The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Review

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The reviewer said in the very first line of his review that he loves this game. And at the end of his review he said that he will play the Witcher 2 again and again, despite the problems he experienced.

Why is everyone being so butthurt about HIS opinions? :/

Anyway, I thought it was a good review and explains the flaws/problems that alot of other people seem to be experiencing. 3.5 stars out of 5 is not a bad score tbh. I can't wait to play it!

Nice review.

I had also a somewhat similar problem when I played Fallout 3 on PC and Xbox360.
Using thumb sticks or a mouse to orientate is a very flawed design choice.

Particular the bugs at the beginning of the game was an impossible task. I couldn't kill them. I was right in front of them while pulling the trigger and nothing happened.

In Doom 2 I just walked around and pulled the trigger an everything in front of me died.
That's what I call innovation.

To make matters worse, after I finally made it past that section of the prologue - on normal difficulty, damn you, I'm nothing if not stubborn - the game brought me back to the first four dialogue choices. Clicking a different one sent me to the first part of the prologue, which calmly introduced that Geralt has amnesia and has thrown in his lot with the King of Temeria in a little civil war. It's not necessary to have played the first game because this section deftly explains the opening plot without the constant threat of death. Why on Earth would CD Projekt allow me to play the prologue out of order?

Guess they wanted to trap all these people: image

I usually start reading a book from the beginning :P

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. The map looks pretty, but uses the Cyrillic alphabet so that kind of sucks for us Anglos. Plus, finding some of the objectives of the side-quests is nearly impossible because they blend in with the background. 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.

From your DA2 review:

Like many people, I moved to a new place after college. I didn't know a soul in New York City or how to get around, and just buying groceries was an impossible task. By the time I left ten years later, I knew that town like nobody's business. I wasn't anyone special, but if you dropped me anywhere in the five boroughs, I could tell you a memory, which corner to avoid, and where to get a slice - the kind of familiarity you only get after exploring a location until it feels like home. That's what Kirkwall will feel like after playing Dragon Age II.

So, basically wandering around through "beautiful, lush woods" = bad; but wandering through a rather ugly realized excuse of a city till it "feels like home" = good?
image image image image image

image image image image image

By this time, the combat feels like a snap as long as you've drunk the right potions and stopped spamming the Igni sign (fireball.) Effective fighting involves creative use of the Control menu, which slows time and allows you to switch signs and secondary weapons like bombs and throwing daggers. Parrying attacks and countering can feel a lot like dueling and that's when the combat of The Witcher really sings. But there is sometimes a terrible lag between pressing a button and witnessing Geralt respond, which encourages a weird constant tapping of the keys to make sure the command goes through. For combat whose fun depends on flow, this is a monstrous error.

There's nothing "clunky" about the combat and it reacts perfectly fine, here for instance is a video of someone playing one part of the Prologue on the "Hard" difficulty without getting hit even once by effectively using all possibilities and understanding the mechanics:


The most likely reason why some button might not have responded might be that you didn't get a specific game mechanic... like Parrying blows using Vigor or similar.
I guess you're just a friend of the "Button --> Awesome" mechanic:

The party-based combat is frenetic, with no auto-attack making you feel in the thick of it with constant button-pressing. I enjoyed taking a more active role and not being forced to pause after every spell or special move goes off to give more orders - although you can micro-manage the tactics if you're OCD about it.

Bottom Line: A pinnacle of role-playing games with well-designed mechanics and excellent story-telling, Dragon Age II is what videogames are meant to be.

Giving Dragon Age 2 5 stars and Witcher 2 3 1/2 when the world of DA2 is a bland cesspit thrown together in one and a half years of development time for the entire game, devoid of any life, change over a time span of 10 years or character and the story especially in Act1 amounts to "Collect as much money as you can doing MMO-quests" (which as every single quest in the entire game end with your group killing other groups of enemies spawning 5 meters in the air) is a travesty and an insult to the RPG genre in general.

The Witcher 2 might have its flaws and I don't want to deny that but it just oozes developer love throughout every single crevice it has, love towards the game, love towards the players, love towards the lore and reviews like this really do the inherent qualities of the game (I regard as highly as what Batman: Arkham Asylum did) a disservice. It literally is the best RPG I have played in the last 5 or so years and outshines the likes of DA:O, not to speak of Dragon Age 2 again...

"But there is sometimes a terrible lag between pressing a button and witnessing Geralt respond, which encourages a weird constant tapping of the keys to make sure the command goes through. For combat whose fun depends on flow, this is a monstrous error."

I never experienced this delay, however I've a pretty stout box to run games on. Nor is this problem noted - at all - by anyone on the GoG forums. It sounds to me like a FPS issue; you might want to look at that and the games configuration, as well as your graphics driver. This "monstrous error" seems isolated to your game.

. . . 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.

You couldn't find the recipes? Never had this issue, either. My biggest problem with crafting and alchemy was lack of money, heh.

This review is a good example of being unable to see the forest for the trees, really. I love the game, but would be the first to admit the UI needs improvement in areas, and other aspects of the game could use a tweak here and there. The game is challenging, and unforgiving to those wanting to button mash without thinking about tactics. None of these issues, however, really have an impact on how deep, immersive this game is. The beautiful settings, thrilling combat, intricate plot and characters. For those willing to actually put in the effort in learning the game, combat, and navigate around it's quirks, it's time well spent.

Comparisons to DA2 are inevitable, although a bit unfair to DA2, given how badly it was rushed into publication. Giving it a stellar 5 stars is highly questionable; and Witcher 2, 3 1/2. . . . *shake of the head*.

It terrifies me to think what Dwarf Fortress will get if Witcher is too hard to get a good score. Especially with those graphics.

You can't really blame the game only because you suck at it! The Journal and Character screen have all the information you need. Yes, you have to read them. Much more comprehensive than the manual or game guide or in-game tutorial popups that show for a short time, I'll give you that.

Now, if you detest thinking, learning and feeling great with that, there is always the "hands holding instant gratification" of Dragon Age 2 for you.. the Rebecca Black's Friday of all RPG... 411,000 likes ... 2,900,000 dislikes!

Tigurus:
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 :)

Can't remember the name of the song, but it's by Hedningarna.

I think the real issue here is more of a personal thing, namely whether you're put off by game mechanics that are somewhat flawed in favour of letting the ideas, atmosphere and general feel of the game shine through?
Something about the feeling of The Witcher 2 just makes me want to shout praise about it towards the skies, despite the gameplay being somewhat flawed.

Basically, whether a game is more than the sum of its parts or not and for Greg and Jim, this game clearly isn't.

I do, however, think that a real reviewer should be asking these sorts of questions themselves, rather than taking the games at face value in terms of their mechanics, presentation, etc. What is the feeling it left you with?

Unless the reviewer said the game was absolutely perfect in every single way imaginable, he didn't really stand a chance with you guys did he? :/ That's what it seems like to me anyway reading some of these comments.

Calibretto:
Dude I am not going to be a broken record and do a wall of text but I will try to convery my point as simple as possible for you ( as you obviously didnt read my previous posts).
90-100% of people here would not put DA2 and the W2 in the same ballpark.
If a movie critic does a stupid review he gets called out for it. Just look at rotten tomatoes.
Having an opinion does not sanction you against criticism I mean what drugs are you on.
AND NOW THAT GAMES ARE ART why should it be any differant then movies !!!!??
This isn't just a casual review by joe blow this is the BLOODY ESCAPIST AND WE DEMAND QUALITY capiche?

I obviously didn't read your previous posts? That's a pretty big statement. You must have said some fairly compelling things to make that claim. So let's do something different with this one. I'm gonna go through all your posts in this topic one by one to find what I missed. It'll be fun!

So yeah, your complaints are just pathetic whining until you can explain why the review is bad beyond, "DA2 sucks and Greg is bad at games!"

Man, that was fun! I should do this more often.

There's not that much to say on the game itself, other than it's a very beautiful and rich rpg that doesn't get everything right, released by a company that for all its merits, still has some learning to make from its mistakes.

HOWEVER, there *is* something that I think will make this stand out, which is the excellent costumer support from CD projekt. They did it on the first witcher, tweaking it and improving it as best as they humanly could, and they seem to be doing it now. For example, people who bought the retail version were initially seriously hurt by the DRM used. So, they patched the game and DROPPED the DRM altoghether in favour of a better performance. Before patching, loading a save would take me 3-4 minutes, the framerate would be choppy, and the game felt cumbersome. The fix they introduced removed the DRM completely, and vastly imporved all around performance. I can play the game on medium settings (meaning, full textures and antialiasing and leaving aside the lighting options) and my machine is only slightly above the minimum specs.

What do I mean by this? The game has some definite design flaws, especially in the inventory systems, and can be a bit unforgiving but one can have faith that user feedback *will result* in ironing out those flaws. What other developer releases a game in a boxed edition that would be labeled as premium by any other company and cost 90€, removes the DRM on fans requests and has a proven track record of listening to outside suggestions on how to improve and make their game better?

On itęs merits alone, The Witcher is easily just as good as Mass Effect or Dragon Age in terms of playability (seriously, the manual is there to be read.) or story. But currently boasts one of the most dedicated costumer supports ever in the games industry. We spend so much time bemoaning the actions of EA or Ubisoft. If we do that, and we like RPGs, and your pc can run the game, then there's no company more deserving of our support right now.

sunburst313:
snip

It was !!
I have never had a digital diary before thanks!
Do you charge extra for weekend work?

I am also a fan of CD Projekt, but you have to admit they've had some real issues since launch date, almost more than the game, heh. The launcher won't properly handle DLC - in fact, connecting to their server seems largely broken. The Witcher.com site went down on launch day and is still having big problems, notably the lack of a forum (why we hang out on GoG's instead).

Still, given a choice between a slick GUI and professionalism on, say, an EA site, and CDP's somewhat bumbling, but honest and supportive environment, I'd take the latter any time.

PopcornAvenger:
I am also a fan of CD Projekt, but you have to admit they've had some real issues since launch date, almost more than the game, heh. The launcher won't properly handle DLC - in fact, connecting to their server seems largely broken. The Witcher.com site went down on launch day and is still having big problems, notably the lack of a forum (why we hang out on GoG's instead).

Still, given a choice between a slick GUI and professionalism on, say, an EA site, and CDP's somewhat bumbling, but honest and supportive environment, I'd take the latter any time.

Oh, I do. The whole DRM thing was a fiasco at the start. But what is endearing is the lengths they seem willing to go to to solve the problem. DRM is affecting performance? Ok, we switch off DRM completely (and like I said, it really improves the performance on all aspects, from loading times, to actual engine performance). It's not so much a denial of their problems, but rather a recognition that they had some serious issues and they worked their butts off to solve them in our best interest. Which cannot be lauded enough.

JerrytheBullfrog:
There is no excuse whatsoever for the "can't drink potions in combat" mechanic. You get these interesting potions, combat relies heavily on you using them especially early on, but it asks you to be goddamn Nostradamus before you can ever use them.

Indeed, there's no excuse. Why does it need an excuse though? While it might be strange, it did force me to think forward and plan, which I liked. I think it works in the gameplay, even though it's not explained why on earth he has to sit still to drink something.

Here's a link to Penny Arcade talking about the exact same thing about the tutorial lol. http://www.penny-arcade.com/2011/5/25/

After losing 2 hours because of a game killing glitch, I've gotten farther. I really like this game and think the review did fine.

Hristo Tzonkov:

"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."

But LOTR is a frivolous Fairy Tail.It doesn't even hold a candle for The Witcher or the Game of Thrones series.LOTR is just another overblown thing that I'll never understand.

Is hard to compare. LOTR was written in an age that husband and wife make sex with their pajamas in a totally dark room. Things were innocent because they had to be. Thinking, The Mists of Avalon is a much more visceral reading than the A Song of Ice and Fire(still very good). BUT, because of the time in it was written and because was wrote by a woman, its never got the deserved credit.

Just wanna say that you can't decontextualize.

Soviet Heavy:

Gralian:

Soviet Heavy:

I honestly wouldn't care if they did. That's their choice, and if they don't want to play a game because they feel it is shit, then more power to them. Am I going to suddenly start attacking you because you don't like Halo while I do? No, because I don't have any more right to tell you what to like than the person I was quoting.

Stating you don't like Halo casually on a public forum is vastly different to claiming your opinion is professional and critical.

But if I gave reasons for why I didn't enjoy a game, such as a clunky interface or unoptimized controls, would me stating those reasons be met with the same reaction?

If I said that Halo felt too floaty and loose in the controls department, would I still be ignored by merit of me not being a professional critic? This review stated that he had troubles with the interface, and that he did not find the controls intuitive. Yet like the Halo example, it is purely subjective. Whereas some might find the controls just right, others might not feel the same way.

The difference is that Tito's opinions are worth money. So yes, your opinion would not carry as much weight as a 'professional critic'.

Someone is paying him to give those opinions, and honestly, there are some things that you can be objective about regardless of whether or not you personally enjoy it. For example, you might complain about the 'floaty' controls in Halo, but if the sensitivity was ridiculously high or low, you would recognise that regardless of personal opinion. See the Perfect Dark XBLA debacle.

Grey_Focks:

Gralian:
Without objectivity professional reviews here will be no different from the user reviews, and at that point i have to question the validity of said professional reviews and whether they are even necessary in the first place and what qualifies them to be regarded as professional.

Hmm, something to ponder over indeed. Personally, I think that a professional reviewer SHOULD keep their personal bias in their review. Not everyone is going to see eye-to-eye with the general opinion on most things, and games like DA2 and TW2 are perfect examples of this. Every review really shouldn't just be a copy-pasta of all the others for everything out there, which is really what they would be if everyone were to just remove their feelings from said reviews. Having someone actually put their personal opinions and preferences for a game into their review, I think, is really quite important, because undoubtedly there will be some people who like the same types of games as that reviewer, and some who don't share their preferences at all.

Parts bolded for emphasis on what i want to examine. Actually, when dealing with looking at legitimate criticism of the shortcomings of something - whether technical, in delivery, or in interaction - is something that should be looked at objectively, and if reviewers are doing their job right, SHOULD come across in the majority of reviews. See the above example about if sensitivity was too high. We rely on professional reviews to look at somthing professionally, looking for things the developer have done right or wrong, regardless of whether or not it is in line with their personal tastes. Honestly, professional reviews should be conducted by a team of individuals, not just one person, so they can compare and contrast their views and points. Maybe someone on the team missed something that others found. If a game was to truly be put under objective scrutiny, it wouldn't be given the once over. This is why i tend to find GameTrailers to be the most objective review site (personally), because in the video reviews the guy says "we", implying that it's not just one guy who played it for a while - they likely had several people on staff going through it to add their thoughts and opinions to make it as well rounded as possible. (i will concede that this is just my own guesswork and that may not be the case at all)
On top of that, why do you think people tend to say "oh i visit gamespot / ign / kotaku / whatever over any other site" and "the criticisms of this site don't hold up against this site, making me question which one is more valid". It's because people are trying to look for the most objective opinion. People bitch about IGN because they think IGN is full of COD-lovers and is slightly more biased towards the more action oriented side of the medium. That might well be their subjective opinion, but it still earns them the ire of the community. People use metacritic and look at many reviews not because they're hoping it will be in line with their own opinions, but because they're looking for the most objective review they can find.

Of course reviewers can put their personal opinions into their review, but it should be as an editorial, not something that impacts the final score. Something like "While i recognise this is a technically proficient and solid [insert game], it's not something that holds appeal with me. Still, i can see that fans of..." would be suitable. You have to understand that when a generally much-scorned game like DA2 earns 5 / 5 and W2 earns a 3.5 / 5, it's a rather large discrepancy and people will pick up on that. Even GameTrailers and other sites noted that DA2 had the error of copy-pasting levels and other faults that are signs of a rushed game. I haven't played either game so i'm not going to give my opinion on that, i'm just saying that it's a bit odd to give it a perfect mark when, from what i can tell from both 'professional' and 'user' reviews, it's far from that. If the professional reviewer can't recognise that, it makes me question the validity of his reviews.

"That's the point of user reviews! Professional reviews should be just that, professional!"

Indeed they should, but being professional doesn't mean keeping your own opinions out of the review, if anything, it should mean the opposite, just doing it well. It should mean being able to criticize something without just bashing it or insulting it, but instead pointing out individual problems, and what they should've done instead. It means being able to point out what the game does right, without just mindlessly praising it.

So... what qualifies such opinions as being professional? The problem is not critcising something to the point of bashing it, or mindlessly praising it. It's marking something down for the arbitrary reason of "it's not for me". That doesn't sound like legitimate criticism to me. If it is, i again ask what separates professional reviews from user reviews apart from a pay check. Is it that it's a coherent, grammatically correct review? Well, i'm studying English Literature at the moment at Uni, so if i sat down to type up something i could make it just as well written, but that wouldn't qualify me to label myself as professional.

Every critic just giving one uniform score across the board really doesn't help anyone, since we all have varying tastes...

That's the thing though, uniform criticism should be able to inform the user about the positives and negatives of something and provide enough information for them to make their own decision about whether it is for them or "in line with their tastes". I was told DA:O was a golden example of an RPG, but it wasn't for me. Like Tito, i loved the world and lore and characters etc, but the gameplay just didn't agree with me. I didn't blame the reviews for not telling me "beware: It might not be in your tastes!". I knew what i was getting into and i decided to give it a shot. You can't account for everybody and people should be able to make their own decisions based on the information available. If you can't provide enough information for somebody to make a personal decision, something's wrong.

Mangue Surfer:

Hristo Tzonkov:

"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."

But LOTR is a frivolous Fairy Tail.It doesn't even hold a candle for The Witcher or the Game of Thrones series.LOTR is just another overblown thing that I'll never understand.

Is hard to compare. LOTR was written in an age that husband and wife make sex with their pajamas in a totally dark room. Things were innocent because they had to be. Thinking, The Mists of Avalon is a much more visceral reading than the A Song of Ice and Fire(still very good). BUT, because of the time in it was written and because was wrote by a woman, its never got the deserved credit.

Just wanna say that you can't decontextualize.

It's not that.In LOTR there are no shades of grey.There are no changes of heart apart some things that were caused by corruption of evil.There's a stark contrast between the warring factions.It's a lot more akin to a fairy tail.There's good guys with a clear goal and the book just describes reaching it,while bad guys try to foil everything.While it may have sparked the whole genre when compared to the Witcher it really is a fairy tail.

edit - nvm misspost sry

mikozero:

Gralian:
*snip*

and yet, for all that, he still didn't read the manual before attempting to play an RPG.

something i haven't done in 35 years of gaming and that no one i know would ever do.

I... Buh... wha..?!

Since when did i say anything about reading the manual? My entire post was about whether 'professional' reviews should be entirely subjective or objective, not about whether his complaints about controls and lack of tutorials was uniformally justified. I don't know why you quoted me just to say this when it's completely irrelevant.

Im sorry but a game actually being challenging is not a flawed game.
if you want to play a game where you never die, every thing is easy and spelt out for you then go play DAO 2 or something.
Seriously its challenging but not punishingly so and is a welcome return to rpg games that have a sense of difficulty a challenge to them..

From this review I suspect the reviewer is a console gamer but expects the single player campaign to be a training run before logging on to xbox live to "gank newbs" Rather than meat and potatoes of the game.

My annoyance comes from the claim this is a broken game. The interface is smooth and responsive, the potion system and crafting system makes system and is easy compared to other games (I'm looking at you oblivion) and the game flows smoothly between melee, magic and bomb based combat.

This is by no means a broken game, just a challenging one. If you dont want to die just ramp it down to easy.

I guess I should atleast be thank full he didn't harp on about the HBO style nudity an sex scenes throughout the game.

The Red Dragon:
Unless the reviewer said the game was absolutely perfect in every single way imaginable, he didn't really stand a chance with you guys did he? :/ That's what it seems like to me anyway reading some of these comments.

Given the praise he gave DA2 which come on why not up to biowares normal standards, and given that the witcher has provided challenging experience, with an in depth story line and interesting characters. He doesn't have to say the game is perfect, but he was going to say it was not perfect he should justify it with more than a review that amounts to:
This game is lame because its hard and I cant read the manual or the quest description or the in game monster descriptions. Therefore the game is broken as I actually died.

It just reflects badly on him.

JerrytheBullfrog:

Frankly, I'm glad to see a review that honestly discusses Witcher 2's flaws instead of just kneeling in front of Geralt and mindlessly going to town. I like the game, but it's arcane and impenetrable and its UI sucks.

Also, FFS people: A 3-and-1/2-stars score is *still an above average game.* He's not panning it.

Thank you, you are one of the few on these boards that show any sign of wisdom.

For the rest of you:

1. Reviews are never fully objective, that's why you need to look at multiple reviews of reviewers who share your taste.
2. No matter how hardcore a game pretends to be, there is a world of difference between being difficult and making a game difficult by having a screwed up user interface. Making a crappy interface has nothing to do with making a challenging game
3. What is with all the just plain silly comparisons between Dragon Age2 and The Wither2? I just love RPGs. DA2 has fantastic gameplay and does the witcher. Why would you troll one or the other?

Is this the game where the avatar cannot jump?
I don't buy games where I cannot jump (at least since Heretic).

Grevensher:
The complex combat system

This made me laugh, thank you

sindremaster:

Grevensher:
The complex combat system

This made me laugh, thank you

Its more complex than any recent RPG to be released.

...trying to read comments... can't.... stay.... awake... so.... bored of..... whining zzzzzzz

Grevensher:

sindremaster:

Grevensher:
The complex combat system

This made me laugh, thank you

Its more complex than any recent RPG to be released.

Because there haven't been any complex RPG's released in a while. That doesn't make the The Witcher's one button for strong attack and one button for fast attack any more complex though.

Luke Cartner:

The Red Dragon:
Unless the reviewer said the game was absolutely perfect in every single way imaginable, he didn't really stand a chance with you guys did he? :/ That's what it seems like to me anyway reading some of these comments.

Given the praise he gave DA2 which come on why not up to biowares normal standards, and given that the witcher has provided challenging experience, with an in depth story line and interesting characters. He doesn't have to say the game is perfect, but he was going to say it was not perfect he should justify it with more than a review that amounts to:
This game is lame because its hard and I cant read the manual or the quest description or the in game monster descriptions. Therefore the game is broken as I actually died.

It just reflects badly on him.

He never said the game was lame, he actually said, in the first line of his review, that he loves the game. Maybe he just likes DA2 more instead of The Witcher 2, some people do y'know. ;)

The Red Dragon:

Luke Cartner:

The Red Dragon:
Unless the reviewer said the game was absolutely perfect in every single way imaginable, he didn't really stand a chance with you guys did he? :/ That's what it seems like to me anyway reading some of these comments.

Given the praise he gave DA2 which come on why not up to biowares normal standards, and given that the witcher has provided challenging experience, with an in depth story line and interesting characters. He doesn't have to say the game is perfect, but he was going to say it was not perfect he should justify it with more than a review that amounts to:
This game is lame because its hard and I cant read the manual or the quest description or the in game monster descriptions. Therefore the game is broken as I actually died.

It just reflects badly on him.

He never said the game was lame, he actually said, in the first line of his review, that he loves the game. Maybe he just likes DA2 more instead of The Witcher 2, some people do y'know. ;)

Try playing this game on hard without dying every minute. If you can do that, then you have unkowinlgy mastered the timing involved. If you haven't, become familiar with timing based combat. Each swing has a different amount of time it takes from button press to action, or to casting a spell. If your character responded immediately by swing a sword, you could just spam attacks. In this game on normal or above spamming attacks leads to an early grave, as Greg Tito encountered numerous times.

DA2: 5/5
TW2: 3/5

LMFAO

Clearly, button-awesome are not sufficiently connected in TW2.

que all the PC, hardcore elitists Q.Q'ing over the review that doesn't praise it up the ass and throw roses at it like a famous bullfighter

(reads first 10 comments)
ninja'd.

obviously we live in an age where people need to be told how to play the game, and if the controls are designed fucking awkwardly compared to regular RPG games then that's a fundamental design flaw.

No sense in designing a game completely different for nothing but the sake of difficulty. Good review.

No matter how hardcore a game pretends to be, there is a world of difference between being difficult and making a game difficult by having a screwed up user interface. Making a crappy interface has nothing to do with making a challenging game

The combat interface is really good, shows all needed information and is not intrusive.
The crafting, trading and inventory could be certainly improved, but are far from crappy and certainly it doesn't affect the difficulty of the game. Also, it features the best journal in a RPG by far.
Other issues the reviewer has with it (like potions not being used in combat) are design decisions (in the potion case even requested on their community forums).

So basically you made a totally wrong assumption that game difficulty is screwed up by the interface. And that's my main problem with these kind of reviews. He focuses so much on the negative things and makes such a big case about difficulty and his shocking experience that a lot of his readers will just stay away from the game afraid of some atrocious interface and insane difficulty.
Rating might be irrelevant and will certainly be affected by his experiences, that's perfectly fine. Barely scratching the surface of the game in the review outside of the most obvious flaws is a big issue and has nothing to do with the review being objective or not.

obviously we live in an age where people need to be told how to play the game, and if the controls are designed fucking awkwardly compared to regular RPG games then that's a fundamental design flaw.

No sense in designing a game completely different for nothing but the sake of difficulty. Good review.

Controls are fine, nothing awkward about them. Hell, playing DA2 like an action game felt a lot more awkward.
The problem is the character doesn't take care of everything when you press a button to turn it into something awesome.

Oh, and calling this game hardcore is a pretty big joke. Even more of a joke adding PC into the denigrating phrase.

I personally found TW2 to be a beautiful experience, but I agree with Greg's criticism and it annoyed me as well.

One of the problems with the difficulty isn't so much that it's hard, I personally found that refreshing, but that the difficulty curve is upside down. As a new player with little experience and few in-game tools, the prologue is brutal. The first chapter felt well balanced. At this point I had picked up the basics of how to play and had a few talents to help, but still got punished if I rushed into battle without thought or planning. Unfortunately later in the game most fights get very easy and that is a shame.

The controls are sluggish seemingly because animations block all input except for parrying. In a game that focuses on accurate combat maneuvers the controls really need to be more precise. In spite of the sluggishness I found combat playable and enjoyable, but it could have been much better with some some fine-tuning.

It's a beautiful, funny and most important different game and I love it for that reason. This is truly a labor of love and it shows in many ways. Unfortunately it's also deeply flawed in some areas. Lately many games seems to skip on the all important minor details and thats a shame.

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