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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » The Witcher 2 - Reviews, Roundup #4

Default The Witcher 2 - Reviews, Roundup #4

May 18th, 2011, 21:40
A flurry of activiity surrounding The Witcher 2 with the release, of course, but most people are going to be interested in the reviews. It seems some of the major sites got retail discs subject to the release activation (comments from IGN, GameSpot). A couple of smaller sites have reviews out, so here they are.
Bit-tech has a rather short article, so it's hard to tell how far they played. Still, the score is 95%:
The Witcher 2 overcomes these flaws with ease, however, and the overall impression we had was that CD Projektís game design ethic is on par with the companyís attitude to DRM in the way that it respects players' abilities to think for themselves. Itís obviously a risky strategy Ė just as the lack of DRM opens the title to piracy, the lack of guidance and level of challenge paves the way for complaints for ill-prepared players. Personally, we find itís an approach that has paid off in spades.

Itís true that you could likely boot up The Witcher 2 with no idea of what it was, hacking and slashing your way through without a care, but doing so would be a travesty. The Witcher 2 is one of the most exciting and involving RPGs weíve seen in a long, long time. It forms a logical competitor to more action-orientated titles, such as Mass Effect, and succeeds where previous pretenders, such as Dragon Age 2, have failed. Those who can bear the QTEs and practice finding hotspots, who take the time to immerse themselves in the world and understand the characters will find an experience thatíll be tough to beat - not just for future RPGs, but all future titles.
GameReactor.eu is the second review we've seen (thanks Zohaib) and the score is 9/10:
As mentioned above, the voice acting holds a very high standard. Most of the characters have a thick British accent, that is much more Cockney than the Queen's English, and it fits the low fantasy perfectly. Some characters, like Geralt himself and especially the witch Triss Merigold, speak with an obvious American accent though, and early on that doesn't really fit in, but you get used to it rather quickly. Mostly because of the dialogue - the script is engaging, the dialogues flow naturally and there's a couple of comments that had me smiling and laughing. At the same time the humour never gets too much, so the more serious atmosphere is never threatened and it never feels misplaced.
Several readers pointed out a recent GameStop Facebook interview/promo that revealed a likely expansion but DLC will be free. Those who have registered may know Troll Trouble is already available. From Eurogamer:
Polish developer CD Projekt has revealed the first downloadable content for fantasy role-playing game The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
It's a side-quest called Troll Trouble, and launches day and date with the game.
Meanwhile, CD Projekt has promised its fans that all The Witcher 2 downloadable content will be free, including Troll Trouble.
"Let me announce that all our DLCs will be FREE," a CD Projekt developer wrote on US shop GameStop's Facebook page. "All of them. If anything will be for purchase, those will be expansion packs. First DLC will launch together with the game release."
GameBanshee writes they have a Talent Trees and Equipment Database.
RPS writes about some driver problems playing the game.
Gamasutra has a feature titled How We Combined Story and Freedom in The Witcher 2.
VG247 references the article about at Gamasutra to break out CD Projekt spent a year-and-a-half design Geralt.

…a…More information.
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May 18th, 2011, 21:40
Haven't played enough yet to voice a full and reasoned opinion, but seems odd for a game where pc was supposed to be prioritized that it seems wholly designed for a gamepad. Had to run MotionInjoy, couldn't imagine playing this effectively with mouse and keyboard.
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May 18th, 2011, 22:33
PC is such a small market, more like a test for them, to see how it's recieved + bug testing, it's clearly designed for consoles in mind, works ok with the 360 controller imo.

Very buggy game though, I really wish the 400mb patch was released for others than russians.

The launch is quite pathetic (servers down, registration down, people couldnt even activate the game, numerous serious bugs etc etc) , and still they recieve 9-10's in reivews - that's impressive lol
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May 18th, 2011, 22:46
I have no Bugs so far, and had no problem what so ever whit activate the game, and put in redeem codes.

The "only" problem I had, was my brand new computer, have to small a Grafic card, a build in GF230, so I cant replace it. But i run smoot on 1280x720 High detail or 1920x1080 Medium detail (best on 1280).

This is, so far, not only the game of the year, but also the better that any RPGs I played last year, but hey, Im only around 5 hours in.

(Sorry fore the gramma, are Danish)
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May 18th, 2011, 22:53
I'm struggling with game registration, and therefore no DLC/extra content, but otherwise the game itself hasn't shown any bugs.

It's very CPU dependant - I've got a very old GPU, but a nice CPU and it recommended 'high' settings, correctly. Controls seems a bit imprecise, but I'll get used to it.

And I suck at combat so far.

Love the box contents, though inclusion of a game guide is a bit odd.
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May 18th, 2011, 23:13
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
It's very CPU dependant - I've got a very old GPU, but a nice CPU and it recommended 'high' settings, correctly. Controls seems a bit imprecise, but I'll get used to it.
I noticed this too. I have the opposite situation, I have a very old CPU (from 2005!) but new really good GPU with lots of speed and VRAM. I find most new games I do just fine on even when I am below the recommended CPU but not this game. I am forced to upgrade.

I bit the bullet and ordered a quad core AMD cpu/mb/RAM combo from Newegg yesterday to tide me over until I do me new full build.
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May 18th, 2011, 23:33
The soundtrack is not as good as the soundtrack for the first game.

It's like it's become Hans Zimmer'd And lost most of the individuality as a result

There just isn't the equivalent of tracks like 'Elaine Ettariel' or 'Dead City'.
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May 19th, 2011, 01:11
The only bugs I saw in the preview code were superficial polish things, like wonky physics and some clipping etc. Ah - I did get stuck in a couple of doors, so I guess there's that. Hard to imagine the release version is that much worse and if I were reviewing, I'd have no trouble with 9/10.

