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    dkirschner's The Witcher 2 (PC)

    [October 2, 2015 11:05:19 PM]
    Finished. This game has a lot of potential narrative paths. As in the previous Witcher game, I have a soft spot for the oppressed nonhumans and sided with Iorveth, Saskia, and the rebels. I find this odd seeing as in the beginning of the game, I was (with no alternative choice) assisting King Foltest to defeat rebels. My Geralt isnít a kingslayer, but he doesnít seem to care if other people kill kings, as long as he isnít blamed for it. Very me-first.

    I enjoyed this game overall. It kept me entertained and moved at a brisk pace. The story gets dense with a bunch of kings, sorcerers and sorceresses, assassins, and probably 50 other characters you deal with. Itís not too hard to follow though, which was cool. I actually started reading The Last Wish while playing this, which is the first Witcher book (a series of short stories) and the only one published in English so far. Itís cool how the game uses the source material. I mean, Iím 50 pages in and Geralt sounds like Geralt, he mentions Yennifer (some sorceress and maybe love interest), he fights monsters, uses potions, picks herbs, has yellow slits in his eyes, white hairÖCD Projekt Red is recreating the world with a careful eye. Oh, and he has a horse named Roach in the book. In the game, there is a human named Roche that plays a big role (if you side with him especiallyóI didnít). I wonder if Roche appears in the book as a human later.

    At first, The Witcher 2 was overly difficult. After getting used to the combat and its quirks, and after branching down the swordsmanship skill tree, combat became very easy. I was kicking the crap out of bosses and big enemies at the end of the game. Fighting a freaking dragon wasnít even a challenge. Iím looking forward to playing The Witcher 3 in an open world. I like the even more mature direction they went with The Witcher 2. All the sexual content was more subtle and realistic, instead of the first gameís exploitation feel. A very adult game, smart, made me think. I do appreciate the way it handles racism too. As I remember, the first game had more to say about it. The Witcher 2 doesnít try to resolve the racism issue (humans lord it over elves and dwarves), but presents it as extremely problematic and irrational.

    The Witcher 3 will definitely stem from events in The Witcher 2, namely Geraltís memories and past pertaining to the Wild Hunt. Itís all here as sort of an aside, and itís extremely interesting, so I canít wait to learn more about the Wild Hunt in The Witcher 3. Bring it on!
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    [June 26, 2015 09:42:57 AM]
    I still think this game is weird as hell, but I'm enjoying it more than I was initially. All my previous complaints are still true, but I've gotten used to them. I can more or less navigate using the minimap now. I've learned to account for Geralt's stuttering before drawing a sword or casting (just don't try and do those things next to an enemy and you probably won't get hit). I've wrapped my head about the complicated menus. There's still a lot involved in combat, but I've learned more about what works best in what situations, and through practice, combat is less frustrating. And so on.

    Perhaps the biggest thing though is that I've gotten used to the flow of the game. It feels nontraditional in that you don't simply go collect a bunch of quests and run around doing one at a time. It's more dynamic than that. There are quests all over the place, and you are constantly fulfilling criteria of one or another, moving them into next phases. It is actually very difficult to pursue one quest at a time to completion. Unfortunately, partly because of this and partly because some main quests (which are unmarked as such, by the way) will render side quests impossible to complete. This is very irritating. Last night, I had done probably every part of a quest to find and kill a succubus, solving a murder mystery, when I decided to stop in and talk to a character I was supposed to talk to on the way. Well, that triggered an event in the game world that led to someone involved in the side quest to leave. How was I supposed to know that? Now I can't complete it and I was invested in solving the succubus mystery!

    I did figure out the troll quest. I didn't need to bring him vodka. I needed to stop him from drinking so he'd sober up and rebuild the bridge. But this was only achieved through fighting with him and bringing him down to 1/2 life, which I also had to do on a boss I was stuck on, and have had to do once or twice more. Now I know this is an acceptable guess for what to do in tough battles--just survive a while. I spared another troll later and got an achievement (Friend to the Trolls - Spare all the trolls in the game [There are only 3 trolls.]).

    I've level 16 or 18 or something and have branched all the way down the swordsmanship skill tree. Unfortunately I wasted a couple points in the potions tree, but whatever. At the end of the skill trees, you unlock abilities to use "adrenaline", yet another thing to keep track of in battle. The one at the end of the swordsmanship tree is an AoE attack that decimates a group of enemies. I've used it once but missed the group. You build adrenaline through sword attacks. I'll probably fill out some of the more useful nodes in the tree, and then go over to the sign tree and improve the signs that I use. I seem to be leaning toward accumulating a lot of health and damage reduction, which probably stems from my dying so frequently early on.

    So, this game feels short, but it's not. There is a prologue, two chapters, and an epilogue. I'm probably most of the way through chapter 2. But it feels like it's flown by. This is possibly because there have only been two towns to explore. Like, a lot is packed in to a small area. And it probably feels short (I think I'm at 25 hours or something) because I'm coming off Fallout 3 (38 hours), Disgaea 2 (52 hours), and New Vegas (72 hours). I guess this one might hit 35. Anyway, the story is phenomenal and I'm digging the game as a whole despite being lukewarm to a lot of things.

