The Witcher 3 is set to be one of the year's biggest role-playing games when it arrives on Xbox One, Windows and PlayStation 4 this May. The third game in the Witcher series differentiates itself from other open-world action-RPGs with its dark and mature storyline filled with meaningful player choices and memorable side quests.
To help prepare our readers for The Witcher 3, Windows Central has begun a new weekly Twitch series focused on The Witcher 2. Every Tuesday night at 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific, 2am GMT), we play through another section of the game while you guys watch the stream at Twitch.tv/Eastxtwitch. Join us and engage in our social take on this epic Witcher adventure!
Did you miss the previous episode of our Witcher Twos-day series? Don't worry; we've got a full write-up that will get you up to speed – complete with screenshots from the stream!
- Prelude: About the hero Geralt and a quick summary of the first Witcher game
- Episode 1 recap: The assassination of Foltest and Geralt escapes the prison
- Episode 2 recap: Geralt and team arrive in Flotsam, where he rescues Dandelion and Zoltan. Geralt agrees to help a sorceress kill a sea monster called the kayran.
- Episode 3 recap: Triss and Geralt team up to investigate the kayran. Loredo offers to help Geralt fight the terroristic Scoia'tael if he will leave Vernon Roche behind.
Much of the flavor of The Witcher games comes from completing optional sidequests. During our first visit to the port city of Flotsam, Geralt accepted a job from a shady character known as Vencel Pugg, initiating the quest ' The Scent of Incense.' Pugg claims to be a scholar and hires Geralt to procure the formula for a unique type of incense being sold at a local shop.
On the way to the shop, our hero meets a group of villagers to tell him that said incense is actually a powerful and dangerous recreational drug. Geralt agrees to their request to stop the shopkeeper from selling it. Using his powers of persuasion, the Witcher secures the drug's formula and convinces the shopkeeper/drug dealer to leave town.
Geralt eventually returns to Flotsam's port area and meets up with Pugg once more. At this point, we can choose either to deliver the formula or refuse to give it to the client. Because our Geralt tends towards altruism, he refuses and makes an enemy of Pugg. That choice was the less interesting one from a gameplay perspective though, as agreeing would have ended with us following Pugg to his otherwise inaccessible secret laboratory.
Later on in the forests outside of Flotsam, Vencel Pugg ambushes Geralt with a pack of goons. At this point, our hero only wields a relatively weak club and his usual (mild) magical powers. But Geralt still manages to make short work of the lot, saving Pugg for last (see image near the end of the article). One less potential drug manufacturer off the streets!
Meeting Dandelion at the inn once again
Geralt heads back to Flotsam's inn, where his friends Dandelion the bard/spy and Zoltan the dwarf/merchant (who Bernard Loredo claims is colluding with the Scoia'tael) continue to spend their time. We discuss a variety of topics with Dandelion:
- Dandelion wants to know what really happened to King Foltest. Geralt briefly retells the events of our first episode and how he has been set up to look like the killer. The assassin is hiding with the Scoia'tael in the forests near Flotsam and Geralt hopes to catch him.
- What did Dandelion report on to Vernon Roche? He witnessed a variety of crimes and chalks them up to cold calculation. In Flotsam, the people are more willing to hurt others in order to get ahead than in other places.
- Any new information that could help Geralt locate the kingslayers? No, he has only heard a variety of wild theories on the subject. King Foltest's assassination has made everyone paranoid and xenophobic.
- Geralt has been having flashbacks to his death (which preceded the first Witcher game). Dandelion witnessed the tragic event as well as Yennefer the sorceress sacrificing herself in an attempt to save the fallen Witcher. Geralt's return has Dandelion confused, but our hero still doesn't remember enough to explain how he came back to life.
Don't mess with the Zoltan
We then speak with Zoltan, who laments his misfortune at losing his betrothed because her father falsely believes him to be part of the Scoia'tael. Zoltan has been working as a gem polisher for Síle de Tansarville, the temperamental sorceress with whom Geralt is supposed to team up and kill the tentacled kayran that threatens Flotsam. She needs the gems for a mysterious magical device.
