Review by Jawnage
"One of the best CRPGs in years."
If you're reading this to get an idea of whether or not to buy The Witcher 2, I'll save you the trouble of reading the whole article: DO IT! The Witcher 2 far surpasses it's predecessor to become an immersive fantasy epic that will draw you in and won't let go. Set almost immediately after the events of the first game, The Witcher 2 starts off by dropping you into a group of very lethal baddies almost immediately. Without a proper tutorial, you'll get familiar with this encounter quickly; however, the game does get easier as you acquire upgrades to your character's abilities, health and equipment. One of my only complaints with the Witcher 2 is that combat gets too easy towards the later stages of the game, if you've been doing the sidequests and keeping up with equipment upgrades.
In the first game, you controlled Geralt (the titular witcher) in combat by left clicking on enemies and only clicking again when the mouse icon turns into a flaming sword; you could choose between a silver and a steel sword, fast attacks, strong attacks and group attacks. Thankfully, CD Projekt RED has listened to fan feedback and updated the combat while still incorporating the ideas from the predecessor. The steel sword is used for attacking humanoids like elves, dwarves and humans while the silver sword is used to combat all other monsters. Instead of selecting fast attack and left clicking one in a while, the left click is now bound to fast attack and the right click is bound to strong attack. Geralt can now block and riposte as well as use the magical signs he discovered in the first game. Combat is deep and exciting.
The Witcher 2 feels unique among CRPGs in that the main story has a sense of urgency and the sidequests actually are relevant to the story, rather than just being a bunch of fetch quests. As the story progresses, Geralt will level up, allowing you to choose between the specialties, Swordsman, Mage or Alchemist. Each path is equally viable and has unique gameplay. Swordsman Geralt will have more depth of melee combat than a pure Mage or Alchemist Geralt, while Mage Geralt can assault opponents from afar with 5 different upgradeable spells. Alchemist Geralt focuses on potions and traps, always being one step ahead of his enemies. You can further change some of Geralt's abilities by using mutagens, upgrades that you insert into a given ability.
The Witcher 2 was actually fun, something I haven't experiencing in gaming in a long time. If your machine can run this beast of a game, I recommend that you get it now. It's a great deal, even at full price because it lasted for around 35 hours on one play through and I plan to beat it again on insane mode when I get some more time.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/29/11
Game Release: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Digital Premium Edition) (US, 05/17/11)
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