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Default The Witcher 2 - Verdict @ RPS

July 23rd, 2011, 09:50
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has one of their roundtable reviews for The Witcher 2. It's rambling conversation, so hard to quote, but it's thumbs up despite some issues:
Richard: I see The Witcher 2 as simultaneously a great example of what can happen when a company has complete creative freedom, and what can go horribly wrong. It’s really interesting like that.
Kieron: I’ll agree with Richard there.
Richard: The world, the attitude, some of the asides… no game from, say, Bioware, is likely to do that.
Kieron: And while I like party based RPGs, I also think the Witcher 2 works brilliantly with its single class. It goes deep into WHAT IS A WITCHER. And puts you in his splendid leather boots. Magic, multiple swords, alchemy, monster studying, being sterile and having sex with folks, etc.
Richard: At the same time, someone really should have been there to say “No, you WILL have a proper tutorial. You WILL explain this. You will NOT expect everyone to have read seventy books – in Polish – to understand the big picture properly.”
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July 23rd, 2011, 09:50
I doubt there is seventy books to read. And they are mostly all translated into french for what I could check.

The point is that TW series comes as a series with one episode following the other.
The introduction of the universe is done in the first witcher. People complaining about the lack of introduction in TW2 should assess the first episode to grade if the TW series does or does not a good job. Because it is where that job is done.

I have not read any TW book. I just played TW2 right after TW1. Largely enough to understand the big picture.

If you write a series, stuff cannot be done if you write only stand alone episodes.

If every episode, you need to remind what has gone up so far, it forcefully eats on the story exclusively told in each episode.

A choice here to be made, either a series which requires a chronological reading of the episodes with deeper storyline or stand alone episodes series which a lot of retelling.
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July 23rd, 2011, 10:09
Well I agree with the RPS guys on that. I played the Witcher, although a while ago, and I was totally in the dark regarding the politics in the Witcher 2. If they didn't want to weigh down the plot with too much exposition, they should have put background info into books, the manual, anywhere. It's a pity, because this politically charged atmosphere really sets the Witcher apart.
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July 23rd, 2011, 11:52
TW1 has introductive scenes on the ongoing and to come in TW2 politican plots.

Maybe phrasing the lack in terms would help to see where they are because having played TW2 just after TW1 made me not ignorant of the bigger picture.

On the contrary, TW2 answered most of the questions I had about the political environment as they were asked in TW1.

The smaller picture, it is another issue as the witcher direct environment is left into the dark and poorly connects in TW2.

Bigger picture, still have to read concrete examples on what is missing.
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July 23rd, 2011, 13:07
The background required isn't at all addressed in TW1. The prologue of TW1 addresses the pertinent points to the gameplay of TW2, ie, Geralt's memory loss and what Witchers are etc. but has next to nothing about the characters important in Geralt's life that are relevant for the main story reveals in TW2.

TW1 got away with it because of the amnesia thing, TW2 tells the story of Geralt getting his memory back, but you're left in the uncomfortable position of Geralt starting to remember about key characters (Yennifer, Ciri etc.) while it's the first time as a player you will have heard about them. Several in-game consequences are then dependant on these previous events (as described in the books), such as Triss' reactions and decisions, but if you haven't read the books then these seem to come out of nowhere.

Having read all of the English translated books, it was only enough to get a faint grasp on what was happening with respect to the characters and other lore.
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July 23rd, 2011, 14:53
Something to note: The extra material in the GoG version contains two maps in PDF format, that are, unlike the ones in game, labeled normally (not Kyrillic) - that is actually quite helpful in at least getting a geographical sense for the different locations and kingdoms around the pontar valley.
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July 23rd, 2011, 15:29
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Something to note: The extra material in the GoG version contains two maps in PDF format, that are, unlike the ones in game, labeled normally (not Kyrillic) - that is actually quite helpful in at least getting a geographical sense for the different locations and kingdoms around the pontar valley.
Yep, the paper map that comes with the boxed edition is the same.

