#7473852, By GreatBlackthorn The Witcher 2

  • GreatBlackthorn 17 May 2011 22:45:46 30 posts
    Seen 22 hours ago
    Registered 5 years ago
    Been playing all day. Initially I felt a little underwhelmed. It's all very pretty, and the story's definitely off to a better start, but the prologue is very linear and there's a TERRIBLE stealth section. But once you reach the first town, Flotsam, I soon fell in love. Things open up in a big way; you're given a whole, vibrant town and a huge forest to explore. And this is an actual fucking forest, not a path with trees lining it. You get lost, ambushed, and constantly amazed by what is easily the most dense foliage I've ever seen. This is Crysis-topping gorgeous. Not since Oblivion have I been so content to wander around aimlessly, soaking in the atmosphere and exploring.

    Combat takes a lot of getting used to, but once you've got it down it's great fun. Demon's Souls is a definite point of comparison, as others have said. It's all about managing your vigour bar (which the game does a poor job explaining), which pools your magic AND your block, so be careful. Mixing up magic, sword slashes and bombs along with plenty of rolling around is the way to victory, and once you train yourself in the new way of thinking it's miles ahead of the first game. It's very action-based, so if you're used to relying on your characters combat proficiency rather than your own, it'll take a lot of adjustment and you may not like it all.

    It's still fairly glitchy, though no crashes or game-breaking moments. Just little bits of oddness that remind you it's a rendered world. Performance is mostly fine, dipping to chunky levels only in very crowded areas and during heavy streaming. This is with a 460GTX and a 3.0Ghz Q6600, if you're curious. Mostly set to Ultra, a few settings on high.

    Anyone tempted to buy, I definitely recommend it. It probably won't grab you immediately. The prologue seems to miss the aspects of The Witcher that is most appealing; hunting monsters in expansive, beautiful terrain. And there's little explanation of how combat works, meaning a lot of trail-and-error at the start. But now I'm totally absorbed by it. Been playing for more hours than I want to think about and I had to tear myself away. So far I'm very much satisfied.
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