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Five tips to survive the Witcher 2


The Witcher 2 just released to some pretty incredible critical acclaim. However, if you go to its metacritics page you will find that the game is quite polarizing, with our own Jim Sterling giving it a mere 6 out of 10. The main reason for those low scores is the extremely difficult beginning of the game. Oh, and doors, but those have been fixed. To help those that haven't started with the game yet get through this sadistic start, I would like to share 5 tips to help ease that should help lubricate their start to a satisfying penetration of the game's mechanics.

1. Use your shield. Your magic one, that is.

I really can't stress how fucking important this is and I truly don't know why the developers didn't put more enfasis into it. The Quen sign basically makes you invulnerable for a few seconds, thus rendering the parry mechanic (which is extremely clunky and doesn't usually work well) useless. So basically, you should have the Quen sign on all the time. When it finishes, run a bit from the enemies and cast it again. This sign is specially effective if you upgrade it. It lasts some 4 times as long and deflects part of the damage it absorbs back to the enemies. Of all the tips, this and number 2 I find the most important, as they are the ones that make the combat easier.

2. Roll. A lot.

Though the witcher 2's combat is apparently aimed towards parrying a lot, it is the rolling that really matters here. Don't try and stop your enemies blows, either take them with Quen or simply roll out of their way. Rolling is not as easy to do as using Quen, but practice a bit and I'm sure you'll get it. Again, if you upgrade it twice you'll get a 200% increase to the rolling distance, which makes the game stop being unfair and turn into a killfest for geralt. Seriously, not even bloody donkey kong can roll so far.

3. Use a gamepad

The witcher 2 is a crappy console port. There, I said it. Why, do you ask? Switch to a gamepad and you'll see. The combat feels a lot more fluid than with a mouse and keyboard, dare I say more responsive. It is also fully integrated, and all of the boring button prompts get substituted by those multi coloured friendly buttons that we know and love. It also makes collecting stuff a lot quicker, just press X over it and you're done. Yeah, you just collected everything that dead fucker had on him. No need to hover your mouse over the "take all" text.

4. Change your mindset

Most of you will go into The Witcher 2 expecting the level of forgiveness and player introduction of games by Valve, Blizzard or Bioware. After all, it looks as good as those and has similar production values, why should it be any different? The reality, however, is that this is a game developed by a small polish developer that has only developed one other game (The Witcher). Thus, I would suggest that you think of this game as something similar to Demon's Souls. That one got massive praise for its unforgiving mechanics and extreme difficulty, why shouldn't The Witcher 2? Because it's marketing didn't prepare us for it? Just take it for what it is and learn to appreciate it. I even feel quite sad now that I can blow through ten soldiers without breaking a sweat.

5. Read the books

This might be asking too much. It was, however, what made me survive the first two hours of The Witcher 2 and get to the actual good bits of the game. Just hearing talk of the hunt for the golden dragon during the second flashback made me push through that part with the ballista and that other one with the Baron. The books are incredible too. Each book is composed of several short, self-sufficient stories with several overlapping elements that meet for the incredible endings. I usually hate those pricks that tell you to read the fiction in order to enjoy a game, but in this case the fiction is so fucking good you should read it anyways.

So that's it. I hope some of you find those useful and manage to overcome the beast of a beginning this game has. I promise to you that when you get the hang of the combat there is an incredible, deep and absolutely satisfying game waiting for you. It is like trying to have sex with a virgin. Although it takes more effort to get to the good bit, the ultimate result is all the more satisfying.

PS: speaking of virgins, this is my first c-blog, so some good criticism would be well apreciated! I am also spanish so fap this post because you'd be racist otherwise.
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About josmeisterone of us since 7:16 AM on 12.21.2009