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Just bought this off Steam and started playing. Seem to be relaitvely popular game on the forums, but oddly, no threads about it.
So, Sex Cards, eh?
Editted to add: Just finished Act 1, and enjoying it so far. Reminds me distinctly of Baldur's Gate more than Dragon Age, though the acting is occasionally atrocious — the game seems to have a monopoly on dull surpirse. Did it seem like a lot of material from Act 1 was removed at a late stage of the game to anyone else? The thing with the voodoo doll, or the strange meat seller.
edited 28th Dec '10 10:49:01 PM by Nicknacks
I am rather fond of Witcher. It has its faults (like combat system, which began to bore me very quickly, or rather awkward English voice acting), but it is still genuinely good RPG and offers nice alternative to Bioware/Obsidian and Bethesda style RP Gs.
If you dont like English voices (and no surprise there, IMHO), you can try to switch to polish voice acting with english subtitles. The Witcher was made by polish studios, so the Polish V As are a noticeably better (they sound alive, at least...).
Also remember that the Witcher is set in the same world as series of books by Andrzej Sapkowski and is more or less continuation of them. While you donít need to read them to play the game (although, again initially the game was more or less meant only to fans of the books, success of the game surprised the creator themselves.), there is a lot of references, homages and shout outs to the events in the books, which may seem as orphaned plots/plot points to someone who did not follow them.
edited 29th Dec '10 9:56:54 AM by Drakovicz
I enjoyed the original a lot, but strangely never had the urge to re-play it, even after they released a truly massive patch that gave the game more than 4 generic 3D character models. I guess the clicky combat gameplay bored me.
I thought that the sex cards thing was cute and silly. Honestly it reminded me more of the compendiums of old games where you only get a monster in your list after you've killed it (i.e. after it would have been useful). We Americans are such prudes about sexual issues; the most offensive thing in a game about Body Horror-ific monsters that slaughter innocent people is nudity and consentual sex.
If I'm not too busy with Fallout New Vegas or Dragon Age 2, I might check out The Witcher 2.
PC exclusive Drac. For now, at least.
I've read a few articles about the way that female characters are treateds in this game, and none of them have been very complimentary; though the men don't come across very well either. There's an awful lot of rape/attempted rape in the first act alone, and in all cases the men feature as agressors and the women as the agressed, who would be unable to succesfully escape singlehandedly — though arguably that's an RPG thing. The hero's always the one that has to step in and right wrongs, or act as the local chapter of Fedex, or whatever.
Re: dummied out content. I was more referring to the stuff revolving around Abigail's mysterious voodoo doll, or the strange meat seller, stuff that gets hinted at but never goes anywhere. I get the feeling that the climax to Act One could have originally been a little more complicated, something more akin to the trial set piece in Neverwinter Nights 2.
edited 29th Dec '10 1:14:34 PM by Nicknacks
WUE: Yeah, I figured. Played the first one on PC. Will see if my machine can run this one.
I'm finding Act 2 to be much more interesting. Swamps are zerg rush territory at night, though. Got completely... heh... swamped looking for Berengar, so I'm going to go back and do that later.
Game does a brilliant atmosphere. Music's great, visuals are nice, as are the atmospheric effects. The city even feels like it's the right size for a city. I even found a random dungeon in the sewers, which was cool. Total maze, though. That's where I am now.
Damn is dice poker impossible to win without massive save scumming. Is there a technique to this I'm missing?
You're apparently just shit outta luck. I managed to win quite often (as opposed to gambling in Fallout New Vegas...).
The dice quests seem to be bugged anyway. I seem to have sequence broken them somehow and now I can't continue. Whoops!
I'm still running around the swamps trying to get the golem to reactivate. Though I did discover that Raymond is Azaar. Well played game, well played. I tried confronting him about it, but the game smashed me. Damn.
Edit: I've just started Act 3. That entire last mission running through the monster filled swamps in the middle of a torrential rainstorm was damn epic. Fighting a damn golem, barely being able to see three feet in front of your face, and then the final fight against Azard and The Professor was damn epic. Especially since I blundered into the golem graveyard during that first fight. I thought I'd accidentally activated more of them!
I guess it's like so many Bioware games where the first few hours aren't too engaging, but once the tutorial's over the entire thing starts to gain traction.
