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April 26th, 2012, 04:35
I'm currently playing The Witcher 2 EE, finished the prologue and a couple of hours into chapter 1 and so far it is a bit like hot and cold showers or like an emotional rollercoaster.
Honestly, at least for me this would theoretically be 'RPG of the Decade' material if it weren't for these few annoying issues:
- No proper 16:10 support so you get a black screen on some cut scenes
- Bugs - Of all sorts, nothing really serious so far luckily but a noticeable lack of polish
- Input lag - This is really terrible in my opinion. The game seems to react with about a one second delay to key presses -or sometimes flat out ignores key presses- and the character movement kind of feels like Geralt is on skates.
- No way to customize the keymap from within the game
- Consolitis - You can tell and feel that the game was made with the idea of being controller friendly. A good interface this is not.
- Lag during conversations. This is even worse than it sounds. The game runs at ~50fps for me with everything maxed out except UberSampling. On the dialogue screen, however, i.e. where you get to pick your reply or what you want to say, the frame rate drops to ~25fps causing severe mouse lag which is
bad if you happen to have a dialogue with a timer. You need to react very quickly and use the keyboard for picking a reply because you almost have no chance to be quick and accurate enough with the mouse.
- FoV - They really need to add an option to change the field of view. Every game should have that option actually.
- Terrible targeting - This is somewhat related to the laggy input and lack of responsiveness. It can be incredibly hard to pick up an item because the "hit box" of the item seems to be very small and Geralt moves awkwardly. So sometimes you run back and forth a few times, try a different angle and still can't focus whatever you want to pick up.
- A larger font for some of the in-game text would have been nice or an option to adjust the font size.
- Same goes for a zoom option - This is almost an over the shoulder view with the very zoomed in camera. Would have been nice if you would have had the option to zoom out just a little bit further.
- Like in the first game it seems like this game does not really have a Z-axis. You can't jump even over the smallest of obstacles. You can only jump and climb in hotspots.
Ignoring these issues for a moment this game does have awesomeness written all over it. The characters are great, the dialogues and writing are top notch, the choices seem to be meaningful (that early in the game I ain't seen much consequences yet), the presentation is plain awesome in all regards from the cinematic conversations to the graphics, the atmosphere is at least as good as in good old Gothic because you have a very living, breathing world around you with believable NPCs who go about their daily (or nightly) business, you have NPCs huddled around campfires, drunk or sleeping guards, NPCs taking a piss near the walls (just like in Gothic 1 in the old camp), you name it… everything just oozes atmosphere and err… "epicness".
And then they have to go and fuck it up because they couldn't put together a decent 3rd person engine. Not fair *sigh*. Seriously, if this game had the same working, lag-free 3rd person gameplay as other 3rd person games like the Gothics or Risen or Divinity DKS then -as I said up above- 'RPG of the Decade' material. For me at least.
Finally, here's some screens to illustrate that nice atmosphere I was talking about
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