The Witcher 2 Catch-All

Also with crafting stuff, work out what you need and what you don't and sell the rest, which will involve looking at your playstyle/spec. If you get into the habit of having carrying capacity spare when leaving town, looting everything you can (and there's a lot to loot) and selling the rest you'll soon be over any cash flow problems.

Blind_Evil wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:

Everyone's opinion is valid - but it always surprises my at how I can react so favorably to a game, and others just bag all over it. To each his own!

You have a greater tolerance than I, sir. Evidence: Full achievements in every licensed movie game released in the last 4 years! And Brink!

Seriously, I don't mean to sh*t all over the Witcher 2. It's just not as amazing as I'd anticipated.

I keep wondering if I'm missing something as well. Since I have limited time I won't play it to completion just because. I'll walk away pretty soon, I think. Near as I can tell it's too linear for my liking and the combat is mildly more interesting than a Dragon Age. What am I missing? Skyrim may be generic in so far as the story is, but I'm thinking of going back to that game.

I feel like this is one of those games where I'd love the books and I'm sure the story is really competent, but I'd rather just read a good book. I don't need to play it. I want to play something where I can be truly surprised by what happens based on my agency in the world.

Is inn storage magically connected across all inns like in Witcher 1 (At least I remember it that way, I only threw a few things in there)?

Also I don't suppose there's a way to know if I read a book already, aside from laboriously checking my journal entries with the storekeeper inventory.

Yes and no.

DSGamer wrote:
Blind_Evil wrote:

Seriously, I don't mean to sh*t all over the Witcher 2. It's just not as amazing as I'd anticipated.

I keep wondering if I'm missing something as well. Since I have limited time I won't play it to completion just because. I'll walk away pretty soon, I think. Near as I can tell it's too linear for my liking and the combat is mildly more interesting than a Dragon Age. What am I missing? Skyrim may be generic in so far as the story is, but I'm thinking of going back to that game.

Yeah, I'd been looking forward to playing a Witcher game for ages, but I didn't find TW2 so much not as amazing, or even not to my taste, but just downright belligerent in many respects. Definitely there're things about the game that aren't to my taste but aren't bad per se. It's too linear and there are too many cutscenes for my liking—I'd rather play the story than put down the controller and watch it. I also don't like its very limited openness, with the world just described by points with connecting paths and the only cliffs you can climb or jump down are the ones explicitly marked so (too bad too, since I, bafflingly, had a million rope ladders). It makes the world feel small and artificial. That's endemic to BioWare's RPGs too, one of the reasons I don't like those either—and as a corollary, why I adore TES games—but again I can chalk that up to preference.

But on top of that, there were too many things the game does poorly: the slippery, imprecise camera, the awful inventory UI, and the finger-knotting quick select menu for starters. Geralt refusing to move when the game admonishes me to hurry, context-sensitive button prompts not appearing when I'm about to catch fire, although they just trigger QTEs. Dumptrucks of narrative and names in stretched out cutscenes that don't draw me into the world but push me away. One of the worst sins ever, finishing one cutscene to have me walk 100 feet only to trigger the next one. These things suggest the game doesn't consider the player to be the most important part; instead, everything is of secondary importance to the story (unless they're just poor design or bugs).

The final straw for me was Vergen. After god know how many cutscenes (I was browsing on the iPad by then), I was finally let loose in Vergen. Have you been to Vergen? Have you tried using the minimap there? The disc came out of the tray, and that was it for me.

I'm almost sorry that I'll miss out on the choice/consequence ramifications of TW2, which was my main draw to the game. But then The Walking Dead Episode 1 came out of nowhere to ably satisfy that.

I'm glad lots of people are enjoying TW2, and I hope my criticisms come across as honest and legitimate. (It's not a blast of haterade, just all my thoughts at once.) I tried it, which is the best I can do, and now I'll wait for Dawnguard.

Gravey wrote:

I'm almost sorry that I'll miss out on the choice/consequence ramifications of TW2, which was my main draw to the game.

I soldiered through and found that aspect to be nothing out of the ordinary (I really feel that TW2 got extra credit on this stuff), so don't be too sorry. Certainly not the landmark achievement in narrative player agency that it was reviewed as being.

Most of the act 2 quests are apparently different if you choose a different ally at the end of act 1, but all of the mechanical headaches you mentioned discouraged another playthrough. I've since parted with the game, put it toward Dragon's Dogma. Love everything I've seen/played. I haven't heard what Dawnguard is about yet, but I don't think I'm quite done with Skyrim either.