Onto Act Three!
edited 4th Jan '11 3:58:36 AM by Nicknacks
I finally dled the witcher (15gb....god damn) and now I'm running into huge technical issues here. Basically when I start it up the game first tries installing Direct X except during the installation my laptop completely freezes and then everything screws up and I have to force shut down. My laptop can run the game, that much I know, but I can't seem to get around this issue. I've tried running it as admin, in compatibility mode for Windows XP. I've even done that Increase User VA fix but that doesn't work either.
It'd probably work on my desktop but as I've said on the dead IJBM thread, steam has become a horrible bitch to me on my desktop and won't let me login (the shitty "Steam cannot connect to the network" error that Valve still hasn't seemed to do a fix for or even address in their troubleshooting page) and I've tried various fixes for that, but that doesn't work either.
Bah. Anyone have any clue?
edited 13th Jan '11 3:11:44 PM by ShadowScythe
-brings the thread back from the Isle of Avallach-
So, I just finished the first game. Thoughts:
The gameplay made me remember of KOTOR. I didn't mind the acting...I heard that the Enhanced Edition (the one I got) fleshes out the dialogues compared to the original but I can't compare since I didn't play the first version. The reduced number of character models troubled me more, however, but I was interested in the story and those things don't usually break my immersion.
I didn't find any orphaned plot point, to be honest. There are some things that are never confirmed but you can try guess the answer. This is my favorite thing about the game: that no one comes and explains the whole plot for you, and these things made me feel like I was part of a world that didn't spin around Geralt. As for the doll,
The guy had a set of armor in his house, if you ask him he reveals that it was from his brother, who died in battle. The same guy gives you a contract to kill Echinopsea in his garden, and if you look in the diary/codex you can see that they are plant creatures that appear where an unpunished crime happened. You also find a dog there, behaving strangely. You also learn that the guy used his brother's money to set up his business, so the conclusion is that he killed his brother (with poison or magic) and that the voodoo doll had to do with that (Abigail helped him)
There are shout-outs to the books but the story doesn't seem incomplete if you didn't read them (I didn't)
Another thing from the game I loved is that your decisions have consequences, and important ones at that. Usually there will be some cutscenes showing you what happened because of your previous actions, but this doesn't occur when you just meet the choice, it happens later, so you can't save-scum trying to see which option is the best (and there are usually no best options).
The whole "hero who fixes everything that is wrong" is not too present in this game, which is interesting: the side-quests are excused because you are a witcher who kills monsters for gold, so it's not that you are going out of your way to help random people, you are winning your bread, and the rest is more or less in your path, and tied to the main plot.
Now, the flaws: the flaws I saw are related to the engine and low budget of the game: [[Understatement there aren't too many character models]], you can't jump, you can loot people's houses without them caring about it, etc. The combat was also rather boring, so I wouldn't recommend playing at a high difficulty so that it doesn't become boring (it also helps to max out the Igni sign, since it's pretty much Game-Breaker)
P.S.: Before someone points out Alvin's "orphaned plot" (game ending spoilers)
The answer is that Jacques de Aldersburg is Alvin, who travelled trough time when he teleported away in Murky Waters. There are several clues, like foreshadowing when Alvin tells you that he almost always gets to play as Grand Master when he plays "kill the elf", Triss remarking that he can travel trough time and space, the old pendant that you find in Jacques at the end (of the same material as the one you give to Alvin) and most importantly that Jacques' speech references some of the things you teach Alvin trough the game, like using his gift to do good (plus several times Jacques mentions that you always tried to teach others and seems to know some things about you that he couldn't normally know). This is why Alvin is not mentioned again and why Jacques seems like a Space Flea From Nowhere when you first meet him
So all in all, this was one of the best RP Gs that I played, even if it was flawed.
edited 5th Feb '12 11:05:24 PM by Anfauglith
Post fixed, sorry for the previous incident (and the double-post )
EDIT: Would be nice to hear other opinions about the game ^^
edited 6th Feb '12 1:00:56 AM by Anfauglith
Only played the second game, I'm afraid.
The Witcher was a fun game. I certainly enjoyed it a lot more than the rather boring, overly actionised and ridiculously cutscene heavy sequel.
The voice acting was quite crappy but it wasn't enough to put me off the general game.
