed the game. Same goes with the first dungeon from Baldur's Gate 2. Why does everybody need specific and detailed info on quests and skills? Is it really that hard to try and discover new things by yourself? Well this is probably a new trend from the industry that just wants fast paced action and has no desire not explore the game…

Sure he does have a point with the pop-up windows and the combat is sometimes not responding as it should but this is just too little to thumb down the game this way.

edit : I am waiting for Zero Punctuation's review. That should at least be awesome to see.
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May 28th, 2011, 20:41
wasnt the escapist that site that gave da2 100% score?

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May 28th, 2011, 22:08
Originally Posted by SAGO View Post
wasnt the escapist that site that gave da2 100% score?
They have multiple reviewers. The video review I saw that actually gave a score gave DA 2 a 7/10. The written review by someone else was 5/5 and complete crap. Then there's my favorite escapist review of DA2:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/vide…-Dragon-Age-II
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May 29th, 2011, 03:00
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
They have multiple reviewers. The video review I saw that actually gave a score gave DA 2 a 7/10. The written review by someone else was 5/5 and complete crap. Then there's my favorite escapist review of DA2:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/vide…-Dragon-Age-II
Yes the video is good and links to it have been posted many times even by me. Its more of a parody take on a review. As for the witcher2 I beat it twice already finishing both sides. The game is what was promised but has minor flaws that get in the way sometimes. Mostly its due to design decisions and how they implemented them.

I give the game a 8/10 if that's not good enough I dont care.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; May 29th, 2011 at 03:48.
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May 29th, 2011, 03:17
The reviewer called Greg Tito on The Escapist had this to say about Dragon Age II:
Bottom Line: A pinnacle of role-playing games with well-designed mechanics and excellent story-telling, Dragon Age II is what videogames are meant to be.
Contrast with his TW2 conclusion
Bottom Line: As a world-building exercise, The Witcher 2 succeeds masterfully but there are deep flaws in its game design.
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May 29th, 2011, 08:03
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Yes the video is good and links to it have been posted many times even by me.
Meh- I've had a couple people say thanks since they hadn't seen it yet so apparently some people still hadn't.
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May 29th, 2011, 09:24
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
Meh- I've had a couple people say thanks since they hadn't seen it yet so apparently some people still hadn't.
Meh who really cares you know.

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May 29th, 2011, 21:16
Originally Posted by hishadow View Post
The reviewer called Greg Tito on The Escapist had this to say about Dragon Age II:

Contrast with his TW2 conclusion

Shouldn't it be vice versa ?

Or wasn't he paid enough ?

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May 30th, 2011, 08:35
Trouble with the reviews is that the reviewer presents then as assessments of the RPG value in each game.

When put aside, very likely, his taste goes to easy, fast flowing games which DA2 is and TW2 is not.

But instead of telling what his tastes are and telling that DA2 suits them while TW2 dont, he pretends taking the path assessing both games through their genre.

Very unsure he was paid. More likely, the result of a dishonest approach.
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May 30th, 2011, 21:42
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
When put aside, very likely, his taste goes to easy, fast flowing games which DA2 is and TW2 is not.
The escapist reviewer complains about lack of tutorial, strange design decisions and game design flaws and you turn that into he prefer "easy, fast flowing games". Wow!
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May 31st, 2011, 10:26
Not really what I did. From his reviews of DA2 and TW2, the deduction comes that he prefers easy, fast-flowing games.

Geralt, the famous Witcher, died so easily and so many times in the first seconds of the game that I began to wonder if I was just an idiot. I was so frustrated and pissed that any fondness for the characters I'd met so far was completely erased.
What kind of RPGer must be explained that a light armour suggests predominance of dodging? Does this require a tutorial?

Strange design decisions:
Why on Earth would CD Projekt allow me to play the prologue out of order? Such areas are not the time to allow player agency because the choices are meaningless and playing them out of sequence seriously impacts the player's enjoyment.
My favourite. Next step, why should a book allow to read chapters in the wrong order?

And more.

The guy's tastes go toward games that are easy flowing games with not the smallest stone on the road.
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May 31st, 2011, 12:56
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
The guy's tastes go toward games that are easy flowing games with not the smallest stone on the road.
Is this the result of streamlining "modern" games or vice versa ?

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May 31st, 2011, 13:38
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
What kind of RPGer must be explained that a light armour suggests predominance of dodging? Does this require a tutorial?
Wearing light armour doesn't explain you how to dodge. That's what a tutorial is supposed to explain to you. TW2 doesn't have a proper tutorial, DA2 have a proper tutorial.
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May 31st, 2011, 14:01
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
Wearing light armour doesn't explain you how to dodge. That's what a tutorial is supposed to explain to you. TW2 doesn't have a proper tutorial, DA2 have a proper tutorial.

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May 31st, 2011, 16:28
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
And how does a journal entry have to do with wearing light armor and the player having direct knowledge that he need to dodge or how to do it?
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May 31st, 2011, 17:25
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
And how does a journal entry have to do with wearing light armor and the player having direct knowledge that he need to dodge or how to do it?
Tutorial addresses the "how to do it", doesn´t it? Press space, what else is there to explain?
There´s no need for a tutorial to explain that dodging will likely come in handy when my character wears an armor that isn´t much effective at mitigating damage from blows.

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