Thoughts on this Article from Grantland.com about the Witcher 2

#1 Posted by Nightriff (5096 posts) -

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7878694/on-cd-projekt-game-witcher-2

So I for one have not played the game but will once I beat the first one and decide to either upgrade my PC or just pick up the 360 version but I thought he was extra negative towards the game. The game is highly praised but by no means is it considered the greatest thing ever created (or I don't get that perception from reviews).

Curious if the community thinks he is harsh against the game or has valid points. Also grantland.com is mainly a sports site but they do write pretty regularly about anything they want, games (apparently), politics, reality shows, etc.

#2 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

His points are valid, if that's how he feels about them, but I'd disagree with him on nearly everything he said.

#3 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@mandude said:

His points are valid, if that's how he feels about them, but I'd disagree with him on nearly everything he said.

Agree. He seems to have just not liked the game and wanted to find issues with it and looked overly hard at poitns to make up stuff. 
#4 Edited by mak_wikus (527 posts) -

It's difficult to take him seriously when you read that it took him six and a half minutes to figure out how to make a potion and that he could come out of meditation only at dawn, noon, dusk and midnight. Wow.

And that industrial setting which was so groundbreaking in Fable? Arcanum, Mr Journalist. Ever heard of it? And it wasn't the first to use it, also.

When you look at his other articles, the dude seems to have a problem with fantasy and RPGs. ...and games. He is not a fan of Batmans. Too many gadgets!!

I haven't read his other articles in their entirety, but he only played 6 hours of The Witcher 2, so... Guess what?

#5 Posted by nomorehalfmeasuresdoctor (143 posts) -

People have different opinions. Not every one will like the same things.

#6 Posted by Commisar123 (1793 posts) -

Well I find the Witcher to be a very original universe so I find a lot of his points to be invalid

#7 Edited by whyareyoucrouchingspock (975 posts) -

@Nightriff said:

As for what playing The Witcher 2 is like, I'll say this: Never have I been more content to be a console gamer. PC gamers like to lord over console gamers and claim that console games irrevocably dumb down PC game experiences. The PC Witcher 2 is said to be an unusually rich experience, but my suspicion is that it's actually just an incredibly complicated experience

I was following him up till here. Then I came to the conclusion he was a fucking idiot actually believing the shit my fellow pc gameers have been saying trying to come across like he came to that conclusion himself. The Witcher (and indeed the Witcher) are not complicated games. CD P have gone round making it out to be a classic CRPG but it plays like a console game. Witcher 1 less so. None the less, it's hack hack hack with very limited inv and the only "depth" the shit you apply to swords which is in itself, not complicated.

If you want to play a fucking deep rich CRPG try Baldurs Gate or Planescape Torment maybe then (you know by actually playing pc games?) you will have the right to fucking comment on them.

#8 Posted by Tennmuerti (8123 posts) -

Dude does not even start talking about anything specific in Witcher 2 until halfway through the article.
Even then there are hardly any real criticisms he brings up.
90% of his drivel is beating around the bush without actually making any points and going off on a tangent. 
 
This is what i like to call article wankery.
Kind of like masturbation in written form, there to please yourself, but ultimately empty and irrelevant to others.

#9 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

What a whiny cunt.

Awful article that wreaks of "This game isn't easy enough, so here's some whine"

Dude probably loves Modern Warfare.

#10 Edited by colorbrandon (166 posts) -

Reading his thoughts on Mass Effect 3 makes me think he writes in a contrarian way. I generally avoid reading/listening/talking to contrarians.

#11 Posted by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

I read this and couldn't believe it. Seriously dude, you spent only 6 hours and you're calling it done? That's barely enough time to make through parts of chapter 1 and not even into the meat of the game.

#12 Posted by WalkerTR77 (1378 posts) -

I actually quite like Tom Bissel's writing, I was planning to bring this here but I guess revision took hold.

As @Tennmuerti: says he spends a massive amount of time setting up his expectations rather than talking about the game, which wouldn't be so bad if he hadn't went on to be so completely negative. I also like to call this wankery, it's a personal pet peeve of mine when an article or review spends paragraphs waffling about expectations or whatever else before actually discussing the topic at hand.

I think he raises some fair criticisms but goes on to wildly overstate them. For example, I agree that the systems are complex but not that this is a bad thing. It isn't bad design nor is it unfathomable to the player. The systems have depth, and it takes a little time to acclimate to them. His complaints about the story are mostly subjective so there's little to say there other than what does he know of the story 6 hours in?

He makes a very good point, being 6 hours into an experience that you aren't particularly enjoying is fairly unique to this medium. Expecting someone to go further than that in a game they don't enjoy is quite harsh. However from my experience that play time puts him just shy of finishing the prologue. While the prologue is a novel and interesting way to set up the story of The Witcher, it can be a bit of a slog in terms of gameplay. The game really comes alive when you reach Flotsam, you come off the rails and become an active participant in the experience.

