It has been almost 2 years since I bought, at the release date, The Witcher 2. I played it furiously for a whole week. Maybe 40 hours. But one day I went to a 4 day travel and I totally lost the momentum.
I must confess that the review I wrote by 2011 I had not yet finished the game, but very much close to the ending.
Lately, news about the third installment emerge every day. I was caught by a nostalgia and shame. I recommended the game to all people that I talked to. I love the series. I found an inner strength to re-enter it’s universe. Loading a more-than-a-year-ago saved game, I was able to finally finish the game. I originally bought from gog.com, the CD Projekt distributing company. I don’t even remember why I got it again from Valve’s Steam, but there it was.
Now I revisit my original review with new insights.
How superb are the visuals! A totally unknown polish company manage to create a top 5 best looking game of all history, imo. The lights and color palette are amazing. The details presented in their 3D models are also incredible. Geralt of Rivia is very richly designed, with nice clothing. The same for the other characters and the scenes. Castles, dungeons, forests. Everything seems to be designed with care.
The story is for adults: strong on politics, sexual interests, loads of anti hero characters. It makes the game stand out among others, but it is not for everyone. However, the story is also very confusing. My perception it happens because the game is based in an established book universe. The authors know the geography and history, but the players do not. When they vomit geography details as part of the main plot, I felt like listening mandarin.
Once thing I disliked quite much in the game’s design: auto saving just before cut scenes. Generally, after important cut scenes, there is a battle. But if you lose, guess what: you have to see again the cut scene! Holly cow! How many times, especially at the end, I died but I had to see the whole dialogue all over again. Also worth noticing that, but the ending of the game, the among of dialogues sky rocketed. Based on your choices on the dialogues, you will face one of the 16 endings. Almost all of them decided by the very last hour or two.
Re reading this, I feel like I hated the game, judging by the amount of complaining. Do not think this. It is like complaining about your son or girlfriend: it is because you liked them very much that you point the weak points. This Polish company gained my heart. I loved their work. I liked the first one very much. But this one shows how much effort were put into the game. 2 years later, it still seems as fresh as a new release. I feel sorry that I wont play it again for a second ending, but the third game is coming… I cannot wait!