The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings Enhanced Edition [Review]

  • Platform: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PC
  • Published by: Warner Brothers Interactive
  • Developed by: CD Projekt/Metropolis Software House
  • Genre: RPG
  • ESRB Rating: M For Mature
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Release Date: April 17th, 2012

The Witcher 2 Assassins Of Kings Enhanced Edition for the Xbox 360 is a game I’ve been really looking forward to, I’d heard great things about it on the PC and I was curious to see how the game would translate to the Xbox 360. Originally it was slated to come out in November of 2011, but due to the large amount of quality games coming out around the same time last year, they delayed The Witcher 2 until April of this year. Turns out is was a smart move because I’m not sure I would have had the time to play it last year in the first place. There is no doubt that The Witcher 2 is a true hardcore RPG experience, but how would it hold up on six-year-old hardware?

The first thing I noticed when I got my copy of the Enhanced Edition for the Xbox 360 is the amazing amount of content within the box itself. The box was pretty heavy and when I got home I found out why. Inside the box is two disks that actually have the game on it, there was also a physical CD that has the entire Witcher 2 soundtrack. There was also a hefty instruction manual, and a full map of the world from the game that you can unfold, it also has a full quest handbook that was included in the inner sleeve, the book rivals any full strategy guide you could buy. This game seriously comes packed with content.

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The next thing I’ll talk about is something that most people will probably want to know, which is what the graphics look like on the Xbox 360 version. I’m not an expert on PC gaming, but I understand that there is a small percentage of people out there that have a super high-end PC and can play The Witcher 2 with some insane graphics, the Xbox 360 version looks fantastic and is definitely on par with an average persons PC settings. Simply put, the game looks beautiful and CD Projekt RED has done a masterful job making this game look and run so great on pretty old hardware. It just goes to show what a quality developer and a little time can do.The Witcher 2 is a dark, mature game that definitely shouldn’t be played by people under the age of seventeen. I’m not just talking about the sexual content and nudity, which there is plenty of. The story involved and the characters are all very complex and adult oriented, I just don’t think younger people would appreciate it and they would probably get bored with the story pretty quickly. The Witcher series of games is spawned from a series of books, and from what I understand, the games do a pretty good job of following where the books go.

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I’ve played a ton of RPG’s in my life, a lot of M rated ones at that, but those have absolutely nothing on this game. This is a hardcore RPG and when I say that, please understand that I’m saying its intense and a true RPG in every sense of the word. From the spell casting and crafting, to the combat system, The Witcher 2 doesn’t pull any punches, its complex and complicated and it will take a true RPG fan to really enjoy everything this game has to offer. I admit I was a little overwhelmed by the game and it took me over a week of off and on play to finish the game. To date, The Witcher 2 is the longest review I’ve done, as far as gameplay time is concerned.

In case you were wondering what the heck a Witcher is in the first place, its pretty simple to explain. A Witcher is someone who is genetically altered from birth to be a monster hunter. they have increased strength, speed and fighting abilities. They can even see in the dark and have powers of persuasion. You play as Geralt of Rivia, the story picks up where you are in charge of protecting a King, obviously given the games title “Assassins Of Kings”, you get the idea that things don’t go too well for a King. Indeed the King you are charged with protecting is assassinated and you end up being the one charged with the crime. I think most people will want to know at least that much of the story and hopefully that isn’t too much of a spoiler for the average gamer.You team up with some friends and go in search of the real killer in order to clear your once good name. The characters in the game are all colorful, and you might not actually like or enjoy the company you keep, but everyone serves a purpose and unlike a lot of RPG’s on the market, you aren’t really bound by morality or things like that. The game does offer different endings, depending on what you do throughout the game, so this gives you added reasons to play through the game again and maybe even once more after that. I am currently on my second play-through and I’ve found a ton of things I missed the first time through. The Witcher 2 Assassins Of Kings is a deep and immersive gaming experience, and it’s quite honestly one of the best RPG’s of this or any generation.

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While the game does have a great score, impressive voice acting and a great story line, it’s not without its faults. I found that I disliked the inventory system quite a bit, it felt clunky and probably should have been changed to more suit a console edition. I know Skyrim is getting Kinect support in the future and I think this title would benefit from something similar. The game is obviously setup for hotkeys on a keyboard, voice commands or a better structured inventory system would have been appreciated.The travel system is also something that I found to be a little cumbersome at times, but I wouldn’t let those two small flaws interfere with what is such a fantastic gaming experience. The other controls all handle perfectly and I’d venture to say the character movements themselves are much easier with the Xbox 360 controller than a keyboard and mouse. I rather enjoyed lounging back in my comfortable chair and playing The Witcher 2 Assassins Of Kings on my big screen television on my Xbox 360.In the end, The Witcher is a fantastic game and is a true RPG in all respects. It shouldn’t be compared to games like Skyrim, because they are totally different types of RPG’s. The Witcher 2 is a mature game in every sense of the word, not just for the violence and adult themes, but because of its intense nature and true to life character progressions. If you’re looking for a mature RPG to play and you have between 50 and 60 hours to kill, than I highly recommend The Witcher 2 Assassins Of Kings. Casual RPG fans need not apply.

Final Score: 9/10

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