Should one play The Witcher before playing The Witcher 2?

I only got to the swamp in The Witcher and couldn’t resist trying the new and shiny game. So far, I haven’t had any issues following the game at all. Though, as has been mentioned, I didn’t know Foltest before the intro and the Wild Hunt is just a dream sequence to me.

However, the game does a very good job at relating past relevant events. And it has enough factions and characters that even those who played the first game will likely still get a bit confused at times.

So not a requirement. Though I’d agree it might be hard to go back to the first game after playing the second.


I got through chapter 2 in the Witcher, but I stopped right at the beginning of Chapter 3, and don’t know if I could just pick it up again. I wonder if it’s worth it to plow through the rest of it (main plot at least) just to get the end-game save.

For people worried about the setting and characters being common between the two, I don’t think it matters much. I read the books that were translated into English, and since they weren’t all translated, the English books sort of pick up in the middle of the story at random, but it felt fine there, there’s a lot of history between characters, but it’s perfectly accessible without knowing it.

Duh, play it.

You may as well play through the first game since you already have it and it’s just sitting there. You’ve already missed the preorder goodies for the sequel, so there’s no incentive to rush. You’d be better off waiting on the inevitable price drop or sale later.

That said, I don’t think playing The Witcher is crucial to enjoying The Witcher 2. There’s a couple of callbacks to the first game, but you wouldn’t know what you’re missing if you didn’t have that history. There’s a lot of stuff in Witcher 2 that comes from the books and hopscotches right over the plot of the original.

Slightly different question: what’s changed / improved about Witcher 2? I got bored of the Witcher after 2 or 3 chapters. IIRC, I didn’t like Geralt as a protagonist (whose personality seemed to have only two settings, “cipher” and “jackass”), combat was meh, too much FedEx-ing, too many performance issues (this is when it first came out). Oh, and would it have killed them to have a less dreary palette? Must “dark fantasy” always mean “everything looks like mud!”?

[As for the sex: I’m not a prude, but I was also never given a reason to care about any of Geralt’s conquests; hell, most of the ones I encountered didn’t even have a name, IIRC. As for the collectible-card mechanic: dude, all the nekkid ladies your optic nerves can handle are just a Google Image Search away; you don’t need to play thru inane seduction mini-games first.]

I kept meaning to give the EE a fair shake when it finally came out to see how much it improved, but it just kept slipping down my backlog. Why go back to a game I didn’t enjoy the first time when there’s so much else out there?

That said, the new game does look pretty sweet and it sure sounds promising, but…well, that’s what everyone said about the first one and it just never clicked for me.

Why would you care about them? Many of them are just that: conquests. I don’t care about a lot of the guys I’m killing either.

  1. The combat is completely different. It’s more action-oriented and at any level above easy, it’s actually very punishing. You definitely won’t think it’s “meh” but it could go either way as far as whether or not you like it.

  2. Geralt is still who he is, so if you hated his personality in the first game, you probably won’t like it much more in the second. He is more fully fleshed out and many of his responses have more of a smartass tinge to them, but he’s essentially a hardass.

  3. The colors in this game are fantastic.

  4. The sexuality is much better. No card collecting for one thing. The sex scenes aren’t weird uncanny valley puppet theater like Dragon Age.

  5. Performance issues may be a problem for you. Then again it may not. I’ve had no problems at all maintaining a 40-50 fps framerate on high with VSync turned off at 1280x1024 on a Radeon 4850. On the flip side, some people with SLI uberbeast rigs are seeing terrible framerates.

I’m replaying the first right now, and I’m reminded of one thing that totally annoyed me (other than the fact that he can’t jump over one-foot ledges): that I need to talk to someone to initiate meditation/sleep. Every time I see a fireplace or bed in an interior, my instinct is to click on it so I can rest, but, no–there needs to be an NPC in it for me to interact with to make it so. BUH?

I’m being nitpicky about something minor on purpose. I love the game. Lurrv it.

I don’t think that’s actually true. Leastways, I remember accidentally clicking the fireplace in Kaer Morhen and getting the meditate window. And the flint you can pick up all over is for lighting fires that are out so you can meditate at them. But beds don’t do it, I don’t think.

