Despite recommendations from friends that I skip it, I played The Witcher 1 earlier this year and really enjoyed it. At this point I've sunk about 15 hours into The Witcher 2 and have found that while the same great characters and world from the first game are back, there have been some significant changes that have taken me some time to get used to:
- Compared to part 1, The Witcher 2 has a much more fast-paced combat system that heavily relies on rolling, dodging, and blocking. In the first game, the combat system was one of the weaker parts of the experience, so I'm hoping this more action-oriented style with stay fresh throughout the whole adventure. So far I've had a couple of dramatic boss battles that far surpass anything from Witcher 1, but I have been finding myself fumbling with the controls a bit during the more intense moments. I might try switching from keyboard and mouse to Xbox 360 controller to see if that helps.
- The interface and menus have also changed dramatically, in this case for the worse. In an effort to make the second game more console-friendly (part 1 was PC exclusive), the amount of information visible on screen in any given menu has been greatly reduced. This makes for some cumbersome switching back and forth between pages.
- I really liked Jules de Jongh's performance as Triss Merigold in The Witcher 1, so I'm disappointed that she didn't return for the sequel. The new voice actress's delivery feels flat in comparison.