From Witche(r)s to Dragons …

So, I recently switched from playing The Witcher 2 to Dragon Age: Origins, mostly because I managed to find a cheap copy of DA:O for the PS3, and the idea of being able to play while sitting on my couch was too tempting to pass up. But in doing so, I’ve discovered that I like DA:O a lot better. Why? Because DA:O makes me feel more like I’m in the game as my character, while The Witcher 2 made me feel like I was guiding Geralt through the world.

One of the reasons for this is customization … or the lack thereof. In DA:O, I get to create my character and get a semi-personal origin tale to get into the game proper. In The Witcher 2 … I get Geralt and get dumped right into the story, and particularly dumped into the story at a point in the middle of the story, where we then backtrack through the prologue that has already happened. Sure, the prologue in DA:O is also linear, but at least then I’m me going through it.

But the biggest reason, really, is dialogue. In DA:O, I decide pretty much everything my character says, specifically, even down to “Yes”. In The Witcher 2, for the most part I determine a general attitude and then conversation ensues. Sometimes Geralt says a lot of things before I get another change to say something. And sometimes what I want to say is not what Geralt says. So I’m basically telling him what generally to do and what generally to say. The Sims gave me more control over my characters than that, even with Free Will turned on.

So, I’m glad to have ditched the Witcher for the dragon. Oblivion is next on my list, and then I might get into Mass Effect 2 before returning to The Witcher 2. It might still be a good game, but without the feeling that I’m me in it I’m much less interested in it now than I was before.

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