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Default The Witcher 2 first impressions

May 30th, 2011, 16:47
I'm not sure whether to laugh or feel sorry for you.
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May 30th, 2011, 19:55
I finished the game yesterday.

+ presententation, visuals, animations - top
+ choices & consequences
+ memorable unique characters (all shades of grey)
+ many plots and subplots; some factions with different interests
+ nice alchemy & crafting system
+ unique items
+ cool story / believable world
+ game for adults
+ challenging combat, at least in the beginning
+ good character building system

- too much (!) items, recipees for such a short game
- the overall combat difficulty can be balanced better
- boss fights are okay -> but more "in between" saving should be possible
- playing a Witcher focused on alchemy is hard, because I need to meditate to use a potion
- item interface can be optimized
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May 31st, 2011, 10:35
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I'm not sure whether to laugh or feel sorry for you.
You can do both. Or better, laugh loudly, stay silent for mortuary cause, feel sorry for me and rejoice for me at the same time, it is just a matter of opinions and opinions can state that it is possible to be all of this at the same time.

As to showing how TW2 is a RPG, well, I would prefer to stand a chance at the previous little exercize.
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May 31st, 2011, 10:40
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
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.
Much more available items was a demand by gamers. As the game grew shorter, that much more items gives an overdone feature.

I even noticed they chose to take the path of replaying to save and afford final items. Not much money in final act and no getting in with enough money deprive from getting most expensive.

One good side of playing alchemists as alchemists bathe in money.
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May 31st, 2011, 11:18
Hey, what does it matter if the game is an (Action)RPG or not. All the RPG purists missed out on a very enjoyable experience with Rise Of The Argonauts, just because it called itself an action RPG but was more an action adventure with RPG elements. The whole "RPG or not" issue has been discussed to death already, and I thought the end conclusion was that with all the innovation and hybridization of today, one can't put a game into a predetermined exact little pigeonhole anymore.

Enjoy the game for what what it is..- would a rose by any other name …

Whatever you want to call it, the game does have some definite RPG elements. …but if you chose to call it an arcade game, that wouldn't change my enjoyment of the actual game.

Personally, I'd say it falls as much into the ActionRPG genre as, say, the Gothic games do, who also have a set main character.
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May 31st, 2011, 11:23
Oh, and Shepard, anyone? ..and what about Hawke?

Just saying… In fact, Dragon Age 2 is probably even less of an RPG with it's limitations on race and class, and total non-choice at the end.
Ugh, but don't let me get started on DA2…

OK, maybe I'm a bit of a Witcher and Dragon Age fan. Which is why I hate Dragon Age 2 so much. Let me rather shut up before I start a war. Wrong thread, wrong subforum, anyway.
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May 31st, 2011, 11:36
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
I finished the game yesterday.

+ presententation, visuals, animations - top
+ choices & consequences
+ memorable unique characters (all shades of grey)
+ many plots and subplots; some factions with different interests
+ nice alchemy & crafting system
+ unique items
+ cool story / believable world
+ game for adults
+ challenging combat, at least in the beginning
+ good character building system

- too much (!) items, recipees for such a short game
- the overall combat difficulty can be balanced better
- boss fights are okay -> but more "in between" saving should be possible
- playing a Witcher focused on alchemy is hard, because I need to meditate to use a potion
- item interface can be optimized
Spot on. IMHO.
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May 31st, 2011, 14:12
My impressions.

Good:
  • Pretty game.
  • Combat is visually appealing. It's similar to the first game too, just without the glowing sword telling you when you need to perform the "next combo". I played a Magic Witcher.
  • I like the NPCs, interesting characters, good VO (english). Although, I could do without whiny Dandelion.
  • Interesting concept with the story branching.
  • Great variety in armor and weapons (shovel FTW!).

Neutral:
  • I'm not sure what was the main story: Geralt's getting back his memory or the political stuff.

