The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Review

 Pages PREV 1 . . . 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
 

Jamie Wroe:

And my main point is that every genre's different. What you've quoted is true for FPS's, RTS's, Racing and other genre's but not for RPG's!! We RPG fans do not want that!

You seem to think that I am not an RPG fan.

1. Story is important in any game. That Bioware makes story-based games and it prefers the RPG genre has no bearing on whether story is important or not in other games.
2. The story in TW2 is great. But a review that judges a game by story only is a biased review.
3. All Infinity Engine games had a constant difficulty curve. ESPECIALLY Baldur's Gate 2. It was easier or harder depending on class, party composition and what order you did the quests in, but at no point would you ever go "this is too easy" or ever need to change the difficulty slider unless you shouldn't have chosen that difficulty in the first place.

Game design books also happen to have the expert opinions of people with much more experience than you.

poiumty:
All Infinity Engine games had a constant difficulty curve. ESPECIALLY Baldur's Gate 2. It was easier or harder depending on class, party composition and what order you did the quests in, but at no point would you ever go "this is too easy" or ever need to change the difficulty slider unless you shouldn't have chosen that difficulty in the first place.

How can the game be easier/harder if you chose wrong quest order and have constant difficulty curve at the same time? If you do it in "wrong" order you break the limited level scaling and game gets easier in later parts.
On top of it all of their games "break" if you do proper builds and at some point in game fights become trivial. And usually when they do, not even changing difficulty helps.

Game design books also happen to have the expert opinions of people with much more experience than you.

If you read different books you get different opinions or you can see successful games that totally ignore the "rules".
And those 2 names don't exactly scream expert game designer.

abija:

How can the game be easier/harder if you chose wrong quest order and have constant difficulty curve at the same time?

This might surprise you but the concept of a difficulty curve is not especially strict. As long as BG2 doesn't make you fight Firkraag in the first dungeon and ends up with some oversized hp-bloated goblins as the last sets of enemies, it should be okay. There is still the element of challenge that is present throughout most of the game.
The Witcher doesn't afford a "wrong quest order" with its closed-off chapter-based progression.

If you read different books you get different opinions or you can see successful games that totally ignore the "rules".

On the contrary, most of the books are similar. And just because they haven't designed blockbusters doesn't mean they don't know what they're talking about.
There will always be niches where different approaches to game design will be appreciated. The Witcher 2 is an AAA game.

poiumty:
This might surprise you but the concept of a difficulty curve is not especially strict. As long as BG2 doesn't make you fight Firkraag in the first dungeon and ends up with some oversized hp-bloated goblins as the last sets of enemies, it should be okay. There is still the element of challenge that is present throughout most of the game.

Especially in BG2 and in DA:O which uses the exact same type of limited level scaling you could have gone different routes which totally reversed your difficulty curve.

And in ALL of their games, regardless if you had the previous problem or not, when your build was starting to flesh out the game became trivial and the element of challenge disappeared. Those broken characters gave players a sense of accomplishment and that's why Oblivion's level scaling is so hated.

Also witcher adheres to that "not so strict but we call it broken whenever it's not exactly the same" concept you imply in BG2. The human opponents are stronger, new tougher monsters added in each new chapter, even slightly bigger numbers (only exception are probably harpies which for some reason turned out to be cannon fodder). For example you start with endrega queens, then an arachas then you fight 2 arachas at once, 3rd act letho has twice the armor and probably 3 times the hp of first act version, soldiers in last act could probably 1 shot a Geralt with prologue stats and so on.
Just that the hero "scales better" which is exactly what happens in above mentioned games for example and the whole point of it.

poiumty:
This might surprise you but the concept of a difficulty curve is not especially strict. As long as BG2 doesn't make you fight Firkraag in the first dungeon and...
The Witcher doesn't afford a "wrong quest order" with its closed-off chapter-based progression.

All true, except my point was that if you do things 'right' in BG2 the game can become trivially easy, at least on normal difficulty with no mods, and this is still fun. The game was still enjoyable for me even when I knew how to beat combat easily.

poiumty:
most of the books are similar. And just because they haven't designed blockbusters doesn't mean they don't know what they're talking about.

Agreed, the books in general tend to say the same things. Maybe I was a little too flippant about John Feil's abilities, he's obviously much better at making games than anyone here. EDIT: Just to add here, I was more pointing out the massive differences between genres than quality of game. I haven't played the game in question so can't comment on that. I was just trying to say however that the people who developed these games whose design you are critising are also pretty awesome developers with different ideas in this case about whats more important to a game.

One thing all those game design books say though is that at the end of the day games are made to create an experience for the player. All the other rules and guides are just advice on how to better accomplish this aim. That's why if something 'works' but contradicts a rule then guess what, you leave it in.

The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell sums it up best for me, I'll just quote a part from the opening section:

Unfortunately, at present, there is no unified theory of game design, no simple formula that shows us how to make good games. So what can we do?[...]

Good game design happens when you view your game from as many perspectives as possible. I refer to these perspectives as lenses, because each one is a way of viewing your design. The lenses are small sets of questions you should ask yourself about your design. They are not blueprints or recipes, but tools for examining your design[...]

None of the lenses are perfect, and none are complete, but each is useful in one context or another, for each gives a unique perspective on your design. The idea is that even though we can't have one complete picture, by taking all of these small imperfect lenses and using them to view your problem from many different perspectives, you will be able to use your discretion to figure out the best design.

and from the accompanying deck of lenses:

Lens 47 - The Lens of Balance
There are many types of game balance, and each is important. However, it is easy to get lost in the details and forget the big picture. Use this simple lens to get out of the mire, and ask yourself:
Does my game feel right?

Jamie Wroe:

All true, except my point was that if you do things 'right' in BG2 the game can become trivially easy, at least on normal difficulty with no mods, and this is still fun. The game was still enjoyable for me even when I knew how to beat combat easily.

I can understand that it was enjoyable for you. I would have expected a bit more depth to my combat once I got past chapter 1.

Thing is, with BG2 figuring out what builds to do to make the game easier is half the fun, and rarely possible on the 1st playthrough (especailly if you're new to D&D). The Witcher doesn't have nearly as much customization depth. I haven't tried hybrid builds, but they seem like a waste.
So it's not blowing through the game that makes it entertaining, it's the satisfaction of figuring things out. In The Witcher, I didn't have to decide between using Offensie Spin or Improved Haste. I just upgraded my weapons and clicked on circles with nice drawings in them. Once I found the one that said "area of effect", the game was pretty much broken.

The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell sums it up best for me, I'll just quote a part from the opening section:

It's easy to get lost in your own hubris when making a game. Many game designers regard their features as much more important than we think they are. The best judge of your game will always be the audience you're aiming it at.
This isn't part of the argument, though.

poiumty:

Thing is, with BG2 figuring out what builds to do to make the game easier is half the fun, and rarely possible on the 1st playthrough (especially if you're new to D&D).

Agree massively with you here. That's one of many reasons that BG2 > Any other game ever (imho).

The best judge of your game will always be the audience you're aiming it at.

Again I agree, and I think they specifically aimed at people like me who enjoy games where difficulty is like it is here. If the game was easy throughout that's boring, but when it starts out hard and gets progressively easier due to your characters advancement that, to me, feels like your character is becoming very powerful, even if everyone else gets that same experience.

If you had said you didn't like the witcher and/or agreed with the review because you personally felt the lack of challenge was boring, I'd say fair enough. I'm sure some people felt like that. My only problem was you said that, objectively, the witcher 2 was a badly designed game.

Jamie Wroe:

If you had said you didn't like the witcher and/or agreed with the review because you personally felt the lack of challenge was boring, I'd say fair enough. I'm sure some people felt like that. My only problem was you said that, objectively, the witcher 2 was a badly designed game.

What I wanted to point out was that it had multiple design flaws, not that it was a badly designed game in general.
I can understand it was okay for you, but could you honestly say that it wouldn't have been better if it had a proper challenge by the endgame?

poiumty:
What I wanted to point out was that it had multiple design flaws, not that it was a badly designed game in general.
I can understand it was okay for you, but could you honestly say that it wouldn't have been better if it had a proper challenge by the endgame?

Yes, I probably would have enjoyed it with more of a challenge for the final Act 3 Bosses, but I could have upped the difficulty if I wanted. I didn't care enough to do that. Every game has some flaws, I think the witcher 2 has bigger ones than difficulty personally.

For example, I would have liked a better inventory, I would have liked the interact button(climb, loot, open door..etc) to be a different button to quick attack, I would have liked the enter button to be usable in dialogue, or for the game let me know space can be used...etc. All these things are minor to me though, and TW:2 is still one of the best games I've ever played (like, top 5 with Baldur's Gate series, KOTOR's, NWN2:MoB..etc)

Truth be told, I don't enjoy combat as much in these real time RPG's. With Dragon Age 2 I gave up playing way before I even got to the underground bit at the end of Act 1 I hated the combat so much. Then I saw http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/miracle-of-sound/2965-Age-of-the-Dragon-Dragon-Age-2-Song which made me want to play again, so I replayed the game this time instant killing every enemy with cheats and I enjoyed the game a lot more. It literally jumped from a 3/10 to a 7/10 for me.

Since the end of the Infinity engine era games combat has almost been the part you 'deal with' to get to the dialogue sequences for me. That's probably why I love games where the dialogue is itself gameplay.

Jamie Wroe:
Every game has some flaws, I think the witcher 2 has bigger ones than difficulty personally.

Heh. Well, yeah. The difficulty curve was just one example I gave in a broader list of arguments on TW2's flaws. People started quoting me on it, so we ended up discussing it exclusively.

Since the end of the Infinity engine era games combat has almost been the part you 'deal with' to get to the dialogue sequences for me. That's probably why I love games where the dialogue is itself gameplay.

Then you probably loved the hell out of Planescape Torment.

I love both the story and the combat parts in a game. DA2 was fine, combat-wise. The difficulty was overall weak for the "normal" setting but "blowing things up with RPG elements" isn't very different from what I used to do in Diablo, and Diablo was a bitchin' game.
For the record, I wouldn't have given DA2 a 5/5 since it had some huge flaws, some of them significantly bigger than TW2's. But that's not the point I was trying to make. This review's made for the majority, the mainstream audience, a huge chunk of which won't get or care about the story. Besides that, a 5-star reviewing system doesn't follow a set structure like some of the 10 or 100-point system other reviews have; this is basically just the author's impression turned into numbers. Expecting it to be unbiased is ridiculous.

But that's not the point I was trying to make. This review's made for the majority, the mainstream audience, a huge chunk of which won't get or care about the story.

That's just nonsense. A review should cover all aspects exactly because it should relate to every reader.
And sure as hell he shouldn't be filtering out important aspects of the game because he ASSUMES majority won't care about.

Offtopic DA2 rant:

poiumty:

I love both the story and the combat parts in a game. DA2 was fine, combat-wise. The difficulty was overall weak for the "normal" setting but "blowing things up with RPG elements" isn't very different from what I used to do in Diablo, and Diablo was a bitchin' game.

Except it wasn't advertised as a Diablo game was it? I didn't buy it expecting hack and slash combat because their main designer made sure to underline in a video presentation PC gamers will enjoy the tactical combat they loved in DA:O.
The story might have been good but it wasn't supported by anything. It had no foundation because Kirkwall had no life. The tension and the political struggle that should have been fueling it were "streamlined" out of it. To make it even worse, the dialogues and acting in the intro are so terrible I couldn't give a shit about Hawke's family either.
All the details and the depth were taken out of the game and the majority of their work was to make combat flashier and more suited for a console hack and slash and to implement a ME variation of dialogue and companion system.

abija:

That's just nonsense. A review should cover all aspects exactly because it should relate to every reader.
And sure as hell he shouldn't be filtering out important aspects of the game because he ASSUMES majority won't care about.

Grab every game that got a 1 star review on this site, and you'll find a person (or group of people) who liked it. Should the reviewer praise it in fear of leaving those people out?
Didn't think so.
I didn't say he left the story out. I said the story wasn't as important to his score as it would have been to, say, YOU. Which could have been a personal prefference.

Except it wasn't advertised as a Diablo game was it?

That a game didn't cater to the same people who enjoyed the original is a flaw (in marketing), but doesn't change its overall quality.

poiumty:
Grab every game that got a 1 star review on this site, and you'll find a person (or group of people) who liked it. Should the reviewer praise it in fear of leaving those people out?
Didn't think so.
I didn't say he left the story out. I said the story wasn't as important to his score as it would have been to, say, YOU. Which could have been a personal prefference.

No, it's not about praising the features of the game. It's about covering them in the review. He ignores important features like how your choices alter the game even in minor details not only the big fork and has one liners that apparently should cover story, atmosphere, artistic value and level of detail for example. Then goes on for 3 pages nitpicking some flaws.
That's the issue with the review, not the rating or his personal opinion on the different aspects of the game or how much they affect said rating.

poiumty:
Then you probably loved the hell out of Planescape Torment.

Yes, great game. Although I preferred BG2 more if I'm honest, Planescape was amazing but BG2 was something else entirely for me. PS:T was probably slightly too complex and/or I was too combat focused when I was a teen.

poiumty:
I love both the story and the combat parts in a game. DA2 was fine, combat-wise. The difficulty was overall weak for the "normal" setting but "blowing things up with RPG elements" isn't very different from what I used to do in Diablo, and Diablo was a bitchin' game.

See, Diablo is a series I've never had any interest in. Maybe if I try 'em I'll think they're great but they don't sound like the kind of games I enjoy.

poiumty:
For the record, I wouldn't have given DA2 a 5/5 since it had some huge flaws, some of them significantly bigger than TW2's. But that's not the point I was trying to make. This review's made for the majority, the mainstream audience, a huge chunk of which won't get or care about the story.

I'm not so sure on this. This is obviously a story driven game, as is Dragon Age. I can't see too many people putting up with all that dialogue for the gameplay. Unless your saying the story can be slightly clichéd and formulaic? In which case I agree, I just think there is a much higher bar for how good it has to be at a minimum, compared to many other genres.

poiumty:

Besides that, a 5-star reviewing system doesn't follow a set structure like some of the 10 or 100-point system other reviews have; this is basically just the author's impression turned into numbers. Expecting it to be unbiased is ridiculous.

Yes, its ridiculous because that's impossible without some scientific method for scoring games. The problem is though that it should be reviewed by someone who likes/loves the genre(Edit: Obviously my point here is that they are different genres, in that they're aiming at a different type of player). If I reviewed Starcraft 2 I'd give it 6/10 at a push. I'm almost objectively wrong with that subjective statement, if you know what I mean, because the game wasn't designed for me. I'm not an RTS fan. I think the incredulity on here has been a result of a good-to-great (as a cRPG, which is how it was marketed) game getting a worse score than an average-to-bad(as a cRPG, which is how it was marketed) one.

N.B. I know the above few lines are subjective and just my opinion, I also think though that the point is a lot of people share those views.

One of the worst reviews I have ever seen.

Seriously what's with the continuous whining about the difictulty? Turn down the dificulty if you're such a bad gamer.

Not being able to use potions in battle...

Why did you put the review to a guy who does not even bother to find out about the world?

Witcher is a frekking low-fantasy game. Potions themselves are toxins that have certain effect upon witcher bodies but they require mental preparation and meditation before taking them.

That is why you cannot just chug down the potion like it would be some cheap liquor.

Other than that, after so much complaining about how the game is so very very hard, I stopped bothering.

The Witcher 2 - Teaching Yahtzee How to Play!

Watch the little girl, mothaplower!

Hmm.... this got over 540 comments?

And Dragon Age 2 got like 491?

Why do I think they're issuing these scores on purpose just to get a reaction out of people?

Hell, Moviebob does things like these all the time, and look how well it's going for him.

They can't have seriously thought about the backlash of these reviews when posting them.
It's waaaay to naive to just hide behind the "it's my opinion, deal with it" excuse.
When you're doing a professional review, you have to at least take into consideration the whole game, and the general feel about it rather than: "It's too hard, so every other part sucks", or "Well, I didn't see anything wrong with it, so there! ".

Then again, objective reviews aren't really the reason people come to the escapist, after all you are the people that employ a shouty British man to rapid-fire dickjokes at every game, and the ones that gave maddden 11 a five star review :))

And this comes from the people who gave DA2 perfect score? Guess CD Projekt RED pockets aren't as deep as EA's..

This game had two problems

1.) Difficulty curve that went backwards
2.) Sometimes unresponsive combat controls

In my opinion the story and environment far outweighs the problems.

I think this deserves a 4.25, obviously the Escapist doesn't allow for 1/4 stars, so I would say it deserves either a 4.0 or 4.5 based on the preferences of the reviewer

 Pages PREV 1 . . . 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here