After playing both games (spoilers)

Posted by dantey (259 posts) -

I played the first Witcher back when it came out and loved it. I found it great and interesting to play with a compelling story. So I was excited when I got to play the second game. Now, that I have finished it, I feel a bit off. 
You see, for me, the most memorable thing of the first game was its story. Especially the part, when you had to choose: Humans or Elves. I chose the Elves. That choice was somewhere in the middle of the game, more leaning to the second half of the game. By that time you got to know both sides very well. What do they stand for, what are their goals and nature. The game succeeded in telling a story about racial tension and how, with every day, that conflict grew bigger. And Gerald himself was not willing to take part in it, but he got dragged in it and had to make a choice. That choice felt full of impact since the player had to decide the faith of lots of people. Of-course, it later grew into saving the world form a mad templar, but at the time of the choice, it was all about the inner conflict of that land and what role you would take in it. Though the future was not clear, at-least you knew what your choice means.

With that in mind, the big choice in the sequel is not that grand or great. At-least it felt like it for me. When Triss is kidnapped and I had to choose with whom I will go and find her, Iorweth or Roche, I did not feel like I knew what I was choosing. it was apparent, that there was more than saving Triss, but what? The racial conflict was not at the center anymore, since the story was about power in the region. But, at the end of chapter one, your goals were to find the King-slayer and Triss. So there was no real difference between those two. I chose Iorwith, because he spoke about Saskia and her goal to unite everyone. That was something I could get behind, but what would happen, if I had chosen Roche was not apparent to me. Now, after looking it up on the internet, I know, that I would spend the whole second chapter in the Kings camp, but I just think, that the game did a poor job in telling me about the differences when choosing one or another. I was left there to take a blind guess, since no one could be really trusted that early into the game.

And that is my biggest problem with it it that it was to early. If the player could know both of them better by talking with them more and taking quest for/with them, then it would add more weight to the decision, since you would spoil the relationship with one of them. But, most of the quest you take do not involve directly them, and, while you can get a feel for what kind of people these both men are, you don't really know them. For a game, which world is dark and full of betrayal, making a player choose a partner with too little information is a flaw.

Then there are all the loose ends with some of the characters. What happened with Iorwith, when I was searching for Triss in chapter three. Or what happened with Philippa after her eyes got burned out and I left her in the dungeon. Or with the town Flotsam and its ruler? Or Saskia? Or Roche? Or Sheala? While I did feel like a peace in a bigger puzzle, the story wasn't tightly raped up as in the first game. To many questions felt unanswered. And the romance side of the game felt a bit weak.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed the game. I like the setting, the humor (the joke about lesbian magic still cracks me up), the mature tone of the game. It explores a lot of gray areas, and doesn't shy away from the themes it talks about. It is just the story felt somewhat...odd.    

#1 Posted by dantey (259 posts) -

I played the first Witcher back when it came out and loved it. I found it great and interesting to play with a compelling story. So I was excited when I got to play the second game. Now, that I have finished it, I feel a bit off. 
You see, for me, the most memorable thing of the first game was its story. Especially the part, when you had to choose: Humans or Elves. I chose the Elves. That choice was somewhere in the middle of the game, more leaning to the second half of the game. By that time you got to know both sides very well. What do they stand for, what are their goals and nature. The game succeeded in telling a story about racial tension and how, with every day, that conflict grew bigger. And Gerald himself was not willing to take part in it, but he got dragged in it and had to make a choice. That choice felt full of impact since the player had to decide the faith of lots of people. Of-course, it later grew into saving the world form a mad templar, but at the time of the choice, it was all about the inner conflict of that land and what role you would take in it. Though the future was not clear, at-least you knew what your choice means.

With that in mind, the big choice in the sequel is not that grand or great. At-least it felt like it for me. When Triss is kidnapped and I had to choose with whom I will go and find her, Iorweth or Roche, I did not feel like I knew what I was choosing. it was apparent, that there was more than saving Triss, but what? The racial conflict was not at the center anymore, since the story was about power in the region. But, at the end of chapter one, your goals were to find the King-slayer and Triss. So there was no real difference between those two. I chose Iorwith, because he spoke about Saskia and her goal to unite everyone. That was something I could get behind, but what would happen, if I had chosen Roche was not apparent to me. Now, after looking it up on the internet, I know, that I would spend the whole second chapter in the Kings camp, but I just think, that the game did a poor job in telling me about the differences when choosing one or another. I was left there to take a blind guess, since no one could be really trusted that early into the game.

And that is my biggest problem with it it that it was to early. If the player could know both of them better by talking with them more and taking quest for/with them, then it would add more weight to the decision, since you would spoil the relationship with one of them. But, most of the quest you take do not involve directly them, and, while you can get a feel for what kind of people these both men are, you don't really know them. For a game, which world is dark and full of betrayal, making a player choose a partner with too little information is a flaw.

