|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Games » The Witcher Games » The Witcher » Anyone else thing this is just OK?

Default Anyone else thing this is just OK?

May 3rd, 2009, 18:42
I hate to complain again but I'm going to.

Once again I'm struggling to like this game. The little things are annoying me. I just finished up the Mages Tower and I'm left wanting to play something else. Here are my beefs:

- Sentry Golem. Boring 10 minutes of left mouse clicking with an occasional right mouse Igni cast. Stuns are pretty much impossible to avoid since there is no animation cue.
- Tower fight. Game forces you into the trap, with no option to kill the villian where it would have been logical, in his house! This kind of reverse logic silliness happens often in this "cinematic" game. Hey lets let him live to set a trap! Boy do I miss Gothic where I can kill anyone I want.
- Tower fight. Unresponsive dodge controls. Sometimes it seems Geralt is stuck in the mud. I don't get why, but it is frustrating and all the cutscenes during the fight just add to the frustration.
- Tower fight. They left me alive and I kept the book. BTW what was in the tower that was so valuable??? I'm still scratching my head.
- Cut scenes not preserving my weapon selection. WTF? I had a sword drawn for a reason!
- Too much running around in the same areas, too much time in the same areas. I was really sick of the swamp and the temple district by the time I finished the tower. Since the game is so fiercely linear there are no real options here.
- Incomplete quests. Example - Witcher contract for killer plants. Since I'm locked in the linear "region" I can't backtrack to the cave outside the wall where the plants are so I cant complete the quest. I had already completed the logger quest by then so its TKO.
- Pointless complexity. For example, Vizima Confidential. I like multi layered quests, but there seems to be too much going on with too many characters without enough actual back story to judge anything or feel engaged. When Geralt draws "conclusions" I don't feel engaged at all, but I'm happy the quest is at least progressing.
- invisible walls. The bushes surrounding the Mages tower specifically and all those stupid plant monsters hitting me while I'm up against freakin bushes inexplicably blocking my way.

I think the game is just OK. If I could change just one thing I'd put the Witcher in an open gameworld like Gothic. The forced progression is just wearing me down. The next to zero sense of exploration is the real issue. All my other complaints like the lame combat are secondary.

"For Innos!"
ToddMcF2002 is offline

ToddMcF2002

ToddMcF2002's Avatar
SasqWatch

#1

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Boston MA
Posts: 2,226

Default 

May 3rd, 2009, 18:58
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
I hate to complain again but I'm going to.

Once again I'm struggling to like this game. The little things are annoying me. I just finished up the Mages Tower and I'm left wanting to play something else. Here are my beefs:

- Sentry Golem. Boring 10 minutes of left mouse clicking with an occasional right mouse Igni cast. Stuns are pretty much impossible to avoid since there is no animation cue.
Or, alternatively, pay attention to what various sages in the game are telling you, and…

Spoiler


- Tower fight. Game forces you into the trap, with no option to kill the villian where it would have been logical, in his house! This kind of reverse logic silliness happens often in this "cinematic" game. Hey lets let him live to set a trap! Boy do I miss Gothic where I can kill anyone I want.
I sorta agree. But sorta not. Trouble is that this sort of thing is pretty much dictated by the "branching narrative" game design. Ditching that game design for an "open-world" design like Gothic's is a perfectly viable decision — but it ends up a very different type of game. If a branching-narrative game is done well enough (as, IMO, The Witcher or Mask of the Betrayer or VtM:B are), I'm willing to suspend my disbelief on occasions like this.

- Tower fight. Unresponsive dodge controls. Sometimes it seems Geralt is stuck in the mud. I don't get why, but it is frustrating and all the cutscenes during the fight just add to the frustration.
I didn't notice, so I won't comment. It's gotta be annoying if it happens, though.

- Tower fight. They left me alive and I kept the book. BTW what was in the tower that was so valuable??? I'm still scratching my head.
Yup, I agree — that was a bit ham-handed. What was in the tower was the secrets of the mage that built it, that Kalkstein was so keen to explore. Presumably they were alchemical secrets and valuable for the Salamandra to make use of the Kaer Morhen formulas.

- Cut scenes not preserving my weapon selection. WTF? I had a sword drawn for a reason!
I agree — boss fights with cutscenes that mess with stuff like that are poor design.

- Too much running around in the same areas, too much time in the same areas. I was really sick of the swamp and the temple district by the time I finished the tower. Since the game is so fiercely linear there are no real options here.
Matter of taste, I suppose — I mixed side quests in all through, and didn't find the backtracking annoying on any of my three playthroughs.

