An RPG for the darker man. - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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An RPG for the darker man.

Ok, so it's hard for me to be completely unbiased when the Witcher series is some of my favorite rpgs of all time. But to aid a prospective buyer like you, I'm going to give you the low-down on what console players are finally stepping into.

 The Witcher world is J RR Tolkien's famous fantasy if it involved an extreme fetish for  rape, racism, sex-jokes, and grim-darkness. This is Dark Fantasy where you aren't the world's savior, but a resident who must choose your own side on difficult choices. You play as the Witcher Geralt, a mutant who primarily is tasked to hunt monsters using traps, bombs, potions, and a silver sword. Unfortunately such an easy task was made complicated by the end of the first game when you became enraptured in politics.

The primary theme of this story takes a drastic shift from now on based on player input...

Many console players will likely be intimidated by the '2' in the title, but most of the connections between the original and this sequel are resolved in the first hour of gameplay and CDprojekt actually went out of its way to use and Enhanced Edition instead of a port. The Enhanced Edition has filled parts of the story up easily and will leave most player's satisfied at the intense opening. Like Mass Effect 1 the world is slowly fed to you in a single play-through and you're never bombarded by information that was already covered in the first. A returning vet from the first who didn't have the pc power to play the second will be glad to learn that they can once more be a monster hunter with morals in an amoral world.

Combat is the secondary concern most people will have who played the first and either loved or hated the system. The new style of combat is full-action, with no stances but now possesses a much more user-friendly interface with bombs and traps. In the original release of the Witcher 2 combat was a nightmare for anyone who wasn't used to hit-and-run tactics. But the steady stream of updates has rendered the combat system of Witcher 2 not just decent, but perfect for the nature of the gameplay. Both a challenge and tactical one at that. To help in your view, I'd liken it to Dark Souls with more leash-room on mistakes and less commitment to an attack.

The transition to the gamepad was also done with ease as the Witcher 2 already supported it with ease. The only dark spot is in inventory management, but I've always been the person who can overlook that. The inventory is far clunkier than Skyrim but is hardly as clustered as Dragon Age Origins could be. To me it's a minor issue that never impacted me during my play-through of the recently released Enhanced Edition.

Quick time events also make an appearance, but there's actually an option to remove them at the menu. This allows for more free-flowing action during several hallowing boss fights while still allowing you to perform 'interrupts' during conversations. These work on a fashion of punching a man who just said "Raped or not, she was an elf, a worthless b*tch.".

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Now the big issue here is the story. You'll hear fans of this game praise it as the second coming of Christ and most of 4chan's /v say it's garbage (they hate video games anyways). However, I won't beat you down with it or spoil anything. I'll just state an honest assessment.

The game is divided into three major acts. Each act has an overarching theme that tends to be related to the political nature of the main plot. However, the Witcher 2 allows players to switch the theme of the plot between racism or 'A Game of Thrones' political play. The resulting difference affects Act 2 and this changes the story for the next ten hours, and the location where the gameplay takes place.

This is the truth.This is a decision in the game that changes the next ten hours of your play so completely it will warrant a second play-through. Make of that what you will.

For my first play-through (PC release) I went with politics and found myself finishing the game with a completely different outlook from my best friend who chose the racism path. Upon playing the racism path I experienced an entirely different story that held it's own twists and turns. I also learned information that made me regret choices in the political path that felt right at the time.

And speaking of choice, the Witcher 2 offers it in a heavy dose. One would think the game follows a linear path due to a set protagonist but many decisions do lie ahead. and one of them is an event that requires a choice within five seconds that happens to change much of what's in the future.

The nature of these decisions is also rightly judged as difficult. There is no good or evil here in major decisions. It's a choice between a secret policeman or a terrorist. You'll be asked on what you believe in, and who is in the right. Neutrality is impossible here which will disappoint some Witcher 1 vets, but never once will you be forced to make a choice at face-value. If you're given the choice to kill a king whose a raping, murdering psychopath, you'll learn that he's the only king holding back a civil war before you make the decision.

These decision requires moderate judgment (and bite you back in later acts), and not alignment gives you the freedom to decide your own ethics. Geralt's voice-acting also lends much towards this, when you're suspicious about an offer, he is, when you're threatening someone, he does so too.

As great as all this is, the story is hampered by it's ending. This is in no way the same as the Mass Effect 3 protests, but it is disappointing because of a different reason. For purposes of keeping spoilers away, I'll only liken it reading A Game of Thrones and stopping at Ed Stark's... *** forget I said that.

Basically the story of Witcher 2 ends, but it is so well-tied to a sequel that we're left wanting the Witcher 3 soon after the chaos closes down. I wasn't bothered by this but I'm one person out of two million that played the PC release. Some will love the ending for how much closure it provides to the antagonist's reasons and some will hate where it stops at.

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I've been long-winded so far, especially in regards to the story. For purpose of helping you decide whether to buy this product I'll reveal some facts the GI review only hinted at.

-This Enhanced Edition includes all the DLC and content from the PC version. (hair-styles, weapons, Troll Trouble, all the releases)

-This Enhanced Edition is also the latest patched version. (Comes with an arena score-mode, a Dark mode difficulty, combat improvements, and new armor/ weapons).

-This Enhanced Edition has similar graphics to a med-low setting on the PC. (This means that it looks better than many 360 titles currently out while still keeping the frame-rate at 30 consistently.)

-The Enhanced Edition includes the new content released with the PC patch. (the extra five hours advertised. Which a single play-through should take you 45)

-The Enhanced Edition is a regularly priced 360 title.

-It has a dwarf that says Lesbomancy is his favorite form of witchcraft.

-A mage has his balls ripped off and shoved into his mouth.

Comments
  • This is a real review! Bravo sir, you definitely have outclassed the other two bumbling idiots on their reviews. 3 to 4 sentences are not enough to tell me about a game and now, I am a proud owner of this game and I'm enjoying it thoroughly!

  • A robust review sir! Much better than the other two worthless reviews given before yours. This really helped me out.