I played The Witcher 2 without having played through the first game and I found the story to be pretty easy to follow. The catch, of course, is that two playthroughs are required to really make sense of it all. Still, the game is so damn good that it was worth a second (and even a third!) playthrough.
Take a bow, CDProjekt Red.
Sinking my teeth into The Witcher 2 on 360, it shows that it's more than possible to bring the "PC" experience to console, just like how the "console" experience has been brought to PC.
Of course, the difference in visuals between the two versions, if comparison videos are anything to go by, are nearly night and day. The PC version sports a whole lot more than a simple resolution bump. The 360 version looks dull in comparison, but only in comparison. The 360 version looks pretty damn good in its own right, and as far as I know that's where the majority of significant differences lie.
It very much plays and feels like the original game, which remains exclusive to PC. The same gritty, yet somewhat elegant universe. The same political intrigue. A similar intro in awesomeness, and a similar prologue in padding. It's a tighter, bulkier game than the original. The combat is good, though a bit too hack and slashish. The story is solid (so far), though on more than a few occasions you hear some downright goofy dialogue. While I'm just at the end of chapter 1, it's every bit of a sequal that I expected it to be, warts and all. It also reinforced Geralt's genuine badassery.
It just sucks for console-only owners who've never played the original. Perhaps some may have picked this game up, only to be completely lost as to what the story's about. Seriously, you need to finish the first game to really get a grasp of the second game's story.