Wow dude… you seriously, like seriously played the game the wrong way. Yes, I’m saying you did it wrong. Very, very wrong.

Like I really hope someone doesn’t read that and think TW1 is a keyboard-based combat system. It’s actually like Batman:AA but you click on an enemy instead of pressing in a direction. Geralt will automatically move and attack whoever you click on, and will even keep chaining combos, which is so important to know that I have no idea how you finished the game otherwise (I guess it really was too easy on Normal mode).

Re: Meditation… that’s why you have pieces of Flint for campfires outdoors, where you can just use those campfires to meditate. Hell, they’re labeled on your map. Indoors, yes you have to talk to the owner of the house to see if you can sleep there. This makes perfect sense, does it not? And it’s not particularly annoying as the game generally has no shortage of places to meditate no matter where you are…

Repoman: Just give The Witcher 1 a couple of hours. If you’re not into it, then just stop and load up the second game. I think you can determine whether or not TW1 is fun for you, no?

Wow, I forgot how much I hated that fucking fight against the Beast at the end of Chapter 1 of Witcher 1. And I can’t believe they never added in a patch the ability to save right after the long cutscene leading into that fight. So, lose the beast fight, and sit through the cutscene again! So fucking stupid at launch, and ten times fucking stupider that it’s still in there.

Other than that–loving my replay! :D

Yeah, yeah. I get all that, and I have at least 20 flints in my inventory and know how to use them. :) I just find it stupid to be at an INN, or in a house, with BEDS, and not be able to sleep unless I talk to someone first. It’s a minor pet peeve. I imagine I’ll live.

Hit F5 repeatedly as soon as the fight starts.

I think it’s alot like Mass Effect in that the second game is much better than the first and once you play it you wont get much enjoyment out of the first, but you should play the original before you try the second for the story and the fact that until you’ve played the second game the first is still really good and enjoyable.

Yes, mouse & keyboard-based combat, not actually just the keyboard…

It’s true that I never quite figured out how the combat system was supposed to work, but that’s not related to finishing on Normal. I was playing on Easy anyway, and stopped at some point in the first big city since I disliked just about everything else as well (world, story, loot, skill system), as I already said.

…or you can just use Igni on the campfire. No need to carry flints around.

God dammit.

Yes, but with a couple of caveats.

The combat is rubbish, however it’s so incredibly easy you should be able to ignore if you wish. Also, unless you organize your quests properly, at certain points in the game you’ll be trekking all over the place to get anywhere.

But don’t let the negativity discourage you. The plot is pretty good for a game, you’ll get lots of hard choices and the art direction is top notch. Oh, and conversations are generally uneven , but sometimes are really awesome and rewarding. Also, it’s 5 bucks on GOG.

Combat is fun & challenging (or at least supposed to be) in its own right; sex in the Witcher just seemed…pointless. It didn’t add anything to the plot or characters (apart from periodically reminding you Geralt is a manslut badly in need of soap and a decent haircut); like I said, most of the ladies didn’t even have names, much less personalities, IIRC. It didn’t work as shameless titillation (uncanny valley puppet shagging FTL). Apart from the collectible cards, there was no reward to show for it. Heck, it wasn’t even like Bioware games where you had to win a lady’s affections thru arbitrary tasks; IIRC it basically boiled down to, “Would you like to shag? (Y/N)”

The cutscene of the “haunted” mill was kinda funny, I’ll grant you that. But otherwise, I thought it was much ado about nothing. For a game which worked so hard to bill itself as “mature” and “serious” and “dark,” the sex was disappointing not simply because it was juvenile, but because it was so hollow; it added nothing interesting to either the gameplay or the story.

Well, I suppose some people didn’t realize that positioning isn’t that important unless you’re in a tight spot and need to get away so that you can single people out, perhaps with a stun-kill. For actually attacking and comboing the enemies, you never even have to touch the keyboard because Geralt moves automatically. Trying to play it like an ARPG or action game would result in lots of stilted and cutoff animations that canceled your actions (TW2 seems to be a complete 180° on combat).

Seriously, I’ve been playing the game for quite a while and thought I knew everything. I almost want to say I knew this trick beforehand and completely forgot about it.