Gravey wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
Blind_Evil wrote:

Seriously, I don't mean to sh*t all over the Witcher 2. It's just not as amazing as I'd anticipated.

I keep wondering if I'm missing something as well. Since I have limited time I won't play it to completion just because. I'll walk away pretty soon, I think. Near as I can tell it's too linear for my liking and the combat is mildly more interesting than a Dragon Age. What am I missing? Skyrim may be generic in so far as the story is, but I'm thinking of going back to that game.

Yeah, I'd been looking forward to playing a Witcher game for ages, but I didn't find TW2 so much not as amazing, or even not to my taste, but just downright belligerent in many respects. Definitely there're things about the game that aren't to my taste but aren't bad per se. It's too linear and there are too many cutscenes for my liking—I'd rather play the story than put down the controller and watch it. I also don't like its very limited openness, with the world just described by points with connecting paths and the only cliffs you can climb or jump down are the ones explicitly marked so (too bad too, since I, bafflingly, had a million rope ladders). It makes the world feel small and artificial. That's endemic to BioWare's RPGs too, one of the reasons I don't like those either—and as a corollary, why I adore TES games—but again I can chalk that up to preference.

I'm exactly where you were, I think. This morning before going out on errands I considered selling either The Witcher 2 because I just wasn't playing it. On top of not playing it I want to get back to Skyrim and Dark Souls at some point. Following the "only play games you love" idea that was brought up in another thread, The Witcher 2 is on a razor's edge. And, like you, I was actively put off by some of the design choices like no jumping, the minimap being so terrible, the camera, etc. Nevermind the cutscenes... Then this happened. I put the game in and played it for an hour and in the process of playing it I realized that this game is basically Fable 2 for adults, but with more choices. That turn of expectation caused me to play around with the systems it does have and have some fun. Still not sure if I'm keeping it.

Then I popped in Skyrim and this happened. I ran into a traveling salesman. He said he was going to do something unethical and I told him I wouldn't stand for it. That caused him to put up his "dukes". But before he could punch me I managed to enter the selling menu. So I sold a bunch of stuff from him and got all his gold and some good wares. Then I exited the menu and he started punching me. I was forced to take him down. And then I took the rest of his stuff that was available with him down.

In other words even when the systems in Skyrim break they are more interesting to me and provide more chance for completely random situations. The Witcher 2 is on notice.

Interesting. I was obsessed with everything about this game and started replaying it as soon as I had beaten it. Amazing how different people's experiences can be. I did prefer the original Witcher to the sequel in many ways, though.

My point seemed redundant, so nevermind it.

Warriorpoet897 wrote:

Interesting. I was obsessed with everything about this game and started replaying it as soon as I had beaten it. Amazing how different people's experiences can be. I did prefer the original Witcher to the sequel in many ways, though.

Totes McGotes. I just beat Roche's path tonigut and am planning to start Iorveth's tomorrow. This is totally one of my top 10 ever games.

SallyNasty wrote:
Warriorpoet897 wrote:

Interesting. I was obsessed with everything about this game and started replaying it as soon as I had beaten it. Amazing how different people's experiences can be. I did prefer the original Witcher to the sequel in many ways, though.

Totes McGotes. I just beat Roche's path tonigut and am planning to start Iorveth's tomorrow. This is totally one of my top 10 ever games.

True. The different reactions of different players is fascinating. I'm sorry people didn't enjoy it after I did my part talking it up, but everyone seems to have given it a fair shake, and at the end of the day not every game is for every player.

Something I find interesting is the games TW2 is getting compared to, and what it isn't. Thinking it over, I'm finding it hard to say the TW "are like X, but a little different". I can see aspects which might draw comparisons to one game rather than another, the lack of a party, just enough open world to trigger a memory of another game, the inventory, crafting, etc.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

but everyone seems to have given it a fair shake, and at the end of the day not every game is for every player.

That too.

Scratched wrote:

Something I find interesting is the games TW2 is getting compared to, and what it isn't. Thinking it over, I'm finding it hard to say the TW "are like X, but a little different".

It would take some convincing to get me off the idea that:

Two Worlds 2 minus flexibility and meat (mechanically and geographically), plus narrative strength, equals the Witcher 2.

Blind, I've got to say you have me wanting to play Two Worlds 2.

I am higher on that game than most so I'd check for a demo or check the thread for other impressions.

I found Two Worlds 2 to be an unplayable mess from a gameplay standpoint.