- Incomplete quests. Example - Witcher contract for killer plants. Since I'm locked in the linear "region" I can't backtrack to the cave outside the wall where the plants are so I cant complete the quest. I had already completed the logger quest by then so its TKO.
Yup, that quest should've been flagged as failed if you didn't complete it before you entered Vizima.

- Pointless complexity. For example, Vizima Confidential. I like multi layered quests, but there seems to be too much going on with too many characters without enough actual back story to judge anything or feel engaged. When Geralt draws "conclusions" I don't feel engaged at all, but I'm happy the quest is at least progressing.
Different people get very different experiences from this quest. It's designed a bit badly in that it only really makes proper sense if the subquests are done in a particular order; if you happen to do them in some other order, you end up with lots of WTF??? moments. IMO the team overreached here — they should've gone for a simpler, more understandable, and more robust quest structure here. (Also, the entire chapter is a bit on the long side; they could easily have cut out an hour or two of gametime there.)

- invisible walls. The bushes surrounding the Mages tower specifically and all those stupid plant monsters hitting me while I'm up against freakin bushes inexplicably blocking my way.
Then again, most games have obstructions of some kind.

I think the game is just OK. If I could change just one thing I'd put the Witcher in an open gameworld like Gothic. The forced progression is just wearing me down. The next to zero sense of exploration is the real issue. All my other complaints like the lame combat are secondary.
But then it would no longer be The Witcher. The overriding design consideration in the game is that it's a branching narrative with choke points that affect stuff down the line. While it may not be completely impossible to do that in an open-world design, it must be bloody hard — because I've never played a game that actually does this. You have either sandbox games with, if you're lucky, factions that you can join or piss off, or you have narrative-based games that have forced progression, choke points, and other similar stuff.

You might have a preference for one over the other, but IMO neither is inherently "better" than the other — they enable different things. Sandbox games make for deeper immersion, but narrative-based games allow for deeper and more interesting stories. Both have their place on my shelf.
Prime Junta is offline

Prime Junta

RPGCodex' Little BRO

#2

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 8,540

Default 

May 5th, 2009, 12:19
The Witcher is, apparently, about atmosphere and story.

If you prefer compelling game mechanics and freeform structure, much like myself, you're not really the target audience.

I still think it's a marvellous game - but it CERTAINLY isn't for me.
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#3

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,941

Default 

May 5th, 2009, 14:33
I'm a big "freeform" guy myself, but I thought The Witcher was excellent in nearly every aspect.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#4

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 17,498

Default 

May 5th, 2009, 14:43
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The Witcher is, apparently, about atmosphere and story.

If you prefer compelling game mechanics and freeform structure, much like myself, you're not really the target audience.

I still think it's a marvellous game - but it CERTAINLY isn't for me.
Just try to get rid of this negativity and you'll love it.
Kostas is offline

Kostas

Kostas's Avatar
Dormant Watcher

#5

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Dear Green Place
Posts: 1,632

Default 

May 5th, 2009, 16:28
Originally Posted by Kostaz View Post
Just try to get rid of this negativity and you'll love it.
I was being positive.
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#6

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,941

Default 

May 5th, 2009, 20:53
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I was being positive.
But since 'compelling game mechanics' is pretty much saying 'gameplay that makes you want to play the game' … I don't see how it can be construed as anything but a negative shot against the game.

— Mike
txa1265 is offline

txa1265

txa1265's Avatar
SasqWatch

#7

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Corning, NY USA
Posts: 11,329

Default 

May 5th, 2009, 21:15
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
But since 'compelling game mechanics' is pretty much saying 'gameplay that makes you want to play the game' … I don't see how it can be construed as anything but a negative shot against the game.
Try reading my original post again, and this time keep in mind that I wasn't negative.

Then maybe you'll understand how it wasn't negative.
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#8

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,941

Default 

May 5th, 2009, 23:14
You're wasting time, you could be playing The Witcher right now….
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#9

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 17,498

Default 

May 6th, 2009, 08:10
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
You're wasting time, you could be playing The Witcher right now….
I'm tempted
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#10

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,941

Default 

May 16th, 2009, 18:36
I don't see why anyone should limit himself to either sandbox love only, or to story-driven only. Morrowind is one of my favourite games of all time, and I also enjoy the Gothic games and Two Worlds, (add the Fallout games) but that doesn't stop The Witcher from being one of my favourite games of all time as well.

Try and enjoy the game for what it is. I really enjoyed the atmospere, story, combat, and combat system of the Witcher, and I was so grateful to be able to play in a fantasy setting that was relatively non-generic, and had no Orcs! Heck, "no Orcs" alone makes up for a lot of faults.

One just has to learn to manage your quests properly, to make sure you complete them in time, then no backtracking or "failed quests'" is necessary.

