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RPGWatch Forums » Games » The Witcher Games » The Witcher 2 » The Witcher 2 first impressions

Default The Witcher 2 first impressions

May 27th, 2011, 18:21
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Indeed.

I replayed the game from the end of chapter 1 and IŽd say the
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route has overall a bit more fleshed out content.
What did you get out of the investigation sequence in chapter two? Is there any means to tip the balance in one way or another?

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May 27th, 2011, 21:36
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
What is this instance that you keep referring to? Please don't tell me you're talking about having to leave your weapons at the door to Loredo's place. Why would that be illogical?
JDR did you play squirrels? If so, I'm talking about the infiltration of a certain place that is past some mist. If you choose the path of the scantily clad, you will enter a cave and fight some stuff. Exiting this cave brings you head to head with a single guard. He has no help within yards. Why would Geralt give up to this singleton guard, especially with what he is trying to achieve at this location? This is as vague as possible to avoid spoiling anything for those who haven't played.

I'm going to replay this section tonight and see if I'm happier choosing the second path. I liked how the game played better in the prologue if you choose not to engage in a certain swordfight, so perhaps I will like the 2nd option better in the infilitration quest. I hope so.
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May 28th, 2011, 03:28
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
What did you get out of the investigation sequence in chapter two?
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May 28th, 2011, 09:12
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May 28th, 2011, 09:24
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
Why would Geralt give up to this singleton guard, especially with what he is trying to achieve at this location?
I had another feeling when playing that part.

The son of a prostitute told about something lurking. The madame told about something lurking. Both stated that the prostitutes' plan was negated because of that something lurking, making it impossible to move from the madame's place to the other place.

Several exits. First is checked. Dead end. Second is checked. Dead end. Third. Oh, surprise, a guard stationed there. How comes? What about the story of that something lurking, repeated twice? Why put a guard on that station if someone is not expected to come out?

This feeling was later confirmed by the little discussion following the event.

There might have added a little cutscene to show what would happen if you refuse and strenghtens up the feeling that Geralt was expected.
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May 28th, 2011, 13:47
A bit LTTP, but hey, here are my first impressions -- just through the prologue.

It's definitely The Witcher. While the combat is different, it's still close enough that it feels like the same game; it's not like they suddenly made it turn-based or something. On balance, yeah, definite improvement. It's surprisingly tactical; picking which one of a mob you fight makes all the difference, and when mobbed, they seem to get in each other's way a bit, which is nice and realistic. As is being quickly liquefied if you stand in the middle of three guys hacking at you.

Very atmospheric. Very consistent in visual feel. Love the hard-edged writing, flawed but human characters, that sort of thing. If this level of unintended consequences holds up for the rest of the game, well wow.

This was worth falling off the wagon for, methinks.
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May 29th, 2011, 09:34
Just a note about responsiveness in combat as mentioned earlier in the thread: To me personally, TW 1 combat certainly is preferable to the wild buttonmashing one has to indulge in in TW2, but by no means do I find the controls unresponsive in any way - I'm playing on PC with mouse and keyboard.

The reported problem could possibly be due to a low FPS or the use of controllers?
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May 29th, 2011, 13:20
I think the responsiveness is partly a perspective thing - but I just find it unwieldy. If anything it seems worse with patch 1.1 (?) Witcher 1 easily handled mobs, although it was by no means perfect. Since you are forced (really, with the multitude of enemies always trying to pin you) to roll all over the place, you should be able to quickly go from a roll to a sign, for example. That almost always fails - Geralt will (at his own leisurely pace) come out of a roll, stand for a fraction of a second, then start the sign, then get hit by someone who rushed after him, which interrupts the sign etc etc. All this while I have been clicking the cast sign key repeatedly - having wanted to put distance between myself and an enemy so I could cast the sign. Given the importance of signs, it should be a more fluid transition - by allowing certain actions to be queued for a short term/interrupt others. This coupled with a roll which cannot move past clustered enemies, and no vaulting over them etc which most other action-y games provide as a means of escaping mobs. I've also been pinned against bits of furniture etc by a few low level peons an not been able to tumble away/vault over them etc, and they just keep interrupting everything little thing you try. Just just doesn't make sense if you're a tough level 20 super-mutant. That's not to say it is unplayable, but every time I've come undone its been because the interface did not work correctly or locked onto the wrong character. I enjoyed combat in TW1 far more.
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May 29th, 2011, 14:18
I played it only once, and I will be preparing for a second play-through, and here are my impressions. I don't join the overall hype. TW2 is a very good game, but I wouldn't say it's a game for years to come. In some departments it's better than TW1, in some others it's worse.

