Last year CD Projekt Red released The Witcher 2 on the Pc as a RPG adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels. The PC build claimed widespread critical acclaim success, The Witcher 2 now comes to Xbox 360 in an Enhanced Edition. Tweaks and a few improvements have been made so that the port to console is a smooth comfortable one,with new major adventures and new unseen locations and an expanding story which introduces new characters, monsters and mysteries for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – Enhanced Edition.
You’re Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter who has memory problems of the worst level. He is being framed for the murder of a king and branded a criminal, from that moment you shape the outcome of Geralt’s future for better or worse. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings shies away from typical narration found in games and puts you in control of the outcome of every scenario, conversation and relationship. As Geralt you will deal with Kings who use battles to carry out personal vendettas, rebel elves that attack humans and even drunken fornicators who add in some racial and political tension to non-humans in the mix. The world has a complicated history to say the least, it may seem like Geralt’s tale is to be the hero but he’s far from that but his tale is personal. The Witcher 2 is also full of side quests that all play a little part to the core story, if you’re not into the side quests you can always waste time in the taverns shooting dice and arm wrestling you can even get in bar fights which I find hilarious. Not one time did I feel as if Geralt wasn’t making a difference in the game, it’s always a dynamic feel as you interact with the world. As you investigate the assassin of the king’s identity you learn how powerful forces influence Geralt’s situation
PC players my have some trouble with the controller and its unusual hand placement. For example, when you bring up the spell casting menu by holding LB the game will go into slow motion mode and lets you choose and cast your magic all while still looking at your targets, it took me a couple of minutes to get used to this. There’s a full tutorial system that breaks everything down step-by-step in case you need it, and in my experience I would say you most likely you will. Camera control for the Xbox version is automatic, which is good cause you don’t have to use the right stick to control the camera most of the time, but sometimes the camera moves into bad angles causing you to lose sight of what you’re attacking. This happened to me when I used the evasive roll against two or more enemies and it was a bit painful. They also added a locking system which allows you to cycle through multiple targets during combat, again it’s good but like the automatic camera it has it’s moments where frustration can strike.
- Y- Cast spells
- X- Strong attack
- B- Dodge
- A- Quick attack
- L-Analog Stick -Moves player/ press down to use the medllon
- R- Analog Stick- Camera Control
- L-Analog Stick- Dodge
- LT- Target Lock
- LB- Quick menu
- RB- Use item
Combat is simple and straight-forward. You have your quick and strong attacks for melee combat, evasive roll which helps you roll behind enemies to avoid or attack and blocking is done by holding the right trigger. Something to remember about blocking is that it stops lighter weapon attacks without taking damage, when used against heavier weapons you’ll take some damage though. I personally just used the evasive roll as much as I could, you’re going to need to learn how to use both blocking and the evasive roll efficiently in combat, if not you will find the game a bit difficult to progress through. Quest tracking is an area that feels weird and undefined, its easy to deviate from one place to another, there are no path ways marked to follow which is frustrating at times.
- Left – Draw Steel Sword
- Right- Draw Sliver Sword
- Up – Drew weapon
- Down- Sheathe weapon
You would think that porting from the PC to console would fall short graphically in some way, but that’s not the case for The Witcher 2, the environments are amazing almost on par to its PC counterpart when installed to the HDD. The new graphics are powered by the RED Engine based on State-of-the-Art engineering. The Characters, environments, models and textures look amazing even non-human places that are dangerous look tempting. Unfortunately this magic does require a hard drive install which makes the game look like a medium setting PC game without it. It’s well worth it if you do so and have the space to spare for both discs, if you don’t it still looks good but not as sharp as it could be. The audio for this game well done, the dialogue between characters is good and meaningful without going into needless circles. The music scores for combat and quests are surprisingly good and draw players into the world without making an abrupt shift.
Surprisingly there’s not that many issues that effect the game which is a relief as it comes from a complex PC port, but the bugs it does have are typical bugs that usually plague RPG’s of this nature nothing a patch can’t clean up. Some may notice dialogue issues or cut screen glitching, many have voiced concern about these and there’s little doubt CD Projekt will be working to fix those.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition for the Xbox 360 does have its technical and graphical glitches, none of which will stray you away from one the best RPG’s of today. CD Projekt Red does a wonderful job porting this game to the console and with a solid presentation and entertaining game play The Witcher 2 delivers a good gaming experience that should last you awhile. Gamers who want to finally shy away from countless hours in Skyrim should give this game a serious look for a new take on the genre.