And as someone who didn't read the books I didn't think the game was hard to follow.
Overall, not one of my favourite RP Gs but still a decent romp and far better than the sequel.
It's hard for me to believe that someone who's played the first game would call the sequel "overly actionized"...
The sequel is cutscene heavy, though whether that's good or bad is based on personal preference...
I enjoyed the story within the first game immensely. But I prefer the sequel with regards to enjoying the game itself...
edited 6th Feb '12 4:15:40 AM by Swish
The sequel has terrible menus.
I liked the story to both games. It doesn't treat the viewer like a moron (at least the translation doesn't — I'm sometimes left straining to work out what Geralt is saying, in fact) and it allows the player to fuck up and be punished for it, though only in the second game. I think it draws the dots a little too neatly sometimes, some of the foreshadowing in the first game is awful, but the end result is both twisty and somewhat satisfying. The game fundamentally gets what epic fantasy is about, and is capable of creating some fantastic set-pieces and mining interesting concepts for drama.
I think the setting is terrible. It's bog standard medieval with jarring science-fiction elements — and not just because the world is so devoid of human beings. It's not just that the majority of characters run the vast intellectual gammut from very bad to terrible human being * which is just as ridiculous as turning everyone into sweetness and light. There's dark and then there's stupid, and a Hobbesian state of nature is stupid., it's because it's just plain offensive. Women become sex-objects (have you seen the clothing) and wall flowers, or conniving evil bitches, or distressed damsels. There's an abundance of rape or female abuse — Trish is captured, stripped naked and electrocuted, and Viz is raped by Henslet. It's not that the male characters aren't subjected to torture or pain* they are, but not as much, it's that the game is filled to the brim with machismo and male-centricity that its treatment of women can't come across as anything by offensive. And it's trivialisation of rape-culture disgusting.
And then there's the text's treatment of homosexuality. I don't think anyone's capable of defending the "women are gay for male gaze" scenes or the "Help me! He made me fuck him! Don't kill me for being a bottom!" scene from 2.
It's just indefensible. I'm not saying this kind of thing has no place in games, I'm saying that a perspective shift has to happen. Because right now, the Witcher is pro-hegemonic rape-culture and the most vile thing I've ever had the misfortune to play.* Which is, admittedly, a short list. I tend to stay away from vile games.
The first game was basically an awkward single character RTWP game. You could make a fair number of different character builds and the RPG elements mattered. You couldn't get by on just the starting blank slate. Choices mattered a fair bit. And the control scheme and UI were pretty good.
Come Witcher 2 and the RPG elements are practically nonexistent. I played the game without ever putting a point into the character build. There just wasn't any need. Spamming Quen solves everything. Combat plays out like a really shitty hack n slash, from a hack n slash perspective those controls are awful and unresponsive and the combat itself just isn't particularly good.
Gameplay abused far too many QT Es, and even if you could disable a lot of them, you still had to put up with that crap for fistfights and other nonsense. Aside from that one choice that changes which hub you go to in Act 2, the choices are nonexistant and amount to nothing more than a different character showing up for the exact same purpose. The UI is horrible to the point where it's got to be the first PC exclusive to feel like a half-assed console port. And fuck that arm wrestle minigame.
Finally Witcher 2 throws away a lot of that 'folksy' kind of feeling the first game had in favour of something that feels like a generic Action Fantasy flick. Start the game and BAM DRAGON! ASSASSINS! INTERROGATION! EXPLOSION! AWESOME! It loses pretty much all the interesting elements of the original setting in favour of some stupidly flamboyant and hilariously grimdark approach (like Nick Nacks says there's far too much damn rape in the second game and it's handled in such a juvenile manner) that is far too damn cutscene heavy for its own good.
...Not all of that may have been relevant but I've been meaning to get that off my chest for a while now.
edited 6th Feb '12 5:26:20 AM by ShadowScythe
I played the first game. I liked it, but it alternated between being incredibly well written (for example, Geralt's confrontation with the Reverend at the end of Chapter 1), and horribly crude (who the hell thought that sex cards were a good idea, even if some of Geralt's flirting techniques are hilarious). Still considering buying the sequel though.
The sex cards were pretty funny. I more or less gave up on following the plot once I got to Vizima and just turned Geralt into a man-whore. It's a good thing he's immune to diseases, because whew boy...
