The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Review

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The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Review

Geralt of Rivia is one badass motherf'er.

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*cough*

Greg Tito:

This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

How..where... It doesn't even exist!

To add something more relevant to actual review, i agree on the house looting, it just makes me laugh in an odd way, i wish that cRPGs would generally cut a little on the whole looting spree and make obtaining items more logical than "Oh hai, im in ur house browsing through your underwear in search of coins"

Really excited about the game, i have it but didn't play it much (to the point where you get out of the siege tower...so kinda 5 mins into the game ;P) because it's fixed to 16:9 ratio so i have black bars on the top and bottom of my screen which is really annoying hope they patch that soon

Keava:
*cough*

Greg Tito:

This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

How..where... It doesn't even exist!

Damn copy-paste. Fixed!

Greg

I had the same issues with the games, even posted on this forum and got dismissed as rtfml2pconsolescrub

People are unerringly blind to things if they choose to be.

But, cheers for the spoiler in the middle of the video!

but its so gooooooooooooooooooood

Oh, I would like to add. "And there are hot naked girls!" to the end of the review...

Yay digital naked girls!

its a really good game. The prologue didn't bug me. Fire = bad is obvious(if you played wow or mario).

Its so pretty. I starred at things for a while and my jaw dropped.

And it didn't have you go the same spot over and over like da2

I think maybe once I had to go somewhere twice.

I read the whole review, than said to myself without checking the mark: "This is a 7 from a lotr/dragon age fanboy". And than I smiled.

Yes the ui is kinda bad, but the rest of the stuff like "I died there, I died here" is just funny. I can understand Dragon Age 2 dragging ou by the hand with it's pathetic difficulty level, but come on! How lazy can You get?

And You didn't mention so many things in the review, which are good sides of The Witcher 2. Dude, being objective is a must for a reviever, the game is a 9 not a 7.

I am enjoying the game but I fully admit that what others consider flaws did not bother me much. Then again I did play the first one so I at least was familiar with the potions and signs already.

I will still say that the Witcher 2 is in many ways a refreshing breeze for gaming and I have no doubt CD Project Red will continue to refine their game making. This is, after all, only their second game.

Theotherguy:
I read the whole review, than said to myself without checking the mark: "This is a 7 from a lotr/dragon age fanboy". And than I smiled.

Yes the ui is kinda bad, but the rest of the stuff like "I died there, I died here" is just funny. I can understand Dragon Age 2 dragging ou by the hand with it's pathetic difficulty level, but come on! How lazy can You get?

And You didn't mention so many things in the review, which are good sides of The Witcher 2. Dude, being objective is a must for a reviever, the game is a 9 not a 7.

For a reviewer, you really can't get any more objective than "I found that core mechanics of the game were poorly designed."

Baneat:
I had the same issues with the games, even posted on this forum and got dismissed as rtfml2pconsolescrub

People are unerringly blind to things if they choose to be.

But, cheers for the spoiler in the middle of the video!

But you basically are doing the same.

I'm blind? No! I just play games that challenging their audience much more than the Witcher 2. The castlevanias games for example (not the last one). You can acuse the developers to make nostalgics choices but call everyone that can play without problem blind?!

Theotherguy:
I read the whole review, than said to myself without checking the mark: "This is a 7 from a lotr/dragon age fanboy". And than I smiled.

Yes the ui is kinda bad, but the rest of the stuff like "I died there, I died here" is just funny. I can understand Dragon Age 2 dragging ou by the hand with it's pathetic difficulty level, but come on! How lazy can You get?

And You didn't mention so many things in the review, which are good sides of The Witcher 2. Dude, being objective is a must for a reviever, the game is a 9 not a 7.

The game is a 'whatever the reviewer thinks it deserves' not a '9 because haters can't stop talking about DA2 every bloody chance they get'

Is this a review of the full game or the first couple of hours? I've heard a lot of reviews talk about the HUGE difficulty curve that flips towards the end. Greg doesn't mention this at all in this review. I'm only at the en of the first chapter, but it seem like he only played a few quests of chapter 1 and filled in the rest. I would think a review this critical would point out the disparity in the ending's difficulty.

