The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is an action Role Playing game developed by CD Projekt RED and is the sequel to their 2007 game The Witcher. The protagonist is Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher, which is a mutant trained to professionally hunt and kill monsters. The game follows him on his quest to clear his name of a crime he didn’t commit and to regain the memories he’s lost due to long term amnesia. The world of The Witcher is set in the same world as Andrzej Sapkowski’s series of short stories.
The Witcher 2 has an interactive story line with branching dialogue trees that greatly affect the story. One great thing about the dialogue is that most of the time there isn’t a clear good or bad choice but it deals more with grey area. The dialogue also has chances to influence other characters in the story by persuading them, intimidating them or using a sign that acts like a Jedi mind trick. These actions have a chance to fail but throughout the game whenever I chose one I always succeeded. One example that shows how big the consequences some of your decisions are is that the whole second chapter of the game, a third of the overall game, can go two completely different ways depending on your actions in chapter 1. This means you must play through the game again to even play through a whole 5-7 hour section of the game.
Combat in The Witcher 2 is action based and consists of light attacks, heavy attacks, dodging, blocking, magic, bombs and traps. Geralt uses two swords in the game, a silver one for monsters and a steel one for human enemies. Light and heavy attacks work like they do in other games where light attacks are quick and heavy ones take longer to swing. Combos can be done with these attacks resulting in hits doing more damage and can switch from enemy to enemy mid-combo. A big issue I had with that and the lock on system was that your targets would change without meaning to and then you’d be trying to swing at an enemy across the room. The combat starts out pretty difficult but as the game progresses thanks to gear and skills it becomes much less difficult. In many games where enemies surround the player and attack only one at a time but that is not the case here. Enemies will attack at the same time or not wait for Geralt to finish his combo before striking and because of that combat requires more strategy. That is where dodging and blocking come in. Dodging is basically diving out of the way of attacks but they’ll still hurt if hit mid-dive. Blocking is effective but cannot be done too often as each block uses a charge which is the same thing magic signs use. Signs are the magic abilities in the game and the Geralt only has 5 of them throughout the whole game. Though there’s only 5 they’re actually useful and don’t feel repetitive except for maybe Quen, the shield spell that absorbs damage and allows the player to continue a combo even though they’re being hit.
There’s a lot of loot to be found in Witcher 2. There are literally containers everywhere that contain lootable items although most of it is junk. There is a weight limit in the game and because there are so many items marked for being usable in crafting something it’s very easy to reach that limit. I know it’s in there to make the player have to think about what they’re picking up and manage their inventory but it just seems like an arbitrary limitation and gets in the way. The crafting system is pretty cool and allows the player to create powerful potions, weapons and armor. Since finding materials is so common most of the time I ended up always having the materials for making the next piece of armor or weapon.
Overall The Witcher 2 is a really fun, different and solid game that provides a decent amount of challenge without being frustrating. The game lasted a little over 20 hours and I left a bunch of side missions unfinished. Also the different ways the game turns out can almost completely change the experience from the first to second playthrough. I played the game on medium system settings and it looked absolutely great, even low settings good even a little better than most RPGs I’d see on the Xbox 360. One thing that I did find odd about the game was that it controlled way better while using an Xbox controller, almost like the game and menus were designed to use it. The controls are still decent with keyboard and mouse but if you have a controller I’d recommend using it. Altogether The Witcher 2 is a great package and I’d recommend it to any RPG fan or even gamer out there.
Click here to buy The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings online for Windows PC from EBGames.com
Click here to buy The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings online from EBGames.com for a great price.
Minimum System Requirements
Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7
Dual-Core, 2,2 GHz.
1 GB (Windows XP), 2 GB (Windows Vista / Windows 7)
nVidia GeForce 8800 / 512 MB