Are we playing two different games? I've played The Witcher 1, reading the entire saga concurrently, only to transfer to Witcher 2 as soon as I was able. In my opinion, Witcher 2 is much closer to the source material, both in tone and writing. The original Witcher borrows a bit too many elements from the novels, making it a bit derivative. But that's a totally YMMV point, dependant on you reading the saga. Witcher 2 is far grittier than its predecessor. I found its focus on politics, particularly their dirty underbelly, a lot more compelling, elaborate and dark than the rather grey-and-black portrayal in the previous game. It helps that practically every character in Witcher 2 is a scumbag of various degrees, including Geralt himself, and the themes tackled also carry a lot more weight, at least with me. The atmosphere in TW2 is also a *lot* more faithful to the source material, which is low, Slavic fantasy at its finest. The writing isn't reduced in scope either. It may appear to be, but that's simply a vastly different menu system, which is broken into more branches than the original, where it was more of a topic list, than an actual dialogue system. Having conversational skills and Axii play a factor in the game is also great. Last, you do realize you can switch QTEs to easy mode, where you have to be an armless cadaver to fail them, right?