I don't believe it has bearing on the accuracy of his review, but a simple "review in progress" indicator might help.

Mangue Surfer:

Baneat:
I had the same issues with the games, even posted on this forum and got dismissed as rtfml2pconsolescrub

People are unerringly blind to things if they choose to be.

But, cheers for the spoiler in the middle of the video!

But you basically are doing the same.

I'm blind? No! I just play games that challenging their audience much more than the Witcher 2. The castlevanias games for example (not the last one). You can acuse the developers to make nostalgics choices but call everyone that can play without problem blind?!

I think that comes down to a matter of taste. I enjoy the fact that the Witcher 2 is hard. I fully accept that others might not, however. Both view points are valid for the given person. IE: subjective. Now they could have done a better job with the crafting menus in my opinion. Particularly the unsorted riot of patterns but that certainly did not effect combat.

Well I disagree with most of the stuff in the that review. This game is easily my GotY and on the short list of new games that doesn't tread me like an idiot.

I actually liked searching the map for nests and the likes. I am most likely in the massive minority but putting a big glowing quest marker over everything always annoyed me. What's the point in making me walk 4 miles if your gonna tell me the location? You could have spawned the thing right outside town and it wouldn't have made a difference.

In my eyes a Monster Hunter, which is the definition of a Witcher, has to go and do some actual hunting. Tracking the blood trails, finding the most likely areas, which again are described in books and conversations.

If you read books and talk to people you will know Exactly what equipment to use. I think Cedric blatantly tells you that you need GRAPESHOT bombs to destroy nests and that he is willing to sell you the diagram.

However I agree on the controls. They felt very clunky at the start and only after levelling some skills did the fluidity return. By taking potions away from the player and forcing us to consume them before battle they took away something vital from the first game. Which was to adapt to combat by drinking different potions.

For example you would drink a night vision potion and depending on what else you would encounter in a dark dank cave you would buff yourself accordingly. Having both blocking and magic tied to one bar it can get very confusing seeing how both are pretty much your only ways of breaking blocks, separating groups of enemies or protecting yourself.

A friend is lending me the game, so I'm looking forward to trying it out. I enjoyed the setting and theme of the first, but disliked the gameplay... doesn't seem like much has changed, but it'll be a nice diversion.

Also, doesn't awarding half a star kind of ruin the point of a 5-star system?

The games looks amazing, but its true I got burned by that frigging dragon at the beginning and died like 13 times because I didn't knew wth to do and the "tutorial" was just a few in game windows that appeared for like 2 seconds before banishing making me check my journal to read what they were trying to tell me. Its like they never play tested the damn thing.

Theotherguy:
I read the whole review, than said to myself without checking the mark: "This is a 7 from a lotr/dragon age fanboy". And than I smiled.

Yes the ui is kinda bad, but the rest of the stuff like "I died there, I died here" is just funny. I can understand Dragon Age 2 dragging ou by the hand with it's pathetic difficulty level, but come on! How lazy can You get?

And You didn't mention so many things in the review, which are good sides of The Witcher 2. Dude, being objective is a must for a reviever, the game is a 9 not a 7.

Lol, I find it hilarious how you say that a reviewer must be objective before offering your 'subjective' belief that the game should be objectively rated a 9.

It's an opinion, reviews are always going to be subjective, and everyone is different.

*Sees score* Prediction: People are going to blame the reviewer for the fact that it doesn't have a 5-star review...
There will be at least 3 Dragon Age 2 comparisons.
There will be one butthurt fanboy.

Reads comments: damn... just two comparisons. so close...

OT: Good Review. And enjoyed the video. Not much else to say.

What is the song which is played at the beginning and the end with the women? It sounds so lovely.

On the review side:
I really want this game. While the interface wasn't the best in the first game (hence why I nearly never made potions and even bothered with it) it still sounds like one of the best games around this year.
Difficulty is fine by me :)

Theotherguy:
I read the whole review, than said to myself without checking the mark: "This is a 7 from a lotr/dragon age fanboy". And than I smiled.

