Old school PC RPG nerd says: The Witcher 2 is overrated

Witcher 2 is by no means a bad game, but at this point - after having played through Chapter 1 and substantial parts of Chapter 2 - I'm this close to declaring it one of the most overrated RPG to have been released in quite some time. TW2 has been almost universally acclaimed as the triumphant return of an entire genre from the only developer in the whole wide world which supposedly still cares about cutting edge PC development, but in my opinion there are just too many blatant flaws in CD Projekt RED's ambitious dark fantasy adventure to make this anything more than yet another cool, quirky Eastern European-developed title, which is most certainly worth getting for fans of the genre but can't seriously be considered to be successful enough to reach the status of a modern classic.

That in and of itself should be seen as a fairly respectable recommendation, but there's no denying that any list of TW2's shortcomings can get awfully long. It would, at the very least, have to include things like an unbalanced skill system (resulting in extremely uneven difficulty), stupid boss fights with one-hit kills and QTEs*, sluggish combat controls, confusing maze-like level design with lots of bland corridors, a needlessly cluttered interface, plenty of boring fetch assignments, imprecise quest markers and logs, a poorly introduced game world as well as longwinded dialogue which never manages to imbue the game's wooden characters with enough life to make the player fully invested in The Witcher's byzantine storyline with all its unpronounceable factions, vaguely defined nation states and morally reprehensible kings and queens.

Despite its undeniably good looks, Witcher 2 feels like an anachronistic and somewhat misguided release which neither has the tactical nature of classic roleplaying games nor tries hard enough to learn from more accessible (if arguably also a lot less ambitious) RPGs released in recent years. I still enjoy playing this game for what it does right in terms graphics, atmosphere, player choice etc., but so far that other deeply flawed RPG, Dragon Age 2, remains my own favorite mainstream entry in this genre in 2011.

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