The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Review
CD Projekt and Atari are here with the follow-up to one of the best CRPG’s ever made, The Witcher 2. This particular series is based upon a group of short stories written by polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The original Witcher game was released on October 30th 2007. The game was successful enough to warrant a console port that was eventually axed called The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf.
It has been 3.5 years since the original game was released, and now we see the release of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. This game has been presented with a lot of hype, and has made an awful lot of promises. It even came out the same day as L.A. Noire. Will this game live up its immense hype? Will it be as good as the original? Let’s look at the HOTs and NOTs of The Witcher: Assassin’s of Kings.
The Witcher 2 is among the most visually alluring games to ever grace the PC. To create this feeling, CD Projeckt built an entirely new game engine. The castles that you see, the monsters that you fight, and the people that you meet are all crafted into one of the most beautiful looking you will ever see .
The amount of detail that was put into this game is quite amazing. When fighting monsters it’s hard to not fight and take in the presentation of each monster. As mentioned earlier, to make all this come together is the new state-of-the-art game engine created by the developer called REDengine. To run this game at top quality a beast of a video card is expected but not required or recommended.
The Witcher 2 features a complex, realistic and mature story touching upon subjects that we seldom see in other RPGs. It is told in a manner that is understandable and attractive to contemporary gamers.
You play as Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster slayer with super human powers known as a Witcher. He is plagued by a loss of his memories, and framed for the killing King Foltest. Geralt sets to find the actual person that ended the life of the king. It doesn’t take Geralt long to find out the identity of the kingslayer. While getting closer on his search for the assassin, Geralt becomes involved into the power struggles that the region faces.
The plot of The Witcher 2 is less linear than that of the first game and features three independent plot lines which lead to multiple endings. The Witcher 2 is split into three acts. The first is primarily concerned with following the killer’s trail. The second act greatly expands the plot and introduces a lot of new characters, and also expands on the lore of the game. The third and final act gives you a crazy plot twist while leaving you to wanting more.
The Witcher 2 offers an amazing combat system that is better and more enhanced then its predecessor. The combat system in The Witcher one was broken and unbearable. It required a time click ideal for finishing blows. With the release of Assassins of Kings, I’m glad to see that the system is gone and replaced by something much better. You still need to switch between the silver or the steel sword depending on whether you’re fighting either monsters or humans.
You initiate your standard attacks with your mouse, and parry or cast spells with your keyboard. You can expect to die within the beginning moments of the game even with the difficulty setting on easy. The combat within the game is very similar to that of Demon Souls for the PlayStation 3. If you feel that playing with a keyboard is not your strong suit no worry you can play with an Xbox 360 or PS3 Controller.
The Witcher 2 not only has amazing visuals and an amazing story, but it also includes enough content to keep the gamers happy for hours on end. Character development has been greatly enhanced from the first game, with new skill trees and different kinds of powers that make the game more dynamic and unique than any other CRPG.
The Witcher 2 also includes new mini-games that will make players come back for more. Such games include: arm wrestling, underground boxing, rolling dice, and much more.
The Witcher 2 is an amazing game however, it has some small flaws that is hard to miss. One of the flaws is that of the inventory management system. This idea for this particular system may have looked like the way to go, but it’s not. The whole menu system is a disaster and inventory management is cumbersome at best. When combining this with the crafting system it clogs your bags with hundreds of nearly useless items ignoring this whole system might be a good thing to do. It is a small gripe to an excellent game and doesn’t deter the game in the slightest.
Quick Time Events
Another flaw in the game is that there are the many agonizing quick time events. There are so many that they are hard to ignore. A game like The Witcher 2 would make you believe that there is nor reasoning for that type of gameplay mechanic to be in the game but yet it is. The game wastes no time in implementing it meaning it’s in the first 30 minutes of the game.
The Witcher 2 goes further into the world of QTE’s with a new boxing mini-game. You need to tap whatever letter to make a punch between WASD and in some occurrence you may need to press one of them twice. To go even further all of the mini-games included in Assassins of Kings is a Quick Time Event unlike the original game.
Overall, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is an awesome game, and is a must have for those that seek a mature CRPG with an excellent story and amazing graphics with a great combat system. There are two small problems with the game, but they’re only minor ones. Even with its problems, it still has the potential to be named “Game of the Year” (in my opinion), but if it doesn’t win The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is definitely one of the best PC games released this year.
[Editor's Note: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was reviewed on the PC . The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]