Bad:
  • The story felt awfully unfinished, I didn't get any satisfaction finishing the game, actually I went "that's it?" at the epilogue.
  • The story have a bad habit of making NPC trash you in cutscenes after you dropped their health to 0 in gameplay. aka TW2 is a true interactive movie, where the gameplay is second to where the story want to go.
  • I hate the prologue: too many cutscenes, bad story flow, doesn't explain the political landscape well. I'm waiting for a "skip the prologue" mod now.
  • Too many alchemy/crafting components/mutagens. Does killed creatures really need to drop that much stuff?
  • I didn't like the change to the dice poker game, I preferred the 2 of 3 matches before winning the pot of the first game.
  • I have unresponsiveness problems sometimes, nothing like Geralt not sheathing is sword despite pushing the sheath key (0) or the sword key…for a good 30 seconds after combat. I also had to click on the sign key twice most of time. I took the habit of moving really far away from creatures before doing anything that wasn't a sword slash in combat.
  • I got a couple of CTD before I installed patch 1.1 (gog version).
  • Combat is a clickfest and doesn't require much tactics beside "don't get cornered".
  • Arm wrestling and fistfights are super easy (minus the last arm wrestling match, because you can't see the guide under the "cursor").
  • Lack of proper game play mechanic introduction (aka a tutorial).
  • No storage chest like in the first game!
  • Game world is too small and linear.
  • Game was too short, especially the last chapter.
  • Lack of variety in encounters and too many scripted fights.
  • Game telling you hints via mini-cutscenes. You don't need to tell me that's where I have to go, I know.
  • The first boss fight isn't that great, when you don't realize that your idea to take it down only work on specific place. The other boss fight were just oversized normal mobs with scripted events.

Despite the long list of bad, I liked the game, but I don't feel like replaying it to see the Roche's path. In fact, I had to force myself to finish that game and felt that the only interesting part was toward the end of chapter 2, but chapter 3 totally killed that feeling.

DA2 is still the best new game I played this year.
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May 31st, 2011, 15:08
No impressions from me yet as i have not played the game. Question: Will it come to ps3? My computer pass the minimum requirements so i am worried that i will not fully enjoy the game. Any opinions?
Thanks in advance
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May 31st, 2011, 15:49
Originally Posted by akarthis View Post
No impressions from me yet as i have not played the game. Question: Will it come to ps3? My computer pass the minimum requirements so i am worried that i will not fully enjoy the game. Any opinions?
Thanks in advance
Not exactly the right thread to ask this, but yes, we think so. Stay tuned on June 2nd.
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May 31st, 2011, 15:59
I agree with most of your points, but overall content and tone of the world made up for any shortcomings.

Also you have many alternatives to killing right up to the last scenes which I applaud.

One of the first truly grown up games I have played in a long time other than from the adventure genre.

Most games nowadays are not aimed at mature adults at all. This is a case of mechanics are flaky - Chatacters and tone are complex.
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May 31st, 2011, 17:12
I gave up on the game before finishing, but I really don't think it had anything to do with the game. I sometimes go through spurts where nothing is working for me, and I think this is one of those times. I'll read books for a few weeks and come back to TW2 after some down time.

I think when I start over, I'm just going to ignore loot. I know there are a few "quest chests", but those should be the only thing I have to open. It seems you can get rewarded enough stuff to complete the game, at least on normal difficulty.
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May 31st, 2011, 18:52
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
-SNIP-
DA2 is still the best new game I played this year.
Please explain how/why DA2 is better than the Witcher 2. Don't get me wrong, TW2 is far from perfect(IMO), but to say that DA2 is arguably better…

———————————————————————————————————————————

Let me just preface this by saying that I enjoyed the Witcher 2, early on it was incredibly engaging and kept me glued to my PC. Unfortunately(IMO), it steadily lost that sense of openness as the game progressed and became a tighter experience around the time you had to pick sides. Though I can understand why they railroaded the PC into choosing a side, versus allowing for a more witcher like/neutral path… (I can only comment as a person who has played both TW1 and TW2, I have no experience with the any of the books the game is based off of.) Witchers are a dying breed, both literally and figuratively… It's a major theme in both games - they're infertile as a result of the their transformation, most(all?) of the witcher schools/those who possess the knowledge to create witchers are gone/dead and monster hunters are fast becoming obsolete. The few that remain must survive, which means adapting.

