I was browsing through the interwebs today and came across a Witcher 2 review that not only coincided with my own take on the game, but parts of it were definitely harder on the game than I ever thought to be. I wanted to share it with you guys to give my review some perspective and add a few additional thoughts to the mix as well.
One of the first things you’ll notice about this review is it talks about more than just combat. My review focused almost exclusively on combat because it’s large portion of the game. What I didn’t bother mentioning were some of the more annoying aspects to the game that the review goes out of its way to really hammer out.
Just traveling throughout the world in Witcher 2 is an incredibly tedious and time consuming experience. As the review mentioned, many of the quests have no markers, and it’s up to you to blindly stumble onto them. The game also lacks any type of fast travel system whether it’s a portal, accelerated run speed, a horse, etc. This means that any type travel is an instant downer because it takes so long. In the first Witcher I felt like I spent the majority of the game in the loading screen. In Witcher 2 I spend more time traveling than anything else by a long shot.
Traveling is compounded by the difficulties Geralt faces both going through doors and searching corpses. Doors are often unable to be opened up when you’re directly in front of them which forces you to walk backwards, then back up to the door so you can open it. Also, when a NPC opens a door, you can’t just walk through it, you have to wait for it to close so you can open it back up and go through it again.
When forced to choose the lesser of two evils, slaying monsters or looting the corpses, the choice isn’t an easy one. Once again, the review coincides with my ideas on how tedious and simple combat is. It results in a huge difficulty spike early on when you lack the gear to make up for your pitiful abilities, non-existent escape routes, and the enemies propensity to juggle the ever loving shit out of you.
Once you do manage to take the beasties down, collecting your hard-earned loot is no simple task. First, you have use your medallion which has a cooldown of ~10 seconds to highlight the goods. Then, with pin-point precision you have to stand right over it in order to have a chance at picking it up. Just a hair away and it might as well not exist.
Overall, I’m left with the impression that the Witcher 2 is a great game that never came to fruition. It fights you every step of the way even though you want nothing more than to sit down and enjoy it. At it’s best it’s an enjoyable romp, (in more ways than one), which is why it’s so unfortunate that the Witcher 2 is rarely in peak form.