The Witcher II : the slaughtering continues

Contains spoilers?

Nope/ Slightly / Some of them / Get out of here!

The 2n title with the charismatic Geralt of Rivia as a protagonist brought some improvements respect to the previous one and achieved to gain a decent fame. However, not many players managed to play it after starting by the The Witcher 3, and that’s why I did it the optimal way: playing the whole franchise in order. For a detailed review of the first game of the saga, you can follow this link:

The Witcher I : Geralt’s first contact

Being straight, it’s important to tell that in many aspects this title improved notoriously: fighting becomes smoother, intuitive, and so does the game’s flow. There’s a drastic change in the graphics content, with a refined world with beautiful lights, environments and characters. I have no problem in admitting it’s easy to understand why the game became so popular before the third one emerged and triumphed.

Of course there are some polished aspects, but the map isn’t one. Shame to say in the 1st title it was way more useful than here, where its function is almost null. It helps to locate more or less blacksmiths and merchants, but nothing more. It’s uncomfortable to see as a tool, and looks slightly childish, like ready to make an appearance in a Kung Fu Panda film explaining the story of the realm. Sadly, didn’t fit in this game. I’ve read a lot of critics about this feature before landing my hand on it, and I can confirm they weren’t mere overstatements.

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These particular cinematic scenes are still there, and look amazing

Despite of having a terrible map, the zones it represents are amazing: every town is alive, with the corresponding inhabitants and monsters. Peasants don’t give a damn about anything except having some gold in the purse and something to eat, while dangerous creatures roam around the forest. In the top status, generals and nobles are constantly planning to fight with the elves, whose bows are always ready to murder men. The Witcher 2 takes a lot of politics on the table, making the player question the purpose of every action. Mixed with the Geralt’s desire of being accepted as a human, brings a lot of discussion and rollercoaster feelings. Ironically, in the game it’s easier to kill someone rather than agreeing with formal argumentation. Should lit a light, right?

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About questing, I found myself bored of them after some hours. I’m usually that obsessed player who finishes every single side quest in RPG games, but not in this case. On the half of the game I started rushing it a bit, and when I realized the credits were playing. I was expecting at least five chapters like in The Witcher 1, but in this scenario it was shorter. Not to blame it: the game is much better than the previous one. Can’t surpass the third one, but it’s fine enough.

The combat goes terribly easy when enemies get pushed by Geralt’s fast attack. The difficulty came when facing multiple opponents or giant creatures, but if we put an eye on the final boss for a major example we’ll see how a single button on the controller it’s enough  to put him down. I’m pretty sure that was the easiest final boss I faced in a videogame. Also, when it was looting time I had some minor issues due to playing with a controller: it’s impossible to pick a single object when gathering, so you have to take everything. That impacts on being overloaded soon, and having to visit NPCs to get rid of some stuff.

Combat got smoother at the cost of ease

Despite of the weight of the pros and the contras, I enjoyed The Witcher 2. It made me question a lot of things and if what I was doing was the correct or just the path of unleashing my sword. I sided with the elves because it looked like the “purer” ending at my eyes, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t spend time with my human comrades, playing some dice poker and losing my orens in the local inn. I love how in a world infested with monsters most of the population only cares about drinking and betting money, while in the shadows wars and destruction plans are being setting up, day and night. The forest’s creatures aren’t the worst enemies in this world.

 

 

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