-= RPGWatch =-
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May 19th, 2011, 01:19
I've definitely noticed a few bugs, but nothing that bothers me too much. I disagree that it doesn't play well with keyboard+mouse. I wouldn't play it any other way, although it helps to have a 5-button mouse. I used AutoHotkey to remap some of the keyboard functions.

So far I'd have to agree about the soundtrack though. The music in TW1 was more memorable imo.
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May 19th, 2011, 11:35
Just wanted to point out that the IGN thing (http://pc.ign.com/articles/116/1168535p1.html) has in the meantime become a decent overview. They apparently keep adding to it as the play.
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May 19th, 2011, 14:17
Really really disappointed with this game. The controls (when using mouse and keyboard) are 'ploughing' afwul, a real disgrace. And although I only just made it through the prologue, the setup of different gameplay elements is just plain annoying: combat is afwul (linked to the horrible controls, I guess), ridiculous QTEs that did absolutely nothing but frustrate me (running away from the dragon on the bridge, arming the catapults, …), don't even get me started on that sneaking section in the end, and what the hell is up with all those 15 minute long cutscenes? Absolutely nothing in this game I've seen so far drew me in like the previous one did, on the contrary.

I hope it will get better after the prologue, because right now I'm really sad I coughed up 50 euro for this.
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May 19th, 2011, 14:37
Sounds weird that PC exclusive controls read like being oriented on controllers.
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May 19th, 2011, 17:30
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
The soundtrack is not as good as the soundtrack for the first game.
It's like it's become Hans Zimmer'd And lost most of the individuality as a result
There just isn't the equivalent of tracks like 'Elaine Ettariel' or 'Dead City'.
Hearing this is a bit of a worry for me, as the first game's soundtrack was rather splendid. River of Life for instance is such a gorgeous track that really conjures the Witcher's contrasting styles of mood for me. Peaceful moments is also quite nice. There's an almost melancholy reflectiveness about it.

Diddledy high,
Diddledy low,
Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
- Brilhasti Ap Tarj
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May 19th, 2011, 18:04
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Sounds weird that PC exclusive controls read like being oriented on controllers.
Not really, it's probably designed with consoles in mind, just happens to be released on PC first..
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May 19th, 2011, 18:46
Originally Posted by vurt View Post
Not really, it's probably designed with consoles in mind, just happens to be released on PC first..
Agreed, a half implemented console interface after being told it was designed from the ground up to be played on PCs. Did Randy Pitchford go to work for CD Project when I wasn't looking?

I should have realized this was going to be the case by the number of times they said "PC exclusive" in interviews before release. I realize now it was the cry of a guilty soul.
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May 19th, 2011, 19:41
Controls seem fine to me…but I guess I'm just used to finger gymnastics. The only problem I'm having in that area is camera swing/mouse sensitivity. Way too sensitive, not nearly as whacked as NWN2 but still annoying. Haven't tried with controller to compare though.

I'm only a little ways into Chapter 1 (done with most of the non-combat stuff in Flotsam) and the only bugs I've seen are some clipping issues. I don't like the black loading screen/delay when going through *some* doors, but since it doesn't happen with all doors I think this will be patched up.

Being able to stroll into any house and loot them blind while they say nothing is kinda immersion breaking but the first game (and most rpgs) was the same way and it's not really that big of a deal for me.

I also had zero problems with activating/registering, patching & downloading the Troll Trouble and Mysterious Merchant Pack (both are only about 7mb if anybody cares). I am on dial-up so you'd think if it was a problem I'd be screwed. I didn't get my game till around 6pm last night though (-5 GMT) so maybe their server problems had eased up by then.

I was about 3 hours into LA Noire when this game showed up. Haven't played it since, and I'd say LA Noire is the 2nd best game I've played in a long time (this being the 1st of course).

Still too early to rate but if it keeps up this quality I could see easily a 9/10.
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May 19th, 2011, 20:38
Wait so gamepad support=made for consoles and ported to PC now? I think the keyboard and mouse controls are fine, they just need more options for remapping and a mouse invert, which they are working on for the next patch. Otherwise, I think people are just getting frustrated and crying 'CONSOLE CONTROLS!' instead of actually taking the time to try to learn the game.
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May 19th, 2011, 22:25
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I've definitely noticed a few bugs, but nothing that bothers me too much. I disagree that it doesn't play well with keyboard+mouse. I wouldn't play it any other way, although it helps to have a 5-button mouse. I used AutoHotkey to remap some of the keyboard functions.

So far I'd have to agree about the soundtrack though. The music in TW1 was more memorable imo.
AutoHotkey seems very complicated I wonder if it works with The Witcher 1. I had a tool more simple that was working for all games I tried but The Witcher 1.

I wonder if it worth for me to learn use AutoHotkey, The Witcher 1, could be a fairly good reason.
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May 19th, 2011, 22:30
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
Wait so gamepad support=made for consoles and ported to PC now? I think the keyboard and mouse controls are fine, they just need more options for remapping and a mouse invert, which they are working on for the next patch. Otherwise, I think people are just getting frustrated and crying 'CONSOLE CONTROLS!' instead of actually taking the time to try to learn the game.
Not supported, primarily designed around. Big difference.

Also, I do not think the mouse & keyboard controls are "fine". In my opinion, they're substandard. "Fine" controls would be closer to what Risen had, very similar gameplay but with a batter focus on mouse look targeting (compared to TW2 auto-targeting) and a hotkey bar instead of "selecting" signs or items to use.

For more examples, see some of the points I discussed about the UI in a different thread: http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showt…post1061070456
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May 20th, 2011, 00:00
I agree with Motoki, the mouse/keyboard controls are absolutely fine. I am having a total blast with combat, like it better then Risens (which I quite liked too). I think you are just running afoul of a very different pacing here.
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