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Friday, July 6, 2012

The Witcher 2

One of the best intros in all of gaming? Yeah, I think so.




Story (stop reading after the first paragraph to avoid spoilers)

The Witcher 2, as you may have guessed, is a sequel to the The Witcher. I haven't played the first, but the game is still playable despite that. The game starts with Geralt, a Wither, hunter of monsters, in prison and being interrogated about then unknown events, he begins to tell the story of how he ended up in said prison. The story then begins with Geralt running through the woods, being perused by unknown soldiers. Geralt then awakens, revealing this to be a dream he has been having constantly (likely referring to the first game) and is summoned to assist King Foltest in 'rescuing' his illegitimate children.

As Geralt and the king's forces continue through the castle, they are attacked by a dragon, but luckily reaches the castle's chapel, where his children are being kept. The children are revealed safe and sound with a blind monk, who encourages the children to meet not only their father, but their king. As the children leave to clean themselves, the monk reveals himself to be an assassin (the same one as seen in the intro to the game), and slits Foltest's throat before Geralt can reach him. Gerlat attempts to capture the assassin, but he jumps out of the chapels window and escapes, leaving Geralt with blood on his hands. Oh, and he has amnesia. :D


Graphics

The graphics in The Witcher 2 are pretty good, they remind me of polished Fable III graphics, trees and foliage are done with good detail, and surroundings look good (instead of poorly pasted copies), characters look well and act as one might expect. Enemies tend to have a darker look to them, such as the Drowner and Nekkers, who posses dead like features. Spells have special effects, such as splash effects as they level up, inflicting more damage to those nearby.


Controls

Controls act much like those in the Fable series, I would wager to bet that Fable was an influence for this game, simply button commands, no special combos or stupid placements. I wish there was more to say about the controls, but there really isn't.


Voice/Sound/Music

This game has to have some of the better VA I've heard in recent games, the characters sound rather convincing with their expressions and tone, some sections seem to increase the volume of the characters, whether this is done to emphasize importance, to ensure you notice, I don't know. Music is well done, but it can get annoying at some points, especially if you spend a large amount of time in one area. Sounds are rather basic in the game, but not used repeatedly (some games have one sound for the right foot and one for the left and they get annoying to hear over and over and over again), and are varied just enough to keep you from going insane.


Other

The game is pretty difficult, even on Normal, but the Autosave feature allows for mistakes.

One thing I love about the game is the branching story, you must decide who you want to partner with, if you want to save this person or that person and if you want to spare this person or not. Each decision effects what can happen next.

The game doesn't allow for backtracking, meaning if you miss something, it's gone. This is annoying for item crafting, since many good items require rare items that can only be found in one spot.


Overall

A fun RPG for the 360, so if you're an RPG fan, you have no real choice but to get this.

9/10

Pros

- Fun and entertaining story
- Branching story
- Nice challenge

Cons

- Force advance story
- Can be difficult to casual RPG players
- No carry over for new games after beating it once