The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Enhanced Edition

The Witcher 2 is full of powerful moments that ensure that your decisions aren’t simple good or evil choices but instead eventually manifest into meaningful ways without sacrificing fiction for convenience, while at the same time entertaining you will s

By Grayshadow, Posted 21 Apr 2012

The Witcher 2 was highly praised as being one of the best fantasy RPG’s causing others who were unable to play it left in the cold. With the release of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: Enhanced Edition gamers, like me, can finally explore this dangerous land and experience this compelling fantasy. While The Witcher 2 attempts to tell the story of the pervious title in a violent cinematic you’ll still find yourself at a disadvantage when attempting to grasp the story. The Witcher 2 is full of powerful moments that ensure that your decisions aren’t simple good or evil choices but instead eventually manifest into meaningful ways without sacrificing fiction for convenience, while at the same time entertaining you will some challenging combat.

 The Witcher 2 does an excellent job of not mitigating the level of sex and violence you can come to expect. You take control of Geralt of Rivia, a patience and deadly monster hunter, who suffers from amnesia and is the personal bodyguard of King Foltest. It becomes clear from the beginning that Geralt isn’t a hero or villain but simply an intense solider with a reputation that you mold. It isn’t long before you find out that Geralt was framed by regicides and now must play his part within the political storm that has risen from the murder of King Foltest in order to clear his name. As you transverse Temeria you will take part in various decisions that will decide the fate of many of the characters you encounter.

Like the mature content the story is also meant for those of a certain age. The Witcher 2 focuses the story on a lot of different characters and complicated political rhetoric. The voice actors do a fantastic job of portraying each character in a way that expresses their intentions, desires, and personal interests. You want find any stereotypical fantasy characters here but the developers showcase them as physically damage, racist, drunk, and extremely violent in order to make these characters feel more independent from standard norms. The characters themselves look great except for minor forms of clipping. The Witcher 2 is separated into three acts. The first focuses on following the killer’s trailer, the second dealing with expanding the plot, and the third attempts to make a dramatic conclusion. Players may be confused or overwhelmed by the story and characters but Geralt’s journal does an excellent job of conveying each action you make throughout your journey.

The Witcher 2 isn’t an open-world game in the way of other titles like Skyrim. Each area you explore is incredibly detailed with a lust array of colors and contains enough expansive terrain that encourages exploration. Although the rewards aren’t always worth the risk the decisions you make from stumbling on certain side quests can heavily impact the story in a later period or provide information towards the primary objective. It does help that the areas you explore are nice but suffers from texture pop-ins if the game isn’t installed into your hard drive and the constant loading screens can become vexing. It’s clear that the game had to undergo radical changes in the visuals to work on the 360, but nevertheless is impressive.

Geralt is well-armed and has access to an array of weapons, tools, and magical spells to dispose of his enemies. Combat is strictly third person and requires the player to choose a few different types of weapons, but you will mostly be using steel or silver swords to eliminate humans and monsters. You can choose to perform light and heavy attacks while combining them with parries, counters, bombs, and signs. Combat is quick and can become frantic at times, but using all your skills in a smart manner can yeild successful results. The tutorial does a good job of explaining the mechanics of the combat since it does require a good deal of time to become proficient. Enemies usually attempt the same tactic of trying to surround you making crowd control an important factor to ensure survival. Outside this form of combat is quick-time hand to hand combat that isn’t challenging but is nevertheless fun to watch and sneaking sections that are playable but nothing special.  As you level up and spend talent points in the four categories (witcher training, swordsmanship, magic, alchemy) combat becomes easier but always retains its difficulty.

 Controlling Geralt within combat become easier as you play but certain aspects can continue to cause frustrations. The manual targeting system allows players to easily target single enemies but when faced with multiple enemies it is best to use to the auto-targeting system. When the manual system is used the camera becomes the focus of that enemy, making it difficult to see and target other enemies. Geralt himself controls well and demonstrates an believable sense of weight with every swing and roll.

Death is a inevitable fate in the Witcher 2 and proper preparation is the only way to avoid such as fate. The Witcher 2 offers an array of potions, traps, weapons, armor, and enchantments for you to use while outside combat. It’s unfortunate that the interface is difficult to navigate and take some time to get use of the separate menus. You can craft various potions and traps using the various recipes found throughout the Witcher 2 to open new possibilities. Unlike traps potions can only be brewed and consumed outside of battle during the mediation state. You are also limited to how many potions you can consume since each one will increase your toxicity meter and will only deplete over time. Your enemies will be ruthless and if not properly prepared you will end up looking at the "Game Over" screen a lot.

The team at CD Projekt RED utilized a lot of mechanics that makes a RPG good. Right and wrong are absent here but each choice you make will affect everyone around you, leading yourself and others into different paths ensuring that the decisions you make are more personal than simply an objective to be good or evil. This plot refuses to slow down and constantly feeds you need information through believable characters. The fast-pace combat provides plenty of challenges and expects you to take the fighting as seriously as the story itself. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – Enhanced Edition is difficult and rewarding game that demands nothing less than your complete commitment to complete each battle and to understand the complicated story.

This review was written without having played the original PC version of the Witcher 2.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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  • Excellent review Adam :)  Witcher 2 is no where close the its original game, but it still is a fantastic sequel. The story really gets into the mind of the player and it's hard to leave the game unfinished. The only feature I don't like about this series is its sword fighting. Even after playing the original, I had this same complain but most gamers seem to be fine with it. If anyone likes Skyrim but looking for a change, Witcher is without a doubt the best option to pick.

    Posted Apr 21, 2012


General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PC
Publisher(s): Namco Bandai Games, Warner Bros. Interactive, Spike Chunsoft
Developer(s): CD Projekt RED
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Action, Adventure, Hack And Slash
Release Date: 2012-05-17

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