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Forums > Submission Feedback > honestgamer's The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings review

This thread is in response to a review for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: Lewis
Posted: July 08, 2011 (08:28 AM)
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A very good review, even though you're wrong. ;-)


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Author: CoarseDragon
Posted: July 08, 2011 (12:04 PM)
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"I’ve come to regard plot as the stuff that happens when you’re not being allowed to play a game." That is a pearl.



I definitely felt your enthusiasm for the game and I must say I agree. Not sure about anyone else but I think you did the game justice in your review.


Age is a condition not a state of mind.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: July 08, 2011 (12:31 PM)
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Thanks, guys!

Lewis, your review had already done a good job of covering what has wound up being the minority perspective on the game. Since there was already a staff review posted, I felt a bit more freedom to try something different with the second staff review. I'm glad that it seems to have worked for the people who have read it.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Ben
Posted: July 08, 2011 (08:07 PM)
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Awesome piece.

I hope to find the time to play this when it comes out on the Xbox 360.


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Author: humorguy
Posted: July 10, 2011 (04:24 PM)
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It's funny how 45% of this review is about perceived problems and another 45% is about the graphics, with only about 10% about the most important part, the gameworld, characters and story changing quests, and yet it all comes out about 80% right.

All I would ask you to think about is would you have like The Witcher 2 as much if it had all the things you wanted? Would lots of new creatures have made sense when the gameworld was in well defined areas? What of the world was 6 times bigger, but by virtue of that having to re-spawn creatures rather than destroying the nests? Or a story that had to be more drawn out, or a gameworld not as dense with sub-plot inside sub-plot?

You cannot have a Witcher grey inside an Oblivion black and white. You need well defined areas with well defined characters in well defined towns and cities.

As to the broken quests. Well, by all means mention them if they are all over the official forums, but if they're not, as is the case, I don;t think they should be mentioned. Also, after the example of the free Wither Enhanced Edition for current owners, surely you could have given them the benefit of the doubt rather than spend the first two paragraphs talking about problems? Also maybe a mention of the retail price being 40% cheaper than other games? or the massive number of items that come in the basic package, like a strategy guide and OST?

You came up with a 9, but you also spent far too long on the negative and not enough on the positive. A sign you knew you were talking about a game from a smaller European developer? Would the review had been written the same way if this game were published by Valve or Blizzard?


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Author: radicaldreamer
Posted: July 10, 2011 (06:19 PM)
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Jesus christ, people have to cry even when you actually give a game higher than 8. There must be a Witcher forum that's on the lookout for every single review that comes up. And what's this nonsense about the Witcher 2 being 40% cheaper? Completely false.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: July 10, 2011 (06:22 PM)
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I appreciate where you're coming from, humorguy, but I wanted to be sure to highlight the game's numerous technical issues before explaining why in a game that is otherwise of this quality, they don't matter. I feel that I did that effectively, and it would have been cheating to pretend that those issues don't exist. They had to be properly addressed before they were dismissed, and the review had to remain under a certain length to stand a chance of being read. What's more, I couldn't really discuss the positives in good detail without spoiling plot, because of the way that plot and gameplay converge.

As for your defenses of the game, I'm not disagreeing with you as much as you might suppose. I realize fully that for a game to have the branching structure that Witcher 2 does, resources had to be pulled from elsewhere. That's just the reality of development costs and I think most gamers can accept that. Yet your defenses are ineffective.

1) You suggest that a world as large as Elder Scrolls IV wouldn't work with this game because this game needs limited areas. In reality, a larger world (were it financially feasible to produce one) would only have helped because gamers would have found themselves spending less time covering old ground in the side quests.

2) You complain that I mention the side quests, when in fact they add a great deal to the game. You learn a lot more about the characters and come to know them better if you choose to complete the side quests, and the side quests have branches in them just like the major plot (even if the branches aren't as significant).

3) You suggest that it only makes sense for there to be such a limited number of creatures throughout the regions. That's ridiculous. In a world that is as brutal as the one that the witcher inhabits, it makes sense that the wilds would have a wider diversity and it makes sense that in a quest that is depicted as spanning a region that could feasibly make up much of three whole kingdoms, you wouldn't see the same three monsters throughout most of the game.

I loved The Witcher 2 and it's thus far my pick for the best game of the year (put that in your pipe and smoke it!), but that doesn't mean that a review shouldn't highlight its many weaknesses. The Witcher 2 is remarkable in part because despite its numerous issues, the game is still incredible and an experience that gamers deserve to experience for themselves. I needed to make that point in the review and I believe I did.

Side note: It's curious that when we post reviews here for games that aren't a pre-determined blockbuster, we get asked in the end if we would have given the game the same score (or in your case, written it the same way) if it were from Valve or Blizzard. Those two names in particular come up a lot. Honestly, I've played hundreds and hundreds of games over the years, but I'm not sure that I've yet gotten around to playing anything from either of those two companies. I think once I might have tried The Lost Vikings for a minute or two on an emulator, and I might have played a spot of Rock 'N Roll Racing, but I don't know if most people would figure that even counts and either occurrence would have taken place years ago. Maybe some critics adjust the score they award a game based on development team notoriety or size or what have you, but I don't do that. A good game is a good game and a bad one is a bad one and that's all a review really should cover. If I as the typical consumer spent $50 on each of two games, I'm not going to be content if one game sucks and tell myself "Well, it was from a small team in Europe." I'm going to say "Well, that game wasn't worth the $50." When I review a game, my job as I see it is to say "This game is worth the asking price" or "This game isn't worth the asking price."


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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