The controls definitely take an hour or two to learn fully (whereas the controls are simple in The Witcher 2, it's the out-of-combat systems that are overcomplicated). Kind of par for the course if you want to have so many abilities accessible at all times, I think considering the complexity of the combat system they did well to get it onto a controller.

From reading above posts, it seems to me that most people who don't dig The Witcher games are people who gave into hype. Once you read the hype of other people playing it and being surprised and taken back by it, you come into the game expecting... I don't know what. The second coming?! The game is, in the ways it shines, superior to all of its peers. Even in the ways it doesn't shine, like the corridor level design of Bioware games, it is still superior to its peers. It's just that people have come to expect an order of magnitude improvement over the game's compatriots, where such expectations are always silly.

I've personally come to loathe positive hype reviews. When people start sharing their enthusiasm for playing a game for the first time, they ruin that moment of initial joy for everybody who plays it afterwards. Think of it as spoilers. And this is not just for games. The same applies for movies, or music. Which is why I now tell people they need to watch/play/listen to something, rather than tell them how amazing it is.

MoonDragon wrote:

From reading above posts, it seems to me that most people who don't dig The Witcher games are people who gave into hype. Once you read the hype of other people playing it and being surprised and taken back by it, you come into the game expecting... I don't know what. The second coming?! The game is, in the ways it shines, superior to all of its peers. Even in the ways it doesn't shine, like the corridor level design of Bioware games, it is still superior to its peers. It's just that people have come to expect an order of magnitude improvement over the game's compatriots, where such expectations are always silly.

I've personally come to loathe positive hype reviews. When people start sharing their enthusiasm for playing a game for the first time, they ruin that moment of initial joy for everybody who plays it afterwards. Think of it as spoilers. And this is not just for games. The same applies for movies, or music. Which is why I now tell people they need to watch/play/listen to something, rather than tell them how amazing it is.

But your entire first paragraph was spent hyping the game. What do you mean by "positive hype reviews?" You make it sound nobody should get any opinions on a piece of media outside of the marketing materials.

"Hype" is too slippery and vague a word. People, beyond reviewers, loved TW2 when it came out for very specific reasons, and were happy to talk about it—you say yourself that it's "superior to all of its peers" (BioWare? Bethesda? All RPGs?). [e2a: As beanman points outs.] I wouldn't say that's you hyping it, just giving your honest opinion. So how else should someone new to the game take that? I didn't expect the second coming, only what people were saying was exceptional about TW2. I read that I could expect a unique fantasy world, but instead I got Cockney villagers and Scottish dwarves; that I could expect adult storytelling, but instead I got "a fourth-level curse". (To say nothing of my criticisms of the design and mechanics.)

I don't think I was let down by the hype, but rather it's simply the wrong game for the wrong person. I didn't find TW2 superior to anything, except maybe Dragon Age though I hold BioWare dating sims in such low regard that isn't saying much—I didn't even think my time with it was nearly as well-spent as with Fable II (speaking of insufferable Cockney villagers!). But how can I tell someone they're too positive about a game, or that they like it too much? I don't think it's at all useful to point to the "hype".

I guess there's a bit of a problem when a lot of games get judged in relation to other games, even when they're significantly different, and also that there's few easy ways to quickly give some measure of how good a game is besides a number, and I think everyone on this board knows how flawed the number system is for games.

The way to go from my perspective just seems that people who enjoy a game need to relate their experience with words describing that game, and not another game unless it's a damn good comparison, and people need to read them with the usual pinch of salt (biases, etc. theirs and yours).

For what it's worth, I got into TW by TW1, and being sold on it's long term consequences through it's plot (the "guard these weapons from drowners" act 1 quest example), and that it wasn't a neat good/evil world, but with lots of ugly grey areas. My frame of reference therefore for TW2 was TW1 and all the changes they'd made between the two.

MoonDragon wrote:

The game is, in the ways it shines, superior to all of its peers. Even in the ways it doesn't shine, like the corridor level design of Bioware games, it is still superior to its peers.

I just can't get behind that. I stated reasons and examples earlier in the thread of why Dragon Age: Origins is *my* gold standard for the genre, I couldn't find one area in which The Witcher 2 surpassed that standard, and very few in which it drew equal.

The narrative as a whole was probably TW2's strongest point, an interesting political landscape in which you have an active role. That's admirably mature storytelling. But the Dwarven section of DA:O did the exact same work, and that was only 1/5 or so of the game.

