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 The Witcher 2 : First Impressions

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Paul71
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PostSubject: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Fri May 20, 2011 4:39 pm

OK, so I took delivery of my copy of The Witcher 2 yesterday. Today I loaded it up and made a start.

So here's my first thoughts (2-3 hours playing time)

The first thing to say is that I bought what is called 'The Premium edition'. I don't know about other parts of the world but it was only £24.95 in the UK, which seems very reasonable for a special edition. It came in a durable cardboard presentation box. Inside the box was the game itself in its own DVD case (inc. 32 page printed manual), a second DVD set with the soundtrack + 'Making of' DVD, a 100 page 'Game Guide', a card fold-out map, a coin and a couple of things.

This is how to do a Collectors Edition properly. no silly DLC codes for content that should have been in the game in the first place. Just quality items that are actually useful and/or interesting.

OK, the game loaded up fine, patched automatically (there's already a 28mb patch) and off we go....

Now, if you read the online forums people are moaning about the hi-res graphics bringing people's PC to their knees. I've got a pretty decent rig and the game plays fine on 'Ultra', although there are lesser settings for those who need them. The graphics are absolutely gorgeous from what I've seen so far - beautiful textures, realistic animations, acceptable speech acting. It really does look amazing on my HD screen.

I've really only gone through the 'prologue' so far. It's a mix of a tutorial and mini-quests, interspersed with cut scenes. It's apparent to me already that the game is more slanted towards the action end of RPG than what we saw in the first game. To be fair, that might change when the game really gets going.

The game is viewed in an 'over the shoulder' perspective. you can swing around to view surroundings but there's no first person view. There's also no option on player character - you play as Geralt. Take it or leave it!

It's also clear that this isn't 'open world' in any meaningful sense. There's invisible walls all over the place, so forget any kind of open exploration of the game world. This is an action-orientated game with quests, moral choices and driven by plot and story.

Anyway, that's my first impression, I'll post more when I've played for a couple of days.
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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Fri May 20, 2011 7:41 pm

Sounds a lot like the first one (only better). Smile

Also regarding the price tag, you know Paul even with shipping it's much cheaper for me in France to order a game from the UK. They're just too expensive over here. The Premium Edition is being sold for €49.90 which (according to the website I've just used for the conversion) is around £43.76. That's robbery plain and simple.

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Nakia the Rogue
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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Sun May 22, 2011 3:16 am

The price does sound good. I am looking forward to hearing what you think of the game.

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Sun May 22, 2011 7:32 am

Jez is raving about this game. Very Happy

If it's anything like the first then it's more story driven than most CRPGs I'm a proponent of the thesis that the Witcher is an adventure game with RPG elements and not a CRPG for the reason that you play through a story with a predefined character, you don't create a character and you have to follow this predefined character's template.

The great advantage compared to other games (especially non linear games like the Elder Scrolls) is that the story really fits the protagonist like a glove.

I really want to play the first Witcher one last time before getting the new one.

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Mon May 23, 2011 3:53 pm

Your right Carabas, its more of a story-driven action-adventure, with some RPG elements. In fact its barely an RPG at all. You can specialise a bit with the upgrade perks, but there is no real customization of the player character all.

And its VERY linear. You can do a few supporting quests in any order, but the main quest has to be done in the correct order or it doesn't seem you can get any further in the game. I'd say there's very little re-playability from what I've seen thus far....

We're a bit spoiled with Bethesda's philosophy of 'open world' - The Witcher 2 is a great game, but not open world at all.
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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Mon May 23, 2011 8:23 pm

Thank you for the update, Paul. If I can get it cheap here I might. Depends on how small the text is. Messages and other informatin.. Can you tell me how bad the manuel is?

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Tue May 24, 2011 12:48 am

OH i just love this game! it is very hard -_- even on easy for me. but if you take the time and not just jump on to a fight you will be fine. the manuel is a pdf. to me its a bigger font. black and white. ( well more grey and black)

so far there is only one bug i do not like. if you have your weapon out when it loads the nest area ( or a cut scene) you cant use it after ( you need to reload)
this is the only bug i have noticed..

my pc says i need to play it on low PPPPFF i am on med. i had it on ultra... OMG it was SOOOO EPIC but my pc was just dying.

its raining XD
Spoiler:
 

i took this one not even 5 min ago ^_^ i had the game paused when i read this XD
Spoiler:
 

i think some of you might remember about the different Geralts they had before the game came out. i am happy they met in the middle. they kept the awesome hair but made him a little more worn and manly. My current desktop is him in the jail ^_^ (get that key Geralt!)

i am sorry to have tossed all this out there.. i just adore the game so much.
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Nakia the Rogue
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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Tue May 24, 2011 4:02 am

Thank you for the information, jez. Glad you are enjoying the game.

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Tue May 24, 2011 9:35 am

Those screenshots are incredibly beautiful Jez. I'm a bit concerned how the game is going to run on my computer though...

Anyway, regarding fonts, Nakia was asking about the text in game like dialogues, journals and quest stuff. Is there a way to make them bigger?

