The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition Review
When the Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was released on the PC almost a year ago, console owners, especially those with a Xbox 360, were ultimately disappointed by CD Projekt’s decision to jeep their game on PC only. Following the glorious success of the game on the PC, CD Projekt decided to bring an enhanced edition of the game with much more content not only on the PC, but finally to the Xbox 360.
Did CD Projekt make the right choice in bringing The Witcher 2 to the Xbox 360? Let’s take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of the Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition.
Exemplary Visuals and Presentation
Back when the Witcher 2 was released on the PC, many fans and critics praised the beautiful visuals it offered, especially on the maximum settings. Now that the enhanced edition of the game has finally landed on the Xbox 360, many were worried that porting the game to a console would turn out bad, as majority of other PC games ported to consoles suffered the same problems. That is to say that people feared that Witcher 2 would suffer from a big loss of quality. Well, the moment you turn your Xbox 360 and watch the opening scene, you will see right away that the visuals are nearly on par with what PC gamers saw last year.
Managing to keep the visuals intact, and with some improvements on its shading and textures, the graphics of the Xbox 360 version make it one of the best looking RPG games on a console. From the beautifully crafted environments to the crystal clear shades and shadows of the trees, the fans who waited for this game for so long will be nothing but pleased. When it comes to a hybrid action-RPG game like Dragon Age or Skyrim, I must say that the Witcher 2 puts them in their place because, by the end of your playthrough with the Witcher 2, you’ll be wanting more. To make everything within the game appealing and create a connection with gamers, not only are the visuals impressive, you’ll also notice that the soundtrack used within the game is one of the best. While watching cutscenes and how the story unfolds in the Witcher 2, a cinematic-like quality can be seen. Voice-overs are pretty good as well as the voice matches the personality of each character, like Geralt of Rivia.
The release of the first Witcher on the PC gathered a lot of positive reviews due to the story it offered and, with the Witcher 2, the same top-notch quality is to be expected. The Witcher 2 takes place several years after the evens of the first game. The Witcher — also known as a monster slayer who is proficient with black magic arts — or as he’s also know, Geralt of Rivia, has moved to the Northern part of the continent where he serves the King that he saved from an attempted assassination. Months while serving the King, conspiracy started to break loose when Geralt himself was blamed for the death of the King he served and he then becomes a fugitive. Teaming up with the people who have trusted him to uncover the mystery, Geralt and a group of his friends will set out on an adventure and find the kingslayer. The truth and intriguing plot twist are something to look forward to as they will surely engage you from the very beginning to the end.
Unlike other RPGs where there is only one ending, The Witcher 2 offers a lot of them and the outcome will depend on the choices that you make throughout the game. Similar to games like Mass Effect 3, you’ll make a lot of decisions within the game where it will effect the flow of the story. Depending on who you kill or who you spare, the tide of events are bound to change. There are a total of 16 endings that you can unlock and, yes, playing it more than once is what you’ll be doing if you want to see the full scope of the story. Playing the game only once will make the story appear one-sided. That’s why in order to see what the plot and everything is all about, a minimum of two playthroughs is recommended.
The console version of Witcher 2 switches out the keyboard for a controller, as you’d obviously expect. With the two swords that Geralt is using, one for normal enemies and one for the supernatural beings, you will be spending plenty of time pushing the A and the X button to attack. In some games where this gameplay style is implemented, the repetition of doing it might get dull easily. In the Witcher 2, every move that you do is what you should be thinking about as the enemies’ AI is smart and not to be taken lightly. To survive a fight, you must not hastily attack the enemy, but instead combine the sword attack with magic. Since Geralt is a sorcerer, he will have access to magic that can help him fight his way through the opposition. Since most of the enemies like to defend when attacked, you will need to break their defenses by combining all sorts of attacks, thus keeping the gameplay from getting stale or repetitive.
Character development is also a big aspect of the Witcher 2. As you fight and gain experience points, you will gain levels and obtain talent points. Just like in other RPGs, you will be spending your time developing your character’s build through a skill tree. There is a vast amount of stat boosting improvements that you can give Geralt as well as abilities to aid him in battle. The stronger he is, the more chance he has of surviving an enemy’s attack, especially on the Dark difficulty mode that the console version offers.
The game wouldn’t be an RPG if there were no side quests or outside distractions to take players away from the main story for a while. The Witcher 2 was announced as a non-linear game and it has stayed true to that statement. Since it only contains three chapters, some might think that it’s short, but there are a lot of things that can be done within the game, such as taking quests where it will involve you killing a monster. These quests are necessary for those who want Geralt to reach the maximum level. There are also mini-games such as dice and fist fight that you can take to give you something to distract yourself from the game’s complex flow of the storyline. If none of these interest you, there’s always the alchemy route. Here you will have a chance to make your own weapon, improve it, make traps and much more. These things might seem more of the same, but this is how you’ll be spending a good majority of the 50+ hour game.
Another thing that you can do in the Witcher 2 is create relationships with women. If you are fond of the main character having sex with any of the lead female characters, then you’ll be pleased to hear that you can do it in the game as well. There are a decent amount of females in the game where you’ll spend your time building your relationships. Giving them responses that will make them like you is necessary if you wish to have a relationship with them. However, CD Projekt didn’t take pointers from BioWare in the romance department. Those who are looking for a same-sex romance will not find it here.
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