The Witcher 2 - Review @ RPG Codex
RPG Codex has penned a review of this game entitled Of Monsters, Men and BROche. It deals with the history of the Witcher games, the combat, the quests, alchemy, the graphics, and more. Here is a bit about the combat:
Each skill tree has 15 different skills, which can be picked and later upgraded for greater effect. You can’t gain more than 34 skill points during the game, which means that you can’t max a single specialization tree (after spending 6 points to unlock them), which is a wise decision, considering that after upgrading your skills you can kill bosses in 2-3 hits.
Two skills worth mentioning are the throwing skills and the top tier (adrenaline) skills of each tree. The throwing skill is your lifeline. For example, a superb silver sword does 17-25 points of damage. A well-balanced silver dagger, which can be thrown from a safe distance and can NOT be blocked does 50-70 points of damage. You can “machine gun” daggers, making short work of your enemies, which makes sense because a genetically enhanced monster slayer should have superior eye-hand coordination.
A bit about alchemy:
Most of the potions from the first game are still present (often slightly altered in effect), but there are a lot of new ones as well. The secondary effects of potions (albedo, nigredo etc) and different bases are gone, greatly streamlining the experience. Considering that you can't drink potions during combat and that some fights start after lengthy cutscenes, after which your potion timers either run out already or are close to expiring, it’s easy to wonder if, perhaps, fixing what wasn’t really broken is a good idea.
A little something about the quests, particularly about the Big Choice:
Now, I assume that you’ve all heard rumors about The Big Choice™, which dramatically changes the entire game. It’s true. At the end of chapter 1 you’ll be offered to make the most important choice – which location you’d like to visit in Chapter 2: Henselt's war camp or the city of Vergen. Whereas most RPGs allow you to visit different places freely, CD Project redefines the genre once again by introducing this very important choice – left or right. While it may seem like that you’re choosing sides in a conflict or that the game is wildly non-linear, we’d like to reassure you that CD Project knows that such things are very confusing, so you’ll merely choose which linear adventure path to follow.
A snip from the conclusion:
The Witcher 2 is undoubtedly a product of love, which is a rare thing these days, so in the end it doesn’t really matter what kind of game is it, how linear or non-linear it is, and whether or not the choices matter. Most importantly, it is a game worth playing. Even though the faults are glaring, the game is more than the sum of its flawed parts, which is what makes it an enjoyable experience overall, whether you play it as RPG or as an action-adventure game.
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