    Another thing that's weird about it is that this is the best-looking game I've ever played (thanks new laptop), and after a long time of playing nothing this pretty, I am consistently distracted by vistas and character models and details. Is it too real? Can I handle newer games? Aaah!
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    [June 20, 2015 12:22:17 AM]
    Interesting game, and I have mixed feelings at the moment. I remember loving the first Witcher game. This one has fantastic writing and atmosphere so far, but the actual gameplay is not resonating yet. I think it will just take more getting used to.

    For example, combat has been revamped and is more complex. This is great, but overwhelming when all thrown at you from the start. Geralt can use two weapons, bombs, traps, throwing knives, potions, oils, 5 signs...what else? You can dodge, parry, riposte, chain kills, use a light or heavy attack...I'm dying a lot because I get into sticky fights and simply have not figured out what works well in certain situations against certain types of enemies. There are books you can buy/find that will tell you the strengths and weaknesses of certain enemies, and this has been useful to let me know that I can't do anything except protect myself from poison against the kraken, that nekkers don't have any invulnerabilities, that trolls are susceptible to poison but immune to bleeding, and so on.

    Nekkers and drowners attack in large numbers, and I've learned that tossing bombs at groups works pretty well. The spider-type creatures attack in ones or twos and have a nasty charge attack. Best to try and separate them. Wraiths have also come in pairs. Use spectre oil and fire. The mind control sign is useful against small numbers of enemies where the mind controlled one can distract one or two others so I can attack them from behind. I've not managed to kill a spider queen, and I can't figure out what I'm doing to piss off a bridge troll. I think I need to bring him vodka, but for whatever inexplicable reason, the innkeeper and barmaid don't have any for me to buy (or any drinks). What kind of bar is that?

    I spent a good hour trying to complete quests without first acquiring a silver witcher's sword. I had a quest to get one, but I didn't know that a silver witcher's sword was REQUIRED to effectively kill monsters. No wonder I was dying so much, but the game didn't tell me, "Hey, you have to get a witcher's sword first." It was just like, "Eh, you'll figure it out." Which again is sort of great. I like to figure things out on my own. But there is too much to figure out on your own in the beginning of this game without it becoming frustrating! I would like essential quests to be marked as such because I don't know what I NEED to be doing versus all the optional stuff. Like, was killing the kraken optional? Or did I have to do it? I'm really not sure, but I killed it.

    Probably the worst thing about the game is the map and minimap. These are truly terrible. The minimap is useless. It has no zoom. Enemies occasionally appear as red dots, but usually they don't appear at all. Sometimes there are red dots, but no enemy. Sometimes it gets buggy and the walls disappear. Sometimes I notice blue or green dots on the minimap. I figured out that these are...well, either quest givers, or your companions, or people to talk to...I haven't sorted it out yet because, as with the red dots, the blue and green dots will disappear, not show up, move around, some NPCs you can talk to sometimes don't have a dot while others do...there is like no rhyme or reason to it.

    No problem, I thought to myself at first, I'll just use the big map. Wrong. The big map doesn't auto-locate you and doesn't remember where you were after you spent the time to find yourself and zoom in, so every single time you open it, you have to find yourself, drag the map so that you're centered, and zoom in so you can see terrain detail. It's almost more trouble than it's worth. Also, the map is supposed to show merchants. It's on the key. The weird thing is that sometimes it shows some of the merchants. And sometimes it will show the merchants' names on a tooltip, but most of the time it won't. And sometimes it will show a name, and the next time you look, it might have no name, or that merchant's marker might not even be there (but the merchant is there if you walk to him).

    But at least the quest locator works! So far (fingers crossed), it has accurately shown me essential quest locations.

    Another thing I am not on board with is the delay between inputting commands for casting a sign, drawing a weapon, climbing, and a couple other actions, and those actions actually happening. I have died so many times because I push like 5 to cast a spell and Geralt just sits there for a second before doing it, and gets mobbed in that time. I don't know what the purpose of this delay is, but I have to get used to it. Finally, the menus are cluttered, hard to navigate, and don't provide well organized information.

    Despite all of this, somehow I am still intrigued! The combat is fun. I want to experiment with all the traps and bombs and potions and things. I have finally leveled up out of the "witcher training" skill tree. I feel that I am just now, after 10 or so hours, getting the hang of the game, understanding how it flows, figuring out its quirks.

    I just hope that the game isn't over by the time I really sort it all out.
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    dkirschner's The Witcher 2 (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 16 June, 2015

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 1 July, 2015

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    High hopes. Need to refresh my memory about characters and events from the first game. ------------ Excellent. Looking forward to Witcher 3.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dkirschner's page

    See info on The Witcher 2

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : The Witcher 2 (PC) by Prodimator (rating: 5)
    2 : The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (360) by vkbl111 (rating: 5)


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