The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Cane and Rinse 283

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JaySevenZero
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The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Cane and Rinse 283

Post by JaySevenZero » August 28th, 2017, 6:07 pm

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"Our descendants will decide who we were when they see what we’ve left behind."

In the second of four podcasts on CD Projekt Red's fantasy RPG series, Leon, Jay, Josh and Sean turn their attentions to 2011's The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. The panel considers just how much the developer moved everything on for this, the middle part of the trilogy, plus as usual we share opinions and reminiscences from the Cane and Rinse community and your pithy Three Word Reviews from Twitter.

Music used in this issue:

1. That Which Has Come Before by Zywiolak
2. A Shadow Against the White Sun by Adam Skorupa and Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz

Cane and Rinse 283 was edited by Jay Taylor.

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Todinho
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Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Cane and Rinse 283

Post by Todinho » August 28th, 2017, 11:01 pm

Im listening to the podcast now and It's quite a shame that none of you tried the Iorverth path but not necesserally suprising I feel most people do that, you spend far more time with Roche then Iorverth in the beginning and he is allied with the main antagonist when you meet so it's a hard sell.
I remember that first time I was playing it was more a question of being pragmatic because I was still trying to be as true to the witcher neutrality as I could, Letho had just left and he kidnapped Triss, Iorverth wanted to race to get him while Roche wanted to stay in the city and deal with Loretto so to me it just made sense to go with the scoia'tel and stay on the trail.
Im also convinced that Leon would've probably enjoyed the mid portion of the game way more in Vergen, Henselts camp is just a collection of awfull and unpleasent people while I think Vergen has more variety and the characters are generally more likeable because it has the little people there as well and they are actually fighting for something more then just power, Saskia wants to build a new state not just for nonhumans but for everyone she led a peasant rebellion that crushed the noble armies of Aedirn but she also has the support of the king so it's this interesting collection of peasants,nonhumans and nobles who all kinda of hate each other but believe in this higher cause so are working together, also everyone hates Iorverth there because he's such a butcher. Also I think the dragon at the third acts really comes out of nowhere and as really gratuitous if you go with Roche but with Iorverth everything having to do with the dragon is fully explained and makes perfect sense, Philippas role is much expanded on that path as well and she's one of my favorite female characters in the series.

Going back to Iorverth whats interesting about him is that if you find and pay atttention to his backstory and what he says it paints a more interesting picture, Iorverth worked with his Scoia'tel in the war with Nilfgaard he aided the empire because they were promised a elven state which they kinda of got in Dol Blathanna, but as part of a peace deal Nilfgaard gave the scoia'tel to the Northern kingdoms, the scoia'tel leaders were all brought to an ambush and butchered, all except for Iorverth he was the one that got away, and saw the oppression of his people in the North worsen because of that. He was essentially sold out by the elders elves in for their political schemes for an elven state that's a puppet of the empire, he even mocks Dol Blathana as the "Valley of Sterile elders". So the fact that he believes and truts Saskia after all that says alot especially since she wants a state for both humans and nonhumans, he views that as the best way for his people to live and be independant even if it's alongside humans that he hates, for the first time he's not trying to achieve his aims just through violence but with diplomacy and trying to make peace and for someone like him that only knew violence his whole life this is a big deal.
Now he`s still a piece of shit but the fact that the game made me understand exactly where he was coming from and even like him is a testamment to how good the writing is, which to me is exemplified in this great dialogue that you get if you choose to side with him in Flotsam:

"Iorverth: -You know what's funny Gwynbleidd?
Geralt: -What?
Iorverth: - I made the life of these dhoine a living hell and I just realized that never been here before.
Geralt: -So now that you see the hell that you caused what do you make of it?
Iorverth: -They see me for the first time as well and yet feel not a hint of remorse.
Geralt:- Should there be any?
Iorverth: - I suppose not. They wish to see me die and I wish to see them die. It`s the way things are in this world. The other side of the coin, a concept devised by philosophers in Oxenfurt who never set foot in places like Flotsam."

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Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Cane and Rinse 283

Post by kintaris » September 4th, 2017, 10:42 am

Really interesting podcast - though most of my comments were positive, I played this game very close to release and I wonder if I would agree more with a lot of the hosts' criticisms on the show if I replayed it.

I can also appreciate that I have a lot of context from the books to help me warm more to the plot and Geralt's character. In particular the short story collections may have helped - while Geralt is often the roaming witcher, in many he is also the supposedly indifferent actor in a political dance and so the direction Assassins of Kings took appealed to me much more than the generic fantasy RPG plotting of the main story arc of Wild Hunt. And I definitely concur with Sean's summary that a lot of my love of 2 over 3 might be the fact that the story is refreshingly lean for a fantasy tale.

This podcast has definitely opened my eyes to some of the game's flaws that I had perhaps overlooked in my love of the world and lore. Really looking forward to the Wild Hunt show!
Sam Quirke - @kintaris

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Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Cane and Rinse 283

Post by macstat » September 21st, 2017, 7:50 am

I have yet to listen to this episode, and a lot has been said already but I wanted to make one observation.

From all three games, its the second one that doesn't use a lot of its source material. Other than main characters (Geralt, Dandelion, Triss, Yarpen, and couple more) everything is new. Locations are sometimes only metioned in books, characters like Iorweth, Roche or Leto doesn't exist.
A lot of first game was about Geralt trying to remember things by meeting familiar people, places. The third game, on the other hand, was just packed with references, callbacks and the second DLC was basically a huge tribute to the very popular character in books.
In a way Witcher 2 was most courageous, they tried to make something on their own and in my opinion mostly succeeded.

Also second Witcher with console release (and enhanced edition) was the big step that made combat much more enjoyable and playable on a controller.
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