Quote :
We're a bit spoiled with Bethesda's philosophy of 'open world' - The Witcher 2 is a great game, but not open world at all.

That's two completely different philosophies. Smile

I hope that Skyrim will be more like Fallout New Vegas than Oblivion in that respect. Exploration is great but if you don't care about what is going on then the game definitely lacks purpose and direction.

I'm not surprised to hear that The Witcher 2 is linear as it has to be (one character, one main quest). I hope they've kept the choices that made the first one interesting and worth replaying though.

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Tue May 24, 2011 4:57 pm

the world of Witcher 2 is rather big. i just ran around and did a few side quests before the main.(in the first town).. but the 3 times i started over ( once was because i did not like the item in the starting chest LOOL) i ALWAYS fail one quest -_-


the font in that game is small but i am playing it full screen 1600 by whatever i think.

I am also sorry. i said is as playing it on med. pictures where taken on high. not med.(playing on high) i am playing it on high. i cant on ultra as NICE and sweet as it looks. i did take pictures of the ultra before my pc cried.
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Nakia the Rogue
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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Tue May 24, 2011 6:58 pm

I really must check this game out. If it is cheap I will try it and *expect* help fro jez and you others. Very Happy Mainly explaing what a quest intails if I have trouble reading it. jez PMed me some info and says it is 99% voiced so hopefully I can deal with other things.

It isn't the size so much that is the problem but the contrast. I should be able to play it on high and maybe even ultra on the PC. (I really am in love with my new PC) HP did a good job with this one not the shit on the other one. Hokay that really is off topic. Ignore it please.

I need a good game to keep me occupied for the next Five months and twenty days. Considering that I am an addicted re-starter even a limited replayable game will keep me occupied for some time and if there are choices, real choices with consequences, that really helps. I managed to replay Prince of Qin quite a few times. That game was called a RPG but wasn't in my opinion. Sounds a bit like Witchers. The combat was awesome. Very limted choices though, very linear but interesting as it was based on a real event in ancient Chinese history.


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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Tue May 24, 2011 7:12 pm

Fable 3 was tons of fun. tho i was so excited i beat it in like 13 hours.( and replaying it as well now)

yes Witcher2 is a good idea. as much as i loved witcher. i love 2 more!
Witcher 2 gives about 40 hours of game play and another 10 to the DLC and i dont know how much more for the others. all DLC will be free ( but expansion packs will cost money) AND geralt can be topless. HOW can you go wrong with that XDDDDDDD

i love to replay games!

Nakia let me know what game you get ( if you do)
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Triactus
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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:20 pm

This is a little overdue, but I finally finished The Witcher 1 (I was up to Chapter 5 in 2011 and hadn't finished it). I bought the enhanced Witcher 2 on steam while it was on sale. Installed it over the week end and I've just finished the prologue. Here's my thoughts :

- The story so far is very interesting. I like the way the prologue was handled (how to introduce the characters, what happens between the two games and where the story is headed). There was an option to import the Witcher 1 saves, but I haven't yet seen anything regarding my first game (perhaps only the presence of Triss instead of Shani as Geralt's lover, has it was the choice I made in the first one? Though in online walkthroughs, they don't seem to mention that Shani is a possible character in the prologue).

- I don't like the English voice acting (I assume it's better in polish?). Then again, I didn't like it either in Witcher 1. As I was finishing the first game, it was especially cringing to me. It's actors trying to read lines with a flawless articulation and diction but without any interpretation. Yes, Geralt is brooding hero. We know. Can we build on that idea and not flaunt it in EVERY SINGLE LINE? compare the English Witcher to Dragon Age (where voice acting is pretty good) and you get what I'm saying.

- Graphics are beautiful, but they make my computer hurt. Granted, my computer is a few years old, but it can run big games without hitch. On W2, it scanned my hardware and put the graphics on high. I had to scale it down to medium because of lagging (mainly cutscenes. The actual game is less demanding it would seem). But the game really is gorgeous. The opening video is absolutely incredible!

- The game play.... God.... WHY SO MANY BUTTONS?? I hate that in a game. In a typical combat, you have to press either mouse buttons to hit, E to parry, spacebar and any direction buttons to dodge, Q to use a sign. When you're fighting 4 enemies at the same time, that's way too many thing to think about. Granted, a normal person would lose in a fight against 4 people, but unlike Skyrim for example, the game forces you into encounters where you can't (or at least it's very difficult) divide and conquer you enemies or use stealth to take a few out before you have to get into close quarter combat. At least in W1, you could use the group tactic...

I hate the combat system. It's haaaaard, but not because of... you know... the game is hard. It's because you're fighting the enemies at the same time as you're fighting the combat system! It asks you to be uber precise in everything you're doing (hitting, dodging, positioning, ect), yet the AI, navigation and movement leaves a lot to be desired. How many times I have been killed because my character wasn't moving at the moment I told him to move or that pathfinding errors made me stand around and take huge hits (and boy do they count early in the game). There's a couple of mission where I reload so many times it was ridiculous. Don't get me started on action missions where you have to press a key at the exact precise moment it appears on the screen (for the split second it's there), or else you die. I have to reload one mission at least 30 times...in the prologue. THE PROLOGUE! I nearly broke my desk out of sheer frustration.