Geralt of Rivia - Gotta Shag 'Em All!
edited 6th Feb '12 6:05:05 AM by Talby
I just have to point out one thing: This exact same paragraph applies to the first Witcher game. So using it to remark about how the Witcher 2 is "overly actionized" is crap, imo...
The rape bit is applied to the entire series. Books and games... It's not really a game thing, but the whole universe(or atleast, anyone who ever holds an ounce of "power") hovering being Black and Grey Morality and Black And Black Morality...
As for the rest, YMMV. It all depends on personal preferences. I never did like the slow, time-consuming aspect of the first two acts of the Witcher(Again, I liked the story... Just not the first acts of the game). The fact that everything starts rather quickly in the sequel, and it only really slows down(with regards to what you're supposed to be doing) in the middle of the second chapter, is a plus to me.
edited 6th Feb '12 8:15:40 AM by Swish
I don't dislike the Black and Grey Morality nor I'm offended by the presence of sex (I thought the sex cards were silly and a much more honest approach than the countless ass shots and regular kind of fanservice present in other games), so I guess that's something where your mileage may vary. I also don't mind cutscenes and I enjoy grimdark as long as I care for some characters (I even enjoy what's normally clasified as wangst, but it's not present in the games). It's interesting that you disliked the setting, I loved it and found it quite creative. I don't think the game is like an action flick, because even if there are dragons and assassins and the like there are a lot of political intrigues present, which is strange for a game. Honestly I saw the setting as a sort of very High Fantasy version of A Song Of Ice And Fire.
The cutscenes can become a chore if one is not interested in the story, though.
I think the somewhat bad foreshadowing in the first game comes from translation issues, I played the Enhanced Edition and it was better.
Sorry for the badly organized post I just wake up.
And the witcher 2 must be one of the only games whose trailers actually talk about the story instead of just showing random "badass" scenes.
edited 6th Feb '12 10:13:15 AM by Anfauglith
I love Song Of Ice And Fire... well, I've only read the first book and seen the first season of the show, so I'm probably one of the damn newbs who are guilty of the watering down of Martin's prime product, or something.* Though I don't think the fandom is really like that at all. I'm just a neophyte. [lol]
If the Witcher books are just as bad as the series, then, yeah, that pisses me off.
@Shadow Scythe — I saw the loss of the folksy elements as a successful darkening of the series. They were there — Flotsam and Kedwin (or whatever the dwarf town was called) were both fairly rustic, with a strong layer of rough magic thrown dusted on top — but they were either heavily exploited by local principalities or just completely swallowed up by armies. I thought it was a pretty effective example of show don't tell, explaining why war would be a blight to the countries in an entirely visual way. Probably a truism, but an effective one none-the-less.
The Witcher series was bad? I never saw it, nor read the books. What I liked of the world in the games was that it was creative instead of a normal high fantasy world (unlike the portrayal of Cyrodiil in Oblivion, for example) and that there is a lot of political intrigue tied with the plot, which is hard to find in a game (even if political intrigue is present, games tend to favor a Big Bad with Chosen One to defeat them, and the plot spins around that). As for the "grimdarkness" I think the setting works well with it because it has likeable characters (Your Mileage May Vary on this one) like Zoltan, Siegfried, Toruviel, Dandelion, etc. and these likeable characters sometimes favor questionable causes (like Siegfried and Toruviel) so this makes the choices more meaningful.
As for the second game, it seems to try to be more cinematic (Your Mileage May Vary on if it succeeds or not) I'm actually loving the plot, the graphics (it has some of the best graphics I seen in a game, maybe the best in RP Gs, if only it had a bit less bloom) but what seems to be hit or miss is the amount of cutscenes (often full of dialogue) so it depends on if you feel immersed in the story or not, if you just want to finish the game fast and kill monsters you are going to be annoyed by the sheer number of them. This sequel seems to be better (aside from this cutscene issue, which I actually like) than the first game in about everything (characters, combat, etc) the only worse thing is the inventory (not worse than Skyrim's, but since it was made for PC they could have made it work better) and maybe the looting: thing is, there is no crosshair, and the game has graphics so good that lootable things are blended in the environment in a way that it can be hard to find chests, herbs and such.