Then there are all the loose ends with some of the characters. What happened with Iorwith, when I was searching for Triss in chapter three. Or what happened with Philippa after her eyes got burned out and I left her in the dungeon. Or with the town Flotsam and its ruler? Or Saskia? Or Roche? Or Sheala? While I did feel like a peace in a bigger puzzle, the story wasn't tightly raped up as in the first game. To many questions felt unanswered. And the romance side of the game felt a bit weak.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed the game. I like the setting, the humor (the joke about lesbian magic still cracks me up), the mature tone of the game. It explores a lot of gray areas, and doesn't shy away from the themes it talks about. It is just the story felt somewhat...odd.    

#2 Posted by TatsurouXIII (652 posts) -

you'll find out in the expansion sets, and the next game.

#3 Posted by Rhaknar (5939 posts) -

the game deffinately felt rushed in the third act. I want a wild hunt expansion, or at least a sequel sooner than 4 years >_>

#4 Posted by dantey (259 posts) -
@OracleXIII: If that will be the case, then that will be lame.
#5 Posted by TatsurouXIII (652 posts) -
@dantey: yeah it's not the greatest thing to do but I heard people from CD Projekt saying they want to make a lot more money this time.
#6 Posted by zungerman090 (311 posts) -
@dantey: I think that the developers actually wanted to portray the world realistically. In real life, you don't always know all the facts, and people are less likely to tell you everything about them after meeting you just once. As for the ending....they are just evil and want to keep you in suspense
#7 Posted by dantey (259 posts) -
@OracleXIII: But I think the original sold more than a million copies. For an European RPG that is a lot.
#8 Edited by dantey (259 posts) -
@zungerman090: I get it. That is way I wanted that they gave more time. Then the characters would, more likely, open up.
#9 Posted by Ivos (79 posts) -
@dantey:
@dantey said:

Then there are all the loose ends with some of the characters. What happened with Iorwith, when I was searching for Triss in chapter three. Or what happened with Philippa after her eyes got burned out and I left her in the dungeon. Or with the town Flotsam and its ruler? Or Saskia? Or Roche? Or Sheala? While I did feel like a peace in a bigger puzzle, the story wasn't tightly raped up as in the first game.

 If you play the game again and make different choices, you'll find out what happened to all those questions you posed. The game branches quite a bit, choosing one thing will lead you to miss out on another.
#10 Posted by Doctorchimp (4055 posts) -

They definitely made this game so that way different choices have very different playthroughs. Couple that along with difficulty settings and different paths for Geralt when you level up the game is actually pretty beefy.

It definitely felt like it had a lackluster ending though, which I'm sure they're going to push out some big expansions which I can't wait for.

#11 Posted by TatsurouXIII (652 posts) -
@dantey said:
@OracleXIII: But I think the original sold more than a million copies. For an European RPG that is a lot.
I know, however this time I think their goal is to reach the numbers of an American bestseller. 
#12 Posted by dantey (259 posts) -
@OracleXIII: I doubt it. Games like Mass Effect sell around 2 million copies. And that is a multi-platform title from one of the biggest publisher in the business.
#13 Posted by dantey (259 posts) -
@Ivos: @Doctorchimp: That is great, that the choices can lead to very different experiences, but even if I played it second time, I doubt I will get all the answers. Like, at the end I let Saskia live and left her in dragon form in the forest. Then I talked to Letho and that is it. What happened to Saskia after that? Who knows? Or did Iorweth heal his wound after being attacked by the locals? I liked how the first game gave a little video to explain stuff like that, but there was no such thing at the end of this game.
#14 Posted by zungerman090 (311 posts) -
@dantey: Hopefully we will get an epilogue video later on as a DLC. It is rather upsetting that we didn't get it though. Still, all of this branching makes you want to replay it, right? 
#15 Edited by dantey (259 posts) -
@zungerman090: Yeah, kind of. I want to see the second chapter with Roche.
#16 Posted by zungerman090 (311 posts) -
@dantey: Why did you choose Iorveth anyways? He seems like an arrogant douche who also tried to kill you
#17 Posted by Ivos (79 posts) -
@dantey: For both those examples, there's more to it than what you got, depending on what you chose to do, more or less covering what you would like to represent the "after years" so to speak.
And, just a theory, but I think either an expansion or the next game will pick up right where this one left off, so closing the book on all loose ends would make for a flat beginning for that game.
#18 Posted by dantey (259 posts) -
@zungerman090: But there is only one time you gave to choose. So, at the end of chapter one I chose him.
@Ivos: More? How? Both of those things happened at the end of the game. And maybe you are right about that expansion, but, considering that the first game told everything in itself, then I see as a bad move on their behave.
#19 Posted by Ivos (79 posts) -
@dantey: There are several points in chapter 2 and 3 (mostly 3 in this case) where you are given choices, and these quite significantly (in contrast to other games) change how things play out towards the end of the game. Say you did choice B and got what you got, had you chosen choice A, you would have seen something else and had your quest changed to take you someplace else before the wrap up.
#20 Posted by dantey (259 posts) -
@Ivos: Yeah, but at that point it will be a bit different story, since different choices have been made. I want answers for my story.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.