I'll talk about it, but I don't think you're going to like it.
I actually just finished it two days ago. Played it after hearing people rave about it for a year, since it came out on PC. I have to say I was very underwhelmed and disappointed. Let me first say that it is in no way a bad game. It's just easily one of the most overrated I've ever played. My main problem being that I didn't give two shits about any of the characters. The game could have ended with them all dying in a ditch somewhere and I wouldn't have blinked an eye. I don't know if that's because I haven't played the first game or not, but I was assured by everyone I could go into this fresh so that's not an excuse. This trickles down to every other aspect. Since I cared for no one, none of the choices mattered to me. What does it matter if I go with Roche or Iorveth? They're both boring, unlikeable people who's politics matter not to me.
Maybe it was all the hype, I don't know. Either way, I'll probably play through it one more time to see the other side of the major choice at the end of act 1 and be done with the game for good.
Playing the first one won't change a thing. It is just as overrated as the second. Both are okay, but like you I don't see why they get so much hype.