I will keep the opinions flowing as I advance more in the storyline, and will try to avoid Gushing About Shows You Like.
As for the less folksy elements, I think it works well with the narrative, in the first game you are usually trying to avoid conflict, but after defeating Jacques and saving King Foltest at the end of 1 you are sucked into all the political play of the nobles and other powerful people.
And the choicemaking is good, I don't see it inferior to let's say, Mass Effect. I think the problem with the games is that they are very hit or miss; it absorbed me more than Skyrim did, but I can see why people would not care about the characters or plot.
Oh, and the rape-culture: I don't think it trivializes it. Most characters talk about it like it's nothing because of the setting of the game. For me, I felt like that had a bigger impact than characters constantly dropping anvils about how bad rape is (because come on, everyone knows how abominable a crime it is). The fact that a character in the first game (for example) raped a woman and got away with it because he was the captain of the guards hits harder than any possible Author Tract-y messages. All in all, I loved the rampant misogyny the characters show, in one hand it makes the setting darker and more "realistic" and in the other hand I feel that a work like that is more critic than others (because it works like a dark mirror of reality or things that happened/happen in reality). It made me remember of learning that the Umbers still use the "Lord's Right" in A Song Of Ice And Fire. I dislike when someone starts criticizing something because of veiled accusations of racism/misogyny/etc.
For example, Cerebus is misogynist because it is Author Tract-y about it. But in other works, sometimes it seems people are oversensitive and demand a narrator to appear and start blabbling about how wrong X is, or they will flag said work as X-apologist. Sometimes the critic is implicit, or the intent is making you reflect on it yourself, which is better than giving you a pre-made speech.
edited 6th Feb '12 4:10:23 PM by Anfauglith
I can't really agree with that. You can't spam quen in the first game cause it's pretty crap and takes ages before you actually get it. You can spam igni but even then igni isn't particularly good until you commit to putting points into it. I'll admit that Witcher 1 also had some clunky hack n slash elements (which I hated so I switched to isometric mode and played the game like a RTWP game- a choice that made the game so much better) but you weren't all powerful off the bat.
In Witcher 2 I didn't need to put points into the character system- it was more like an easy mode for a game already rendered easy by just spamming quen (honestly I felt like I was playing a cover based shooter with quen as my chest high wall). To me that made me feel the game was just an action game with some RPG elements while the original was more of an action RPG (if you played it in that mode) because the RPG elements were simply not essential to the gameplay in that they could be played without it. The same couldn't be said for Witcher 1.
Maybe....I think the problem is that I played Witcher 2 after an utterly disappointing playthrough of Dragon Age 2. I saw lots of people who hated DA 2 start praising Witcher 2.
And once I got over the absolutely amazing graphics...all I saw was the same dumbing down of the character system in favour of garnering the action crowd, stupidly messed up UI, non-choices and overly cinematic and 'dark' storyline (the dark fantasy elements worked for me in Witcher 1 but I disliked how it was turned up to a rather over the top level in Witcher 2). Maybe it was just my hatred of DA 2 tainting my experience of Witcher 2.
I actually thought that it was like an easier version of a game like Demon's Souls rather than a cover-based action game. I liked that they tried to make it more realistic so sword damage is high and it's based around Deadly Dodging, the problem is that Quen breaks with this, so yes, it's a flaw, but how bad this flaw is depends on each person (I chose not to exploit Quen much, like I chose not to exploit smithing in Skyrim).
I doubt I'm someone with a priced opinion however, because I don't care much about "RPG elements" (so it would be easy to brand me as No True Scotsman) despite being a fan or RP Gs: I prefer RP Gs over other games not because of stats and attributes and whatever but because RP Gs usually have better storylines and are more focused on the plots. If I have to learn all the numbers (like in Baldur's Gate) I will do it and I won't be bored, but it's not what I look forward to, so when other people see dumbing down, I don't care or sometimes I feel like it's an improvement (I totally prefer TW 2 combat over the first one's)
Add to this that I actually like Darker and Edgier and/or Grimdark (if it's done well, as with everything else) so yes I doubt my opinion is too popular (since Dragon Age 2 a lot of people are opposing Darker and Edgier altogether)
edited 6th Feb '12 4:27:22 PM by Anfauglith
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