Customer Review

21 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Please read before you purchase., May 6, 2012
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings Enhanced Edition (Video Game)
I heard so many good things about this game that I finally got around to playing it. I'm going to review it from the perspective of an action-RPG game lover, and as someone who's put a few hours into it.

The story seems excellent. It's a mature game and an interesting world. My problems revolve around the user-nonfriendliness of the game for those new to the Witcher series like myself, and for people who are used to other action-RPG's.

First of all, there is no tooltip for the abilities (signs) that have words that only exist in this game world. For example, the signs such as Axii, Aard, Igni, Yrden, Quen. These are simply "spells" in other games with English names such as "fireball", "turn friendly" etc. Unfortunately, without any tooltip or in-game documentation (except during their SINGLE moments in the tutorial when they are mentioned), you will end up having to Google them like I did. Having to exit a game just to google a feature in it is frankly ridiculous. Perhaps they left any description out for "immersion" reasons, but since they only show up on a game control screen that breaks immersion anyway, this would be a pretty silly reason to do so. In fact the only sign I could remember right off the bat is "Igni" because it's the root of "Ignite" and it burns. I STILL don't remember the rest and I've been playing the game for a few hours now. Very new-user-hostile. First star lost.

The second new-user-hostile thing is the control scheme. In the tutorial, they mention (briefly) the Q key, the control key, the Z key, and a few other keys that do various things. Then later on you need to use your amulet and forgot the key and... wait? Where the hell is the in-game keyboard reference? I go through the menus looking for a control scheme reference. THERE IS NONE. Really? If there is in fact one, it's certainly not in an obvious location. Off I go to Google... And another star is lost.

The last 2 criticisms are a taste thing and I'm only deducting 1 star for the both of them: The talent tree builds, and Alchemy.

Talents: They are, eh, very uninteresting. Examples include: +1 to combat regen. +1 to vitality. Ability to parry. +1 to vigor... I mean really? There is nothing here that will make you go "WHOA!". So if you're raised on the likes of Skyrim, WoW and other sorts of games where getting entirely new abilities on a regular basis is a common and much-looked-forward-to thing, prepare to be disappointed. Or, at least, to focus on the story and choices you make instead of your "power building".

Alchemy: I have always hated alchemy in other games. Spend a lot of time harvesting a bunch of weeds just to make a few potions that have limited value. The difference here is that in other games, Alchemy is not necessary. You can pretty much safely overlook it: WoW, Skyrim, Amalur, anything else. Here, alchemy seems absolutely necessary. Ugh, I hate alchemy, and I hate being forced to pull weeds instead of driving the story forward. And then to use a potion, you have to "Meditate", breaking immersion again... So like I said, a taste thing. Alchemy sucks, your opinion may vary.

I may update this review after giving this game some more time, but the initial experience is very bad and contrary to what all the hardcore people were saying. What do you think?
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 6, 2012 2:05:33 PM PDT
You make some good points, but your perspective is a bit glass 'half-empty'. Going by your rating system, if you can find five things you don't like, then a game should be rated zero out of five stars?

Either way, hit the J key for 'Journal' and go to the Tutorial section. It is always accessible and answers most of the questions you've listed here.

They game, by the way, is beautifully made and very unique. Granted it's not as user friendly as many games, but RPG's have always been for those who like a bit of meat on the bone.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 10:29:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2012 10:39:00 AM PDT
If I make some good points, then why did 0 of 2 people find the review helpful? I am a good, nonjudgmental reviewer, but I swear, you find valid criticisms of something and only get downvoted for the truth...

I wasn't going by a star per thing wrong, otherwise I wouldn't have counted the 2 "personal preference" issues as 1 star :)

Regarding the journal, I will have to check that out. Is there a way to remap keys there? I'm guessing no.

I never said it wasn't a beautiful game, and I know there's a massive RPG-elitist circlejerk around it. And I for one will not shy away from any meat on the bone, as long as getting to the meat is as unnecessarily unobtrusive as possible.

I will revise my review/stars once I get further into the game but the "honeymoon" experience certainly leaves a lot to be desired.

