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Game Name: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Enhanced Edition)

Publisher: Warner Brothers Games

Developer: CD Projekt Red

Platform: Xbox 360

Year: 2012

Players: Solo

Rating: M (for Mature)

Retail Price: $59.99

Category: Realistic Fantasy RPG

Game Features

A Complex, Realistic and Mature Story touching upon subject matter seldom seen in other RPGs, told in a manner that is understandable and attractive to contemporary gamers. We investigate the assassinations of the rulers of the Northern Kingdoms and follow Geralt’s personal theme, in which he’s looking for his own identity. Gradually we learn how powerful forces influence our situation and what role they order us to play.

A Truly Epic, Intense, Emotionally Charged Adventure with non-linear game narration. Three independent plot lines with several alternative events are dependent on the player’s choices and lead to multiple different game endings and several additional plot forks.

Believable, True-to-Life Characters with their own motivations and goals. During our journey we meet ordinary men, soldiers, rebels, powerful mages, rulers and their assassins. Depending on our decisions we meet different game characters, and our relationships shape further actions in the game.

Greater Freedom of Exploration to provide increased game realism and a wider range of new tactical options. Geralt will surmount barriers, jump over fences, scale walls and ascend rock formations.

Highly Varied, Breathtaking Locations, which thanks to the new engine create a cohesive, fully accessible world!

New, Improved System of Flashbacks. Now the reminiscences of Geralt, in which we observe the link between our past choices with current actions, are realistically and smoothly woven into the gameplay.

Rich, Living World in which every character has their own way of life and unique occupations. Our actions modify the relationship with the game-world population and, in the case of the main plot line, open or close the possibilities of interaction with the game world.

Rich, Mature Dialogue as found in Andrzej Sapkowski’s book series and The Witcher 1, presented in highly filmic cutscenes and dialogues sequences, thanks to a new game engine.

Sex and Eroticism will be introduced in a much more realistic, involving and mature way, thanks to which sexual relationships are presented more credibly than in TW1.

Unique, Deep, Consistent and Rich Game world established in a series of best-selling books by A. Sapkowski and recreated in the game to provide an incredible, believable story-driven experience.

Enhanced Edition content:

  • GAME DVDs The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings game on 2 DVDs.
  • OST CD: Audio-CD with in-game music.
  • WORLD MAP: A map of the game’s world.
  • QUEST HANDBOOK – The Witcher 2 quest handbook for both novice and experienced role-playing fans.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was an obvious choice for last year’s best role-playing game – an exciting and captivating story, a rich universe (maybe stuck in fantasy’s typical archetype but still…) managing to differ from the norm. Add to the mix strong writing, amazing characters, loads of DLC (at no charge), and stellar visuals that made your jaw drop – assuming you had the rig to handle the specs and you have a winner.

And then along came Skyrim and The Witcher 2 was almost forgotten. Understandably so considering how immense and depth oriented Skyrim is – I alone have spent nearly 100 hours playing the Bethesda release and still have unfinished side quests.

But last year’s very best RPG-that-is-not-Skyrim was still a well-deserved success, especially when you consider The Witcher 2 was only released on PC. Now the game also has landed on Xbox 360, that success will only grow greater.

It’s been almost a year since The Witcher 2’s PC release and the developers at CD Projekt Red have certainly not been sitting on their respective hands. The title has been updated, enhanced and expanded; most recently with the 2.0 patch, which introduced a new arena-game type, adjusted the difficulty, adding a tutorial to introduce players to the most important game play aspects both inside and outside of battle which fixes one of the main issues the title originally upon release.

Xbox 360 owners also benefit from all of these additions and enhancements meaning this console release is a more refined one than the PC version last year. Those tweaks don’t equate to the “Enhanced Edition” subtitle alone as CD Projekt Red had graphic artists, designers and writers working the past year  to offer unique content. The result is a beautiful pre-rendered intro that sets the mood and more importantly, many additional side quests, which add roughly four hours of game play to the titles already considerable length. Otherwise, most of the original content has survived the conversion to Xbox 360 intact. We still play as Geralt of Rivia, the Witcher, an almost superhuman monster hunter with an edge.

Geralt is accused of a royal murder he didn’t commit and sets out to find the real killer, prove his innocence, show the assassin plans to spill more royal blood and (because the assassin is also a Witcher) possibly illuminating parts of Geralt’s past he has yet to recall.

Environments are still as unwelcoming and full of rage as ever.  The non-human races such as elves and dwarves are deeply oppressed, with some waging an open hit & run style war with the humans. Danger and intrigue are ever present while you will need to watch what you say and to whom. The story branches to such an extent, depending on your choices, you’ll probably miss a good chunk of content on your first full play through.

CD Projekt Red’s conversion of the game from PC to Xbox 360 is unbelievably perfect. Almost every port from PC to console or vice versa has some major issue or glitches. That’s not the case here as The Witcher 2 looks great and the complex combat system is mapped neatly and orderly to the game pad as well. This made for, in my opinion, an almost seamless transition from the PC version. The release does show the divide between the Xbox 360 and PCs when it comes to visuals however.  The Witcher 2 was originally designed to utilize all the PC’s graphic and processing power thus offering a game more visually detailed than the console version. Also, it’s important to note, you WILL notice dreaded lag in loading when you go from one major area to another. Yet despite these minor – and I stress they are minor – issues the game still looks terrific.

If you already have the PC version of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, then there’s little reason to buy the Xbox 360 edition, especially since all current owners of the PC version will get a free update that’ll include all the new additions found in the console’s “Enhanced” release.

If you enjoy the genre and have yet to play Witcher 2, this is a no brainer to pick up. One of last year’s best role-playing games has become a tad better and The Witcher 2 is “virtually” as stunning via the Xbox 360 as it was on a powerhouse PC. If you haven’t played the title you NEED to enter the world of The Witcher 2! Truly Dragon Age meets Skyrim with a hint of Underworld. Or in other words…

Trust me, it works!

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