And yes - one just has to take careful note of the clues the game gives you, on how to proceed, then you'll see that you are actually given ample direction by the game, in not getting your quest order confused. This is not just a mindless hack-and-slasher, in spite of the fun gampeplay and combat system.

And in a sense, it's still less linear than a lot of games, especially when it comes to your choices on "how" to tackle certain problems. Even your sandbox games have a linear structure as far as quest order is concerned within each branch, some more than others.
RivianWitch is offline

RivianWitch

RivianWitch's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch

#11

Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 744

Default 

May 19th, 2009, 14:45
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
I don't see why anyone should limit himself to either sandbox love only, or to story-driven only. Morrowind is one of my favourite games of all time, and I also enjoy the Gothic games and Two Worlds, (add the Fallout games) but that doesn't stop The Witcher from being one of my favourite games of all time as well.

Try and enjoy the game for what it is. I really enjoyed the atmospere, story, combat, and combat system of the Witcher, and I was so grateful to be able to play in a fantasy setting that was relatively non-generic, and had no Orcs! Heck, "no Orcs" alone makes up for a lot of faults.

One just has to learn to manage your quests properly, to make sure you complete them in time, then no backtracking or "failed quests'" is necessary.

And yes - one just has to take careful note of the clues the game gives you, on how to proceed, then you'll see that you are actually given ample direction by the game, in not getting your quest order confused. This is not just a mindless hack-and-slasher, in spite of the fun gampeplay and combat system.

And in a sense, it's still less linear than a lot of games, especially when it comes to your choices on "how" to tackle certain problems. Even your sandbox games have a linear structure as far as quest order is concerned within each branch, some more than others.
If you think this is a conscious choice - then you are sorely mistaken.

I don't initiate my time with a game with "I don't want to enjoy this". In the case of The Witcher - I tried extremely hard and I've gotten to Chapter 2 and beyond on at least three occasions. It just… doesn't…. DO IT for me.

I wish it did, but it doesn't.

I envy people who don't have preferences or things they enjoy and don't enjoy. That must be a very fulfilling way of playing games - and that's something I can never hope to have.

I can enjoy story-driven games, on occasion, but they have to be structured in a certain way. Mass Effect - for instance - had a tremendous atmosphere and a decent story, as well as appealing characters. I was able to look beyond all the VERY serious flaws and enjoy it quite a bit.

But The Witcher is exceedingly dull to me, and this is mostly due to what I consider boring combat, boring character system, overly linear structure, and the emphasis on a character I didn't get to create or shape in terms of personality and it felt more like directing another person through a story than actually BEING that person. I don't find that approach very interesting - and I can't say why. But it's integral to my tastes and there's little I can do to get around it. But I promise you, that when I DO find a game that I enjoy, I tend to enjoy it A LOT. So maybe it evens out in the end.
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#12

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,941

Default 

May 19th, 2009, 14:54
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I envy people who don't have preferences or things they enjoy and don't enjoy.

I have yet to encounter someone who meets that description.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#13

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 17,498

Default 

May 19th, 2009, 15:08
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I have yet to encounter someone who meets that description.
I should introduce you to my brother - at least in terms of TV shows and movies
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#14

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,941

Default 

May 20th, 2009, 11:35
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But The Witcher is exceedingly dull to me, and this is mostly due to what I consider boring combat, boring character system, overly linear structure, and the emphasis on a character I didn't get to create or shape in terms of personality and it felt more like directing another person through a story than actually BEING that person. I don't find that approach very interesting - and I can't say why. But it's integral to my tastes and there's little I can do to get around it. But I promise you, that when I DO find a game that I enjoy, I tend to enjoy it A LOT. So maybe it evens out in the end.
I agree with you in that the Witcher is not really a "true" roleplaying game in the sense that you have to play a pre-fab character. I admit that I personally don't mind that at all, and if I think about it, it might be to do with the fact that I have had some history playing Adventure games and Action-adventures too. When playing games like the Prince of Persia, or the "Kain/Blood Omen/Soul reaver" or the Devil May Cry series, you are playing a pre-fab character too, and I don't have any problems with that. Same thing with the Sherlock Holmes (a childhood love of mine) and other adventure games I've played. Maybe they would have done better to call The Witcher and action-adventure with RPG elements, rather than an RPG. I feel rather similarly about Rise of the Argonauts, which is also an enjoyable action game, and which to my mind is only done a disservice by being labelled as an RPG.

In any case, I enjoy Geralt as an unique character - I've seen a few of the TV shows, and read a bit of Sapkowski's literature; so I guess I'm a fan of that specific setting or little "universe".
____
| I envy people who don't have preferences or things they enjoy and don't enjoy. |
———
Oh, I definitely have preferences and dislikes - to me story and atmosphere are rather important in some games, unless it's a game that I play more as a tactical or strategic challenge.