Yes the ui is kinda bad, but the rest of the stuff like "I died there, I died here" is just funny. I can understand Dragon Age 2 dragging ou by the hand with it's pathetic difficulty level, but come on! How lazy can You get?

And You didn't mention so many things in the review, which are good sides of The Witcher 2. Dude, being objective is a must for a reviever, the game is a 9 not a 7.

Oh c'mon. Either don't troll, or don't be so obvious fanboi. Hell i'm on brink of fanboism towards CDP since they are my homies and i do rate Witcher 2 at an 8/10 due to all the meta stuff that get's in the way.

Like the fact that there is no way to save an ingredient setup for potion making, it was an issue in the first game, it's in second as well, each time you craft a potion/bomb it will revert to it's default set up, forcing you to repick each and every plant/monster part again if you want to save some of them for other purpose.
Or the completely unnecessary parts on the Character screen about monsters, when there are already entries in the journal? Yet to figure which type of bombs you need for the nekker nests you actually need to look in that obscure place - bad design decision.

Those are small things that don't ruin the experience for me, but things i would be much happier without for sure.

While I completely understand the reasons for your problems with the game I think you have to consider that this game was made for a niche audience. At a time when every company out there is streamlining games so that every 6 year old can play them its extremely refreshing to see a company interested in complexity and sticking to the game world's concepts over marketability. if the games that my demographic are too complicated for the general gamer audience and every company tries to make games for everyone, there simply wont be any old school CRPG role playing games left. There are plenty of RPG games that are simplified for a general audience, and many of them are very good, but variety is needed.

It's true that there are a few aspects of the game that could use improving but I've been thoroughly enjoying Witcher 2. The combat is much, much better than the original, the story is engaging and brilliant and yes, it's hard at times and you will die... something that is sadly lost to most games today.

I would think that fans of the gothic series would likely enjoy this game, though it's not as open as the Gothic games.

Greg Tito:
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Review

Geralt of Rivia is one badass motherf'er.

Read Full Article

Let me get this straight, actually having to craft spells breaks your immersion? Having to tactically utilize your potions breaks your immersion? The complex combat system breaks your immersion? I'm sorry this isn't Dragon Age 2. Go and pop that in for another ride if all you want is hours of mindless button mashing.

Tigurus:
What is the song which is played at the beginning and the end with the women? It sounds so lovely.

It's a remix of "Hedningarna - Vargtimmen"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1Zr1sEh1oE

Lovely music indeed.

Zenphic:

Tigurus:
What is the song which is played at the beginning and the end with the women? It sounds so lovely.

It's a remix of "Hedningarna - Vargtimmen"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1Zr1sEh1oE

Lovely music indeed.

Thank you Very much :D
*glomps*

Keava:
Like the fact that there is no way to save an ingredient setup for potion making, it was an issue in the first game, it's in second as well, each time you craft a potion/bomb it will revert to it's default set up, forcing you to repick each and every plant/monster part again if you want to save some of them for other purpose.

Yes, I wasn't paying as close attention as I should have been to the alchemy screen and used a quest item to make a potion so off to the loading screen I went. *grumble*

Deflagging quest items after the quest has finished would also be nice...

6FootImp:
While I completely understand the reasons for your problems with the game I think you have to consider that this game was made for a niche audience. At a time when every company out there is streamlining games so that every 6 year old can play them its extremely refreshing to see a company interested in complexity and sticking to the game world's concepts over marketability. if the games that my demographic are too complicated for the general gamer audience and every company tries to make games for everyone, there simply wont be any old school CRPG role playing games left. There are plenty of RPG games that are simplified for a general audience, and many of them are very good, but variety is needed.

Agreed on the old school flavor and how I am happy to enjoy playing it. I am looking forward to what they do in the third one and I am happy to wait another four years for it. With luck we will not have to as I am sure part of that four year wait between 1 and 2 was developing the Red Engine. Now that is a nice piece of work! :) Love the esthetic in the game as well.

