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-   -   The Witcher 2 - Roundup # 9 - More Reviews (https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13820)

aries100 May 31st, 2011 21:57

The Witcher 2 - Roundup # 9 - More Reviews
More reviews from this game have surfaced, from what I'll call unusual places. First we have the Globe and Mail, next up is Metro.co.uk, third up is Tech World, and finally, the fourth review comes from Honest Gamers.
The Globe and Mail, no score, but they like it and think that

The Witcher 2 is an attractive, maddening, immersive, frustrating, compelling, confusing experience. It sets bold new standards in dark, adult fantasy while at the same time staying well away from mainstream accessibility. It’s the kind of game into which diehard fans of western RPGs—of which I am one—will sink their teeth, relishing the complex flavours of each glorious bite while at the same time cursing and picking out gristle from between their molars.
Metro.co.uk 6/10, despite the low score they seem to like the plot

What's most impressive is the effect some of the bigger decisions have on the storyline, with the plot carrying along an entirely different path depending on how you act. This is probably why the game is shorter than last time, at around 20 hours - but it's no excuse for the rushed and unsatisfying finale.

Tech World, no score, but they like that the game is made for a mature audience

One of the hallmarks of The Witcher 2 is its maturity. This doesn't just apply to the gore or sexual content. Yes, the limbs of your foes fly as you chop through the enemy, and Geralt does engage in "adult situations" with some of the game's female characters (although the sex cards are gone). But like the first game, the maturity applies to the reactions of NPCs and the entire story. Witchers aren't exactly embraced by the people, and many react with fear or disgust when Geralt appears. Some children even get scared. It's nice to see characters have such reactions.
Honest Gamers, 7/10, they see Witcher 2 as a mediocre game, complain about things like
the difficulty curve:

The difficulty curve is all wrong, too. This is one of a very special few games that manages to get easier the further you progress into it. After the first few hours your skill tree opens up, and suddenly, with each level, you’re an increasingly formidable opponent. Yet your enemies never quite scale up in the same way, meaning that by midway through Chapter 2 the difficulty problems have largely ironed themselves out. It’s a relief when that happens, but it really should have been the difficulty of the opening that was addressed, not that of the rest of the game.
More information.

azarhal May 31st, 2011 21:57


This is one of a very special few games that manages to get easier the further you progress into it.
Special few games?

Ashbery76 May 31st, 2011 22:25

6 and 7's for a game like this is an outrage.

Twotricks May 31st, 2011 22:45

Never heard of those sites

Drithius May 31st, 2011 23:13

Reviews could give the game a 0/10 and I'm betting that the majority of people to whom the title is directed would still buy it. Tempered RPG fans have long tossed aside thoughts of caring for what Joe Schmoe, GTA extraordinaire, thinks about titles that require thought.

aries100 May 31st, 2011 23:29

I just thought it would be interestering to see what say newspapers have to say about a game like Witcher 2. I know that, for instance, the Danish newspaper, Politiken, had a rather lengthy (and good) review of Fallout: New Vegas.

Based on the reviews, especially the two somwehat negative or critical ones, I'd say that the reviewers probably didn't quite know how to play the game, or maybe didn't know thet could play the game on 'easy'.

JuliusMagnus May 31st, 2011 23:56

The curve for an RPG (or any epic story) should be that the first steps are difficult. And you feel a sense of accomplishment when it goes better.

If the difficulty curve is off, is it really because of bad programming or because you finally 'get' how to play it. There has to be progress or it feels meaningless.

For many progression in Oblivion wasn't fun because the world progressed with you. At a certain point the player has to be the only strong one who has the +20 hamer. Sure, at that point there should be a some difficult enemies but at the later levels in a game one should be able to swat most footsoldiers like flies.

CelticFrost June 1st, 2011 00:37

At frist i wasn't sure about the game until i got into chapter one…People that i don't know or care to ever know can give it a -10000 out of 1 for all I care. One of the hardest(I played 90% on hard) and best stories in a long long time. Not only that that world was rich in colour and detail making me wish witcher 3 was just around the corner..

Jabberwocky June 1st, 2011 04:44

Being introduced to RPG's by the Gothic series, I was under the impression that brutal at the start, easy at the end was the 'correct' way of designing a game. Hmm.. guess I was wrong.

borcanu June 1st, 2011 08:42

I agree with the reviewer, thats what makes me have a sour taste about recent rpg's , among other things. Screwed up difficulty curve. I also played on hard, and ran into alot o trouble, but that isn't the point, the point is that it has imballanced skills.
You should be able to do great, with any choice you make, Avellone knows this, the poles don't. Or to put it differently, you should be able to do as awful as with each choice.
That way it is obvious that a vast percentage of people will play a different kind of game that the designers intended. It hapens a lot -_-

ChienAboyeur June 1st, 2011 13:07

The game has the right difficulty curve, RPG wise. The analysis is flawed and another symptom of the RPG genre bad health.

Under the pressure of certain developpers, reviewers and players wishing to see the RPG genre healthier than ever, elements in a (socalled) RPG are not assessed through the quality of RP they allow a player to experience but are described as defining elements of the RPG genre identity itself.

One prevailing element that shall define the RPG genre identity is the character system progression. If a game has a system of character progression then at least, this game has RPG elements in it.

A pure non sense but that is the insane reality of today RPG genre assessment.
And most likely, a game without a character progression system could not be listed as RPG genre. And very often, current games listed as RPGs are mainly different in their elements thanks to the inclusion of a character progression system ( a game like Portal 2 is no RPG as it has no such system and so, a game like lastest iteration of Call of Duty is said to lean toward RPG because it includes a perk system and so on)

By this situation, the flawed analysis on the difficulty curve is enabled.

As the character progression system is now considered a defining element of the RPG genre identity, it has to be applied no matter the consequences on a possible RP experience.

Back in the days, developpers used to field the same stereotypes of characters, that is a nobody climbing up the ranks to establish itself as a mattering force in the gameworld.

Hence the normal standard of being a 30~50 level game.

But now, to maintain the appearances, the system is applied to already well established characters hence a total distortion.

RP well established characters is no issue in a RPG, it only means that the character will not level up frequently or not at all. No issue as levelling up is just one side of RP, nothing pertaining to identity.

In The Witcher's universe, Geralt of Rivia is well established, one of the best swordsmen in the North. He is a man above the average by far.
Typically the kind of characters that should progress slowly over a full adventure and who knows the basics.

So in order to apply the character system progression to Of Rivia, it grows necessary to weaken the character below his real level.

Basically, of Rivia starts at a negative level compared to the character he is and the whole story is about himself regaining his level.

TW1 rationalizes this with the loss of memory story. The man is the shadow of himself so he has to regain his level.

TW2 uses (weakly) the other classical trick: the prison.

All this to state that the difficulty curve is right, the closer the character to what geralt is in his universe, that is an exceptional fighter, well above the average swordsman, the easier fights must become.

If one refers to the other characters in the cut scenes and how they make short work of their enemies, Geralt of Rivia must be at least on par with all these characters.

ME series has this slightly better in ME2 as the reduction of stats allows seasoned soldiers to shoot as seasoned soldiers, while in ME1 seasoned soldiers miss 8 out of ten.

In ME3, as they want to label a game with no RP in it a RPG, they will keep doing so through association to so called RPG elements, including the character progression system, meaning sending back Shepard, one of the best fighters in the universe to boot camp.

All this to conclude that the issue is not the difficulty curve being wrong. The difficulty curve is right. Geralt is far above the average fighter in his universe, making it easy for him to dispatch several regular soldiers.

The issue is that to keep pretending that a game is RPG while it is not, some elements have been declared as identifiers of the RPG genre and through association to them, a game is told to be a RPG.