To call the game open-world is a big stretch. The "field" type areas of the first two acts amount to the content in a Dungeons and Dragons Online open area - 10 or so points of interest, a couple rare monster spawns, and a few dungeons. But there are over 20 of those in DDO.

Your progression has a certain degree of non-linearity, but no more so than what was done in the second half of Final Fantasy VI or Chrono Trigger back in the mid-nineties.

TW2 features some interesting vignettes, like the burning insane asylum in Act 1. That was good stuff. It doesn't come close to Andraste's Ashes or Redcliffe in DA:O, though.

I also frankly don't see where the praise for the character work comes from. Iorveth was my favorite, Saskia a close second, they were both good, layered and had strong identities. Triss and Geralt didn't show much personality, whereas I expected some from having read the books. Zoltan and Dandelion are side-notes. I got to know none of them half so well as I knew Morrigan, Leliana, or Oghren in DA:O. Which is a bummer, I would have liked to know Iorveth beyond his capacity for ruthless violence and distaste for oppression.

These are the things that I felt the game did well, but not as well as many other RPGs I've played. I'm not going into detail again on the number of thing it does that I don't enjoy (combat, rigged character progression, useless maps, awkward item management).

If I missed any amazing points regarding The Witcher 2, please let me know. As it stands the most impressive part was the opening cinematic featuring Letho. I wanted to be happy with the $65 in credit I shelled out for this, but I just can't say this was a great game if I'm being honest with myself.

I'd say Moondragon makes a very good and fair point.

It's difficult to manage one's own expectations in the face of enthusiastic discussion. It's why with most games I make an early buy/don't buy decision, then go dark.

Of course the opposite can happen and it's just as easy to get into a negative loop.

Blind_Evil wrote:

I also frankly don't see where the praise for the character work comes from. Iorveth was my favorite, Saskia a close second, they were both good, layered and had strong identities. Triss and Geralt didn't show much personality, whereas I expected some from having read the books. Zoltan and Dandelion are side-notes. I got to know none of them half so well as I knew Morrigan, Leliana, or Oghren in DA:O. Which is a bummer, I would have liked to know Iorveth beyond his capacity for ruthless violence and distaste for oppression.

Man, we need to hook you up with at PC that can play the Witcher 1.

Something else about the characters is that the focus of the game is different to something like DA, it's a solo game. While you certainly have your allies and adversaries in the games, it's primarily just following Geralt's adventure. Also another major difference to a lot of RPGs and video games in general is that Geralt isn't a blank slate, he's already got a fairly detailed history and character of his own.

I'd also second the TW1 recommendation, there's a significant difference between the two games, and while neither of them are flawless gems, there's aspects where one is better than the other both directions. There's certainly more story 'meat on the bones' in TW1, even if it is self contained and not part of the larger ongoing story.

Scratched wrote:

Something else about the characters is that the focus of the game is different to something like DA, it's a solo game. While you certainly have your allies and adversaries in the games, it's primarily just following Geralt's adventure.

Then they should have made him the most interesting part of the story, IMO. He's suffering from a form of Batman syndrome here, where the surrounding characters and villains are most interesting than he is because he has to be a conduit to some degree of player agency. He also gets pretty schizophrenic if you so choose.

Cold day in hell before I play TW1, to be honest. Not interested in dropping cash on a PC as I'm unemployed currently, and even if I could I rarely can bring myself to play PC games at length (linked to that above) other than MMOs because you don't have a choice in that regard (yet).

MrDeVil909 wrote:

I'd say Moondragon makes a very good and fair point.

It's difficult to manage one's own expectations in the face of enthusiastic discussion. It's why with most games I make an early buy/don't buy decision, then go dark.

Of course the opposite can happen and it's just as easy to get into a negative loop.

I think this is a lot of the problem, indeed.

Conversely, I think of Saints Row: The Third. I had no interest in that game until the Giant Bomb guys hyped it. I picked it up and it was all I wanted and more. So sometimes that turns out fine. More often than not, though, I'd much rather go in dark and be surprised. I've settled in to playing TW2 more when I'm not playing Minecraft XBLA. I like it. I think I'll end up sticking with it now that I've readjusted expectations and been exposed to some of the systems.

Unlike a lot of games, TW1 has a big demo so you can decide for yourself whether it lives up to the hype before parting with your cash.

Scratched wrote:

Unlike a lot of games, TW1 has a big demo so you can decide for yourself whether it lives up to the hype before parting with your cash.

Too late for that, I bought TW1 back in ...2009, maybe? $10. And got through the intro before realizing trying to run it on this laptop was folly.