Grevensher:
Let me get this straight, actually having to craft spells breaks your immersion? Having to tactically utilize your potions breaks your immersion? The complex combat system breaks your immersion? I'm sorry this isn't Dragon Age 2. Go and pop that in for another ride if all you want is hours of mindless button mashing.

He said dealing with a clunky interface was breaking his immersion. It calls attention to itself and reminds you that you're playing a game instead of a role in the world, hence immersion-breaking. Not being able to use potions in battle means that in cases like the quest he was describing, he wasn't able to properly buff for fights he was expecting (probably after being killed by surprise mechanics a few times). And what the hell is "complex" about TW2's combat? You click one button for small slash, another for big. Then you roll around and use the signs you have. It's definitely fun and challenging, but I wouldn't call it complex.

Go back to hating on DA2 for overblown reasons somewhere else.

edit: for the record, I'm loving TW2 in spite of the issues outlined in the review here

Mangue Surfer:

Baneat:
I had the same issues with the games, even posted on this forum and got dismissed as rtfml2pconsolescrub

People are unerringly blind to things if they choose to be.

But, cheers for the spoiler in the middle of the video!

But you basically are doing the same.

I'm blind? No! I just play games that challenging their audience much more than the Witcher 2. The castlevanias games for example (not the last one). You can acuse the developers to make nostalgics choices but call everyone that can play without problem blind?!

People that say that the problem doesn't exist are blind. People that force themselves past it anyway are people like me.

Mr. Omega:
*Sees score* Prediction: People are going to blame the reviewer for the fact that it doesn't have a 5-star review...
There will be at least 3 Dragon Age 2 comparisons.
There will be one butthurt fanboy.

Reads comments: damn... just two comparisons. so close...

OT: Good Review. And enjoyed the video. Not much else to say.

Gah! Had you waited 6 more minutes you would have managed to nab the 3rd one and you would have hit it out of the park! Alas, everything can't be perfect.

OT: Ya, I have been working through Witcher 1 and the inventory/menu system makes me want to punch something. Unfortunately it looks like that hasn't changed much (I'm all for complexity, just not complexity for complexities sake, which is what it seems to go far). At least the combat looks to be better then the first one was, so that's something to look forward to.

I figure I'll just sit back and wait till I can grab it on sale somewhere or borrow it from my buddy if he ever finishes with it.

"The fundamental problem is that the game is terrible at teaching you how to enjoy it. I have no qualms with offering players a challenge, but too often I failed in the opening of The Witcher 2 because I simply didn't have the mechanics properly demonstrated to me, not because it was actually challenging. My experience with the prologue carried through the rest of the game."

I think that's a little unfair - it is very challenging given the skill set you have at the time anyway, and you can't really judge it all that well if you come back to it after playing 30 hours worth. Its a weird curve, but there's only so much you can do with training placards anyway - I'd much rather have the shit smacked out of me and just learn by doing instead of these bloody stop-and-start openings to every damn game, or the 15-hour-long tutorials (GTA IV).

But really, all you need to know for combat is to use absolutely everything to survive. I found I had the signs and general idea of the combat down within the first fight (that I died in several times over) - and it soon felt very rewarding. Its not like the design is particularly alien - you can't hit shielded/larger enemies head on, you'll need to dodge or block, etc.

There was only one point in the game, at the end of Chapter 1, where I thought there was a major flaw in the difficult curve - one that went through the bloody roof and didn't let you prepare for it either.

Also, the prologue thing is set in order of the day. I'm pretty sure that's fairly obviously sign-posted (I certainly remember just going through in order).

"After a quick, but still painful, QTE fist fight, you are let loose to explore the corrupt human settlement."

Painful? I don't really like them in there either but its about 3-button presses.

"It's a good thing the landscape looks so awesome, because you will be wandering around those woods for a long time. Finding quest-specific locations is usually easy, but simple navigation is tough because there is no indication of which direction is north."

Yes there is, there's an orange arrow on the circumference of the minimap.

"The main quests also have you going back and forth to the same location often which made me wonder why they spent so much time building the rest of the place."

Sidequests?

