Thursday, 21 November 2013

Witcher II: Chapter I

As I was playing Witcher II, I came to conclusion that it would be shame to have just one post about it. Since I was about to finish only the first chapter but had more than twenty hours of played time already, I decided it would be good if I split it into the chapters.

When I first started Witcher II, I had a few problems with adjusting to the new system. It took me some time to get adapted to everything. There were some technical difficulties as well. I for one still cannot figure out why the mouse is so smooth in the menu, but so coarse and hard to handle in the actual game. But once I installed the mod that one of the developers at CD Projekt Red made, it was a different story. Most of my problems were resolved, and fighting seemed a lot more in touch with the first game. However the mouse remains as stubborn as ever

What I hated though is the QTE. Fortunately they are not too often, and used only for some occasional lever that needs to be pulled down or a segment in boss fight. But they can be quite unbearable. I turned the difficult QTE down immediately, but those that remain can get on your nerves as well.

When you are clicking the left mouse button like some lunatic for the twenty fifth time, you know something is wrong. You know something is wrong because the bar that needs to be filled was full at least fourteen times, while the rest of the time it did not fill at all no matter how much you were clicking. I discovered the solution for that on the Internet. I had to set my resolution to the lowest possible, and then all was well. That is 640x480 pixels.

Once you get past this technical difficulties with the QTE nonsense, and swallow the realisation that the game is obviously cheating at dice poker, it is all great. It is fantastic truth be told. One llast thought on the rigged dice. I solved the problem with changing the values in one of the installed files. Now I always win in arm wrestling and dice poker. The first one was a gimmick, the second a thievery. Funnily enough I never had to resort to outside means to deal with brawls. I think this is because the game does not cheat at fights. There is QTE, but this one actually makes sense. It represents where you will hit your opponent.

They changed the look of everyone. In comparison to the Witcher on, in second game, everyone is wearing much more colourful, and rich attire. The armours of the knights are not simply bleak and gray, but highly detailed. Every faction has different armours besides the colours. They really did their best to make the game as immersive as possible.

You start in a prison. Beaten, battered, and exhausted. My first thought was, what could Geralt possibly do to end up here? As they dragged me to interrogation, I came in contact with Vernon Roche. The leader of special forces under King Foltest. This is the prologue. I described how we entered the city with the king Foltest, how I persuaded young Aryan La Valette to lay down his arms. I did my best in ensuring that this would end without more bloodshed. I wanted to make sure that the king would get his bastard children, and everyone involved would not be hurt because of it.

Unfortunately to all my efforts, Foltest was killed, and I was the patsy. How could I not. A mutant, witcher, freak, white haired one, he has yellow eyes, just like a wolf. Call it what you will, I was the most convenient target, as the king died when only I was with him.

Fast forward to my daring escape, where I failed to do anything in stealth and instead beat the living thing out of the guards with only a truncheon. I rescued Aryan La Valette while I could, but the young noble decided to go out in a blaze of glory. He set the castle afire, and when I escaped I could see the explosion that was his work.

In Flotsam everything that could went wrong. My two friends Dandellion and Zoltan were on the gallows just waiting to get hanged. I managed to save them, but I had to return some favours. For starters, to the Commandant Loredo. The filthiest and most corrupt living being in whole of Flotsam. To say he is two-faced son of a toad would be insult for a toad.

In any case, I started solving problems. With the beast and the men alike. This was to my liking. At day I would venture into the forest, and rid it of local fauna that grew too bold. At night, I would stay in the inn, playing dice, arm wrestle and fight. When the midnight would pass, I would start preparing for the next expedition to the forests,

The constant problem was the Scoia'tael. Now, I worked with them in the first game. They seemed a better choice than the lunatic order of Flaming Rose. But this Scoia'tael was not led by charismatic Yaevinn. It was led by angriest, most bitter, and  most resentful knife-ear that ever walked the forests. Iorveth is much more like other Scoia'tael, than the idealistic and yet wise Yaevinn. Not to mention Yorveth and Vernon are like cats and dogs. As soon as they see each other, they start fighting.

Even though I empathised with the elven freedom fighters, or terrorists. Depends who you ask. I stayed with the Roche and his Blue Stripes. If it would be up to me, I would beat the living thing out of them both until they start working together. They have the same enemy after all. And this is how my Chapter I came to the end.

Ah yes, the very best moment of the first chapter was when Zoltan led Geralt to the meeting with Scoia'tael. The password and counter-word they shouted made me love this game. When you hear Zoltan scream Kierkegaard, and the elves scream back Heidegger it is by far the most entertaining moment of the game. Or it might be for me, as I study philosophy.

1 comment:

  1. Arrgh, you've almost tempted me into giving Witcher another go. My first attempt wasn't too successful but the idea of "Fast forward to my daring escape, where I failed to do anything in stealth and instead beat the living thing out of the guards with only a truncheon" is hard to resist.


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