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August 27th, 2011, 15:04

I just finished my second play-through. I had previously started to replay The Witcher, but gave up in Chapter IV. I had entirely forgotten how much fetch-and-carry and relatively pointless trudging across the landscape there was. The visceral gameplay has been so. much. improved. in The Witcher 2.

I chose Iorveth this time around, and took my time in Chapter III instead of just following the main quest. Developed magic rather than swordsmanship. Only tagged the Mobility and Riposte abilities in the Swordsmanship tree (as soon as I could).

First off, this playthrough was way easier. Like the whole game had been rebalanced. I think my mistake in the first playthrough was to pretty much ignore crafting and go with whatever I found, and also ignore a good many sidequests. The upshot was that I was a lot weaker then for those really tough fights. The Kayran was the only one that had me tearing hair, and that because of that stupid QTE at the end. I bleeping hate that overgrown cephalopod.

Second, Iorveth's path was, IMO, better done than Roche's path. More background was revealed, there was a feeling of siding with the good guys, and it just hung together more nicely. Chapter III felt more fleshed-out than before, too; an actual chapter and not just a coda. Perhaps because—as detailed as it was—the military camp had something of an in-between feel about it, whereas Vergen was an actual town.

After this play-through, my already high opinion of the game went up a notch. Far better in terms of gameplay than The Witcher, and as good in terms of writing and content. I still think it could've used some more meandering sidequests; nothing there that's quite up to the Noonwraith/Nightwraith thing The Witcher 1.

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