But whether a game is linear or open-ended, just happens to not matter to me - there are other things that push my "like/ dislike" buttons. Not being able to save where I want to in a game, for instance, strongly pushes my 'dislike' button.

Also, for me, open -endedness CAN make a game feel rather more boring, since it tends to water down the plot, especially if you get to do mostly the "fetch and carry" kind of quest, or you end up just slashing mindlessly at mindless hordes of monsters.

I don't dislike action games per se, but for instance, I found Titan Quest so boring that I just couldn't continue after a while.. *yawn*. I'm not too strongly motivated to continue with a game like Loki either, and Sacred 2 didn't stir my interest much either. Yet I've enjoyed other action-RPG's such as Jade Empire and Rise of the Argonauts.

Another preference of mine, is that I prefer first person or close OTS quite highly above the isometric viewpoint - yet I will forgive the viewpoint if there are other factors I enjoy in a game.
Maybe I'm just a bit more flexible than the average, because I've played around with different genres quite a bit?

Each to his own, though - I suppose I do get your point about preferences not being a conscious choice.
RivianWitch is offline

RivianWitch

RivianWitch's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch

#15

Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 744

Default 

May 20th, 2009, 12:50
Even though I generally prefer more "exploration friendly" games, The Witcher was a welcome change for me. After all, I don't want *every* RPG I play to be an open ended sandbox. Anything can get old after a while, regardless of your taste, if you don't experience something different.

As far as not being able to create\name Geralt is concerned, I think it's a very minor complaint. After all, you do have control over how he developes during the game. It's actually similar in a lot of ways to the Nameless Hero in Gothic.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#16

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 17,498

Default 

May 20th, 2009, 13:01
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Even though I generally prefer more "exploration friendly" games, The Witcher was a welcome change for me. After all, I don't want *every* RPG I play to be an open ended sandbox. Anything can get old after a while, regardless of your taste, if you don't experience something different.

As far as not being able to create\name Geralt is concerned, I think it's a very minor complaint. After all, you do have control over how he developes during the game. It's actually similar in a lot of ways to the Nameless Hero in Gothic.
It's not minor if you think that's a vital aspect of any RPG.

I like to pretend, I really do. When I sit down and play an RPG - I tend to GREATLY enjoy imagining what kind of character I want to play - and I love it when games allow me to shape a character that's as close to my vision as possible.

Geralt, while a very cool character, doesn't represent who I want to be in a game - and as such the appeal is automatically lessened.

That said, it was far from my main issue - and I can dig cool characters as much as anyone.

Oh, and yes, I did have similar complaints about Gothic. I don't like to have a character handed to me and being told that's who I'm supposed to be. But, I found the hero in Gothic to be pretty anonymous and he obviously didn't have the same kind of history as Geralt. Also, Gothic pushed A LOT of my buttons in other areas - so it wasn't a big deal.

I still think Gothic represents the best free-form game out there, and one of the VERY few that actually pulls it off without the usual detriments.
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#17

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,941

Default 

May 20th, 2009, 13:28
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's not minor if you think that's a vital aspect of any RPG.

I like variety, and I don't think every RPG needs the exact same aspects, I guess that's my point. I understand what you're saying though.

Given what you've said here, I find it odd that System Shock is your all time favorite game. There's a perfect example of a game that thrusts you into a very specific role, with no character creation aspects at all.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#18

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 17,498

Default 

May 20th, 2009, 14:40
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I like variety, and I don't think every RPG needs the exact same aspects, I guess that's my point. I understand what you're saying though.

Given what you've said here, I find it odd that System Shock is your all time favorite game. There's a perfect example of a game that thrusts you into a very specific role, with no character creation aspects at all.
I'm talking about CRPGs.

To me, System Shock is an action adventure game.

I would likely have enjoyed it even more, though, if it had RPG elements and let me create my own character. Actually, I'm certain I would have.

Those aspects were some of the best parts of System Shock 2 - and they represent the most significant "evolution" over the first game.
DArtagnan is online now

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#19

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,941

Default 

May 20th, 2009, 14:52
System Shock is labled as an "action-RPG" by most, but I understand where you're coming from.

Coincidently, I just reinstalled SS2 last night, after doing the same with SS1 a couple days earlier. Who would have thought that I'd have more trouble getting SS2 to run in WinXP than I did with SS? Apparently the Dark Engine is not fond of newer Geforce cards.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#20

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 17,498
RPGWatch Forums » Games » The Witcher Games » The Witcher » Anyone else thing this is just OK?
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 09:16.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch