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Review The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Review

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by VentilatorOfDoom, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
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    Tags: CD Projekt; Witcher 2, The

    <p>Gamebanshee's Brother None<a href="http://www.gamebanshee.com/reviews/103535-the-witcher-2-assassins-of-kings.html" target="_blank"> took his time to review</a> <strong>The Witcher 2</strong>. Here's the conclusion:</p>
    <blockquote>
    <p><strong>Conclusion</strong> <br /><br /> Honestly, what more can I say? The Witcher 2 is a lovingly crafted, beautiful, and detailed RPG, with a riveting and genuinely mature story. Many of my points of criticism were minor, though some are potentially bothersome, including the odd decisions with the game's interface, camera angle, and aspect ratio, as well as a semi-flawed combat system. And, sure, I would have liked to see more complexity and more balance in the character system. But that doesn't take away quite how strong the core the game is, the choice and consequence playing off against the realistic setting brilliantly, while the level of care having gone into the game helps give weight to the choices offered by making the fleshed-out world feel real. <br /><br />Considering where mainstream RPGs have been trending towards lately, the Witcher 2 is a great step in the right direction. I don't feel the combat segment of RPGs has to be action-based, quite the opposite, nor do I understand the need to add gimmicks like QTEs to the RPG genre. Yet, if someone wants to craft an &ldquo;evolved&rdquo; RPG with action-based combat, this is what it should be. It is about gaining complexity and becoming more mature, instead of simplifying and schlock stories. Leaving aside the debate on combat and camera angles, the core mistake of where the RPG genre is thundering to is that developers do not respect players. The Witcher 2 isn't&nbsp;unremittingly&nbsp;hard, nor will it win awards for complexity in its combat or RPG systems, but what sets it apart from the Dragon Age IIs of the world is both the enormous amount of work put into its every detail, and in not being afraid to challenge the player and offer him or her real and mature choices. It is for those reasons that The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is easily our early frontrunner for "RPG of the Year", with no title released so far this year even coming close.</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p>Spotted at: <a href="http://www.gamebanshee.com/news/103629-gb-feature-the-witcher-2-assassins-of-kings-review.html">Gamebanshee</a></p>
     
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  2. Rivmusique Arcane Patron

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    What does this mean?

    Do you like Iorveth or Roche better? and later, do you like Triss or Roche/Iorveth better?

    Of course it is, those gods of RPG development Bethesda haven't given you their offering yet :roll:

    Meh, at least this guy doesn't complain about the difficulty and by:

    I'm guessing he is referring to the clunky gamepad based interface (no I 'm not going to check the full review) so that's :thumbsup:
     
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  3. FatCat Educated

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    How about you let Roche kill Hanselt or not ? You kill Sile or not ? You kill Letho or not ? You give two ex-soldiers to nilfgaardian wraith or not ? and plenty of others.Those that you posted are not who you like better , but who you think is right , what is right to do.You never gain anything from any of these choices.It's not biowhore where you either side with bad guys and gain moneh or side with good guys and gain rep or some shit.
     
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  4. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    Way to read the conclusion and then comment without knowing the context of what I'm talking about (you seriously don't know who I'm snidely referring to when I talk about "evolved" RPGs? And you think I, one of the first people who would be up against the wall if Bethesda had any say in it, am a Bethesda fanboy? FFS)

    I've never done this before, but: :decline: of the :newfags:
     
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  5. Gosling Liturgist

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    You really should have lurked more before posting this.
     
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  6. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

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    Yeah, a nice batch of choices. Kill dude X or not. Kill dude X or kill dude Y instead. That's the kind of choices you can expect to find in TW2 btw. To kill or not to kill. (there are *a few* exceptions) I'm interested to hear how that differs from the many choices to kill or not to kill in DA2 btw. I'm certain there's some potato reason why it's shit in DA2 but awesome in TW2.
     
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  7. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

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    I don't think it breaks down to just that. But I'm sure Ventilator is just trolling...or is he?
     
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  8. markec Twitterbot Patron

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    While his example is not really good the thing is that Witcher gives you consequences to your actions unlike DA2 where no matter your choices everything plays out the same.
     
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  9. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
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    Am I?
    You tell me.
    - Letho: kill or not
    - Dragon: Kill or not
    - Sile: Kill or not
    - Henselt: kill or not
    - insane asylum: Kill wraith or the two idiots (ok, you can also trick the wraith, that's a plus point)
    - sisters: kill wraiths or brother
    - Troll: kill or not

    and so on. Of course frequently you just have to kill without any choice whatsoever. Am I wrong?

    Of course, but is it really true? If you don't kill or deliver the mageling to the templars you will meet him again getting another quest. How is that worse than meeting Arjan again later and exchanging 2 or 3 sentences? I'm not talking about the few big choices here.
     
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  10. Rivmusique Arcane Patron

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    So sorry, didn't realize you were internet famous :lol:

    Actually "tricking" the wraith results in him finding out the shit was fake (suddenly, just because he is dead, a common soldier now has above average* knowledge of anatomy). Also, as far as I know, this is the only way to kill the wraith, you cannot just kill him and live with the asylum remaining cursed.

    *Above average in the world of the Witcher, as most people would never see internal organs.
     
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  11. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    Other than New Vegas, I don't think there's any recent AAA RPG with a choice and plot structure quite like TW2. Because you just list a bunch of binary choices as if they're available to everyone. While some people will have another option for the dragon, and others will not, but you apparently don't know that because of the path you followed. And the big choice is big. Really really big. Like woooosh big.

    The side quests aren't impressive in comparison to the main quest, which constantly changes how it plays out based on choices you make. And some sidequests don't even appear based on choices you made earlier. And some sidequests branch a bit more and allow the use of different skills, like the quests involved the peddler of fisstech-like herbs.

    Is there a lot of "armwrestling" or "be the best dicer" gunk? Sure. Do you really want to compare this to DA2 and its endless cycle of fetch quests and irrelevant choices? C'mon now...

    At least you're learning.
     
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  12. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
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    BN: I replied to the Kill or not examples of FatCat

    Rivmusique: It's a bug, you have to drop all nekker hearts/eyes so the game registers that you have brought the pig organs (which will trick the wraith)
     
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  13. markec Twitterbot Patron

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    Actually you replied to my statement that while TW2 does not offer depth of choices it does offer depth of consequences to which BN offered his opinion.

    Ventilator i know you bought DA2 on release day but you cant validate that decision by any amount of bashing its competition.
     
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  14. Sander Educated

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    Yes. Do you save the women or go after the dickhead who runs the town at the end of Act I? Do you save Triss, or do you decide to go after someone else in Act III (depending on which side you chose previously)? Do you hit Iorveth in the face at the Elven Baths or not? Do you decide to uphold the law or allow a mob lynching?

    It is, of course, a game about a badass dude who can kill a lot of people, so killing is a large part of the decision making process. Complaining about that seems like you're missing the point. Besides, there are a number of fights you can avoid through intimidation/Axii/persuasion as well.

    I can't speak for DA2 because I never bothered to play it, but TW2 has some real consequences to your actions that make a lot of stuff play out differently. The biggest one is obviously the differences in Act II, but there are other choices as well that have meaning beyond just seeing a character later on or not seeing him. For instance, if you tell the guy way at the start that the amulet is worthless he gives it to you and you get a series of quests. If you don't do that, you don't get the quests, and the prologue ends slightly differently. Fighting the dickhead noble during the prologue will give you a different way out of the castle than if you persuade him not to. Not every choice has extensive consequences like that, but you can completely change the game with a couple of choices. That's extremely relevant.

    Besides, it's an action RPG, not a full-fledged tactical RPG with an extensive dialogue system. And it still beats the crap out of any other RPG released this year.
     
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  15. Suchy Arcane

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    Good and detailed review. Finally an actual review, not ramblings from some dude who couldn't even be assed to finish the game, not to mention exploring the second path, including various choices and their outcomes.
     
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  16. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

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    I entered the discussion after being offered a bunch of kill/not kill examples. This is what I was referring to. I conceded the consequences part for the *few* big choices.

    Ah instead of admitting that I was right with the examples I've given you decided to follow up with a strawman instead. How droll.
    I also preordered The Witcher 2, I gain +10 potato points, right?
     
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  17. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    I know most reviewers simply aren't allowed the length of time I am to spend on a game, but this isn't a game that you can review well on one playthrough. Both a major weakness (the problem in balance and tutorial) and major awesomeness (the depth of difference in Act II and III based on the choices you made and the way you don't really know the full plot unless you play it through twice) were only apparent on a second playthrough.
     
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  18. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

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    The awesomeness of intimidation/Axii/persuasion aside (a pretty pointless mechanic as implemented in the game afaic) what you've wrote has nothing to do with the examples mentioned. Save Triss or not is one of the big choices (which lead to mutual exclusive content), the rest are flavor. Well done, especially giving Iorveth the sword or not but flavor nontheless.
     
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  19. markec Twitterbot Patron

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    Wait are you actually trying to have a serious discussion here about the c&c comparison of TW2 and DA2?

    Because I think its pretty much silly and pointless to waste time on it.
     
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  20. Commissar Draco Codexia Comrade Colonel Commissar Patron

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    Biggest Choice in DA2 after backing the mages (or templars) entire game you had to kill first mages then templars OR first templars than mages? :o How it's similar to TW2? Two different games after the end of first chapter which branch to four mayor choices in third, with all mayor NPCs dead or alive acording to your choices and political scene reshaped in four kingdoms. How it's similar with DA2 where you started as "champion of Hicksville" and was railoraded by gay dwarf's fable all the way? :M
     
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  21. commie The Last Marxist Patron

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    Good review BN, nailed it I feel.
     
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  22. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    What? Giving Iorveth the sword completely changes what happens in town, and the specific available side-quest there for the remainder of Act I. Allow the law or mob lynching? Impacts how the main quest develops later on. Of all the examples he listed, only the save elves/go after dickhead is a flavor one, and it's a pretty well-written one (even if it comes out of nowhere).

    Seriously, VoD, why are you being so obtuse? What, exactly, is your point? That the originally listed kill/don't kill choices aren't necessarily great examples? Well...big whoop?
     
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  23. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

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    Yes, that was my initial point. Should have been clear enough.

    As for giving the sword to Iorveth or not - you're wrong. First, the decision impacts only whether a progrom breaks out or not. It doesn't matter if you choose to save some insignificant NPCs or decide to just stand and watch (why would you even do that - for teh lulz?) You're soon leaving town to never return, so it doesn't matter. That's flavor. Well done flavor, better than you're typically Bio flavor choices, because the game succeeds at showing you that you're choice had a visible effect but it's flavor nontheless. Second, whether you gave the sword to Iorveth or not, this decision doesn't prevent you from making the actual significant choice either way, to go to the lair of the elves or to go to Roche. This is the only choice that matters and it has an effect on the rest of the quests in Chapter 1 (and 2), what you did previously with the sword doesn't matter at all.
     
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  24. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    And do you see what an insignificant point it is to make? Especially when you try to stretch it into "this game is just like Dragon Age II!"

    No it isn't, not by any definition of flavor I know. If you knock him out, the dialog of Triss is different (like, with a different person), and you have a different sidequest (finding the madam instead of saving the minorities).

    Unlocking one side quest and closing another isn't a huge impact. But it is something. When we say flavor, we mean a few lines of dialog to recognize I made a choice and nothing else. A change in sidequests, different dialog and the town being in a different state is - by definition - more than flavor.

    The side with Roche/Iorveth quest (and leaving with them) is the final quest of Act I, btw, it doesn't impact anything in Act I, but determines your main quest path for Act II and III.

    It'd be kind of suck if a time event would lock you into a path not just for the remainder of Act I, but Act II and III as well.
     
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  25. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    To be fair - the choice determines how you get to the city when siding with Iorveth - you can feign his capture and get with him through town if he hadn't been taken prisoner before that.

    I understand that you want the choices to be more, well, impacting, branching out into huge tree-tops. That wasn't exactly possible with this quantity of story in the game, especially in the form VD advocates. Still, I too feel there could have been more of it.

    On the other hand, if you think about it, how many other RPGs had done C&C better than TW2 with its level of contextualisation?
     
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