Well the Witcher 3 just came out and I really want to play it seeing as I’ve heard great things about this franchise. However, story is important to me so I wanted to start at the beginning. I bought the Witcher and Witcher 2 on Steam and excitedly fired up the Witcher. I then nearly immediately shut it off. I did not like the gameplay at all. Point and click adventuring works great in Diablo, but not so much in the Witcher, at least to me. I even set the camera to over the shoulder but still could not get passed the click-to-kill mechanic which makes sense as I hate the mouse in FPS games as well.
So I fired up the Witcher 2 and was happily thrown in to a 3rd person action RPG. I played a few minutes before having to go take care of something else. The game seemed like it was going to be complicated in terms of character and item management but if the gameplay is good then I can look past that easily.
Cue me looking past it! I have been having a blast with the Witcher 2. Not at all what I was expecting. Actually I wasn’t expecting anything as I had no idea what it was going to be like, but as this game was never before on my radar I’ve been very pleased with it. I’ve spend about five hours with it so far and it keeps reminding me of Mass Effect. The character interaction and the fact that choices seem to matter really remind me of Commander Shepard’s adventure in a very good way.
The sword fighting is satisfying and I like the mechanic of having two swords where one is suited better for certain tasks than the other. That being said, there are times where I realize I need to swap swords during combat and that process seems to take forever in the heat of the moment. I find myself having to run away when I need to swap but once that’s done it’s business as usual.
A mechanic I don’t really enjoy is how you use potions. I was three hours in before I realized how that worked. I was in a boss fight unfortunately which prevented me from making potions so I had to do the boss over and over since my save was right at the start of a cut scene. I finally figured out the best strategy to use and beat the boss without losing all my health which was a nice accomplishment. As soon as I could after the fight I made potions. The game does not do a good job explaining these mechanics. Luckily Google exists. Although because it’s such a pain in the ass I never actually used a potion aside from the one time the game told me to.
The lack of direction and explanation is a common theme with this game. I had no issues with following the story but it did end very abruptly. The last part of the game was shorter than I realized and there never was that feeling of the adventure coming to a conclusion. I fought a boss without knowing it was the end boss and all off a sudden I was in the epilogue. And as quickly as the epilogue came, the credits rolled.
I have friends who have not played this game; like me it was not on their radar at all for some reason. As I played the game I raved about it to them and have them playing it. It’s a great third person action rpg that easy to pick up and play. Thankfully it has the wonderful “save anywhere” mechanic that made it my go-to game when I wanted to play something but had limited time.