With that in mind it becomes easier to understand both Letho's and Geralt's motivations.
Spoiler


TW2 has dual storylines, that of the Witcher(s) and that of the hegemonic monarchies/ruling elite(mages included) and conversely the peasants + lands they claim as theirs… I guess what I'm trying to say is that I like the political intrigue and that they attempted to link the two. It really gives an interesting spin on C&C, though it is somewhat linear towards the end and some choices are classical false dilemmas(IE excluding other viable options, but that's a necessary evil in a game with a branching story/plot).

All in all a good game, definitely a highly recommended aRPG.

What I found to detract from the experience,

—Combat is a huge part of the game, and thus weighs heavily when rating the overall experience.
Spoiler


^Despite the aforementioned complaints and the arcade feeling to combat, I found it to be an improvement over TW1 and decent overall.

Next issue, too much loot. Also, there are no repercussions for stealing/taking everything and anything - even if done in plain sight…

Spoiler


Last but not least is the UI suffering from a case of consolitis… But we live in a console-centric gaming era, so I won't hold it against CDP.
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May 31st, 2011, 19:21
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
Please explain how/why DA2 is better than the Witcher 2. Don't get me wrong, TW2 is far from perfect(IMO), but to say that DA2 is arguably better…
My enjoyment out of TW2 is pretty uneven (annoying cutscenes, glitches), while DA2 was pretty steady. TW2 is prettier though.

I also don't feel any compulsion in replaying TW2 a second time, despite missing on almost half of the game content…dreading more annoying cutscenes.
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June 1st, 2011, 08:43
More running commentary.

Nearing the end of Chapter 2 here. This one is weaker than Chapter 1, and there are definite problems with game balance. Too much awesome button. I'm developing Geralt on the swordsman path, and there are a few perks there that are clearly overpowered. Riposte combined with the one that completely negates damage on block turns one-on-one duels into very boring QTE's -- click when the sword goes white, repeat until opponent is dead. Never even mind the cheat button, AKA group finisher move.

Same goes with the nerfed economics. "Oh, and before I forget, have this totally epic magic armor that makes the previous totally epic magic armor you crafted out of the skin of an incredibly epic beast you slew in a climactic fight look like frayed underwear." It would've been sooo easy to do this bit differently; just randomize both the found loot and the crafting diagrams so you'll only run into three or four really cool things in the game. With too many really cool things, they don't feel cool at all anymore. And why even bother putting currency in the game if there's so much of it that you're carrying more gold than the Central Bank of Portugal?

They've clearly attempted to balance things, but it feels ham-handed, like running into a bunch of skinny bandits wielding cudgels and hatchets that fight harder than the cream of Kaedwin's knights. I also get a feeling that they've dropped stuff they'd have wanted to include. I've run into two points in the story where I would have wanted to make a big choice, but instead I was railroaded along. I'm pretty sure the reason is that those choices would've involved a lot of new scripting. Still a shame, because that kind of C&C is The Witcher's trademark.

I'm still very much into the game though. The narrative is compelling as ever, the characters as interesting and complex, even the little ones with bit parts. Some of them are really poignant; basically decent people doing horrible things and thinking it's the right thing to do. The visuals are brilliant, and the setting is unusual and interesting. The quests are well-written, varied, creative, and thoughtful.

But I am starting to think that this might not quite measure up to The Witcher 1 EE after all.
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June 1st, 2011, 09:53
Hmm, bummer…

Too many people seem to agree that they needed to work more on balance and overall
gameplay tuning, guess they run out of time there at the end (and probably took all the
complaints on #1 about not enough loot from the diablo/mmo crowd too much to
heart).

Methinks I'll put this on the shelf (when my copy actually arrives) for a few months until
they improve those aspects (and hopefully add some more content).