"Drinking potions gives you an edge in combat, at least I assume so because I never seemed to have drunk the right potions at the right time. You can't drink potions while you are engaged in a fight, which seems like a silly holdover from the meditation mechanic of the first game. There is a lot of granularity in the potion system, with most giving you both positive and negative effects. I thought that once I bought enough recipes, I'd be able to dovetail the effects of the three potions you can drink at a time for a net gain, but those recipes never materialized. I defaulted to only using the few potions that I couldn't do without, namely Cat, Swallow and Tawny Owl which let me see in the dark and regenerate health and vigor, respectively. Another opportunity missed"

What do you mean? The potions either help generally in battles or make up for various missing skills, or armour/weapon upgrades.

"The list interface screams for some way to sort, and there's absolutely no good reason for every recipe to clog up your inventory."

If you look at the potion list then it'll show you how many materials you need for a particular recipe.

"I fail to see why I can't easily see which recipes the merchant has that I don't already own,"

Your inventory lists are put side-by-side like every other game?

"One particular moment stuck out: when Geralt openly mocks the plot of The Lord of the Rings as a frivolous fairy tale, it feels like such parody is beneath the integrity the game achieves the rest of the time.

Yeah, that was... bizarre. Its essentially the only thing I felt probably got lost in translation it was so unsubtle.

Not being bitchy, I just haven't seen these complaints all that much - they certainly never occured to me (especially the inventory stuff). Even the combat difficulty seems to be accepted as something that's just better to learn-by-doing instead of being told on placards (I really cannot see that being helpful with such an in-depth system) or a bloody tutorial of today's standards.

You don't really cover the game's choices and consequences all that much either (like the two different second acts), or just how morally ambiguous everything is.

9NineBreaker9:
A friend is lending me the game, so I'm looking forward to trying it out. I enjoyed the setting and theme of the first, but disliked the gameplay... doesn't seem like much has changed, but it'll be a nice diversion.

Also, doesn't awarding half a star kind of ruin the point of a 5-star system?

Round it up to 4. Trust me.

Veloxe:

Unfortunately it looks like that hasn't changed much (I'm all for complexity, just not complexity for complexities sake, which is what it seems to go far).

Its really not complex - most recently collected stuff is put at the top, and there's about 10 different categories to break everything up. If you need to check ingredients for a potion, you can look at what you're missing (and how much more of ingredient X you need) by clicking on the recipe, where a big diagram will show you.

rsvp42:

Grevensher:
Let me get this straight, actually having to craft spells breaks your immersion? Having to tactically utilize your potions breaks your immersion? The complex combat system breaks your immersion? I'm sorry this isn't Dragon Age 2. Go and pop that in for another ride if all you want is hours of mindless button mashing.

He said dealing with a clunky interface was breaking his immersion. It calls attention to itself and reminds you that you're playing a game instead of a role in the world, hence immersion-breaking. Not being able to use potions in battle means that in cases like the quest he was describing, we wasn't able to properly buff for fights he was expecting (probably after being killed by surprise mechanics a few times). And what the hell is "complex" about TW2's combat? You click one button for small slash, another for big. Then you roll around and use the signs you have. It's definitely fun and challenging, but I wouldn't call it complex.

Go back to hating on DA2 for overblown reasons somewhere else.

The combat is complex in that it is all about timing. If you time your attacks correctly you can get through any fight unscathed, as I started to do later in the game, especially with the annoying Letho confrontation. Utilizing your magic powers in combat will also pay off big time, especially if you can time your aard and ixii spells before your opponents are on top of you. Whenever one enters the non safe zones (ie: areas you cannot meditate) you should know to consume a swallow and a rook. Fairly easy to gather the resources to consume these all the time. You can make as many potions as you want at once, just keep hitting the enter key (want 6 potions? hit enter 6 times. Wow, so hard.)

[edit] DA2 was the biggest was to of 60 bucks I ever spent. If i want to spend 60 dollars for recycled material I would buy a valve collection. DA2 still owes me a full fledged campaign, not 3 expansion packs rolled into 15 maps. It's no better than brink.

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