The good thing is the game is addictive. You play it, Geralt dies, you play it again until you beat the damn monster, and you want to see some more. However, some parts are frustrating. If the developers want to go the console way, sure, go for it, but I'd like them to use more auto-saves here and there, using visible save-points/respawn points would be perhaps too far-going. Sometimes I don't know what the game expects me to do, because I don't know how to fight a particular monster, there are no books (or did I miss something?) to read about the monsters and prepare. In TW1 I could learn something about monsters from the books and prepare for the fight accordingly. Drinking potions before the fight seems like using blind luck – which potions should I use I don't know, but maybe it doesn't matter anyway, because they are different from the potions in the Witcher1.

The game is a bit difficult here and there, and raising the difficulty bar is always welcome. But I've got the impression that the game difficulty level is not consistent, because it's sometimes difficult in the beginning and very easy in the end. Did they want to make the game longer by raising the difficulty? And I don't like QTEs here, though I don't seem to have any problems with QTEs while playing games like God of War. There should be a warning on the game box that this game should be played using a pad, because it was unplayable for me when I used a mouse. As for fighting… Gee, why can't I see the final deadly hit the normal way if I stun the opponent or I perform the special attack, why, oh why I observe some kind of cutscene instead of letting me see it through the camera angle which I used so far?

Hmm, what happened to the music? TW1 had an incredible soundtrack, one of the best game soundtracks I have ever heard, which contributed immensely to the atmosphere. In TW2 I only enjoy the battle music, the rest is, well, I don't notice it, it's somewhere there, and that's it.

And the mini-games? Why can't I fight while boxing (like it was in TW1) but I have to wait to press a proper button? I can only imagine that a “real” boxing fight, with all the visuals and animations, would be incredible. What are QTEs usually used for? Have a look at console games. QTEs are usually used to initiate a special attack. And in the boxing mini-game there are only QTEs and no fighting at all! It's utterly boring. The arm wrestling mini-game is not very good as well. One short move of the mouse and you are fine. Even spamming one button to win the fight would be better because you could apply some force then, and here you can use the mouse move to win it and exploit the mechanism to earn lots of orens. The boxers and arm-wrestlers are always eager to fight, no one will say no after being beaten like it was in TW1 and you can fight with them ad infinitum. I avoided the dice mini-game, maybe my eyesight is too poor but I couldn't see the dice clearly against the dark background.

As for the atmosphere and the setting, everything is so “sterile”. Neat houses, neatly piled crates. In TW1 if it was a poor district you could feel you were there, if it was a rich district it was a rich district, with discernible differences. In Vizima you could feel you were in the gutter and you experienced the low life. And in Flotsam? Hardly, apart from a decent amount of swear words. Both Vergen and Flotsam are small in comparison to Vizima and you can't spot many differences between parts of the towns. Commoners telling all the time the same things are pretty boring and breaking the suspension of disbelief, they are like stuck in time. Why do they have to say all the time the same thing? Can't they have more lines? Some of the commoners in TW1 had like twenty different utterances. If they can't say more, make them silent, please, I don't want to hear the same story for a hundred time. The rich world? Come on. Compare it to the rich world of the TW1. You could play it three times and don't see and hear all the little things which are in there.

The game visuals are stunning, the Red engine is powerful, but, despite the level of detail, which is incredible, nearing the photographic quality, I don't like the art direction. The loading screens in TW1 were beautiful, here they are just OK. No loading screens while entering houses? Sure. There are half-second-long black screens. As far as cutscenes and flashback scenes go, they are good or average (with the exception of the cutscene in the elven ruins which is very good). Compare them to the great cutscenes in TW1(e.g. Geralt throwing his sword at the Professor, the camerawork in the TW1 cutscenes, the angles, the focus of the lenses), and there's nothing that can be compared to the excellent Baginski's intro and outro.

Someone mentioned Slavonic or Eastern European feeling. I don't feel it. I don't feel it at all and I come from Eastern Europe myself (actually, in Poland we say we are in Central Europe, this is a geographical term, we don't use the political one) . In TW1 the folk atmosphere, the Slavonic feeling really was there if you looked closely at the houses, and the villages, and the chapels at the crossroads, and the trees, and the fields of grain. Gdansk Crane which you can see in Flotsam doesn't change that. Trees in TW2 are looking great but the forest near Flotsam reminds me more of a prehistoric forest from the times when people did not even exist. In TW1 I felt the immersion in the atmosphere. I spent hours gathering herbs, talking to people, standing on the bridge and watching the beautiful sunset and the clouds wandering across the sky. I don't feel like doing it in TW2.

As for characters: I don't identify with them, I feel disconnected from them, I don't care. They are vivid and lively and interesting? Why? Because there are more polygons in their character models? Apart from Zoltan and Triss everybody seems utterly boring. In TW1 an innkeeper, a beggar and other common people had more life to them and had more to tell me than an important NPC in TW2. I welcome TW2's NPC's background stories with the shrug of my shoulders.

