The Witcher 2 caused a bit of a stir when it came out on PC because it was a bloody good fantasy RPG romp. Now it’s come to Xbox 360 and it’s not so much of a port of the game but an enhanced version with lots of new gameplay and other stuff including an upgraded interface specifically for the Xbox 360, new animations, cut-scenes and four extra hours of things to do in this already massive game.
If you don’t know what it’s about let me enlighten you. You play as Geralt of Rivia who is a witcher – a mutated bloke who possesses all kinds of powers of the monster slaying kind. Because of that he’s feared by the ignorant and so begins the game in jail telling stories of how he got there. Luckily you soon escape (otherwise things would get very boring) and set about trying to find the guy who’s going around killing kings and blaming it all on you.
You’ll spend a lot of your time exploring the land and townships where you can find items to upgrade your equipment and potions you can drink to help your quest and you also get to fight a variety of people and monsters. Thankfully the combat system is actually pretty sturdy with the ability to block, parry and roll out of the way and assign spells, bombs, daggers and traps to your arsenal as you put pay to all around you. As you upgrade you can level up and add mutagens to make you even more powerful.
The characters you meet and work alongside all have their own distinct personalities which certainly adds to the playability factor and there are many side quests to take part in as you work through the main plotline. Be warned though, things don’t open up fully until you’re at least a couple of hours in. You’ll also make choices in conversations that can directly affect what happens next or have farther reaching consequences further down the road. There’s no Mass Effect style Paragon or Renegade style choices here so you’re free to just do what feels right for you and watch your choices play out in front of you.
There are also mini games to take part in which involve quicktime punch up sequences, arm wrestling and gambling in your local inn which to be honest aren’t that much fun to play but fighting aside you don’t have to take part in them if you don’t want to. Visually the game looks gorgeous, especially during some of the pre-rendered cut-scenes. There are minor glitches here and there such as texture pop-up during gameplay but nothing as game breaking as Skyrim.
If you’re into your fantasy role-playing and want a game with well fleshed out characters and hours of gameplay that’s a bit more structured than the afore-mentioned Elder Scrolls game and not as silly as Fable, then I highly recommend The Witcher 2. 9 out of 10.
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