Posted on May 9, 2012 8:55:14 PM PDT
H. Le says:
I understand that TW2 is not a casual game to pick up and play; and I respect opinions. However, I'd like to point out that if you don't like alchemy (I don't either - especially after it was changed from The Witcher 1, where you don't have to meditate prior to drinking potion), you are only required to use it *once* in the entire game, which is during Act 2 in Roche's path. Otherwise, there is no requirement to drink potion. But of course, drinking potion just make things easier (I use potion about 3 times for the entire game on medium difficulty).

As for the signs, the more you use then, the more you'll remember them. For almost all of the game, you only need to remember 3, and they are easy to remember:

Aard = Air
Igni = Ignite
Quen = Shield

Hopefully, things will work out for you.

Posted on May 31, 2012 2:00:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2012 2:03:15 PM PDT
L.S. says:
Seems to me that it's not the game you are frustrated with but your own ability to recall a few simple names of spells and to occasionally have to create a potion.

Which btw if you didn't find alchemy that necessary in wow then you certainly didn't do any decent raiding as they were certainly necessary for any serious raider.

Yes, the talent tree doesn't give you huge boosts in abilities, gear that gives +500 to dps and such, as there typically isn't a need to give out "epic loots" or crazy stats in a mature game. Typically in this type of game there isn't a need for the "epeen". Wow was the biggest culprit of catering to the epic lootz craze by the teens as it is a MMO. I prefer to simply have all the stats I need standard in the game and yeah maybe have the ability to tweek it a tad but +1 here or there.

If you put aside this fantastic game due to the inability to recall a very small list of spells and find you have to go to google. May I suggest using the two guides that comes packaged with the game or purchasing the strategy guide. Playing in windows mode may also help you if you still can't find in what you are looking for in the game, the 2 guides and the strategy guides and still have to go to google (which would be highly unlikely unless you are trying to find the age of Triss and if she likes to take walks along the beach at sunset).

Also, to give a game such a low rating after playing only a few hours may be jumping the gun a tad.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 2:57:23 PM PST
Page 14 of the game manual completely explains each sign. I have the Steam version of the game and the downloaded the .pdf manual from their website.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2013 3:07:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 30, 2013 9:00:26 AM PDT
Vappour says:
H. Le: I really enjoy the new swordmanship system (parry, guard, block, ripost, etc.). And you are absolutely correct about the 3 most important signs. Another interesting thing to try along with straight swordsmanship levels is maximized Quen (Quen III) with "Venting" activated in the Mage tree. Maximized Aard helps too. I feel the new system tries to give more of a feeling of true sword combat as opposed to Witcher I.

Brian E. Tomey: The Enhanced game also includes a printable version of the manual along with a semi-useful game guide.

Peter Marreck: What do you mean by the "whoa" factor in terms of the talent trees? Don't you think the developers carefully worked out leveling so proper balancing depends more upon choosing several correct complimentary talents as opposed to choosing a few obvious, overpowered talents for a swordsman, mage or alchemist? Yes, it's possible to completely mess up your build, but do it right (give it some careful thought) and you can end up almost invincible (except in certain Boss fights).

And (to an earlier review) I always thought being closed off (locked in by a gate or door) and losing the ability to save your game was SOP for Boss fights (look to Skyrim for recent examples). This has been the case for the several years I've been playing games of this type.

Posted on May 24, 2014 6:18:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 26, 2014 5:34:10 AM PDT
Helpful review. Half the people marked it as non-helpful because this game has bred a lot of zealots and like good zealots they don't want you insulting their spiritual leader.

The interface on this game is one of the worst I've ever used.

Posted on Jul 15, 2014 9:57:46 AM PDT
djnforce9 says:
Wow, your review closely mirrors my own thoughts of the game. I even had to check whether I wrote this review before and then forgot about it lol. I have tried multiple times to really get into The Witcher 2 but the clunky user interface always spoils it for me. I mean how hard is it to just have a simple mouse-over tooltip on each sign anyway so that you don't need to ALT+TAB out and check the manual or Google? Maybe it's just not meant for me. I'll pass on the Witcher 3 as well since it'll probably be just more of the same.
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