Zoltan and Geralt fear for Commandant Loredo's plans for nonhumans in Flotsam. The dwarf once overheard Loredo muttering about a new world order that only includes humans. He might plan to use the Scoia'tael as justification for eliminating the city's peaceful elves and dwarves.
Finally, we engage in an arm wrestling minigame against Zoltan and win – no easy feat where a stout dwarf is concerned! He tells us about other nearby arm wrestlers who might give Geralt a challenge,
Killing time at the inn
We take a break from advancing the story to engage in a trio of diversions within Flotsam's inn.
First Geralt busts a few heads in the local fight club and win some coinage. Then we play dice poker, a game which has divided viewers right down the line. The cooler viewers want to see more dice playing!
Finally, Geralt parts with some coins by visiting the brothel and paying one of its workers for her services. Although I enjoyed the scene's raciness, I felt that she left Geralt without the requisite pillow talk that such a situation demands.
Incidentally, people are not squeamish about sex in the Witcher's world. My kind of people! But Geralt's current girlfriend Triss Merigold would likely be jealous if she found out about his wanderings.
Getting Geralt's equipment back
Towards the end of episode 3 of our series, Geralt was hired by a recruiter to win a series of underground fights. He did so with flying colors, but something went wrong during our actual playthrough. Before entering the fight club, Geralt had to leave his weapons and armor behind. Unfortunately for yours truly, somehow I missed the chance to retrieve those belongings after the quest ended!
That put me in a rough spot this week, as Geralt started out without the swords he needs for battle. We eventually gave up on finding the original equipment, instead opting to purchase or craft replacements. Easier said than done!
We had to search high and low to find some silver to buy before we could pay a dwarven blacksmith to create the all-important silver sword. By the stream's conclusion, Geralt has finally procured the silver sword he uses to slay monsters and a steel sword with which to battle human foes.
Now our newly-equipped Geralt ready for more adventures, and you're ready for the next chapter of our epic Witcher 2 playthrough!
- The Witcher – Windows – $9.99 – Steam Link – GOG Link
- The Witcher 2 – Xbox 360 – $29.99 – Xbox.com Link
- The Witcher 2 – Windows – $19.99 – Steam Link – GOG Link
How to watch Twitch livestreams
We'll be streaming The Witcher 2 for 90 minutes tonight, starting at 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific).
What's the best way to experience Twitch? The Twitch website on your PC or Mac web browser. If you don't have or prefer not to use a computer, you can get the Xbox One, Playstation 4, or Xbox 360 Twitch apps and watch from the comfort of your couch. Android and iOS both have official and unofficial Twitch apps to choose from as well.
On Windows Phone, you'll have to grab an unofficial app. There are several to choose from, each with different strengths and weaknesses. Only one app lets you search directly for our channel, though. If you use the others you'll have to find and follow us from a web browser first. Read the roundup to learn more!
Want to know what's next for Windows Central's weekly Twitch streaming contests? Here's our upcoming schedule. The stream always starts at the same time: 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific).
- Saturday, March 7: Order & Chaos Online (Windows 8) from Gameloft. Guest cohost: "Gameloft" Ryan!
- Saturday, March 14: Forza Horizon 2 from Microsoft
In addition to our Saturday contest streams, we also livestream a variety of different games throughout the week. These streams don't have contests, but they still offer a great chance to see more exciting games while enjoying our live commentary and stream chat.
- Mondays: PlayStation Vita games! See what the other side gets to play. This Monday we're playing adventure game classic Grim Fandango.
- Tuesdays: The Witcher 2 for Xbox 360. Catch up on The Witcher saga before The Witcher 3 launches in May!
- Wednesdays: Xbox One games. This Wednesday we're playing Dragonball Xenoverse!
- Thursdays: Dragon Age: Inquisition! Game selected and funded by our excellent stream viewers.
We hope you'll tune in as often as you can! Set a recurring alarm on your phone so you'll always know when it's time for the stream to start.
Thanks to tonight's cohosts Xero and Tylerh1701 and our Twitch stream moderators for keeping the stream friendly!