Hey I was just looking for an excuse to embark in my long planned Gothic (1-3) replay
marathon anyway
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June 1st, 2011, 14:52
No need to wait, go ahead and play it.
Its a really great game, with many great moments.

Just don't get too worried about armour specs etc. and just concentrate on the dialogue. This I learnt. (certainly on normal diff). You need resonable gear but never have to bust a gut to get something to see you through.

Don't be afraid to sell heavy crafting components and monster ingredients if you run out of space.

Ch3 I just decided to concentrate on main quest. Spend as much time as you can absorbing Ch1 and Ch2 - no hurry.

Try out some of the alternatives to swords - I found traps really helped me in some difficult parts.

It took them 4 years so don't expect massive content any time soon. If they do any it will be a few bolt on quests, unlikely to be balance changes for a while? I never tried the free DLC as the fix came too late, not to fussed. Anyway they will be working on the 360 version and refining that in due course I would guess.

The best moments are with the character interactions. Some parts I NEVER saw coming, especially not in a videogame!

Its a very intelligent game which deserves high praise.
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June 1st, 2011, 15:28
Originally Posted by huggster View Post
No need to wait, go ahead and play it.
Its a really great game, with many great moments.

Its a very intelligent game which deserves high praise.
Oh I do not doubt it is a very Good game. I am also expecting that I'll probably like it
more than the average user here as they(CDPR) seem to have covered the important
aspects that really hook me into a game. I am more inclined to overlook "flaws" that
seem to matter so much to others this way (as in Risen for example).

Hell I cannot think a single game in my favorites list that is not considered flawed
(certainly not the Gothics or the Troika games or even PS:T)…

Guess I am easy to please (or am less of a perfectionist in my gaming as I am in my
other hobbies).

Anyway, regarding TW2 I'm not gasping to play it immediately. I can wait for at least
a couple of patches to resolve stability and performance issues (especially for the retail
versions). And I really worked an appetite for Gothic .

At least this is not going to be a case of DA:O repeat I think (I played the game 1 year after buying the retail copy, still enjoyed it greatly).
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June 1st, 2011, 16:23
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
Hey, what does it matter if the game is an (Action)RPG or not. All the RPG purists missed out on a very enjoyable experience with Rise Of The Argonauts, just because it called itself an action RPG but was more an action adventure with RPG elements. The whole "RPG or not" issue has been discussed to death already, and I thought the end conclusion was that with all the innovation and hybridization of today, one can't put a game into a predetermined exact little pigeonhole anymore.

Enjoy the game for what what it is..- would a rose by any other name …

Whatever you want to call it, the game does have some definite RPG elements. …but if you chose to call it an arcade game, that wouldn't change my enjoyment of the actual game.

Personally, I'd say it falls as much into the ActionRPG genre as, say, the Gothic games do, who also have a set main character.
Never been the issue of contentment brought by the game. It means nothing.

There can be good rpgs, there can be bad rpgs. There can be rpgs bringing enjoyment, there can be rpgs bringing disatisfaction.

So what? Wont change that games are RPGs or are not.

As to the socalled hybridation, that is merely a trick.

A game like Gran Turismo borrows not from RPG genre because it had a vast system of car customization/evolution.

Their system is just what is got when one has sufficient technology to support enough physics to allow this kind of features to be introduced meaningfully in a racing car game.

Some developpers, reviewers, players have come to impose a story on the identity of the RPG genre like RPG elements.
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June 1st, 2011, 16:28
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
It would've been sooo easy to do this bit differently; just randomize both the found loot and the crafting diagrams so you'll only run into three or four really cool things in the game. With too many really cool things, they don't feel cool at all anymore. And why even bother putting currency in the game if there's so much of it that you're carrying more gold than the Central Bank of Portugal?
Developpers try to get every penny they put in a game to show in a game. Randomization means that a player could several games without ever seeing an item showing up.

This alone would have provoke an uproar from many gamers.
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