Do I need to play the first to get the most out The Witcher 2?

#1 Posted by JTB123 (1046 posts) -

Hearing the guys talk about the combat really got my interest up for this game, the first game is really cheap on Steam. Is it essential to play the first Witcher before going into the second, anyone here that has gone straight to TW2 and feel lost with regards to story or characters?

Thanks.

#2 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Nope. The combat has been streamlined. And the new game gives you a nice lesson on how to fight. There is some talking about the first game but nothing that will make you enjoy the game less. You have a log that records who you meet with info about them. 

#3 Edited by TentPole (1858 posts) -

Absolutely not, but it is an awesome game to play regardless.

#4 Posted by Tennmuerti (8073 posts) -

It's not essential no.
But you will get more out of it if you do.
You will definately know more about the world the lore and Witcher 2 will not be as overwhelming with new information.
 
Combat is almost completely different in the 2 games.

#5 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5816 posts) -

You could do what I'm doing and read the books instead of playing the first game.

#6 Posted by Jrinswand (1704 posts) -

I haven't played The Witcher 2, but I played the first Witcher game last year and it was fucking great. One of the best RPGs I've played in a while.

#7 Posted by frankfartmouth (1016 posts) -

Not at all. In fact, their narratives aren't much related. You'll miss out on a little backstory, but they clearly intended the 2nd one to be able to stand on its own.

#8 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4717 posts) -

I'd recommend it if you can. It's not essential considering there is a canon ending/series of events in The Witcher, but if you develop those relationships yourself, seeing the old friends again adds more weight to the proceedings. I got up to a public execution before my computer shat itself on The Witcher 2, but I can say that it was great to see everyone again.

#9 Edited by BoOzak (907 posts) -

@Oldirtybearon said:

I'd recommend it if you can. It's not essential considering there is a canon ending/series of events in The Witcher, but if you develop those relationships yourself, seeing the old friends again adds more weight to the proceedings. I got up to a public execution before my computer shat itself on The Witcher 2, but I can say that it was great to see everyone again.

Going threw the game again, and it's slightly better optimized now. If your computer's as old as mine I doubt you'll be able to play on high/ultra but it'll definately run alot smoother.

It doesnt matter whether or not you play the first game, if you've got the time it's worth playing before the second, but both games work well on their own. If you want some extra context without committing 60 or so hours just read the books.

#10 Posted by jakob187 (21663 posts) -

No, you don't.

However, I will point out that GOG.com has the first Witcher on sale for PC for $4.99. Unless you have a computer that is about five gens old that wouldn't run it well even at low settings, there's almost zero reason to NOT buy it and play it.

#11 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4717 posts) -

@BoOzak said:

@Oldirtybearon said:

I'd recommend it if you can. It's not essential considering there is a canon ending/series of events in The Witcher, but if you develop those relationships yourself, seeing the old friends again adds more weight to the proceedings. I got up to a public execution before my computer shat itself on The Witcher 2, but I can say that it was great to see everyone again.

Going threw the game again, and it's slightly better optimized now. If your computer's as old as mine I doubt you'll be able to play on high/ultra but it'll definately run alot smoother.

It doesnt matter whether or not you play the first game, if you've got the time it's worth playing before the second, but both games work well on their own. If you want some extra context without committing 60 or so hours just read the books.

I made the conscious decision to wait for the 360 version. I'm picking it up tomorrow, and it should be a great time to really sink my teeth back into the Northern Kingdoms.

#12 Posted by DBHErazor (33 posts) -

No, but you really should play the first one. Its perhaps not as good as the 2nd one but its still a great game and it provides alot of background for when u play the 2nd one

#13 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

If you really want the best possible experience, then yes. And import the save. It may not be much, but if you love the little details like I do, then it's more than worth it.

#14 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

Wow I can't believe you guys. Not only does the first game play a huge role in the story (naturally) and gets you acquainted with Triss, Dandelion, Zoltan and the late king (which makes his death in 2 more hard-hitting), but it also introduces you to the magic signs, alchemy, swords and enemy types that carry over to the sequel. Introduces you to the various environments that help you create a background for jumping into 2.
Importing the beaten save also gives you the Raven Armor, Aerondight sword and a bunch of money from the get go...  
 
Yes, play the first game if you have a PC that can run it because otherwise you'll start Witcher 2 with a bunch of strangers and a king you've never seen before that dies 5 minutes in. 
 
@The_Laughing_Man said:

Nope. The combat has been streamlined. And the new game gives you a nice lesson on how to fight. There is some talking about the first game but nothing that will make you enjoy the game less. You have a log that records who you meet with info about them. 
Your PC can't run The Witcher can it? I wonder how you feel confident telling someone not to play a game you didn't play.
#15 Posted by Animasta (14673 posts) -

witcher 1 has really boring combat, and the prologue and chapter 1 and parts of chapter 2 are really boring. It gets better eventually, but you may just want to read about what happens in it.

#16 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@AhmadMetallic said:

Wow I can't believe you guys. Not only does the first game play a huge role in the story (naturally) and gets you acquainted with Triss, Dandelion, Zoltan and the late king (which makes his death in 2 more hard-hitting), but it also introduces you to the magic signs, alchemy, swords and enemy types that carry over to the sequel. Introduces you to the various environments that help you create a background for jumping into 2.
Importing the beaten save also gives you the Raven Armor, Aerondight sword and a bunch of money from the get go...  
 
Yes, play the first game if you have a PC that can run it because otherwise you'll start Witcher 2 with a bunch of strangers and a king you've never seen before that dies 5 minutes in. 
 

