And now folks, for the long waited (im sure) reveal of The Witcher: Chapter 2. This one took a bit longer than the last because I had to put the mouse down around 12am and say, “WELL I’M STUCK”. Since I’m obviously here now, I’m glad to say I finally defeated the chapter and I’m on to the next. However, before I get on with that, I wanted to give you folks a little of a preview of my experience (frustration and all). So buckle up, get your popcorn, and laugh at my struggle.
Beginning the chapter had me excited for the city-life of Vizima. The last town I traveled to had one “Inn” and everyone died there, so it was good to have some living npcs around me. Witcher did an excellent job of putting me back on track, finding out where the Salamandra have gone and where they took your “box”. WHAT’S IN THE BOX?!…just me? Also, the “Courtesan” to non-person-who-will-sleep-with-you-for-money ratio skyrockets into the clouds, so I can’t say that’s too awful. (Just Kidding, settle down). I found it easier to locate highlighted locations and quest markers with my handy dandy map in comparison to chapter 1. I can’t say combat was as bad either, locating 3 Signi to add to my spell arsenal, one of them actually being useful besides my jedi force push. With both swords ready to be used and a mystery to solve, I gathered the Scooby Doo Gang and went on a journey.
I arrived incarcerated for reasons I can’t exactly remember or care for, but the point is I am given a mission (as witcher’s often given) to kill a Cockatrice. These names get funnier so don’t expect anything less. I meet a knight of the flaming order who sort’ve are the up and coming, high and mighty, group of folk who are too cheesy, but are quite the honorable “arrow to the knee” type. After being freed from incarceration, a number of suspects are given to me by Detective Raymond, whose attire is much more ridiculous than his name suggests.
Annnnddddd…..now for how much I LOATHE this questline.
The beginning of the quests lists out a number of suspects to be interrogated for possible affiliations to the Salamandra. I wish I would’ve known what interrogation actually meant: have the evidence already and don’t ask them until you have it solved. Reading the guide would offer no help as it refused to list anyone as even slightly more guilty. Yes, i said it, a guide without spoilers is not a guide! In fact, everyone was just equally suspicious. Going back and forth each time between suspects and Raymond, telling me only to talk to this person or that person, only then to be told to get lost or refuse text alltogether.
RED LIGHT…….GRReED LIGHT!
I reached my first stop due to frustrations with the quests, and moved on to the first side-quest I could find. Scrolling through text and going to the swamp on a few occasions, I found some menial side-tasks but they only held value for what seemed like a bunch of cult-based brickbuilders and a naked druid female whose reasons for laying with a man were absolutely ridiculous. It felt like Chapter two became a Witcher dating game, each line of text more ridiculous than the last. I rather wisher Geralt would honestly stop talking and be the silent-hero type that I thought he was when I started. Upon returning to my investigation I made head way by either dumb luck or pure coincidence by finding Shani in the hospital, I going to assume the former. Going to her home, I found her in her see-through night gown, and I looked in the guide to see if I entered a erotica novel. After accomplishing my sex quest, I was finally able to get the body and observe who killed my John Doe. This wasn’t a fault of mine that I did all this back and forth, it’s literally the games intention.
My second, and this one was a biggun, moment of being stuck was facing Kalkstein, the alchemist in Chapter 1 and now in Vizima. When given the options to talk to the suspect, you are ultimately faced with two options: I believe you/ I don’t believe you. It didn’t make sense, Witcher is no PI and I’m questioning why I’m not just putting a sword to these guys necks. What the guide failed to mention is if you piss these people off, they won’t talk to you anymore, a little thing necessary for a confession. Going back to Raymond, I had my eyes finally set on my suspect, and a quest to earn his trust. Unfortunately for me, in order to lure my enemy out to be captured would actually require me talking to him….
The third and probably not final frustration was the cost of all these quests. I’ve had some quests require me to pay out, but just the main quest line and the occasional sex-quest had me spending a few thousand gold. I know what you’re thinking, side quests give you gold Shawn. And I’ll stop you right there. Because the area of Vizima focuses highly on the main story, quests rather give items or information as apposed to gold. Items sell for no more than a few gold and the only solace was the occassional ring or 20 gold from a fist fight, which was easily one and awfully repetitive.
Looking through the guide, i found all the sephirahs, which were not equally or evenly tasked. One required 500 gold just to buy when another required the aid of a druid and the creation of a staff to create thunder and summon a golem for one measly sephirah. I wish I was joking on how time consuming that section was. I know it seems like I’m complaining…cause I am. There was ten of these ridiculous things that had me facing numerous enemies. The most aggrivating was that i got two from offering food to a statue and two from a crypt……REALLY?!
All things considered, the ending to chapter two was good. I enjoyed the hints of betrayal and the final bits of opening the tower to find the powers inside was great. Waking up to the next chapter, dazed and then immediately with another redhead in a see-through night gown made it seem like I achieved something….BUT AT WHAT COST? dramatic enough?
Verdict (Cont’d from Ch.1)
The second chapter included a lot more racism than i would’ve cared to have. I understand that Geralt is slowly becoming less a monster mercenary and more of a political hero, but the amount of racism is kind of heavy-handed in this chapter. Dwarves, gnomes, monsters, elves, Mutated-humans…Can’t we all just get along? Most of the time, I was just missing something meaningful to fight as apposed to endless drones of Drowned or Salamandra. The Cockatrice and the final made fight had the most intrigue, but even for a boss battle, it was merely just a “This is not the last you’ll see of us” fight. The save of this chapter was how combat became more fluid and filled my screen with possibilities, but I still struggled to find some of their uses.
Though sometimes I can’t stand the stop and go, like most role-playing games, you are sucked into a story even if it’s broken up by a cruddy narrator. Like March of the Penguins but Narrated by Steve Buscemi