I haven't had the chance to delve into The Witcher 2, but thankfully Kotaku reader and local legend Fistbeard McTavish has. Extensively. Being that he's quite the expert when it comes to RPGs, he's provided us with this Reader Review.
And the best reader review each month wins a Blu-ray pack courtesy of Madman.
The Witcher 2 So, the Witcher 2 has been out, and has been getting high praise from a lot of websites and users. So, is it as good as people say, or will the little things kill the game for you?
I’m not going to be discussing the story in this review because I refuse to spoil it for people. Sorry, but a few really great plot twists and satisfying moments I refuse to spoil.
Loved It’s a Sequel – Yes, this is how a sequel should be done properly! (coughdragonage2wheeze). The game is light years ahead of its predecessor in almost every single area, from the gameplay mechanics, graphics and story. Combat is better, ditching the timed strikes for a more action oriented combat system. Loading times are brief and rare, characters move about and have life to them during conversations, and there are some moments where you’re faced with a decision that you’ll agonize over.
Graphics – Light Shafts sparkle through tree canopy leaves, towns and buildings look lived-in, forests are so meticulously detailed that they put every other game’s to shame, and various effects look mesmerizing, especially when you encounter Wraiths or other spiritual monsters.
Labour of Love – You can tell from every bit of this game CD Projeckt RED had a lot of love for this project. It would have been so much easier to just cut corners in some areas, but everywhere you go is filled with the tiniest details that you just don’t get in other games. From an NPC telling a story around a campsite about Geralt’s previous exploits, to looking through blood stained Asylum walls piecing together the location of a hidden treasure. Even reading your Journal, going over character bios is actually Fun and oftentimes funny, as it’s not written by Geralt, The main character, but his Poet friend Dandelion.
Hated Difficulty – Yes, lots of people have complained about this, but that’s mainly because the game refuses to hold your hand during the tutorial stages. Some of the starting fights can be brutal, to the point of pissing you off, but I managed to get through them by utilizing some hidden tricks I had to go searching for, such as finding traps and bombs in my Inventory. It’s worth noting though, I’m playing it through a second time, and after getting to grips with the mechanics I managed to breeze through the prologue areas without getting killed once.
Inventory – Just simple stuff, such as comparing your weapons and other gear with a vendor, easily sorting through your stash of rubbish and a more coherent way of grafting items / potions would be good. It’s not game breaking, but it’s really annoying.
It Ended – After The Witcher’s 5 Chapters with around 60 hours of gameplay time, I kinda felt cheated with Witcher 2’s 3 Chapters and 40-ish hours. Still, Quality over quantity. I just hope that they release Expansion Packs down the road to extend the storyline, because the ending (At least the one I found out of the 16 different ones) seemed like sequel/expansion pack bait.
Overall? Yeah, I like it a lot. The game itself has it’s fair share of issues that bring it down, but as an RPG fan, especially after the original game, I can say it’s well worth the money and time you’ll invest in it.