The in game map I didn't find very useful (soon as you zoomed out to a useful level it switched to the less than helpful world map)
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July 23rd, 2011, 17:00
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post

TW1 got away with it because of the amnesia thing, TW2 tells the story of Geralt getting his memory back, but you're left in the uncomfortable position of Geralt starting to remember about key characters (Yennifer, Ciri etc.) while it's the first time as a player you will have heard about them. Several in-game consequences are then dependant on these previous events (as described in the books), such as Triss' reactions and decisions, but if you haven't read the books then these seem to come out of nowhere.
And that is politics? It looks like the smaller picture, that is the character's direct environment.
Not the bigger picture, what is going on beyond the direct Witcher environment.
And there is always a first time. There are players who have not understood who Yennefer and Ciri were after playing the two games?If so, why?
Of Rivia has not yet recovered his memory and the player accompanies the character in this rediscovery of himself.

And both characters (Yennefer and Ciri) were introduced in TW1 by an innkeeper (cant remember which), the guy that tells the story of TW as it was a fairy tale. This tale recounts the most relevant points concerning the three characters.
People who played the first episode did not start blank on this one, going into TW2.
Players who did not, yes.


The background required isn't at all addressed in TW1. The prologue of TW1 addresses the pertinent points to the gameplay of TW2, ie, Geralt's memory loss and what Witchers are etc. but has next to nothing about the characters important in Geralt's life that are relevant for the main story reveals in TW2.
Again the smaller picture. Nothing about how TW1 installs the overarching story in which Of Rivia is going to evolve across the two episodes of the series.
Last edited by ChienAboyeur; July 23rd, 2011 at 17:15.
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July 23rd, 2011, 22:48
The 1.3 patch broke my game
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July 24th, 2011, 00:33
The main issue with the same is a lack of tutorial and explanation for mechanics. I say this as someone who usually HATES tutorials, because they explain shit you already know or can easily find out, but TW2 had a lot of unique mechanics, like blocking using the same points pool as magic, that should have been explained. Sooooooo many complaints about the game on forums are from people who don't understand something.

Other than that I thought the game was roughly perfect. I had no issues understanding the story and I never read the books.
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July 24th, 2011, 10:04
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
And that is politics? It looks like the smaller picture, that is the character's direct environment.

..
Again the smaller picture. Nothing about how TW1 installs the overarching story in which Of Rivia is going to evolve across the two episodes of the series.
In your opinion. In my opinion the political backdrop is the smaller picture and the story of Geralt and the characters close to him/the wild hunt is the overarching/main story, despite how it's presented in TW2. The political stuff, after-all, is hardly original.
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July 24th, 2011, 11:03
In my opinion indeed. Nothing prevents people from calling a panoramic view a closed up view and a closed up view a panoramic view.

As to myself, and according to my opinion, I stick to calling a panoramic view a panoramic view and a closed up view a closed up view. Probably because I admitted a long time ago that the world does not revolve around me and some stuff was sufficiently defined before me.

The wild hunt is original? While it is a revamp of an old tale. Yet again, it is all a matter of opinion and it is a cheap trick to originality to relabel anything as if it was new.
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July 24th, 2011, 16:37
I think CDProjektRed is extremely talented team but are focusing on the wrong things. It could be they're just being forced to revive Geralt by Sapkowski and have no choice. It doesn't seem to be public knowledge, at least in English.

They should have left Geralt dead. It's the world that's amazing and full of potential, not Geralt. It's a world that could have competed, could have possibly surpassed D&D. New blood, if you will. Now it's just weighted down, with Sapkowski's decision to bring him back to life. Now we're all forced to be Geralt, instead of making/creating/expanding the world with our choices and our ideas.

Newly created PC characters making the same decisions and learning about the legend of Geralt would have been so much more fulfilling, educational and satisfying to gamers new to the world.

Another thing I just can't get over is why are we forced, no it's more contrived to choose between two? What the hell, why put such limitations. If I see two people who are about to fight to the death, sure I might want to stop them but with out knowing anything about these people, why f* would I help one of them kill the other? Oh joy I get to choose between psychotic and psychopath. wtf.

Don't even get me started on how they handled the women in the world of the first game. The totally bs choices in the 3rd chapter was just one glaring example.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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July 24th, 2011, 17:42
They made a weird choice indeed. Usually, embodying legends in a gameworld is packed with troubles and legends are left off the playing ground possibilities.
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