@The_Laughing_Man

said:

Nope. The combat has been streamlined. And the new game gives you a nice lesson on how to fight. There is some talking about the first game but nothing that will make you enjoy the game less. You have a log that records who you meet with info about them. 

Your PC can't run The Witcher can it? I wonder how you feel confident telling someone not to play a game you didn't play.
Who ever said I never played the witcher? Streamline may have been the wrong word. From having about 4-5 weapons down to 3 (im including throwing daggers) Im not gonna argue with you about the differences between the two games since i know you do not like the changes.  
 
That and them removing the combat stances. 
#17 Posted by breton (1437 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic said:

Wow I can't believe you guys. Not only does the first game play a huge role in the story (naturally) and gets you acquainted with Triss, Dandelion, Zoltan and the late king (which makes his death in 2 more hard-hitting), but it also introduces you to the magic signs, alchemy, swords and enemy types that carry over to the sequel. Introduces you to the various environments that help you create a background for jumping into 2.
Importing the beaten save also gives you the Raven Armor, Aerondight sword and a bunch of money from the get go...

Yes, play the first game if you have a PC that can run it because otherwise you'll start Witcher 2 with a bunch of strangers and a king you've never seen before that dies 5 minutes in.

It's not spoilers, but goes into details that someone who hasn't played doesn't need to know:

I felt Dandelion and Zoltan were background characters in TW2, knowledge of past experiences with them is unnecessary. Triss plays a larger role, especially in terms of personal relationship with Geralt, but in terms of storytelling TW2 easily introduces new players to the premise of their friendship. And the same with Zoltan and Dandelion. The player doesn't need a backstory of when the characters first met or every little extraneous detail they've done together. It sets a tone for their relationship, that they know eachother and are friends (TW1 did this exact thing except in a worse way by playing on the amnesia aspect. "Oh hey Geralt, you don't remember me? Oh, we were totally friends once. Yeah, totally. You can trust me.) And the King? There's no relationship founded in the first game. The entire basis for the events of TW2 is a three minute cutscene at the end of the first game that is completely disjointed from the rest of the narrative.

What someone who hasn't played should know:

Yeah, some characters from the first appear in the second. A knowledge of the world from playing the first is a boon to playing the second. But there's absolutely no continuity from the plot of the first game to the plot of the second. From your logic even someone who has played the first game isn't equipped to play TW2. There's a lot of shit TW2 draws up from the established fiction of the books and there's barely, if any, foundation of that material found in TW1. And when only two books have been translated into English (I've read The Last Wish), with one already out of chronological order, fuck that shit. And the gameplay mechanics argument is silly. There's a tutorial section that no matter how poorly implemented it was teaches a player the mechanics.

It's perfectly acceptable to play this game without playing the first. Would I encourage it? No. Do you need to play TW1 to get the MOST out of TW2. Yes. But the main narrative is wholly separate.

#18 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5816 posts) -

judging from these responses i can't really decide if I should find a way to play the first game or not :\

would skipping TW1 be as bad as say, going straight to MGS4 without playing the first game?

also would reading the books somewhat make up for skipping TW1?

#19 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@FancySoapsMan said:

judging from these responses i can't really decide if I should find a way to play the first game or not :\

would skipping TW1 be as bad as say, going straight to MGS4 without playing the first game?

also would reading the books somewhat make up for skipping TW1?

No. You wont miss much. It wont take away from the awesome experience. 
#20 Posted by mordukai (7150 posts) -

Having played the second game without playing the first one I can tell you that the answer is no. The story does enough to explain everything to you and still not leave you in the dark. I mean sure you get a much bigger understanding of the game but it doesn't hinder you your understanding and enjoymeant of the game.

@AhmadMetallic: Do you think maybe your disappointment from the second one is kinda obscuring your judgement of the game? As I've said above. You will naturally get a much bigger understanding of the game world and characters but Witcher 2 is tight enough in its own right to not hinder your enjoyment of the game and the story. I really didn't feel too much in the dark. If any it gave me a desire to go and get the first one even though my interest level in it were not that high.

#21 Posted by Animasta (14673 posts) -

@FancySoapsMan said:

judging from these responses i can't really decide if I should find a way to play the first game or not :\

would skipping TW1 be as bad as say, going straight to MGS4 without playing the first game?

also would reading the books somewhat make up for skipping TW1?

skip it, but reading the books would honestly be better at explaining shit than the first game does. Even if there are only two out.

#22 Posted by DBHErazor (33 posts) -

@FancySoapsMan said:

judging from these responses i can't really decide if I should find a way to play the first game or not :\

would skipping TW1 be as bad as say, going straight to MGS4 without playing the first game?

also would reading the books somewhat make up for skipping TW1?

Well no its not at all the same as the MSG comparsion. But you will get soooo much more out of the game if you read the books / play the first game. This world is so rich and so complex and it really is wonderfully crafted. Perhaps its just cause im such a sucker for The Witcher and CD Project but yeah :P

#23 Posted by Hunkulese (2699 posts) -

@JTB123: The way you asked your question the answer is yes. You will get more out of The Witcher 2 if you played The Witcher but you'll still enjoy everything about TW2 without the first game.

#24 Posted by BaconGames (3371 posts) -

I would say not necessary but if you care at all about what makes Geralt tick and why supporting characters matter, I would say absolutely. Additionally it sets up the world, the conflict between the Elves/Dwarves and humans, what to expect in terms of the RPG stuff, and what the hell all the signs and shit do. Personally I would say it is necessary assuming you want to get the most out of The Witcher 2 and slide right into it. Regardless the original game is a wonderful game prompting me to buy the original book.

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