Hence Geralt of Rivia has to be weakened in order to accomodate the progression system.

If of Rivia is level 32 in his universe, in the video game, he starts as level 1, has to become again the dominant force he is in his universe and might gain three levels to finish level 35.

In terms of RP experience, such action is horrible but still remains necessary as without the character progression system identifier, it would grow harder to sell TW2 for a game it is not: a RPG.

you June 1st, 2011 15:07

I've reached act 1 so have not played a huge amount; but I'm finding the controls sub standard. I could not pick up a loot bag next to a door; I could not open a door while carrying someone but if i set them on the ground and open the door; the door would close when I picked them back up before I could pass through; the symbols on the map are not obvious and not explained in the manual; combat is a haphazard mess.
Graphics are fine;
voice acting (engilsh) for the most part is fine
presentation is good
The only thing is that the controls are a huge portion of the game so these being poor have to hurt the game. Not really sure why ancient rpgs and modern fps for the most part have no issues with controls but a lot of modern rpgs just can't get them right (naturally this is an opinion as 'right' here is subjective so I should add in my opinion). I shoudl go back and play DKS and see if they do a better job :)

aries100 June 1st, 2011 20:38

The following is an opinion based on my experience.

Clunky controls system come from not enough women working on the game. For some reason, either culturally, or biologically, women seem to havea better grasp of the end user experience. And thus design the games' user interface so that as many as possible will enjoy playing the game. There's a reason that Apple's prodcucts seem to be appeal more to woman than men. (easy acces, one button etc. etc.)

Disclaimer: I know the above sound like I'm generalizing - and why, yes I am. Let me just say that both women and men who work in games, or in electronics in general, need to think about how they present their product, how their product is receieved,
how their product is operated by the end user…and that everyone can learn how to do this, not just women…

And no, imo, making a game accesible, e.g. streamlining the controls do not mean dumbing the gameplay, it just means that the game will be more accisble and fun to play.
In the Witcher 2's case, I think this also has to do with CDP RED making a complete overhaul to the game's interface when compared to the first game in the series.

borcanu June 3rd, 2011 09:17

well. to the narrowminded fanboys above (or just one) the future patch was announced, and what a shock, it changes the mechanics and scaling.
i've stopped playing in act 2
Man it's hard to start again, with all these drivers and patches comming up , not to mention that i lost the feel of it.

DArtagnan June 3rd, 2011 09:54

The game has lots of flaws, no doubt about it, but I honestly can't figure out what the problem with controls is.

Aside from the key-getting-stuck-bug - I can't think of a single control issue throughout the whole game.

Actually, that's not true, looting crates was very crappy at times - but I consider that pretty trivial, given the awful loot paradigm.

So, what is it about the controls that's so bad?

xSamhainx June 3rd, 2011 10:09

It's been said more than once that the controls are clunky and unresponsive. It may be an individual systems lag thing tho, because mine are pretty fluid and responsive. I've had no trouble.

ChienAboyeur June 3rd, 2011 10:20


Originally Posted by borcanu (Post 1061073075)
well. to the narrowminded fanboys above (or just one) the future patch was announced, and what a shock, it changes the mechanics and scaling.

Nothing to do with fanboyism. Just utterance of a simple fact. Developpers answering to wrong demands to make wrong changes is nothing new.

TW series features a main character who is an exceptional figure in his game universe. The majority of tasks for this kind of characters have to be easy. Only exceptional tasks can provide challenges for this type of characters.

RP has fallen so much in oblivion that players do not even care about so petty details.

And you end with games like ME with supposedly one of the most powerful biotics unable to lift a cup of water through telekenisis.

The will to maintain appearance on RP in so called RPGs has grown into a roadblock leading to expected poor results.

Geralt is way out of league for most opponents in his universe. Just like featuring one of the best football team in the world struggling on the path up to glory against four or five division football teams.

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