- Definitely not an open world RPG (which is maybe something they tried to fix with Witcher 3?). Very definitely an action style RPG, closer to Dragon Age 2, but most of the prologue made me think of Heavy Rain (as in the interactive movie, rather than a ARPG). Still, interesting choices you have to make in the prologue. It doesn't change anything of value really, but there's a will to make a game that will be yours (something that resonated very strongly for me in Dragon Age 2: I clearly felt it was MY story of Hawke that I was making and watching and that everything that happens are consequences of my choices, something I had never felt so intensely).

Overall so far, I was impressed with the graphics, I am interested to know more about the story, but I found the gameplay underpar and way too complicated for nothing. I liked W1's gameplay a lot more.

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:01 pm

Thanks Tri, I've been aching to play this game but my computer won't allow it. After reading what you have to say about the gameplay I don't feel that I'm missing out on so much (I'm getting that it's not a bad game but frankly I'm too old now to get frustrated over a game when all I want is to unwind and have a good time).

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:18 pm

I would still recommend you try it if you get a computer that can support it. I'm always rather clear cut in my opinions when it comes to games. Either I like it or don't like it. You should borrow it from a friend to try it out, though, so you don't spend money if you don't end up liking the game.

But what I said about the gameplay (combat system in particular) doesn't seem to be only my opinion. I wrote "Witcher 2+combat system" in google. The first three links were Youtube videos. Two out of three had titles of "Witcher 2's combat system sucks, or is it just me?" and "Horrible combat system". Smile And yeasterday, I remembered my friend telling me he played Witcher 2 a few years ago when it went out. He told me "Jeez the combat's tough". That was from a guy who plays Dark souls on hard and used to kill people with his knife in Counter Strike (!).

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:42 pm

By the time I upgrade my computer this game will probably be even cheaper. Right now I can run all the games I like on high settings and my computer is almost 5 years old. I feel no need to upgrade my system for the time being. Smile

That being said I think it was a pretty bad choice on their part to make a game with such high system requirements. It can only hurt sales and judging from what I've read the game itself is said to be poorly optimized. In some ways NWN2 suffered from the same plight (requirements were definitely too high when it was released).

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:14 pm

I think I've found the cheese tactic. If I have time to prepare for a fight, I lay down all 17 of my bear traps. Then, when the battle starts, I run past my traps, stop and wait. The enemies plow through them and have tons of damage hits. I can usually handle pretty easily what comes through. I've killed 2 endrega queens, a troll and several tough squads of soldiers using that tactic.  

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:20 pm

Sounds very cheeeeesy!

It also sounds fun.....

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:41 pm

At the same time, it balances the game as it often forces into encounters through cutscenes where you can't prepare or run away. Evil or Very Mad 

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:42 am

Kinda reminds me of BG2 Rouge type tactics. Cool rogues with nice HLA traps, can always own any boss, or at least seriously injure him/her.

The Witcher 2, I started it 4 times, couldn't get past prologue, was too bored with it.Very Happy 
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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:54 pm

Yeah, you're not the first one to say that to me. And I can understand it, I almost stopped playing myself. The controls/gameplay of the second game is rather confusing, especially if you played Witcher 1 immediately before (the combat system of two games are very much different).

I also hate the way they hoard information about the gameplay. They bombard you with information in the tutorial and they give you nothing. I don't rememeber all the keys, yet there's no reminder of the shortcut key nor can you access the keys map (you can, but only in the main menu). And they never explain the mini games. It took me a lot of time to figure out how the arm wrestling worked. It was very frustrating. As a game developer, you would think they would try to avoid making the player feel that way...

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:29 pm

Have you tried using a controller? I know many games are much easier to play with one. Personally I don't really mind that as I like being able to sit back and play without being hunched over my keyboard. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:32 pm

Oh jeez... Me with a controller is horrible. I tried playing first person shooters on PS or Xbox, and my character always seem like he's having an epileptic fit.

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:22 pm

Aiming with a controller takes some getting used to and most people will agree that a mouse or a pad are more accurate but what I like about controllers is the smoothness of moving around which is something that I find lacking when playing with arrow keys. The greatest part is of course being able to sit back and unwind after a long day. Wink

I've been using one for years now and I don't use it for all games but there are many games that I find much more enjoyable that way (especially games in which you have to move around by hitting some keys).

Frankly I'm getting old, my back hurts if I crouch over the keyboard for too long.  

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PostSubject: Re: The Witcher 2 : First Impressions   Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:20 am

Carabas wrote:


Frankly I'm getting old, my back hurts if I crouch over the keyboard for too long.  
Nah, it's not just old, you just probably don't have a good posture, or maintaining the same posture for too long and you do not have a  balance between hamstrings, abdominals, lower back and hip flexor muscles. Muscular imbalances between these muscle groups are the major cause of back pains.

It gets worse with age, if you don't do anything about it Very Happy
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