You should play it because it's a good game, but TW2 is entirely enjoyable on its own.
Duh, of course it is, do you not like good games or something?
Nah, The Witcher 2 is so awesome (or the first one so lame) that you can go straight to 2
I can't stand all the shit bonerz on these witchering fools
So The Witcher: Extended Edition has been sitting quite calmly in my Steam backlog since... um... since the 2009 holiday Steam sale? Or maybe it was 2010. Anyway, I haven't touched it yet.
Now of course The Witcher 2 is out, and early reviews indicate it adds a bag of chips to the first one's all-thatness.
When I don't have time (OK, don't make time) to play games, I sublimate by micro-managing the hypothetical game-playing I am not doing. Hence this poll. Is it advisable that one play the first game before playing the second? Or does the second game so completely surpass the first as to make it moot?
I strongly suspect this is a Mass Effect-like situation, in which the answer is "duh, play the first!" But nonetheless I'm curious. Thank you for your consideraaaaaation.
You should play it because it's a good game, but TW2 is entirely enjoyable on its own.
I'm only an hour into TW2. They make a few references to things that happened at the end of the original game. It doesn't matter. I also don't think it spoils the story that much, so you can always play the first one later.
I've already encountered a few people and references that probably show up in the books. That's where you'll really be lost at times. Again, it doesn't matter. Jim at RPS has a paragraph about this: you'll feel like you've been put right in the middle of a story but that's okay.
the witcher is fucking amazing. so play that, and then play witcher 2 when it is on sale and cheap. you will be happy AND fiscally prudent.
It's a bit like Persona 3 and 4.
Only in this case the games are related with some references. Still it is hard to go back from the great persona 4 to the great persona 3. Both are good games, but one is just newer, fancier and shinier. You'll also be able to appreaciate the Witcher 2 more if you know where/how it started.
The Witcher 1 is/was a really good game (perhaps starting with 1.2 and the reduced loading times...), but it might be a bit less fun if you played part 2 first.
If I had never played the Witcher I would play it first but my saves are long gone and I'm not into repeating. Don't think it will mar part 2 at all.
a) It's a good game
b) while the story in W2 is new, playing The Wichter 1 serves to establish the characters and the world, and have a stronger connection with Geralt.
You should play The Witcher 1 because it's a good game. I don't think it's crucial to play it before playing The Witcher 2, though. Your experience won't be tremendously diminished in either game by doing it in reverse order.
I got about eight hours in with the original before the sheer amount of running around caused me to lose interest.
I'd hit a wall in Witcher 1, and only a month ago fired it back up and powered through chapter 2. (Thanks GameFAQ's!) I fell in love w/ the game again, but in no way did I have the patience and self control to wait until finishing before I fired up Witcher 2. Witcher 1 is loooong. At least for a dude w/ kids.
I don't find Witcher 2 to be remotely lacking without having finished the original. Witcher 2 opens with a number of flashback episodes that seem confusing until you play them, and then reveal themselves to be self explanatory.
I say just go for Witcher 2. Then you'll be amped and primed to dig into the dense and purportedly much longer Witcher 1.
Shim and I are only in chapter 2 of the first game--and aren't planning to jump ship. I watched the opening cinematic and made a couple dialogue choices, but didn't like feeling that I wasn't sure whether or not I should know these people. If you're not planning to play the first game, it would be sad to miss out on both, but if you are, then I think you'll approach the second game with a better understanding of the world and a better feel for the sort of person Geralt might be if you play them in order. I'm enjoying the first one much more than I expected. And liking Geralt much better than I thought I would.
I'd vote for a play of TW1 and solely because it's a great game, and holds up well after a few years. Play it on Easy and enjoy the story and characters, getting yourself into TW2 faster. At least you'll have the experience.
I thought the first game was one of the best RPG's I've played so I'd say definitely play it first.
I really liked the first one, but if time is limited I think you can skip it and just play the sequel. Long RPGs aren't really much fun when you're tapping your foot trying to get through them.
But so many people here really like The Witcher, whose opinions I respect, that I am going to have to give it another go, maybe try the game on easy setting to move it along a little quicker.
An RPG sequel with the same world, same hero, same characters and connecting narrative that is chronological (not to mention save file) automatically makes playing The Witcher 1 a requirement in my book. FULL STOP. ZERO SUM. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Also The Witcher is fan-fucking-tastic and will be a much better introduction to the world of Witchers than The Witcher 2 will be.
It also helps that the main plot of The Witcher 2 continues off of a "cliff hanger" that occurs at the VERY end of The Witcher 1. Also the WILD HUNT is mentioned like 5 minutes in. Don't you want to know everything Geralt has been through up to this point and know what he knows.
Seriously, play The Witcher 1 first.
I didn't much like the first Witcher. Most boring loot in any RPG ever, overcomplicated skill & potion systems, weird keyboard-controlled combat, too much running around in big empty areas. On the other hand, the final ultimate director's cut ‹beredition (or whatever it's called) is dirt cheap so you don't risk much in trying it.
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.
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.
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