Gamer’s Guide To 1000 GamerScore For The Witcher 2
I’ve always been a lover of the RPG genre. In my early years as a gamer the genre just grabbed me by the neck and took me for a ride. Like my ex-girlfriend, Matilda. In the following years I’ve dabbled in many different forms of RPG’s. I gave the Western action RPG’s a proper go and I invested tons of time into the JRPG genre. I’m not hell-bent on finishing a JRPG in its entirety because come on, who has time to do that? When I played The Witcher 2 for the first time, I knew that this was going to be a game I’m completing. And I did. And man what a journey.
I started out my first playthrough like I usually do in an RPG. I don’t go for any achievements and I play on Normal difficulty. That has always been my tradition because I love to just experience a story without the added pressure of getting them achievements. I was mistaken though because after I finished the playthrough (which took me close to 40 hours) I learned that I missed about 5 missable achievements and some miscellaneous ones as well. I was devastated, but that didn’t stop me at all. The playthrough was brutal for me because I didn’t know the combat that well and I didn’t do any of the tactics needed to survive. I died a lot and I was sometimes so frustrated that I contemplated moving over to Easy difficulty. But that I won’t do, because I’m manly and stuff.
I started up my second playthrough mere hours after completing the first. On Dark difficulty. For those of you who don’t know, Dark difficulty is the epitome of masochistic extreme in The Witcher 2. Two shots from any enemy and you’re dead. One shot from a bigger enemy and you’re pushing up daisies. At first I was extremely intimidated by the feat, but I was confident in my abilities. I knew the combat in and out and knew all the tricks to make my life a bit easier. There was one tactic that made my life infinitely easier: The Quen sign.
Basically the Quen sign is a protective spell that allows you to be hit once (and later twice if you choose to upgrade the ability). That doesn’t sound like much, but it does help you greatly in the long run. Like I said, 2 hits from even the most basic enemies means you’re screwed. If you get hit while the Quen sign is active, you have ample opportunity to dodge away, wait a second for your Vigor (the game’s form of stamina and mana in one) to replenish and cast it again. To kill the enemies, you basically have to chip away at a single enemy’s health the whole time, casting Quen and dodging away until every enemy is slain. With some keen reflexes and timing you can walk away from any battle unscathed. That was the case with me. To my surprise I finished the entire prologue by only dying once. And that was a stupid button press I missed, not an enemy killing me.
I had hope that I would do great in the Dark difficulty and I eventually did. In the entire playthrough I died maybe 7 times in total and I didn’t even use potions and oils at all. Bear in mind that I was going for achievements this time and did every single quest in all the acts to gain experience. If I didn’t have to I could have ploughed (Witcher 2 players will chuckle at that) through the entire game in about 5 hours flat if I skipped all the cutscenes and conversations. When I faced the final boss, which was a tale all on its own, I was just destroyed instantly. That 7 times I talked about earlier bumped up to about 20 just in that one fight. The fight is very grind-tastic and takes almost 30 minutes to finish, but the difficult part is that if you get hit once, you’re dead and have to reload. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just leave it at that.
I had all the miscellaneous achievements after it, even that infernal Poker! achievement where you had to roll a 5-of-a-kind in dice poker. That achievement was worthy of praise on its own. It took me 30 tries to get it when I was focused on getting it, but I have heard horror stories of people doing 250 tries before eventually getting it. Caveshen was one of those people and I stayed in a party chat with him until 6 am in the morning while he was going for it. I think he might have switched off the mic and screamed FUUUUCK a few times when he got a 4-of-a-kind on his first throw and his opponent resigned.
The Witcher 2 has a very particular achievement list. There are 2 distinct paths you can take in the game and there are multiple achievements in both paths. The problem is that you are often given choices you have to make and the achievement only counts for one of the choices. I had the rotten luck of choosing everything differently to the requirements of the achievements. After I finally finished Dark, I found an old save near the end of act 1. The achievements I needed were in act 2 and 3. If you play correctly and do anything and everything, that would take quite a bit of time. I was in a hurry. I put the difficulty on Easy (Yes, yes whimpy pussy etc.) and just went for it. Conversations? No. Cutscenes? Don’t try your luck buddy. I burrowed through the entire thing just collecting achievements and before I knew it I had 1000 GamerScore. The sight of it was one if those hhhhhnnnngggg moments. TrueAchievements says that I’m the 113th person in the world to complete it. I had one of those proud moments. It wasn’t like getting a 1000GS for Skyrim or Oblivion, I felt like I worked for this one. I endured many long-winded battles and close calls and frustrating moments of ‘Oh for fuck sakes’ when a sorcerer healed himself for the 200 billionth time. It was a journey of hardship and love (brothel style) and one I won’t soon forget.
For all the guys that think of getting this one day, know that I will create an achievement guide for it very soon. Look forward to it.