Free DLC is a nice touch, but after never having mine DL properly I just finished the game without bothering.
You know, this game feels like such a cocktease. The first chapter and prologue are tough, engaging, really atmospheric -- just plain awesome. Then chapter 2 happens and the story weakens, the choices you make don't seem to carry as much weight, and things just get confusing. Without spoiling anything, only one choice at the end of chapter 1 seems to really effect the game in terms of what side of the map you play on for the first half of chapter 2. To top it off, it's one of those split-second choices where you're forced to make a decision in a matter of seconds.
That in itself doesn't really bother me, but the fact that your decisions allude to having some impact and then ultimately amount to nothing is disappointing. It's entirely possible that behind the scenes they do
make a difference, but as you're playing through the first time you'd hardly notice. In fact, I had one quest go completely unresolved due to a choice I made and the quest even states that I should wait until later but after the credits rolled nothing came of it.
The ending and reveals are (I chose to spoiler this because while I don't reveal anything plotwise, don't read it if you don't want to be let down)
CDPR stated they were huge fans of 'weight' in Demon's Souls, but their combat system is just artificially hard at the start. By the time I was level 10 or 15 the game was an absolute joke for difficulty. I chose the swordsman tree to invest in and just worked all the way to the end picking up defensive abilities mostly. Once you have some key modifiers, you're basically invincible unless you're a complete drooler and can't use space bar to dodge efficiently. Bosses would just fall over dead after I'd dodge roll behind them and spam right-click. It's pretty obvious a lot of love went into chapter one, because it's the most balanced and polished part of the game. After that, the game just breaks down and nothing is difficult again.
I keep referring to chapter one because it also feels most like a Witcher game. Taking bounties on monsters, engaging huge beasts, that sort of thing. After chapter one, you're mostly fighting conscripts or elves and running errands around town. There's also entirely too much exposition and downtime, with few fights in between. This is a game that requires exploring to get any real sense of fun, because the quests become hollow and boring after chapter one. It's easy to get lost in a busy plot and subplots that quite frankly, aren't that interesting either.
It probably sounds like I hated the game, but the truth is that chapter one was just a cocktease for me. It's so good and rewarding that had it ended there, I would have been satisfied. That said, I'd still recommend it to anyone and I'm sure some people will enjoy chapter 2 & 3 more than I did. Just go in knowing that the choices you take won't make or break the ending. Just choose what comes natural and enjoy the ride.