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The Witcher 2 Hands-on Impressions
Preview - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Thu 24 February 2011, 12:13:35Tags: CD Projekt; The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Two previews of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings are available.
When I finally did meet up with the poet Dandelion, he confirmed that a succubus was behind the murders, and, to catch it, he suggested that he play the bait. After a short wait until midnight (players can now "meditate" to move the game clock forward), Dandelion and I walked out to the succubus' cave, and I was given brief control of the poet and asked to recite some of his poetry from a dialog tree. Here the game emphasized that the players who do a little research on their own are not only more knowledgeable of the gameworld, but better equipped to thrive within it: If I'd read the poetry book found earlier, I'd have know Dandelion's style and could have been able to recite his poem from memory. Instead, I clumsily limped through the verse.
Dandelion was eventually captured by the succubus, and back as Geralt, I burst into the cave to save him -- and to kill the demoness. I chose violence and a quick end to the beast (I am a Witcher, after all), but again the CD Projekt representative reminded me that there would have been more to discover -- and to play -- had I taken a different approach to the quest. He revealed that it was actually Ele'yas (the man who started me on this sidequest) who had killed the succubus' lovers, and that if the player discovers this then "the story gets really complicated." My questline had ended, but I'd only covered about half of its total gameplay because of the choices I'd made.
So violence isn't the number 1 solution to everything? If the non-violent approach isn't the inferior one in terms of XP and quest rewards either I'd be happy.
Eurogamer figured that the new combat system is an more action-orientated system that's more fluid and delivers a stronger bite.
Unquestionably this is an improvement, and a change that's unlikely to alienate devotees of the first game. Melee justice is still dispensed through meaty sword swipes while the finishing moves are just as gruesomely satisfying.
Planting his first blade through one side of an enemy's chest, then adding the second before ripping them both out and delivering a swift but clean decapitation, Geralt is still every inch the devil's carvery chef.
While it's a tighter, more engaging method for dealing with the miscreants of the world, doubts linger over the effectiveness of crowd control. Holding a monster at bay with a magical pushback while breaking down the defences of a melee opponent is only rewarding if you've held back the right enemy.
There's a niggling lack of feedback for single-entity, distant targeting and only a short amount of time between now and the game's release to get this right - or leave people clamouring for the earlier, drier system.
Spotted at: RPGWatch