So I’ve been doing another playthrough this time siding with Iorveth, which is basically siding with the Scoia’tael and is pretty cool because I identify more with them. For like reasons and things as well as stuff. Anyways, I have been trying out the dark mode difficulty which makes the game a bit more difficult and challenging but not too frustrating. Dark mode gives you plans for crafting a set of gear and weapons that give you a special ability in combat but adds a dark filter and creepy whispering when you use them. Its pretty cool at first, the dark filter thing, but gets pretty annoying later.
I’ve gotten to about the middle of act 3 and its been pretty fun so far. The choices you make are challenging and really give you the opportunity tell your own story through Geralt with some interesting consequences.
RPG’s usually boil down to the quality of the story and the choices you can make to shape that story, and so far The Witcher 2 has done that the best of any RPG I’ve played so far.
The combat is fun and challenging, perhaps a bit difficult to learn at first but once you get the basics down its pretty good.
Crafting your own potions/gear/bombs/traps is pretty nice as well, its all useful even if you don’t put any of your talent points into alchemy.
The Talent points really lets you tailor Geralt to what ever you would envision him as. I’ve gone with the standard for Witchers, swordsmanship and a bit of sorcery. Its pretty satisfying to see it come together. The 3 Talent trees are Swordsmanship, Magic, and Alchemy.
The Characters are all very interesting with their own quirks and views. I really liked the comradeship you develop with them.
I have to say that the romance side of things is lacking compared to Bioware games like Mass Effect 1-3 and Dragon Age 1-2. Though, CD Projekt Red does not hold anything back on that front unlike the rather timid in comparison love scenes Bioware titles.
I like the voice acting as well, though Bioware games probably get the edge here as well.
The world and lore are hands down a lot more interesting and compelling. In the Witcher the world is pretty rough and gritty, the world is grey and not at all black and white. Leaders span the gamut of likeable to abhorrent, and are satisfying to deal with either.
In my mind, The Witcher games are on equal footing with all of the Bioware games, meaning I like both and can appreciate either. However, it must be noted that CD Projekt Red has only released 2 games compared to Bioware which has at least 9 good games I’ve played. That being Mass Effect 1 – 3, Dragon Age: Origins + Awakenings, Neverwinter Nights + Shadows of the Undrentide + Hordes of the Underdark, Knights of the Old Republic. With Dragon Age 2 being merely a decent game. ME3’s ending being a huge let down (pre extended cut), the pretentious way they handled the ending criticism, their DLC practices, and DA2 being a disappointment for so many (include me in that but that does not make it a bad game.) All have contributed to the mighty Bioware falling in the eyes of many, and thus a developer like CD Projekt Red (with only 2 games under their belt) can be on the same level as Bioware, in my opinion of course. I speak for no one but myself in that statement. Bioware learned it is easy to lose a reputation and how difficult it is to rebuild one, although from the way they are releasing info on DA:I it seems they are up to challenge to rebuild.
I plan to get this playthrough of the Witcher 2 finished and probably do another playthrough of DA2 to experience elements of the story I missed in my original playthrough because I’m loathe to only play a game only once experiencing only one path through a game when there is multiple paths. Especially with DA:I being on the horizon.