So essentially, Tom Bissell's opinion of The Witcher 2 is that of someone who hasn't played The Witcher 2.

#13 Posted by Phoenix778m (250 posts) -

The article is good at getting across how he feels about the game. I agree that elves, troll and ect. are done to death but honestly its just the information age we live in today. You can take creatures and assign them any attributes you want and its still going to ally itself with modern or historical (classic mythology) fantasy. You can switch it up but its still going to excite those images and myth. My other guess as to his problem with the witcher is he just isn't acclimated to UI navigation. I'm willing to bet if you gave him a copy of Photoshop he would have trouble navigating it and 3dstudio max would make his head explode. I think certain people just aren't cut out for such things.

#14 Posted by jozzy (2042 posts) -

@WalkerTR77 said:

He makes a very good point, being 6 hours into an experience that you aren't particularly enjoying is fairly unique to this medium. Expecting someone to go further than that in a game they don't enjoy is quite harsh. However from my experience that play time puts him just shy of finishing the prologue. While the prologue is a novel and interesting way to set up the story of The Witcher, it can be a bit of a slog in terms of gameplay. The game really comes alive when you reach Flotsam, you come off the rails and become an active participant in the experience.

So essentially, Tom Bissell's opinion of The Witcher 2 is that of someone who hasn't played The Witcher 2.

Agreed about the prologue. I didn't really enjoy that part the first time, but really started to enjoy the game in Flotsam. Now I am replaying it to try dark mode and I actively hate the prologue part, I really have to force myself through it. I hoped that you could skip a part of it by just picking the last monastery bit immediately, but you still have to do the other parts too. Wish you could skip it...

#15 Edited by Blind_Evil (306 posts) -

I beat the game today and while I did not hate it, I think it is probably one of the most overrated games of the generation. Christ.

I brought the same article up on the smaller forum I frequent, that is PC-centric, and it got a pretty harsh reception. I think his point about the praise for the game is totally valid, I bought this on release day because of the universal praise and frankly I thought it was inferior to the likes of Amalur and Two Worlds 2. Also agree with him on the maturity of the narrative being overblown. It's a step forward, but a baby step.

#16 Posted by pweidman (2340 posts) -

This guy doesn't know shit about games. He sounds like a new gamer, and very ignorant, but still has the gall to throw silly insults at such a fine game.

There is room for legit complaints about TW2. None are huge, and the game is fantastic regardless, but he never manages to assert one salient criticism.

Maybe he needs to work on self deprecation a bit, because this angle he's taking is void and pathetic.

#17 Edited by xyzygy (10008 posts) -

I couldn't believe it when he was going on about English accents. Using an English accent for some characters is not specific to this game, not even to video games. Would he rather them all speak Polish, or some made up language? Fuck.

Also, when he is talking about the "systems" being off, he is simply flat out wrong. The example he is using is from Bernard Loredo's mansion during Chapter 1, when you arrive in Flotsam. He asks you to come to his place at night. I can CONFIRM from 3 playthroughs that Midnight is an acceptable time to come to his house. I can't believe how he uses this as a negative towards the game - he is simply wrong and uninformed.

And in regards to the combat feeling insubstantial, he probably played the game on Easy where the enemies don't block. I would like to see him on Hard or Dark where you are almost required to break each and every enemies guard with either a Parry, Riposte, Aard, Quen reflection, Igni, bomb, or trap, all while dodging other foes and making sure you don't give the enemy a chance to counter you.

He begrudges the games for having dwarves and elves. He also mentions the story being "Tolkienified". A few points:

- The Elves in TW are far from anything in LOTR. They are either racially oppressed and enslaved, or living in the woods and hunting down humans who are basically comitting (or would love to commit) genocide against nonhumans.

- Dwarves are shadows of their former selves, living off the bounty of their forebears and getting drunk and fucking all the time. That's their life. They don't mine and are discriminated against just like Elves. NOTHING like LOTR. The only thing they share is their stature and name.

- Saying that these races were "mentioned" in the books is quite stupid. They are integral to the world, and excluding them from the game would be impossible.

It seems to me like he set out with intentions of giving the game a bad review. It's just terrible.

#18 Posted by liako21 (523 posts) -

maybe he sucks at the combat and keeps dying? he doesnt really mention it until the last paragraph but you never know. that turned me off to baldurs gate the first couple of times i played it. nothing will discourage a player more than getting merked over and over again. same reason why some people dont like dark souls.

#19 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Can we even confirm he played the game? 

#20 Posted by Catarrhal (835 posts) -

@The_Laughing_Man said:

Can we even confirm he played the game?

'Fraid so!

#21 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@Catarrhal said:

@The_Laughing_Man said:

Can we even confirm he played the game?

'Fraid so!

It wont show me his stuff. 

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