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November 27th, 2011, 08:25
Have to agree that I was underwhelmed myself from #2.

I did not have any particular problem with the actiony console oriented combat and even enjoyed it for most of the game (bar the instances that they force you in dumb repeatable
qte sequences until you got it right, as the Kayran fight you mentioned). I just did not think it was such a highlight to the game, and an area that I would really need to see improved.

I believe the writing and CnC implementation were indeed improved and presented better overall and the Iorveth path was well realized and had a feeling of being with the good guys (haven't played the Roche path yet). These (and yeah the pretty graphics) were indeed the highlights of the game.

I had no particular problem with Alchemy. After I invested in catalysis and Potion specialization, I was constantly going with a virga+tawny owl+swallow or Raffards+Gadwall and with little planning ahead the game left me high and dry (not being able to drink potions) only a couple of times. But yeah, definetely not an improvent and I agree the simplification of the ingredient system was also unwelcome.

The character system. Yeah, there is streamlined (Like I was saying for Skyrim) and then there is evaporated. I am sure it makes for a couple of diversified builds but I am not a fan of these ultra slim skill trees. Not that the one in #1 was particularly brilliant, but this one is definetely cutting it a bit thin…

- The story seemingly lacking in the 'neutral' role-playing choices as in the first game and being generally not as interesting or intricate.

- The decision to focus on a more epic setting in the beginning versus the more sedate folk oriented, remote and almost rugged mystical feeling of first exploring Vizima in the first game. This is a major contrast in ambience and feeling and an area I think the first game is far more enjoyable for me. The beauty of that folk feeling is almost absent for me so far.
I think the above represent some of my biggest problems with the game. Those and the more "stale" static and restricted feeling world (no hub like Vizima i.e). Not having the ability to play a neutral path feels restricted and takes away from the roleplaying experience and replay value imo (it is also the more in character choise imo).

The atmosphere, pacing and feel of the World also took a big hit as you note. It was what I absolutely loved in the first game and they largely took that (moody atmospheric gothic experience) away in exchange for a high powered action fueled (and generic AAA polished) "Epic RPGing" experience. I think this is the kind of game Bioware wants to make but fails these last few years…

All in all the Witcher 2, while a very good game in its own right, represents a significant step down from #1 for me.

If you told me a few months back that I would be massively enjoying Skyrim more (warts and scaling and all) I would have laughed. Guess the laugh is on me
Last edited by JonNik; November 27th, 2011 at 08:44.
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