As for the plot… If TW2 is to be a game for years to come, it's too short, the third act seems half-finished. And why should I care for the political plot? All those machinations of kings and sorceresses? I don't care about those people, they may live, they may die, why should I be concerned? Geralt as king's bodyguard seems to me ridiculous. Geralt from the stories would never do something like that. Would Geralt from the saga do that? I'm not sure. I prefer the stories and TW1 was closer to the stories that to the saga. In TW2 somebody was trying hard to follow in Sapkowski's footsteps and recycled his ideas from the saga. And where is a mystery in this world? Hunting for the memories of the days bygone? The memories just appear in the course of events, and there's no mystery in it at all. There are no real surprises if you are not attached to the story. Compare it to the plot of TW1. Though the plot of TW1 wasn't the greatest, but the mystery was there. And now the mystery is gone. Now TW2 is a high-budget AAA title, polished and rounded around the edges, it's like TW1 goes to Hollywood, much more on rails, much more cinematic experience than before.

I raise my final TW2 grade because of: good dialogues, breaking the main plot into two separate storylines in Act II, a couple of good side quests, some good parts of the main quest
Spoiler

very good monster models, and the absolutely phenomenal, incredible, fantastic scene in the mist in the Act II. I take my hat off to the designer who created the
Spoiler

It's like a scene from a different game. The game I wanted TW2 to be.

But, despite its flaws, TW2 is a very good game.

My final grades: TW1 9/10, TW2 8/10.
Last edited by fantasta; May 29th, 2011 at 23:59.
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May 29th, 2011, 15:05
Monsters knowledge: books, fighting them, no longer learning from NPCs.

Poverty: yep, maybe to better suit US tastes.

Much less interactions with the world NPCs: absolutely but as they went the way of epicness (hence the shorter story), musing around does not fit. It is a man hunt after all and the character has no time to spare. He does not call the shots.

Game difficulty: I'd say that it is more because of the different specializations than anything else.

An alchemist witcher is the same as in the beginning in unprepared combat, save better gear, potential mutagens, higher vitality and better bombs. It makes a lot of differences compared to other specializations and I think that all the NPCs intervening towards the end are to help alchemists.
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May 29th, 2011, 15:24
Just finished it.

Unfortunately, it doesn't quite hold up what it managed to establish during the beginning of the game.

Still, a strong CRPG with certain fantastic features - and superb visuals.

Overall, I'd probably rate it 8.5/10.

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May 29th, 2011, 15:58
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
I'm okay with this, but the choices sometimes are not logically what Geralt would choose to do. Why would Geralt give up his weapons to a single guard, when there is absolutely no reason to do so? Illogical.

I should again point out that I'm having fun with the game, it just gets a little dull being led by the nose constantly from one plot point to the next. I don't find much motivation to do the things I'm required to do. I kinda doubt I'll finish the game because I'm not strongly enough tied to the story. The game wants you to play at a fast pace too, and I'm a "stop and smell the roses" type of guy. I do feel I've gotten my money's worth out of what I have played. I replayed the Prologue and Chapter 1 three times.
I'm with you on some points.

There are definitely too many "cinematic" moments where control is taken away from you. I'm not talking about normal interactions, but all those special moments where you get to control someone else - or you're supposed to "go through the motions" of some past event. I don't like that at all - but I understand why they did it.

Also, the game seems to start out being quite open and develop into a more and more linear and driven experience. Again, a matter of taste - but I'm most definitely a bigger fan of Chapter 1 than the others.

There were lots and lots of issues that bothered me, but none of them ultimately take away from the game being a fantastic achievement.

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May 29th, 2011, 16:30
Agreed on the "losing control for story purposes" thing. BioWare has a habit of doing that as well, and it annoys me greatly. Why do I beat the crap out of Letho, only to lose the fight? Same thing with Malak in KotOR - I'm wiping the floor with him, but then a cinematic kicks in and I lose? I hate that sort of cinematic.

Other classic situations:
- The main character surrenders despite being able to butcher the people that arrest him/her.
- The main character makes choices that are down right illogical, without any input from the player.
- The main character presents arguments like a complete idiot. Example: Shepard when talking to the Council about the Reapers; there's loads of evidence, but none of it is ever presented. Instead, Shepard goes "you have to believe me!" - why do they have to believe you, dimwit? Present the evidence already!
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May 29th, 2011, 19:07
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Agreed on the "losing control for story purposes" thing. BioWare has a habit of doing that as well, and it annoys me greatly. Why do I beat the crap out of Letho, only to lose the fight? Same thing with Malak in KotOR - I'm wiping the floor with him, but then a cinematic kicks in and I lose? I hate that sort of cinematic.
I don't mind when you loose control of your char and take over other chars for story purpose. Like you do lot in ch2.

However I agree with the fight about Letho. I am not sure why they made me loose against him via cinematics. Why can't they just made it so that Letho looses the fight and do some trick and run away? I think thats more believable than loosing via cinematics. In chp2 another character do indeed run away from you…..

However like other people said, there are so many minor annoyance…. TW2 is still the best game game to come out in the last 2 - 3 years…
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May 29th, 2011, 20:08
Just finished. I must say that I still found TW1 to be more satisfying, despite the improved visuals. My enthusiasm waned by the time I got to Act III. I enjoyed the experience mostly, but I still don't think this is the "best thing since sliced bread". I had a lot of issues with design choices (e.g. drinking potions in meditation mode only) that CDP made, but sadly I had to live with those. Maybe they'll rethink some of their choices for their next witcher title (assuming that happens).
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May 30th, 2011, 08:58
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Agreed on the "losing control for story purposes" thing.
Geralt of Rivia is a predefined character with an existence prior the game. It is nothing untold before the game. I am rather reluctant to play this kind of games for this reason as they are extremelly difficult to RP (good thing, TW2 is not a RPG)

Yet the situation depicted does not break Geralt's character.

From what is gathered, the man is determined. Considering the importance of the task, turning back is not an option and has not to be included in the game.

He has also a man to face situations as they come. Given the location of the guard, obviously, the whole endeavour went belly up and there is no reason to hide anymore.

No lost of control on this scene, you only act as the character would act. Even in a RPG, the situation should have been dealt with in the same to stay on character.
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May 30th, 2011, 10:30
Ready for some presidential impressions? Let's wait till Obama installs the game

http://kotaku.com/5806531/poland-giv…ectors-edition
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May 30th, 2011, 11:02
More live commentary. I just got out of Flotsam and did the prologue of the next bit. Still loving the hell out of it; just like TW1 only more so.

Which doesn't mean it's perfect. At this point…

…likes:

Damn, this is polished. Total of one CTD so far, and no other bugs or irritations worth mentioning. Nary a stutter, framerate slowdown, or anything else, either. Gameplay feels rich, fluid, balanced, and varied. User interface has no glaring flaws; at most a few minor irritations (the slow scrolling crafting formulas, the hard-to-find upgrade/mutagen slots, the over-long meditation animations).

The writing. Consistent, interesting, varied, flows naturally even with all the C&C -- I don't feel like I've taken any turns at all yet, although I'm sure I have. Interesting, complex, well-written characters that justify what they do in very believable ways. Great power fantasy of being (almost) the only non-douchebag in a universe full of douchebags.

The visuals. 'Nuff said.

The sexy bits. They don't feel juvenile or tacked-on at all. They're meaningful. Kudos for losing those stupid collector's cards.

What I don't like so much:

Mobs. Overused. Triumphing over a crushing horde of monsters/bandits/soldiers/whatevs gets a bit tedious the umpteenth time.

Boss fights. Overused. There were, like, three in Flotsam, two of which were pretty damn tough.

Loot. Overdone. In TW1, getting a better sword, or a better armor, or a significant upgrade to your sword, felt like a real achievement because there were only, like, three or four throughout the entire game, and you really had to work for them. I've gone through about a half-dozen armors and a dozen swords already, and I'm just out of the first part. The economics of the game seem nerfed; this dressing-up-a-paper-doll thing that works great for D&D feels out of place here. I got a huge kick out of crafting my first Witcher sword. It felt special. I'd have liked to keep that thing, grow with it, until maybe something like Aerondil happens. Crafting a new, improved version a half an hour later felt majorly anticlimactic.
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May 30th, 2011, 14:23
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Unfortunately, it doesn't quite hold up what it managed to establish during the beginning of the game.

Still, a strong CRPG with certain fantastic features - and superb visuals.

Overall, I'd probably rate it 8.5/10.
I'm somewhere along those lines as well.

At the height of my fanboy glow, which was somewhere near the end of Chapter 2, I had it pegged as an easy 9/10. Chapter 3 definitely sobered me up a bit. After further thought, I'd rate it a solid 8/10… maybe an 8.5 if CD Projekt can completely patch out the bugs/glitches, and tweak the balance a bit.


Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
(good thing, TW2 is not a RPG).
I guess you think that if you say that enough times your opinion will become fact.
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May 30th, 2011, 16:42
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I guess you think that if you say that enough times your opinion will become fact.
Absolutely. The very same way that repeating my opinion that a door is a door and I have better to open it before crossing the doorway miraculously turns the door into a door and turning opening it before crossing the doorway safer.

That is all the power of the repetition of my opinions. Such a nice power.

Same happens with TW2.

Not sure though that people whose opinion is TW2 is a RPG have the same power.
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